Sea Otter Classic: For the Kids The new 26″ Cleary Meerkat debuted at the 2021 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California and BETA snagged one for review: On the opposite end of the price spectrum from the Trailcraft Maxwell is the Cleary Meerkat. This 26-inch model is a new addition this year, on top of […]
Richmond, California (October 21, 2021) — Cleary Bikes, specialty kids’ bikes manufacturer, has announced that Mike’s Bikes, a well-known California retailer, will carry Cleary’s entire line. Mike’s Bikes offers Cleary’s well-designed, durable children’s bicycles in its twelve stores in Petaluma, San Rafael, Sausalito, San Francisco, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Sacramento, Walnut Creek, San Jose, […]
Junior Bike Week in Crested Butte, Colorado, is growing up to be the biggest kids’ bike party on the planet—and very likely the only multiday festival that’s 100 percent focused on youth. Originally started as Junior Crested Butte Bike Week in 2016, the event is held in conjunction with the oldest and one of the wildest bike shindigs in America, Crested Butte Bike Week.
A real bicycle in every sense, the Cleary Gecko 12 has front and rear brakes, the option for a freewheel that a child can quickly turn over, and crankarms that will not scrape when pedaling through turns. Available in Very Orange, Cool Moss Green, Sorta Pink and Deep Blue, the bike weights 15 pounds with the freewheel option, or 17 pounds with a coaster wheel. The Gecko 12 also comes with a compact vegan leather saddle with integrated seat post designed to accommodate the earliest of early riders. Best fit for riders with 15″ to 18″ inseam
The world of kids’ bikes has been turned upside down in the past decade. Training wheels are out, balance bikes are in. There’s a slew of small bikes with suspension forks and disc brakes for little rippers. And even basic bikes have evolved to make riding easier to learn, more fun, and safer.
To take advantage of these advances, there are a couple key features to look for when picking up a new kids’ bike. Getting the size and fit right is important too; it will make sure your little one gets the most out of their new ride. Here’s what to look for, and 15 of our top recommendations, reviewed and evaluated by our test editors and proven on the road and trail by our crew of test groms.
It is hard to decide what to like best about the Cleary Hedgehog–the beautifully painted steel frame, the top-notch componentry, or the way the little bike performs out on the trail. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Your child can have it all: form and function.
The Hedgehog is Cleary’s 16″ bike, sized for kids ages 4 to 6. The geometry and design make it look and perform like a real (albeit tiny) mountain bike. That said, it performs just as well on rides around town and on the kindergarten commute as it does on singletrack.
Pure biking goodness in a pint-sized package, Cleary Bikes are the perfect single-speed bikes for adventurous young riders. Super stable for added confidence for tackling jumps, curbs, etc.
Lighter, brighter and stronger could mean more riding
Want to get your little one excited about riding? Well, you’re in luck. Cleary Bikes makes really cool kids’ bikes featuring bright colors, catchy names and low weight. Perhaps more important, though, the five models are built with thoughtful geometry, proportional components and quality construction.
The 13-pound Cleary Gecko is a kids’ bike that comes with the goodies you’d expect on a performance adult rig: V-brakes, three-piece cranks, a faux leather saddle, and a lifetime warranty. “We build tools, not toys” says Owner Jeff Cleary.
Cleary does one thing and does it really, really well: It crafts well-thought-out bikes for kids—and only kids. The 24-inch Meerkat is the newest bike in the Cleary line, and it picks up where the 20-inch Owl model leaves off. It has easy-to-use hydraulic disc brakes, a 9-speed drivetrain with a single ring up front, and a kid-sized saddle and grips for comfort. The durable steel frame is equipped with an equally tough steel fork. The rigid fork is suspension corrected, so adding a fork with some cush is incredibly simple. Available in Very Orange, Deep Blue, Sorta Pink, Red, and AstroTurf.