Cleary Bikes: Quality Kids’ Bicycles

Cleary Kids Bikes

Image from Cleary Bikes

For a long time I kept hearing rave reviews about Cleary Bikes everywhere I turned—in the print magazines, on the bike forums I frequent, from a mom at my son’s school.  When I finally had the opportunity to get my son on the Cleary Gecko, I understood why there was so much hype.  Unlike most kids bikes on the market, Cleary Bikes are made with child-appropriate geometry and hit the scales at a reasonable weight. Add in quality components and a beautiful steel frame, and you have a winning line of kids bikes.

Cleary has five models to meet the needs of a variety of age groups.

Cleary Starfish Balance Bike

Cleary Starfish Balance Bike

Intended for the pre-pedaler, the Starfish is an awesome little balance bike. Made with high quality components, front and rear handbrakes, internal cable housing, and a gorgeous paint job, this bike stands head and shoulders over most of the balance bikes on the market.

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Cleary Gecko 12” Pedal Bike

Cleary Gecko Kids BikeThis is one of the few worthwhile 12” pedal bikes out there, and I will be recommending it to all of my mom friends trying to transition their little one from a balance to a pedal bike. The Gecko has a low center of gravity and is lightweight enough as to be manageable for the tiniest cyclist.

If you are interested in the Gecko, read my detailed review and video review here.

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Cleary Hedgehog 16″ Mountain Bike

Cleary Hedgehog Kids Bike Perfect for riding to school, mountain biking, or playing at the bike park, the Hedgehog is capable of withstanding abuse. The singlespeed drivetrain means less maintenance and fewer mechanicals. When my son is ready for the next sized bike, this will be the one we get him.

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Cleary Owl 20″ Mountain Bike

Cleary Owl Kids Mountain BikeAll my mountain biker friends have been eying the Owl. A beautiful steel singlespeed, the Owl is very capable of some real mountain bike rides. If that is your thing, a beefier tire can be added; if not, this is a great bike for riding around town too.

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Meerkat 24″ Mountain Bike

Cleary Meerkat Kids Mountain Bike

The Meerkat is the newest bike in the Cleary lineup, and unlike their smaller bikes, it boasts nine gears.  Shifting is made easy with MicroShift thumb shifters, and hydraulic disc brakes make the Meerkat a capable trail bike.

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More About Cleary Bikes

Cleary Bikes was founded in 2014 and is headquartered out of Sausalito, California with the sole mission of making “rad bikes designed for kids.”  Mission accomplished.

While most of the quality kids bikes I review have aluminum frames, the Cleary bikes are made of steel – which I love.   These are frames are soooo pretty, and super durable.  In fact, Cleary offers a Lifetime Warranty to the original owner.   If you have several kids (or plan on having several kids), buy a Cleary bike and hand in down to the next in line.

The components are nearly as durbale as the frame.  All Cleary Bikes come with Kenda Kontact tires, which are some of my faves.  They are adequate for mountain biking, but can also be ridden on pavement.  All of their pedal bikes (even the Gecko) come with child-friendly Tektro brakes.

None of their bikes come with training wheels, and all of their bikes come with a freehub (or the option of a freehub).  If you’re not sure why this is a good thing, read my articles on training wheels and coaster brakes.

Cleary Bikes can be ordered online or bought at a local dealer.  This is the best of both worlds.  If you have a local dealer, you can get your child fitted to the right bike and support your local economy.  If you live in a small town, or you just like the convenience of ordering online, you can do that too.  The bikes are easy to assemble right out of the box.

 

 

 

 

 

Kristen

Kristen is a project manager and writer. She spends all her free time mountain biking with her family on the trails in Salt Lake City and Park City, UT.

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