Autumn Gear Guide
Find inspiration in our Gear Guide that will keep you out on your bike through wind or rain.Download Now
Cleary Bikes makes lightweight children’s bikes with rear and front hand brakes.
Riding a bike is ageless. We feel empowered and free every time our feet begin the rotation of our pedals. And we wouldn’t be anywhere if we hadn’t spent countless hours riding up and down alley ways or around parks practicing with an older sibling, parent, or friend. It is a whole new world the moment you realize that a downward slope means more speed, more momentum. Cleary Bikes, a relatively new children’s bike brand to hit the market, is all about these first experiences on bikes.
When most of us were kids, we just used whatever bikes were around – a sibling’s hand me down trike, a family friend’s old mountain bike – we learned. Now there are a lot more tools and thought going into children’s bikes. Cleary is emblematic of this trend, building kids’ bikes with the proportions and attention to detail of adults’ bikes.
They make five models: The Starfish (12″ Balance Bike), The Gecko (12″ Single Speed), The Hedgehog (16″ Single Speed), The Owl (20″ Single Speed), and The Meerkat (24″ Single Speed).
Each model is meant to take your child through a new stage on their bike path (so to speak), so that when they finally reach the end of the trail, they can glide away easily and forge their own new routes with finesse and confidence.
A notable feature of the Cleary line is that every bike (including their Starfish balance bike) includes hand brakes, optimized for tiny hands. In this way, kids learn braking even before they begin pedaling.
Braking is an integral part of bike riding. It is important to know the difference between your front and rear brakes – knowing when to use which lever, and when to use both, can prevent life threatening accidents. Learning the difference between the brakes early and becoming accustomed to using your primary brake, allows for easier hand signaling, and less of a chance of making a mistake and getting hurt.
In short, we like the idea of kids learning how to use their brakes. The sooner they learn brakes, the sooner they can build their bike riding confidence, and the sooner we can see them out in the world enjoying their independence, and their bikes!