This fall we’ve been testing the Cleary Scout and have had so much fun with this 10-speed do-it-all bike. My ten year old rode both cross country, around town and downhill trails and found the bike to ride smoothly, handle well and respond to changing terrain.
With it’s 4130 Chromoly Steel frame, the Scout may not be the lightest bike out there (though it’s still very light), but it is the strongest and has an excellent price point for kids mountain bikes.
The Cleary Scout is Cleary’s largest kid bike model (available in a 24″ or 26″ option) and made to allow kids to ride the trails and on pavement smoothly.
Interested in how other Cleary bikes perform? Check out our review of their 16″ Hedgehog here.
The Cleary Scout stands out primarily on flowing trails. We feel that it does best on lots of gentle up and down hills where slightly heavier weight doesn’t compromise performance (and, in fact, helps forward motion).
The geometry of the bike is appropriately sized for kids while still allowing them to be on larger wheels, and therefore easier to ride over bumps and rocks on the trail. It’s truly made for kids, not just a miniaturized adult bike.
What We Love about the Cleary Scout:
1 x 10 Set Up
We love that the Cleary Scout’s gears are a 1 x 10 with no front derailleur. That coupled with the fact that it has a 28t narrow/wide chainring means that the gearing is simple and effective.
We had one particular ride that was incredibly difficult and really, really sloppy. While our other bikes kept popping off their chains, the Scout’s stayed on with no issues at all.
While a steel frame isn’t the lightest option, it is certainly incredibly strong and durable. Our favorite reason for choosing steel is that steel frames (vs the lighter aluminum option) tend to vibrate and chatter less. This is especially obvious on bumpy and rough descends.
Our son comments most about the traction on the Scout. The knobby and wider tires (26 x 2.25) mean superior traction which again my son notices on those more technical downhills. If you want something even wider, the Scout can accommodate up to a 2.7″ wide tire.
The wheels are compatible with tubeless tires, should you want to go that route.
Good Front Shock
The Suntour XCR 26 air fork has 100 mm of travel which means it does absorb some pretty good bumps on the trail. We also love that has the option to lock it out for uphill climbs.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes
My son can stop on a dime with these brakes. Coupled with the great traction of the knobby tires, he has excellent control even in dicey conditions.
What are Aren’t Crazy about the Cleary Scout
The biggest downfall to the Cleary Scout is just compared to higher-end bikes, it’s heavy! Obviously this is more obvious on steep uphill climbs.
We also feel as though the saddle could stand to be a little more cushy for little riders, though our son has never complained about it.
The Cleary Scout is a great do-it-all bike for riding the trails and pavement alike. It’s a perfect bike to get kids excited about mountain biking.
Mountain Biking for Kids
Looking for more info on mountain biking for kids? These posts may help!
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