Young riders who are deeply image aware, now have a new carbon Specialized Hotwalk to obsess about.
If your toddler has bike envy, Specialized has the answer.
What started as a very unlikely set of sketches has matured into a radically light balance bike. Someone at the American brand’s composite department thought it would be a great idea to redesign the Hotwalk balance bike, in carbon-fibre.
The result is something fit for two- to four-year olds, who wish to roll around faster than any rival at the local park’s cycling lanes – or gravel sections.
Like your Specialized mountain bike – but much smaller
One of the challenging aspects of this project was to find appropriate strength testing benchmarks and methods, as there was no reference for what Specialized’s engineering team was trying to accomplish.
The result is a 12” wheeled balance bike that weighs only 2.1kg, versus the 4.3kg aluminium Hotwalk. Specialized has certified the new balance bike for a rider load of 18kg.
Beyond the gorgeous single-structure frame, there are some stupendous carbon-fibre components too. Specialized managed to shape tiny carbon-fibre rims, shod with an appropriate version of its Rhythm Lite, to guarantee rapid rolling speed.
Detail obsessed bike geeks will also notice the handlebar. Specialized is practically proud of what its composite team achieved in regard of the carbon Hotwalk’s cockpit which features a handlebar and grips that are 38% slimmer than usual, and perfect for the grip profile of tiny hands.
With its incredibly low standover, minimal weight and the dynamic properties of those carbon wheels, this Hotwalk is unquestionably a junior S-Works balance bike of sorts. Braking power depends on the quality of your young rider’s shoes and rubber sole composition, but with such a low frame, getting a leg extended to slow things down should prove easy.
As one would expect from such a unique product offering, the carbon Hotwalk isn’t cheap. It is priced at £999, but could also become something worth having as a bike room display item, when your kids have outgrown it.