Is this full carbon push bike really just the ultimate pleasure for parents?
Specialized has just made its lightest bike ever. The carbon frame carbon push bike is for riders 18 months to 4 years old, under 40 pounds and 35 inches tall, and who have saved a lot of money in their piggy bank!
And although it is not the first full carbon children’s bike – Strider did that years ago – This one looks at least as high-tech. And it certainly carries a certain punch with the Specialized name.
Specialized hotwalk carbon
The 4.34 pound bike is made from FACT 9r carbon, which is also used on specialist S-Works carbon and top of the range mountain bike racing bikes. It was developed by the team that brought the Specialized Tarmac SL7 and the new Stumpjumper to life.
The carbon handlebar and grips are 38% smaller to fit toddlers’ hands.
The handle ends support the bike if it falls (repeatedly) on the ground, while carbon wheels and tires with ultra-light housings are designed to carry light weight and short kilometers. The low-friction Body Geometry saddle has an integrated handle.
Specialized has not confirmed whether it tested this bike in its Win Tunnel wind tunnel, but we suspect it has. Why not?
For the orthodontist whose kid has it all, or the parents hoping for a Strava segment under 4, this bike will be a huge hit. I mean, who wouldn’t drop $ 1,000 to brag to their friends that their kid’s first bike is carbon?
Lifting the safety bar for children’s bicycles
Beyond the looks, Specialized says that the Hotwalk raised the safety bar for testing children’s bikes. That’s because there wasn’t a safety test on a carbon bike weighing 40 pounds. It may also have been difficult to get meaningful feedback from riders on the Hotwalk’s glide, cornering ability, torsional stiffness, and better shock absorption than an aluminum strider.
Specialized points out that this is actually the only carbon children’s bike ever made. The brand’s marketing materials insist that kids deserve bikes that are light, responsive, and easy to maneuver.
“We respect children and, to build the next generation of riders, we think they deserve the best that cycling can offer,” said Specialized.
Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Even the lightest kid’s pedal bikes are insanely heavy per pound of rider. And building lighter pedal bikes makes cycling more fun and attractive for more children, especially when these innovations take place across the board.
Getting kids excited about cycling from a young age is really something to strive for. However, this bike is more about promoting parental enjoyment and showing privileges in children who can barely walk or speak.
Specialized Hotwalk Carbon: for whom?
Still, I’m not fully buying Specialized’s statements: “We created something 2-year-olds have only dreamed of” or “at the end of the day we did it for them”.
Specialized created something only rich fathers and perhaps a few wealthy mothers had dreamed of until now. To make a wish, one must have the cognitive ability to understand the differences between what one has and what one does not have. And no 2 year old I know can do that.
Does the Hotwalk Carbon increase your child’s speed and endurance? Will the low-friction saddle affect its performance on rough playground surfaces? Keep an eye on them Strider Cup World Championships to find out next year.
Despite Specialized saying that it has “engineered precision at every touch point” and “redesigned every detail for unprecedented ride quality,” this $ 1,000 bike is only available in one size for tires up to 35 inches and 40 pounds available.
These are basically children aged 18 months to 4 years. By comparison, the lightest aluminum strider is 5.6 pounds, $ 180, and works for kids up to 60 pounds.
Specialized said this bike was pure fun that will last a lifetime. That’s more like a year or two – until your child crosses the weight limit. We suspect hotwalks will soon be a hot item on Pro’s Closet and Facebook Marketplace.
Specialized only builds 700 units of this carbon push bike (can you say vacation frenzy?). And for sure, parents with big dreams for their toddler athlete will steal their credit cards to put this bike under the tree. So don’t linger if you are or you will likely be gone. Find it Specialized website now.
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