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Specialized Hotwalk Carbon balance bike: behind the scenes look at £999 kids' bike

10 Dec 2020
Verdict:

A new bike, and with it a new price bracket, but can the Specialized Hotwalk Carbon balance bike 'inspire a lifetime of riding'?

Price: 
£999

Recently released, the new Specialized Hotwalk Carbon grabbed attention as much for its price as it did for its looks. A carbon-framed balance bike is cool, no doubt, but then a quid shy of £1,000 is likely to have niche appeal to parents of young children.

Although, if any parents are planning on five children or more, it starts to look quite appealing at a cost-per-child level.

Regardless, the Specialized Hotwalk Carbon balance bike looks great and certainly got people talking.

To hear more about it, we got in touch with the new bike's product manager, Eric Fischer, to get more insight into the new bike that is pushing the boundaries of price and performance.

Q&A: Eric Fischer, Specialized Hotwalk Carbon product manager

Cyclist: How long has this bike been in the making, from the initial idea/design phase?

Eric Fischer: This bike has been in development for about two years. A typical carbon bike takes about three years from idea to release, but because this bike didn’t have many components, we were able to make it a bit quicker.

Cyc: Have you had any involvement and feedback from actual small children to test the bike?

EF: We did! We had a small test rider fleet composed of our co-workers' kids. There was back-to-back testing conducted with the existing Hotwalk to dial in the new components.

Cyc: Have you sold any yet?

EF: For the UK, we have sold all our units to our retailer network. They got how cool this bike is.

Cyc: Has the bike been in the WinTunnel [Specialized's wind tunnel at its US headquarters], for testing and not just cool photos? How does it compare to rival models?

EF: We couldn’t find a fixture that would appropriately hold that little bike in place! Otherwise, you know we would have.

Cyc: Will this be the first in a new range of high-end children's bikes, covering the gap between the Hotwalk and the smallest adult frame?

EF: In the coming year, you can look for incredible updates to our kids line up. We’ve taken the research and development used in this bike, and applied it to a more accessible line of kids bikes.

The Hotwalk Carbon was a testament – a statement of our dedication to the next generation of cyclists, showing the best the industry can offer to our youngest riders. We’re going to create bikes to inspire a lifetime of riding.

 

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon: key details

Weight: 2.1kg  
Frame: All carbon Fact 9r  
Wheels: Carbon  
Handlebars: 38% smaller diameter carbon  
Tyres: Rhythm Lite  
Price: £999

 

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