Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. If “price is no object” is not something you would utter when selecting your child’s first bike, then the new Specialized Hotwalk Carbon is not for you. Fortunately, Specialized makes a very nice, high-quality balance bike already in the Hotwalk that is affordable, well designed, comes in four different colors.

But for those who want nothing but the best for their child; a bike that makes use of Specialized’ top designing talent even though it’s just a kid’s bike, the Hotwalk Carbon is the one.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike drawings Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike carbon Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike angle

Proportionately, carbon kid’s bikes make a lot of sense. Smaller riders are usually lighter, so heavier bikes made from aluminum or steel are often a larger percentage of their body weight. That can make learning how to ride more difficult, and at worst, cause kids to become so discouraged that they don’t want to ride at all.

Or at least, that’s what parents who are thinking of buying a Hotwalk Carbon will be telling themselves.

Built using FACT 9r carbon fiber, this is the same carbon you’ll find on high end road and mountain bikes for adults. Yes, there is even lighter carbon that Specialized uses, but let’s not get too crazy here.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike handlebar Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike carbon wheels

To ensure every possible gram has been cut, the bike also features a carbon fiber handlebar and 12″ carbon rims. Those rims are wrapped in Rhythm Lite tires to provide grip both on and off-road. The grips included on the bars are 38% smaller in diameter for little hands, and feature wide grip ends to protect all that beautiful carbon when junior inevitably throws the bike to the ground.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike scooting

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike rear wheel

Compared to the aluminum Hotwalk, the Hotwalk Carbon does not include a foot rest. Specialized says that this is due to the Carbon version focusing on weight, and wanting to offer a streamlined design that is better suited for kicking along.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike frame testing

Of course, Specialized wouldn’t let something of this caliber leave their doors without proper testing. But since they’ve never built something quite like this before, they had to design a new test to certify the bike to their 40lb weight limit rating.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike side

The result is a stunning balance bike that tips the scale at just 4.63lbs / 2.1kg. But it’s also priced at $999. For reference, that’s just over five of the standard Specialized Hotwalk bikes. But that’s not the point, now is it? Specialized wanted to build the lightest balance bike that they could – and the Hotwalk Carbon certainly fits the bill.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon kid's balance bike shredder

Offered in a single size, the Hotwalk Carbon is recommended for children from 18mo to 4yrs, and up to 35in. Ideally, for children able to balance while toddling around with an inseam of 15-18″.

specialized.com

29 comments

  1. Miclaroc on

    Nice bit of design – but in a time when half this country is unemployed and on the verge of eviction this $999 kids bike is pretty tone-deaf Specialized.

    Reply
    • rob on

      i dont really think they’re making a statement along the lines of employment.
      the reality is that these bikes have likely been in development + manufacturing for well over a year. – prior to the pandemic.
      in order to deliver a bike in december, it has to ship from the factory some time in october. (about 7 weeks between the water and customs).
      in order for a bike to ship in october, it would have to be ordered some time between feb and may, because in order to produce an object, they have to let manufacturers know how much of each material, component they need… those component manufacturers would also have to procure material to produce the component….
      now in order for the bike to be production ready…. you have to go back over a year. for the development and testing phase. concept, industrial design, proof of concept, impact and strength testing… etc.

      now before you say the economy revolves around “just in time manufacturing” that’s not a complete reality. in order for ‘just in time’ to work, some manufacturer somewhere has to overbuild/overproduce… imagine a tube for example… because of just in time, you can go pretty much anywhere and say “i need a tube” and get a tube, technically. but somewhere along the lines, some manufacturer is taking orders 3 to 6 months out, in order to make decisions on material quantity needed to meet demand…. that 3 to 6 months by definition isn’t ‘just in time’…. but it’s not really tone deaf either if the demand drops 4 months after materials have been ordered, and 1/3 of the batch has already been produced.

      to add to the position of the country… there is currently high unemployment, but i feel that realistically, the type of individual buying a bike like this is likely unaffected. or the affected portion may be rather small…. this is a bike that will probably be in the lineup for the next few years… they probably did a batch order now, and will have these till they run out. this is also a bike that makes a whole lot of sense to launch right before the holidays….
      if these bikes were in development prior to the pandemic, would it make sense to pull the plug after injecting all those resources? remember, back in march, the entire planet thought ‘this will be over in a couple months’… most of us didnt expect to still be at home in december… what a wild world we live in.

      Reply
    • fm106 on

      Please show some sensitivity for the population on the upper side of the yawning income equality gap – they’ve got to put that disposable income somewhere…. Is it really fair to ignore them just because half the country can’t get a job?

      Reply
  2. Joenomad on

    Have to wrap that thing in bubble wrap before each outing. Although, hearing them pop would probably make the child drop it on purpose.

    Reply
  3. Dan Lind on

    I’m still trying to figure out how Specialized thought this to be a solid business decision – in which they will sell few – while at the same time deciding to drop manufacturing fat bikes which are still selling well in many areas of the country (especially here in Minnesota.) #HeadScratcher

    Reply
    • Lyford on

      Might have primarily been an exercise in testing out new processes/equipment on a small scale, with no expectation that it’d be profitable.

      Reply
    • Jeff on

      these are widely available on ebay and aliexpress. for about 1/3 the price that specialized is asking. so really the only cost to the Big S is the cost of their logo getting painted on.

      Reply
    • luggednut on

      I’d have to say they did it for the reaction, which they’re getting from every possible bike-related website, blogger, twitterer, etc. It is Spesh afterall, like the spoiled brat they are, any attention is good attention, um publicity.

      Reply
  4. Seth Bell on

    As a fairly good sized Specialized retailer in the Midwest, this is the kind of stuff that makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

    We’re completely sold out of fat bikes, like most retailers in our region, yet Specialized pulled the plug on them this year. Now their retailers and customers sit here empty handed while they throw money at other and more expensive niche product that is highly irrelevant in our market like flat-bar Diverge, Aethos and now this.

    Reply
  5. Charlie on

    This could school the high-end stroller manufacturers, who charge $600, $800 and more for “lightweight” designs that are at least 12 lbs (if not a back-breaking 17 lbs). Should be possible to make a stroller under 5 lbs, which would be nice improvement for the lives of parents everywhere. (Interestingly, dirt cheap umbrella strollers end up pretty good and light)

    As for this, I certainly don’t hate. It must be a joy for tots to ride and make it the learning curve a bit faster.

    I like Woom bikes too, as they are much lighter than their competitors. Too bad about the stupid name.

    Reply
  6. Carbonspoke on

    The classic D apostrophe construction: “… that makes use of Specialized’ top designing talent even though it’s just a kid’s bike”

    Reply
  7. Dylan Sutton on

    I don’t get the hate for this. It’s completely unnecessary and over the top, but it also looks like a sweet little balance bike. Specialized have always sold stupidly expensive bikes, because people with money have always looked for ways to spend it. The $1000 spent on this bike is likely to be insignificant compared to the designer label outfits the kid is wearing or the lease payments on his/her parent’s SUVs.

    Reply

COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.