Balance bikes have been a mainstay within the world of cycling for years, providing the perfect platform for young, adolescent riders to get their bearings before moving on to a full-fledged model. Specialized, one of the industry’s most notable names, has helped to spurn this movement with the Hotwalk — a well-designed beginner bike that melds function and form in a way that few competitors can match. And now, it’s available in full-carbon.
The Specialized Carbon Hotwalk is an ultra-light rendition of its original A1 premium aluminum platform, incorporating one of the industry’s strongest materials to create the “ultimate” beginner bike. Its redesigned frame, fork, and handlebar are crafted from the brand’s Fact 9r carbon, pairing with a 3D Forged Aluminum stem, carbon saddle, and Rhythm Lite wheels to garner a mind-boggling 4.63-pound curb weight. What’s more, Specialized has taken to the drawing board to revise the original’s untapped promise, reducing the diameter of its handlebars by 38 percent, providing redesigned stays for easier “foot-down” dynamics, and a reinforced weight capacity of up to 40 pounds. This beginner bike doesn’t come cheap, however. If you’re looking to pick one up this holiday season, it’ll cost you $1,000 — almost five times that of the original aluminum model.