Perhaps it’s the golfers-turned-weekend warriors effect, but it seems like parents are waking up to the idea that their kids might just enjoy the family outing along the tow path a little more if they weren’t trundling along on something as weighty as the family car and with geometry which might just be banned under a UN Resolution on stress positions. Until fairly recently, savvy parents checking out the child friendly options for their little shredders were faced with a choice of just two or three specialist manufacturers and models, but the mainstream bike companies are catching up and we’re seeing more and more offerings (and competition) in this market. Hopefully it’s a sign that there’s a future generation of cyclists coming – children who will grow up to be teenagers that hanker after a better bike for their 17th birthday rather than a provisional licence and a hatchback.
Into this growing market, Canyon has launched its new range of bikes, for children from 98cm tall and up. Let’s check them out.
First up, the marketing package and aesthetics deserves a bit of a thumbs up. There’s no gender distinction going on here, no ‘colours for girls and others for boys’, just a range of colour choices that any adult would be glad to have on their bike, and a series of photos with kids looking like they mean business. OK, none of them are actually riding the bikes, but we’re digging the hero shots. Although we don’t fancy telling any of these kids it’s time to brush their teeth and go to bed. They might answer back.
Offspring AL 16
This is the smallest bike in the range, the Offspring AL 16. This is for riders of height 98cm to 110cm, and has a 16″ rear wheel and 18″ front wheel. This is to try and improve momentum over rough surfaces for the leading front wheel. It comes with SRAM Automatix 2-speed shifting (which gives you two gears without the complication of a shifter), a rigid fork, SRAM Level brakes and 450mm bars.The AL 16 weighs 8.2kg and this bike can be yours for £449.
Offspring AL 20
Next up in the range is the Offspring AL 20, for riders 110cm to 125cm tall. This comes equipped with SRAM X4 9-speed shifting, a rigid fork, SRAM Level brakes and 500mm bars. This bike weighs 9.1kg and is priced at £599.
Grand Canyon AL 24
And then we have the Grand Canyon AL 24, for riders 120cm to 153cm tall. Again this has SRAM X4 9-speed shifting and SRAM Level brakes, but this time you get a Spinner Grind Air 65mm travel fork and 550mm bars. This bike weighs 10.9kgs and is £699.
There’s a bunch of little design features that are interesting to see. As well as allowances for little hands when braking – levers are positioned on the slim 19mm diameter bars so that children can brake using more than just one finger – there are flared bar ends to stop hands slipping off the grips. In addition, the stem bolt has a soft rubber cover to help stop any painful wallops.
Weights and pricing look competitive compared to similar bikes in the market, plus here are all the other numbers:
Offspring AL 16 Offspring AL 20 Grand Canyon AL 24
Seat Tube Length 183 mm 250 mm 297 mm
Top Tube length 386 mm 438 mm 470 mm
Head Tube Length 90 mm 90 mm 110 mm
Head Tube Angle 68° 68° 68°
Seat Tube Angle 74° 72° 72°
Chainstay Length 295 mm 350 mm 410.6 mm
Wheelbase 736 mm 875 mm 954 mm
Stack 371 mm 423 mm 507 mm
Reach 287 mm 304 mm 319 mm
Standover Height 410 mm 530 mm 650 mm
Stem Length 45 mm 45 mm 45 mm
Bar Width 450 mm 500 mm 550 mm
We look forward to seeing how popular these will prove – they certainly look like the kind of thing kids are going to lust after, and the weights and price look like they could compete, but are they going to challenge the established market leaders? We’ll wait and see. And we can’t help but wonder – with that AL naming, is there and Offspring C(arbon) in the pipeline too?
For all the information and to buy these bikes, go to the Canyon website.