German-based direct-sell brand Canyon has just entered the kids bike market with three models aimed at children from three years old and up.
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They're all mountain bikes and are built accordingly, featuring hydraulic disc brakes, SRAM gearing, thru-axles and low standover heights.
Three models for kids of different sizes
Offspring AL 16
The Offspring AL 16 is a rigid mountain bike aimed at riders aged three years and over, or from 98cm to 110cm in height, and features a 16-inch wheel at the rear and 18-inch wheel up front.
Offspring AL 20
Next up comes the Offspring AL 20 rigid mountain bike with — yes, you guessed it — a 20-inch wheel, which is designed for riders from 110cm to 125cm.
Grand Canyon AL
Finally, bigger kids (120cm to 153cm) get their own version of the Grand Canyon AL hardtail. The bike comes with 24-inch wheels and Spinner Grind Air 24 forks with 65mm of travel.
Geometry and parts designed for kids
Canyon emphasises that these bikes are designed to allow kids to ride off road with confidence and in comfort, and have considered the geometry and componentry accordingly.
This includes a low standover height and 68-degree head angle, plus narrow 19mm bars and grips with a flared end to give smaller hands a more secure grip.
I also like the inclusion of a rubber bumper over the stem bolt and stem, which will hopefully alleviate the scrapes and bruises from knocked knees.
Hydraulic SRAM Level brakes come as standard on all three models and SRAM also supplies the gearing: Automatic 2-speed on the Offspring AL 16 and X4 9-speed on the Offspring AL 20 and the Grand Canyon AL 24.
Growth in the kids' market
Kids' bikes are clearly an increasingly important focus for brands as they seek to grow the market, and Canyon is the latest manufacturer to join the fray.
Specialized, Cube and UK-brand HOY are just some of the brands that produce children's bikes, but in the last 12 months there have been interesting developments not only in the number, variety and types of bike available, but also in the way they can be consumed.
British brands Isla Bikes and Hope Technology have both unveiled rental schemes that aim to make the problem of outgrowing bikes a thing of the past. Though the details vary between each approach, essentially parents can rent a bike for a period of time rather than buying a bike outright.
When the child needs a bigger size or wants a different type of bike they can swap. These schemes also aim to reduce waste by ensuring quality parts are reused rather than thrown away — and there are few things sadder than an abandoned and rusting children's bike.
Pricing and availability
Canyon has informed us that the stock is due to come online in April and at the time of publication availability is good — but of course they've only just been announced and this situation may change rapidly.
- Canyon Offspring AL 16: £449 / $NA, plus shipping
- Canyon Offspring AL 20: £599 / $NA, plus shipping
- Canyon Grand Canyon AL 24: £699 / $NA, plus shipping
The bikes will be available via the Canyon website: www.canyon.com/kids