Sir Bradley Wiggins and Halfords have unveiled a new range of children's bikes, from balance bikes and hybrids to junior road bikes. With them, Wiggins hopes to get a new generation of cyclists excited by the sport, with the ambition of having future Olympic champions state they started riding on a Wiggins bike.
The range includes something for the very youngest riders right through to juniors who may wish to compete, including a balance bike, first pedal bike, a selection of hybrids and a range of road bikes, with size-appropriate wheel sizes and gearing suited to lighter riders.
Bradley Wiggins, at the launch of his new range of kids' bikes in central London today
To say that Bradley Wiggins is a British Cycling Legend is something of an understatement. With his recent gold in the madison event at the Track World Championships adding to an already impressive list of palmarès, he's often cited as an inspiration for an up-and-coming generation of cyclists. It's this reputation that he wishes to build upon as he reportedly approaches the end of his illustrious cycling career - he has commented that the Rio 2016 Olympics are likely to be his last major event.
Wiggins, according to Halfords, is keen to encourage more people into the sport, hence a range of bikes aimed at children. Although the Wiggins bikes sit at the top end of Halfords' kids bike range, Wiggins wanted to ensure the bikes remained at an accessible price, without compromising on quality.
The range has been a year in the making, and according to Halfords it's designed specifically around the needs of younger, smaller riders. Wiggins' range incorporates triple-butted aluminium frames, componentry chosen for children such as narrower handlebars, and grips and lighter gearing.
The complete range
The 26 inch wheel Chartres kids hybrid bike features disc brakes and a triple chainset
The range comprises nine bikes, and aims to cover every age of child, starting with a balance bike at around £99, a first pedal bike at £200, then ranging through three hybrid bikes from £250 to £350, and four road bikes from £300 to £450. Halfords says however that final prices are yet to be confirmed.
The range consists of:
- Pau balance bike - £99
- Macon first pedal bike - £200
- Chartres 20 inch hybrid bike - £250
- Chartres 24 inch hybrid bike - £300
- Chartres 26 inch hybrid bike - £350
- Rouen 24 inch/540 junior road bike - £325
- Rouen 650c junior road bike - £350
- Rouen 700c junior road bike - £375
- Rouen 700c junior road bike with carbon forks - £450
Each bike within the range is named for a location on the 2012 Tour de France, which Wiggins won.
The top of the range Rouen will, as mentioned, come fitted with carbon forks and enough clearance to fit wider tyres, making it suitable for some off-road riding - most likely more along the lines of fields and tracks than true cyclocross, but ideal, Halfords say, for those competing in junior triathlon events.
The 26 inch Chartres hybrid bike features disc brakes and a triple chain-set, which, although adding weight, is traded off against the range of gears this provides to smaller riders.
The top-of-the-range Rouen comes with Shimano Tektro brakes, Sora shifters and groupset, and carbon forks
With many kids looking up to Wiggins, and saying that they want a bike like his, Halfords have developed a bike that takes design cues from both Wiggins' own branding, incorporating the iconic Mod target, and also from the Pinnarello bikes he rides, using shaped tubing and curved forks. The top-of-the-range road bike, in 700c, also comes with a carbon fork.
"Everyone remembers riding a bike as a kid. It's the first real rush you experience in life. It's like you're flying. To be a small part of that by creating these bikes is really exciting," he says of the new range. "I want Olympic champions to say, 'I started on a Wiggins bike'... it's possible."
The bikes will be available from the end of June/beginning of July 2016 in stores throughout the country. We'll be adding more details here as soon as we can…
What do you think of the new Wiggins kids' bikes? Let us know in the comments below.