Canadian brand Opus Bikes is bringing its line of high-end bikes to the United States. Perhaps most remarkable among the brand’s offerings are its high-end kids bikes, including a 20-inch-wheel bike with hydraulic disc brakes and other performance components. Opus also has a deep range of urban bikes that the company hopes will find favor in the US.
David Bowman, the owner of OGC for 34 years, started Opus Bikes 13 years ago, after a number of years distributing bikes from Specialized, Gary Fisher, LeMond and others.
“They just weren’t getting the product that they felt the Canadian market needed,” said international sales director Chris Dimmick. “They thought, ‘you know what, why don’t we try our hands at manufacturing?’ They did just that, starting with six road models.”
Now Opus has 19 road bikes, 20 mountain bikes and five ’cross bikes. But most striking are the kids bikes, which are all built with performance parts and smart geometry.
All the kids bikes come with handbrakes, including all the tiny 12-inch models and even the no-pedals stride bike. For 2013, the hydraulic brakes found on the 24-inch bikes will appear on a 20-inch bike — something that is unheard of in the category.
The $710 20-inch Thunder will have Tektro’s new hydraulic brakes, SRAM 2×7 gearing and Opus’ special light version of a Spinner Grind fork.
Launched three years ago, the kids bikes range from $175 to $720. So why kids bikes in this price range?
“For one thing, Mike Bajohr (Opus Bikes kids’ category manager) could not find a kids bike that he would be proud to put his kid on,” Dimmick said. “That was the impetus to bring something to the market that’s just not there. That’s a gamble. Second, he couldn’t find bikes that his two boys would not destroy.”
Dimmick is quick to point out that Opus isn’t just buying stock kids bikes from factories, and is designing new geometries as well as including performance parts.
“Our adjusted geometry has a little longer rake, a little longer fork, and seat stays that are a little longer, so the bike is not going to get twitchy on them,” Dimmick said.
Opus also has 25 urban bikes, from fixies and an e-bike to European-style city machines and flat-bar road bikes.
Look for more coverage of Opus Bikes on BikeRadar during Interbike in September.