Specialized Hotwalk Girl Kids


  • Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium
  • Fork: A1 Premium Aluminium blade
  • Handlebars: Alloy 1pc
  • Grips: Kraton with flange
  • Tubes: Specialized Schrader valve


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[Apr 29, 2012]


Lightweight. Also: Good Looks, Space to put feet on frame, Good Build, good quality. Nice handles.


No handbrake, makes it harder for child to learn. No way to easily mount handbrake. Saddle adjustment limited - can not go really low and doubtful of how high it goes.

This is a great quality, good looking balance bike from Specialized.
We got it for our daugher on her 3rd birthday.
She has been riding it for two weeks now.

It is aluminium and thus weighs just as little as the wooden balancebikes, yet is way sturdier.
It looks good, she really likes her bike alot.

The size is just right for a three year old. I was disappointed that I could not get the saddle lower, so she does have to stand on the front of her feet when sitting on the bike.

1. If your child is less than three years old, or not so tall at three, than another balancebike is probably better.

It did not take her more than a week to start finding her balance on it, taking long strides and rolling "downhill" when the biketrack or path slopes downward.

Alas, here is where the Hotwalk runs into trouble, after just a few weeks of use.

Most balancebikes for three year olds have a handbrake. German brand PUKY have a range of balancebikes in say 6 sizes, they've been doing this for ages. Larger sized balancebikes have handbrakes, and I would go so far as to say that this is conventional wisdom for this sort of bike. If you get a balancebike for a three year old, it should have a handbrake.

Why? Your child will start going pretty fast. A three year old has considerable muscles and power in their legs. (With just a teeny bit of a slope on the path or place of riding, you'll be surprised at how fast you have to run to keep up.) The problem comes from the braking, your child is forced to resort to slowing down with feet and legs. This works, but has a much higher risk of error than a real brake. Breaking with the feet is "unstable" - often some jerks - sometimes very slight, othertimes worryingly large - are the result, and your child will parry as best he/she can. So far, my child has not fallen - that is not the problem, she can control it. But it requires extra effort, as the ride is not as controllable as it could be.

The problem is that this undermines confidence. A good handbrake gives the child greater control. The confidence boost makes for a better learning experience.

I knew that it did not have a handbrake, but I had checked and seen others mount handbrakes on a hotwalk. So, I had a plan.

BUT - it did not work out. For previous hotwalks, this may have worked but for the 2012 girls model - it does not. There is no way to mount a brake without modifying the frame. I don't have those skills and my local bikeshop was reluctant as well.

So, even though we really enjoy this bike. I cannot recommend it to other parents. Do some research and try a balancebike with a good quality handbrake. You won't regret it.

You may have asked yourself, "why did he not get this puky brand, since he praises them"? Simple - I could not find one made out of aluminium. So when I saw that the hotwalk could be retrofitted with brakes, I made my decision... too bad it did not work out so far.

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