Highly Recommended for ages 2.5 and up
Specialized is biggest bike name in the balance bike industry. Staying true to their high standards, the Hot Walk is built as tough as their mountain bikes and will last your family for generations. While built tough, the bike only has a two-inch adjustment on the seat post and does not have a brake. To aid in tricks and coasting, the Hot Walk also has an integrated footrest at the base of the seat post.
Pros: Quality build, mountain bike geometry (for optimal balancing), quality air tires, cushioned seat
Cons: minimal seat adjust (14″ to 16″), no brake, price
Specialized recently released the 2013 model of the Hot Walk. The boys and girls versions not only comes in different colors, but different frame designs as well. The new design most likely means a small change in seat heights and total weight, but we will be sure to update the review when the exact specs of the 2013 are known. (If you happen to see the new model before we do and can confirm the minimum and maximum seat height and weight of the bike, please shoot us an email.) But in the meantime, we are quite sure that the overall rugged nature of the bike has not changed.
Specialized Hotwalk set at its highest seat post height of 16″. Due to the geometry of the bike, Specialized purposely set its seat post low to ensure every rider would experience precision handling created by a low center of balance.
Hot Walk’s footrest was designed for kids to rest their feet while cruising downhill or doing tricks off a jump. Being located at the base of the seat tube, it does lessen the running space for kids, but is only a problem for really young riders.
The Hot Walk and LikeaBike Jumper are the only bikes that offer a true cushioned seat.
Although the frame of the Hot Walk is small, it’s fine-tunned center of balance allows older rider to ride without concern.
Bottom Line: One tough and rugged bike that will last for generations. Great for any rider, but best for off-roading preschoolers. If you like the rugged nature of the Specialized, but not the price tag, I highly recommend checking out TykesBykes 12″ and 16″ balance bikes. Their quality is top notch, they come with a hand brake and often sell for around $99. Another option for preschoolers would be to purchase the Specialized 12″ Hot Rock (See Why You Should Never Buy a 12″ Bike! (With One Exception)), and have the bike shop remove the crank set. Removing the crank set is not recommended for toddlers however as the frame is simply too tall.
Link to Purchase: Dealer locator on their website