One tough and rugged bike that will last through several kids. Great for any rider, but best for off-roading preschoolers.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended
Seat Height: 13.5" - 17"
Weight: 9.5 lb.
Brakes: No Brakes
Tire Size: 12"
Grips Bumper: Yes
Frame Material: Aluminum Alloy
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 Hotwalk 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 Hotwalk 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 (13.5″ to 17″), no brake
The current version of the Hotwalk is available in a boys and girl edition. The girl’s version has a lower step-through height, but they both have a minimum seat post height of 13.5″ and a max of 17″ and weigh 9 lbs. 8 oz.
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.
Hotwalk’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.
Kids in size 5 are too big for the Hotwalk as the smaller wheelbase limits their ability to get a full stride. Kids just barely in 4T can fit on the Hotwalk, but it is a tight fit and the seat post is more than maxed out.
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 Stampede Charger 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″ Hotrock (See Why You Should Never Buy a 12″ Bike! (With One Exception)), and have the bike shop remove the crank set. Removing the crankset is not recommended for toddlers however as the frame is simply too tall.
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By: Natalie Martins
Last Updated: December 29, 2016
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