Taiwan-based Culprit Bicycles main product line is adult-sized alloy and carbon road and tri bikes. But it's the direct-to-consumer's kid's bikes that caught our eye during trade show season.
As any parent of a young cyclist can attest, finding a decent starter road bike for your son or daughter is not always easy. Options are few when you are looking for something that is lightweight and can perform on par with the bikes that we ride ourselves. Instead the market is flooded with kid's bikes that are heavy and don't perform particularly well. Culprit is hoping to remedy that.
This is not the first time we have seen a cool kid's bike from the small bike maker. Last year we got a quick look at the Culprit S2 with a Microshift 9-speed drivetrain and 650c wheels. Now comes the Junior One with Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifting. MSRP is $2300.
"The Culprit Junior series was designed for smaller racers," explained company boss Joshua Colp. "In a world where 700c bikes are the norm and small riders try to fit with a slammed post and stem, they are still over stretched and not fit properly."
The idea is that with a 45cm seat tube and a short top tube, smaller riders can ride a bike that actually fits properly. Colp also contends that the shorter wheel base and smaller wheel create faster acceleration for smaller riders.
"This bike was designed for the serious small rider or a child growing into their racing potential," added Colp, who contends that there are no other bikes with similar spec or build at this price point on the market today.
Of course, you have to ask whether electronic shifting for kids makes sense.Sure it will make the shifting process easier, taking less hand effort and requiring less maintenance. But kids tend to destroy things and electronic shifting is an expensive toy. Plus, kids grow out of things quickly. However, if your young one is mature enough to take proper care of their ride and you can afford the premium, Di2 on a kid's bike is pretty cool. If you are worried about them outgrowing the bike too fast, remember you could always move the drivetrain to a larger frame when Little LeMond junior outgrows his race rig.
The Culprit Junior One's frame is 6061 aluminum and has internal cable routing. The fork is carbon with an alloy steerer on the 650C bikes and 7005 alloy forks on the 20" wheel bikes. TRP brakes, a Ritchey seat post, Kenda tires and Token wheels round out the spec. Target age range is 6-9 years. The Junior One Di2 will be available with 20" wheels or 650c wheels (for $50 more) and will be available starting in spring 2015.
More information at: www.culpritjunior.com.
The Culprit RoaDi comes with a Shimano 105 groupset, TRP Hydraulic disc brakes, carbon fork, Reynolds Stratus Pro Disc wheels and carbon flex seat post with Ti spring for comfort.
RoaDi Performance Alloy Race Bike
For adult-sized riders, the RoaDi is the value model in the Culprit Bicycles line-up. The bike comes in three builds. Full Shimano 105 spec runs $1700. Frame, fork and seatpost are $650. The RoaDi features a new carbon disc fork that has internal cable routing and includes options for either QR or thru-axle designs. TRP hydraulic disc brakes and Reynolds Stratus Pro Disc wheels round out the spec.
Culprit RoaDi with Shimano Ultegra hydraulic and Reynolds Stratus Pro Disc wheels is $2395. The top model comes with Shimano Ultegra Di2, hydraulic disc brakes, Reynolds Assault SLG wheels. MSRP: $3995. Note that all these prices do not include shipping, which runs about $300 for U.S. buyers.
BLKTEC M1 Carbon Stem
The BLKTEC carbon TT stem works with BLKTEC R1 handlebars or BLKTEC Bullhorn TT bars and helps keep the riders cockpit tidy by hiding the wires and having them exit out of the rear. You can also hide a Di2 junction box. They are made from UD carbon monocoque and feature:
- Full carbon 2 piece stem
- Di2 5 port, 3 port compatible
- Internal routing design with cable exiting under the stem our out the back of the top of the stem
- 31.6 mm bar bore
The BLKTEC R1 bar is full monocoque carbon and has a very flat profile for aero and comfort considerations.
BLKTEC R1 Road Bar
Pairing up with the BLKTEC M1 stem is the BLKTEC R1 road bar. It is a full carbon monocoque bar and has aero tops for comfort. It has nice, clean cable routing options and has holes for bolt through aerobars. Available now.
- Full Carbon Monocoque construction
- Aero road bar with internal cable routing
- Bolt through aerobar option for A1.0 aerobar clip ons
- Compact drops
- Bar bore 31.8
- Available in 400, 420, 440 (C-C)
The Token Arsenal C50D carbon clincher wheelset features Token Aineon hubs hubs and rotors.
Token Cycling Road Disc Road Wheels
Finally, on display was a new road disc wheelset from Token Cycling, the Arsenal C50D carbon clincher road racing disc wheelset. Token uses what they call AVT (Anti-Vibration Technology) to improve comfort and control. These wheels use TBT ceramic bearings for a smooth spin and hubs made by Token Aineon hubs including their Aineon brake rotors.
Weight of the Arsenal C50D wheels should be around 1700 grams for the pair and will be available in November.
For more information visit www.tokencycling.com