We’ve been looking forward to this season for a long time. Nothing will be the same again here at Early Rider. For a while now we’ve been developing a reputation as a premium kids’ bike builder, it’s flattering but sort of belies what we’re really about. We want to put in place the building blocks of an active life, a really active life. Think active in an adventurous, earthly connection with life kind of way. In our minds, there is no better way for a child to develop a lust for life-living ethic than just getting on a bike and going for a ride. Exploration is nothing without independent mobility and what more efficient a way than man’s noblest invention?
Well that’s how it’s supposed to be but somehow kids bikes have been overlooked. Over the past couple of years we’ve taken to task the job of putting kids’ bikes right. We’ve focused purely on developing the tools that give children the best possible start to their cycling lives in the hope that they can enjoy the kind of experience that only getting out on your bike can provide. We have some pretty exciting innovations that we’re keen to share with you. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year. It really is time for something different.
Meet Juno, the newest member of the Early Rider family. Juno is a ‘Spherovelo’, a unique push along ride on for 12-24 month olds. The Spherovelo is the world’s first ride on to accelerate the development of young children by helping them make the connection between their senses (vision, pressure, equilibrium...) and their motor system. Some might call it balance but it’s really more about the coordination of our muscles in response to what we see and feel.
It manages this by being a ride on that’s unstable on the one hand (so that the child is required to effect some control - like with a bike) but safe on the other; a combination never before achieved. The reason this is so important is that this is the age when we’re first developing our coordination and the age when we’re most receptive to experiential learning.
The Spherovelo’s design, essentially two great spheres, is based upon the fundamental principle that a ball able to move freely will just relocate and not tip like a wheel. By replacing wheels with a special arrangement of spheres we’ve been able to simulate a bike, but with increased lateral forgiveness so that it becomes very difficult for a child to fall onto or off of. In other words, because of the spheres, the Spherovelo is the world’s first safely unstable ride on, a balance bike for very young children.
The Spherovelo uniquely has two play options: a stabilized platform (four wheels) and a two wheel setting unfettered by stabilisers for the more experienced rider. The difference in play can be compared to a sit on truck and a balance bike.
The seat is also polyurethane. A soft touch, grippy texture ensures the rider doesn’t slip. The saddle stretches from the low between the two spheres and the crest of the rear sphere, seamlessly enabling the growing child to take a higher position and increase their reach.
The front wheel is on a fixed axis while the rear wheel is free to move in any plane. In the stabilised state, the freedom of the rear sphere allows the rider to point, push and go in any direction without the need for steering. When the stabilisers are removed, it’s also what allows the Spherovelo to drift rather than topple in the event of sideways movement.
Making the connection between our motor system and our senses is the most important physical development of our lives, it’s a skill that determines what we can and can’t do in future years. We only hone this skill when we put ourselves in those unfamiliar positions where we’re required to effect a new level of control. Ideally we want to do this without putting ourselves (or our kids) in harm’s way. The Spherovelo is the first product for very young children to achieve exactly this. That the Spherovelo does this as a bi product of having fun and being independently mobile is an added bonus.
Whilst the rear wheel will happily drift, as the front wheel looks to propagate forward it creates trail for the rear sphere to follow, helping your little one stay on course. The wheels themselves are covered in hard polyurethane, the same material skateboard wheels are made from. So whilst primarily designed as an indoor ride on, the Juno will happily cope with heading outside.
Option 1 emboss Top TPE Spine: all logos embossed
â€˜Fillâ€™ area embossed Outlined letters and bolt, untouched
If we have one product that’s a smidge indulgent this is it. Less accommodating than our Originals, but as close to perfect as affordably practical. We always knew we would produce an aluminium bike, and not just to appease those stuck with the idea that a bike should be metal. We also knew that we would struggle to make it as accomodating as our Original series - features like the adjustable steering are particularly difficult to translate into a metal headset. The only option was an exercise in uncompromised design with the acceptance that it’d be a bike most suited to those children who are not lacking in confidence. As a build, it’s been our toughest. It had to be a classic diamond frame - there was no room for your typical cheap
straight-line-from-headset-tostays approach. The tubing also had to sit comfortably with the widish wheels needed on a first bike. Meaning there was a lot to do in a small space, particularly as I was desperate to add a bit of cruiser character. With the frame nailed, it became a matter of detail. The integrated threadless headset picked itself, matching both the tube diameter as well as cruiser curvature of the top tube. Aluminium rims, sealed cartridge bearings and alloy hubs are a no-brainer, they’re in the Early Rider DNA. For the dropouts, forged were the only choice. An indulgence, but if there’s one thing that ruins a bike it’s flattened tubes for dropouts. Well, that and oversized saddles. Our saddle was always going to be bespoke - it had to be anatomically correct. This
meant we could have some fun. The faux leather tied in with our Originals and the contemporary twist on the classic riveted seat echoed the bikes raison d’etre beautifully. There’s not much to say about the carbon seat post and handlebar other than the bike deserved them. That just leaves the bike’s biggest extravagance, it’s finish. It’ll be missed by many but there really is no finer finish. Raw heattreated aluminium, carefully brushed increasingly finely by hand and then finished with clear coat lacquer. You’ll find few adult bikes that justify such a final touch, but we think it speaks volumes.
7.25LB / G K 3 3.
FAUX LEATHER RIVETED SEAT
If there is one thing I hope people realise when they look at our incredible new products it’s that they’re all a result of our original works. The level of refinement in each of our Original series bikes surpasses that of any other. We feel strongly that they are the quintessential balance bikes. Bodies and forks from bespoke formers, the finest veneers even for the cores, marine ply construction, sealed cartridge bearings, aluminium reinforced headsets, adjustable steering to support novice
and experienced riders alike, branded logos, tyre hot patches to name a few of the reasons why. So non exclusive too, there’s a bike for everyone. The Lite: fast, responsive, super lightweight and small enough to take a child less than 2 years old but versatile to see any child through to a 16” pedal bike; The Classic, so aptly named. Vintage west coast chopper character, wide tyres and super low centre of gravity to give the perfect, effortless ride, and last but not least; The Evo – the
purest proportions pay homage to the magnificent Marc Newson Biomega and with 14” wheels, the bike that makes sure the bigger kids aren’t passed by. It’s only the appreciation of these bikes that gave us the confidence that our obsessive commitment to no compromise design and proprietary manufacturing could be justified.
And, what a belter. The world’s first belt driven kids bike. Weighing an incredible 5.6kgs (12.25lbs) it’s by far the lightest on the market. The Belter was born out of need. We’d always struggle when asked to recommend a pedal bike. Put simply, balance bikes have advanced the abilities and expectations of young riders profoundly and the children’s pedal bikes of today just haven’t kept pace. Without going into the phsyics, a balance bike is much easier for a child to propel. Added to the fact that a ‘light’ 16” bike in the market today weighs over 10kgs, twice that of a balance bike, and you see the problem. Given an average 3.5 year old weights only 16kgs, each 1kg on a child’s bike equates to adding a staggering 5kgs on an adult bike. Every gram counts. And so in designing the Belter
we focused on two things; making it lightweight and super efficient. Success was wholly dependent upon the use of great components and research into a child’s physiology.
is to reflect the small hips of children and to help the pedal path more closely approximate the tracking of a child’s stride and thereby maximising pedal efficiency.
We took advantage of the advanced balance skills of today’s early riders by using narrow 1.5” tyres thereby reducing rolling resistance and weight. Only otherwise found on high-end adult folding bikes, these super high thread count tyres are designed to be durable - having to stand up to prolonged use under a heavy load.
The handlebars are 43cm wide to reflect a child’s narrower shoulder width and with two inch risers they offer a higher hand position and adjustable reach. As with our Alley Runner, the saddle is also tailor made to be anatomically correct for our rider’s age. The seat post is carbon. Brakes are sensitive, short reach, mini ‘V’ brakes ordinarily found on racing micro BMXs.
The bearings are free running sealed cartridges; the rims and hubs are aluminium. The lightweight frame is thin gauge 1-1.25” T6 heat treated aluminium. The cranks are bespoke 120mm forged aluminium with a narrow tread. This smaller Q factor
CARBON SEAT POST
But it’s the Belter’s drive train that’s our greatest triumph. For starters, it looks terrific having sprockets proportional to the frame. It’s only made possible by the fact we’ve moved the freewheel to the front. This allowed us to use a smaller sprocket on the rear and a correspondingly small sprocket on the front without compromising the gear ratio. The fact that it’s a belt drive is incredible too. Ordinarily, a feature found on premium adult bikes, we’ve worked with Gates Carbon Drive for two years to find a way of getting it on a 16” bike. Why? Because it makes perfect sense. The belt drive is incredibly lightweight, it’s super efficient, it never stretches, so never loses performance and never needs maintenance. In a nutshell, you have the lightest, most efficient 16” bike - exactly what a child needs. You also have a super durable bike that will perform as well the day you finish with it as the day you start with it. Not to mention what this retained value has on the cost of ownership - comforting when you’re investing in quality equipment for fast growing families.
GATES RB CA ON DRIVE POWERTRAIN
.3LBS 5.6KG / 12
SHORT REACH MINI ‘V’ BREAKS
MAKERS OF FREE SPIRIT
highest esteem, within our industry and beyond.
Early Rider was born in a garden shed in the heart of Henley on Thames, England in 2005. We’ve been developing our bikes there since—though we‘ve moved out of the shed! Over the last five years we’ve developed a reputation for quality, innovation and style. We are proud of our work and our riders are proud to own our bikes.
DESIGNED BY RIDERS: PROPRIETARY R&D AND MANUFACTURING
As parents and riders ourselves, we quickly realized the need for a high quality starter bike that encourages growing kids to better develop their motor skills, physique and confidence in a fresh way. So we set about designing one. At our core, we are genuinely committed to quality proprietary manufacturing methods, and uncompromising design standards that ensure every child’s first bike experience is a memorably cool one.
All Early Rider products are designed in our Henley location. From the original concept to final design—the entire process takes place under one roof. Physical product development and manufacturing all takes place in house too. Having the ability to turn ideas into reality significantly speeds up product development, because we’re never at the mercy of a vendor’s lead time. But it’s the freedom to create that sets us apart.
Early Rider products are now sought after globally and our design work is held in the
We’re not a huge faceless multinational and we’d never want to be. When you pick up
We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings, but our focus hasn’t changed: design products that make life, and the thrill of adventure, easy for young children to embrace in style.
the phone, send an email or mention @earlyriderbikes on Twitter, it’s always us you’re communicating with. Obviously we’re very proud of our bikes, our slavish devotion to design and our unwavering manufacturing principles. However, we are also very very proud of our top notch customer service. We genuinely want to keep your children riding our bikes for as long as possible. We’re here if you need to find a distributer in New Zealand, or you’ve lost a bolt or just want to show us your child’s amazing customized Early Rider go-cart. Actually, we’re always very very pleased to hear from you. “I am truly in awe of the incredible service that you provided to us. We can’t thank you enough. Our son loves the bike, and we are so happy that he can now enjoy it for years to come. Sincerest thanks for your exceptional assistance!!!!!” KELLY, EVO, VANCOUVER.
Main Distibutors Territory
+61 393 2907 09
+49 23 12 86 65 90
Odissey KIDS bvba
+32 934 8191 8
NRG Enterprises Limited
+1 250 352 2099
+420 537 021 012
+49 23 12 86 65 90
+33 388 48 00 48
+49 23 12 86 65 90
OGA One Gen. Ahead SRL
+39 023 6554 408
+81 52 773 0256
+61 393 2907 09
+47 232 22 22 9
Urban Route One (pty)
+27 012 341 1100
+82 2 322 0142
Bike Tech SL
+34 932 1302 55
+49 23 12 86 65 90
+41 434 1106 80
Early Rider Ltd
+44 1794 367302
+1 503 226 0696
* Bikes only 窶電oes not include Spherovelos
PHOTOGRAPHY BY WILL WHIPPLE: WILLWHIPPLE.COM • STYLING BY KATRINA HOWLEY DESIGN AND ART DIRECTION BY MERCY: MERCYONLINE.CO.UK THANKS TO MILLIE, MYA, CHRISTOPHER, ERICA, WREN, NATALIE AND TED.