Here’s a quick desk top review of the interesting Hoy Cammo 650c 2014 road bike, as sold by Evans. The normal retain price is £600 and therefore in the entry level road bike range, though not at rock bottom. It is not often bicycles like these appear on the market where a child can get their hands on a miniature road bike. This is a proper road bike, it is not a toy styled to appear like the real thing and is aimed at 8 to 9 year olds, or very petite adults.
So, what do you get for your £600 THEN?
The frame is made from aluminium so it will be pretty light, stiff and strong with the slightly oversized tubing giving it a ‘Cannondale’ look. The bright red paint job, with a little white, looks great and won’t become too dated as fashions change. I was pleased to see an aluminium fork at this price and nobody would have batted an eye lid about this. So far, so good.
Everything looks in proportion with this bicycle. I’m pleased they have resisted the temptation of 700c wheels which might have been possible. Instead sensible sized wheels will help with helping to make a manageable bike. You will never get a wide choice of tyres and rims for this bicycle owing to its less usual size. These seem perfectly alright and are appropriate for this bicycle.
Components look okay and I was pleased to see some scaled down elements such as shorter pedal cranks and the fitting of Microshift STI pattern shifters. These appear to be small hand friendly and an incredibly important touch. The gearing is based around Shimano Claris which is new for 2014 and is 8 speed. Now it could be that a savvy cyclist will want more gears but these are quite enough, believe me! The nice looking chain set has 46 and 34t which is a sensible spread. The cassette is a Shimano 13-26t. Expect trouble-free easy gear changing with this. While the gears could be lower still, this will suit all but the steepest of climbs.
What you don’t get for your £600 is a set of pedals. This is not uncommon and allows customers to make up their own minds and choose from the many different types around. Probably best to go for some ordinary flat plastic pedals to start off with. Going for clip less types could be either brave, wonderful or plain child abuse.
There’s not many bicycles around for youngsters who are keen cyclists, so it might be a case of grabbing one of these while you can. Faffing around doing endless research might cause you to miss the boat. The price tag for some of £600 might seem a bit steep for a kid’s bike but so too is the iPhone they might already have. This is probably too expensive for many people but there are significant numbers of middle England who are prospering and this price is no big deal.
If you have a child interested in this kind of bicycle and the cycling that it is made for, go for it. If they just want to pose with their friends on the local BMX track, this is not for you.
It is an interesting bicycle, nicely made and properly proportioned with a thoughtful approach. Unusual, yes. Appealing, yes. Expensive, a bit. Loved by a youngster, almost certainly over-the-moon.