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This post on the Wiggins Kids bike range was written when the new range came out - if you want to find out about the recent make over the range received in October 2019, go to this post: Wiggins kids bikes get a makeover - what do you think?
The Sir Bradley Wiggins kids bike range was launched in July 2016 exclusively at Halfords. In this post we take a look at what Sir Bradley, as Britain's first Tour de France winner, is most famous for - road cycling. The Wiggins Rouen Kids Road Bike range is cleverly branded "To the Podium" - following on from the smaller bikes which take your child "From the porch" and "To the park".
If you're interested in the smaller bikes in the Wiggins range, please see our post on the Bradley Wiggins kids bike range (balance bikes and first pedal bikes)
Aimed at aspiring Bradley Wiggins' or Lizzie Armitstead's, there are six different sizes of Rouen junior road bike in the range.
All bikes in the Bradley Wiggins kids bike range are named after stages in the 2012 Tour de France - Pau, Macon, Chartres and Rouen. Rouen is the name given to all the road bikes in the range.
The Wiggins Rouen road bikes are a sleek and modern design, with most having distinctive 'reverse curve' front forks. Also seen on the Pinarello Dogma F8 used by Sir Bradley and the Team Wiggins professional riders, this design touch cleverly brings a new generation of cyclists that little bit closer to the dream of one day riding such a bike. Presumably due to cost, this feature doesn't appear on the 700c bikes with carbon forks.
Another nice touch on the Bradley Wiggins Kids Road Bike range is that the seat stays (the tubes that rise from the rear axle to the seat tube) are positioned lower than usual on the seat tube, giving a compact rear triangle. This is a design feature intended to give additional comfort to the rider, by reducing the shock from the bumps of the road, something not usually seen on kids bikes.
Each bike size has a different colour scheme, all incorporating the red, white and blue from Team Wiggins, and the iconic mod target, which is found on the seat tube, saddle (a specifically designed soft foam junior road saddle) and headset.
There is only one colour combination for each bike size, which should help reduce the decisions, and means each bike is truly unisex (useful if you're passing the bike down to different genders).
A nice aesthetic is that the designers have concealed the rear brake cable within the top tube giving a streamlined look, plus making the bike easier to carry.
All Wiggins Rouen kids road bikes come with Kenda road tyres running on lightweight alloy rims, quick release front and rear wheels, flat pedals with removable toe clips and water bottle bosses.
All handlebar tape is white, so we suggest stocking up on Cif to keep these clean.
It's a bit annoying that the charts on the Halfords website don't give the minimum and maximum inside leg measurements, as this can help parent to size up a new kids bike, especially when the rider is constantly growing.
Halfords have confirmed for us that all weights specified include pedals but not reflectors or bell.
The smallest offering in the Wiggins road bike range is the Rouen 540c (pictured above). With 24" wheels and 33cm frame this bike is designed for kids with a height of 127cm to 145cm, and will introduce kids aged 8 to 11 years to the joys of riding a road bike, complete with drop handlebars.
The Wiggins Rouen 540c will be the introduction for many kids to the world of drop handlebars and combined gear shifters and brakes. Wiggins has chosen to use 8 speed Shimano Claris gears with matching Microshift levers, and Tektro dual pivot caliper brakes. With regards gearing, there is a 32 tooth chainwheel at the front matched to a wide range 11-30 tooth cassette at the rear. This should give plenty of options for tackling both flat and hilly stages.
It's interesting to note that this is a pure road bike and not a cyclocross bike, so doesn't come with the secondary brake levers on the handlebars. While this is true to road bike design, some younger riders do prefer to have the reassurance of being able to ride and brake in the drops and on the tops.
The Wiggins Rouen 540c 24" kids road bike weighs 8.7kg, and retails at £335. This compares with the Frog 67 Road Bike (8.8kg - £425) and the Islabikes Luath 24 (8.9 - 9.05kg depending on gear choice £599) both of which come with top mounted supplementary brake levers, and the the Hoy Cammo 24" (8.5 kg - £400) which doesn't.
The next size up is the Wiggins Rouen 650c, a lightweight 15” butted aluminium frame. Halford's sizing guide says this is aimed at 9 to 12 year olds, with a height of between 138cm and 159cm.
The Wiggins Rouen 650c is equipped with 16 speeds and utilises a Lasco 46/34 tooth double chainset at the front and a 11-30 tooth cassette at the rear. The front and rear derailleurs are the dependable Shimano Claris units and this all adds up to a system providing a wide range of gears appropriate for most roads. However, depending on how strong a cyclist is riding you may want a few extra teeth on the rear cassette if tackling really hilly areas.
The Wiggins Rouen 650c weighs in at a respectable 9.3kg and retails at £325. This compares with the Frog Road 70 26" (9.3 kg - £382), the Islabikes Luath 26 (9.6 kg - £599.99) and the Dawes Academy Road Bike (9.4kg - £499).
It's at the largest wheel size, that Wiggins expertise in road cycling and desire to appeal to the growing number of youth road cyclists really comes into its own. Sir Bradley has opted to create two 700c models. The first comes with the reverse curve aluminium forks as seen previously, whilst the top of the range model sports full carbon forks.
Both 700c models are available to purchase in 43cm or 48cm frame sizes. The 43cm frame is sized for riders of height 145cm - 150cm (4' 8" - 4' 11") and aged approximately 11 years and over. The 48cm frame 700c is designed for taller riders, 165 - 170cm (5' 5" - 5' 7"), and will be a last junior bike before progressing onto adult road bikes.
Firstly we'll take a look at the standard Wiggins Rouen 700c road bike with aluminium forks.
As we progress through the Wiggins Rouen range, there is an improvement in the quality of some components. On the 700c aluminium fork road bike we see the introduction of a Shimano Claris combined brake lever / gear shifter, an improvement on the Microshift used on the 650c.
The Wiggins Rouen 700c junior road bike stated weight is 9.9kg for the small 43cm and both sizes retail at £355. This compares with the Islabikes Luath 700c, which also comes in a small and large frame size (9.9kg small / 10.42kg - £599)
The bike on the top step of the podium and the ultimate in the range is the Wiggins Rouen Carbon fork 700c. As the name suggests, this comes kitted out with a full carbon fork, shaving precious grammes off the weight and adding a bit of comfort to the characteristics of the bike.
Wiggins has also upped the ante in the componentry stakes, with the introduction of 'next tier up in the food chain' Shimano Sora kit for front and rear derailleurs and STI levers that handle all braking and gear change duties. This move to Sora provides an additional 2 gears, taking the total up to 18 speeds. A point of note is that Wiggins has chosen to retain the Lasco branded chainset as seen on the other Rouen models.
The introduction of these parts should see benefits in terms of crisper gear shifting, an increase in longevity of said components, plus as you go higher up the range things start to get lighter. For example, this bike also comes with Kendra folding road tyres (700 x 23c) compared to the hard beaded tyres on the other models. The combined effect of the changes has put the Rouen 700c on a strict diet programme, hitting the scales at a svelte 9.2kg, some 700 grammes (or shall we say approximately three-quarters of a bag of sugar) less than the standard Rouen 700c.
Sir Bradley Wiggins' top of the range Rouen 700c with carbon forks retails at £425, a competitively priced machine for the specification.
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This post was first published in June 2016, and updated in March 2016 to reflect the current prices.
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