Culprit Junior Kids & 650C Aero Road Bikes Makes Small Fast

Culprit Junior One kids aero road bike

Hot on the heels of Culprit’s aero disc/canti road bike comes his two kids and 650C aero road bikes specially designed for children and really, really short people.

The Culprit Junior One, above, is the kids’ bike and is spec’d and sized specifically for fast little tykes. The story of the bikes begins, as most things do, with an unmet need. We’ve seen several kids road bikes from custom builders, but trying to find a well spec’d performance road bike for children isn’t easy. One of Josh Colp’s (Culprit’s founder) friends was looking for a race-worthy bike for his son and couldn’t find it, despite also working in the industry.

The Junior One and 650 Junior Two are made of double butted 7005-series alloy with welds smoothed after manufacturing for an almost carbon-like appearance.

Culprit-Junior-One-kids-aero-road-bike01

On top of a quality frame, a solid standard parts mix was used where size concerns weren’t an issue: Shimano 105 derailleur’s and cassette, a KMC X-10 chain and TRP 820 brakes.

Culprit Junior One kids aero road bike

The handmade Culprit aero carbon seatpost has a two position saddle mount to give the bike a longer life as your kid grows.

Culprit Junior One kids aero road bike

Frame size is one thing. Component spec presented a whole ‘nother set of challenges, and Culprit ended up making some of the components in-house. To accommodate the smaller hands and reach, a shallow drop 360mm wide, 26mm reach handlebar was used.

Culprit Junior One kids aero road bike

They custom made 140mm crankarms with a 105 BCD and 40/32 CNC’d chainrings.

Culprit Junior One kids aero road bike

Lastly, the Junior One gets handbuilt 20″ wheels with 30mm deep front and 40mm deep rear aero rims. Pricing, geometry and specs for both bikes at bottom of post. This oughtta give that $8,000+ Kirklee kid’s tri bike a run for its money!

CULPRIT JUNIOR TWO 650 AERO ROAD BIKE

The Junior Two gets the kid’s name but larger 650C road wheels, a bit more common among smaller triathletes. Spec is similar, and because they use many standard components, there’s a lot of room for upgrading the bike should you and your ilk really get into the sport.

The Junior Two gets 152mm crankarms with a 110 BCD 46/34 CNC chainrings on the Junior Two (below). The front derailleur mount has room to accommodate a standard compact gearing of 50/36.

Culprit Junior One kids and 650B small aero road bike geometry

Culprit Junior One kids and 650B aero road bikes specs

Those weights in ‘merican are 17.4lbs and 17.74lbs respectively, making these lighter than most kids bikes out there. Pricing is $1,550 for the Junior One and $1,625 for the Junior Two. Both bikes come in gloss black with your choice of red, blue or yellow logos, and they come with a color-matched junior sized jersey.

Colp will be at both Eurobike and Interbike with this, his UCI-approved road racing bike and the disc/canti Croz Blade.

Comments

PDXFixed.com - 08/18/12 - 5:51pm

650c

Robert Fry - 08/18/12 - 7:04pm

Agree with PDXFixed, the Junior 2 must use 650C wheels (571mm ERD) NOT the larger (and fatter tired) 650B.

Have to say, at those prices, these machines look absolutely killer!

james - 08/18/12 - 7:39pm

571! not 584!

Andy - 08/18/12 - 9:36pm

Why would a kid need a race worthy bike?? Kids don’t really care what they’re riding as long as it’s cool and they’ll have fun doing it. No kid that young *needs* a road spec bike… poor girl seems to be obligated to ride it cause the father says so.

Psi Squared - 08/18/12 - 10:01pm

Since when does “need” have anything to do with cycling? We don’t “need 8, 9, 10, or 11 gear cassettes in back. We don’t “need” lycra shorts. We don’t know light weight, low spoke count, aero wheels…..but who cares about “need”. I’d advise worrying less about what some kid “needs” or what other riders “need” and instead focus on your riding. If we only did things based on “need”, it be a pretty damned boring world.

Ben - 08/18/12 - 11:22pm

Whoever fit that girl on that bike should be ashamed. Her feet are way behind her button on the upstroke. Top tube is wayyyyyy too long.

IJBCape - 08/19/12 - 12:50am

weird

IJBCape - 08/19/12 - 12:51am

It doesn’t make sense if only certain parts scale down.

mzungu - 08/19/12 - 1:36am

IJBCape is rightHer hands seems to have problem reaching the brake levers.

and… Why spend all this money when they’ll out grow it in 10 months?

Ben - 08/19/12 - 4:23am

nice hat they are trying to produce something few companies offer. I agree with the brake/hand observation.
Personally, I think flat bars make more sense for at least the junior one.
the kid is so small, getting aero might not be too much of a concern?
mzungu, welcome to having kids. If you don’t buy them things they will grow out of, they will be pretty bored, and also naked.

Charlie Best - 08/19/12 - 8:10am

TREK, Louis Garneau and others already produce bikes of this ilk for less $$$, the spec may not be as high, but thy are very similar. Honestly I steer people in the store I work at away from these things. Kids need something durable and stable to develop good bike handling skills on, dual control units and 23mm tires – not so important.

Will - 08/19/12 - 8:22am

I think you guys are missing the point a bit.

The guy who designed these was simply trying to fill a gap in the market which DOES exist, atmo. There are plenty of kids who could crush a few CAT V’s if they weren’t forced (by the available products out there) to ride 24″ wheeled mountain bikes or whatever.

It’d be foolish to get one of these for a kid who has expressed no desire at all to race, but if your son/daughter loves to ride on the road with you or was showing real potential at a young age, now at least there is the choice to make the investment to get them an appropriately-sized bike.

Steve - 08/19/12 - 9:45am

And here is what most race day will look like. People will make fun of you for be a privileged rich kid. I would think the number of kids races with more than 1 bike like this are few.

http://i.imgur.com/BFr1k.jpg

Brett - 08/19/12 - 10:08am

There is no way a kid this size is gaining anything from an aero bike. It’s cool that someone wants kids to have cool looking bikes and all but it seems really uncomfortable and wasteful. A light bike with simpler components and appropriate size seems like a better move.

Poor girl can’t reach the brakes. “Here, honey, you should be able to go really fast on this, hope you can slow down.”

BMX

S. Molnar - 08/19/12 - 10:58am

I’m not convinced she has trouble with the brakes. It looks to me like she’s resting her palms on the drops; in that position, I would have trouble reaching my brakes. That said, I pretty much agree with everyone: the bikes are too expensive, crazy, and really neat, just like kids.

Andy - 08/19/12 - 11:19am

Psi I think you’ve missed the point of my post. I’m questioning whether it’s a good thing to be molding this mentality into our kids that they need aero wheels, drop bars, fitness training, skinny tires, counting calories, shedding grams, etc To enjoy the sport when in reality biking for kids should be about getting outdoors, exploring and having fun.

Psi Squared - 08/19/12 - 11:52am

Andy, none of us have the power to determine what is being molded into any kid from a picture, and more importantly the job of overseeing that molding is the parents’. For all we know, they’re the best parents in the world. The “for all we know” is the important part. We don’t know anything other than a girl had her picture taken on a bike. It’s that simple. The picture tells us absolutely nothing.

Chris - 08/19/12 - 12:05pm

@ Andy:

No adult **needs** a road bike. No difference between kids and adults, a toy is a toy regardless of age. The only adults for whom road bikes are not toys are the pros. As for molding impressions into kids have you seen how many supposedly intelligent adults are still dumb enought to think a few ounces on the weight of a bike actually matters or how many people “need” a set of Zipp wheels to finish their local century?

@ Brett:

Yeah, the kid isn’t gaining anything from having an aero bike. Guess what, neither are the vast majority of adults who own them! The benefits of an aero bike don’t really kick in until you’re pushing past 25 MPH and even then the gains are pretty minor. Vast majority of riders are incapable of riding that fast for sustained period.

Bottom line is the entire upper end of the bike industry is dependent on people buying things they don’t really need and don’t really offer any tangible benefits. Furthermore, there is NOTHING wrong with this just like there’s nothing wrong with driving a Porsche that can do 150MPH when the maximum legal speed limit is less than half that. Toys are fun and if you can afford them why not own them? Only stupid part is when you try to rationalize or claim to need them.

David - 08/19/12 - 1:59pm

Scott makes a kids 24″ road bike with interrupter brakes on either side of the stem. My son has it, loves it, and logs many miles on it while most of his friends are inside playing video games. Most of you are either missing the point, don’t have kids, or have kids you can’t get out of the house to do something physical.

Brett - 08/19/12 - 7:20pm

@ Chris

I agree 100%

I also agree with David, here.

Anything to get gets out and about is terrific. I’ve been in homes where everyone was on their own laptop, including four kids. It wasn’t pretty. I went out back and swam in the pool.

DeeEight - 08/19/12 - 8:41pm

Its definitely 650C… 650B isn’t used by triathletes though it is used by tandem riders and touring bikes. Many think 650B is some new for mtb’s thing but that’s not actually true. Panaracer, Rubena, Schwalbe and others have produced road/touring tires in the wheel size continually for many years now. 650C was originally a cruiser bike size tire but the wheel format is what was adopted with skinny tires for short tri/tt bikes and road racing bikes

And yes, Louis Garneau (which only sells their complete bikes in canada) and other brands do have good kids road bikes. Scott USA sells theirs in europe. Opus in canada has some. Trek has some. etc. Not sure why its such a leap of imagination to actually go through some catalogs to find these things.

Sevo - 08/19/12 - 8:42pm

Anyone else hearing the sound of helicopter parents hovering above already?

Tyler (Editor) - 08/20/12 - 1:17pm

All – yes, it’s 650C wheels, post has been updated. Thanks for all the info on the other kids bike models, too, definitely not a category that gets enough attention.

Chipollini - 08/20/12 - 1:22pm

I love the idea of kids on road bikes, but this is too expensive for something that will last 2 years… Felt and others make 650c and 24″ road bikes for kids for around 800$.
It’ over built, I know if you have the money, and the idea of daddy’s lil racer is fine, but this is a niche market – these bikes fall somewhere in between big name bike companies and the custom built rigs.
Also – I think the little girl in the picture is actually not riding the bike, just sitting on it while its held up out of frame. Her hair is not moving from air movement, and there is not blur or distortion from motion…. And I agree, the reach to the levers is a massive gap – yes you can shim it in, it’s unfortunate that there is not a big enough market to make smaller than adult size shift levers and hoods

g - 08/20/12 - 3:25pm

I don’t love my kids enough….

tracy - 08/20/12 - 5:43pm

my 8 year old would kill to have this, i have him on a hotrock and he wants more speed on the road. and who cares if he grows out of it, there is always some other kid that will want it. i personally think the kids market needs a decent 26″ wheel size road bike with canti or long arm side pulls. make it so they can put on a 32 and a fender. these 24″ kids road bikes are hard to find tires for. ” 24 inch” ..wait… is it really 520? or 540? or 507?

my 5 year old also needed more speed to keep up with the 8 year olds so i got him a 20″ wheeled geared torker/redline which is a good fast cheap ride but needs better cranks. but this culprit 20″ uses 105 BCD 5 bolt?? why not 94bcd? i wouldn’t touch that with a long pole. check out the little cranks from origin 8.

Topmounter - 08/20/12 - 11:51pm

If these guys were doing anything other than cherry-picking spoiled rich kids, they’d set up a lease program where your kid would ride the bike for 12 months, turn it in and get another larger, properly sized bike and then a nice discount on a “new” bike once they’ve quit growing. They’d need to set the expectation that the lease bikes wouldn’t always be “new”, but instead that they would be properly refurbished between lessees.

Culpritbicycles - 08/21/12 - 6:22am

Thank you all for your comments. The purpose for this bike is to offer a bike to meet an unmet market. Of course there are less expensive bikes for little ones, but we also sell high end carbon bikes and wanted a junior bike to match our product line. We are a carbon bike brand, but saw an opportunity to build an alloy bike in a market that is still fairly new and growing. For those who find the price too high, yes, it is a high spec’d bike. Not all need or want it. and that is the consumers option.

There are a few parents seeking this bike for 20″ wheels. its a niche market. 650 will have a much higher demand with the quality of workmanship and components.

Keep following culpritbicycles.com for more to come if you want to follow news. Culprit’s carbon bike prices will be released next week at Eurobike show.

markgf - 08/22/12 - 9:03am

Why do road racers use 700C (622mm dia. rim) wheels instead of 650B (584mm) or 650C (571mm)? I toured $5000 km in 3 months all over Japan on 650B x 25mm and it was waaay better than 700C bikes I have used before or since.

- 650 wheels are LIGHTER (less circumferential rim and tyre material);
- 650 wheels are laterally STRONGER due to their smaller diameter;
- Gearing is reduced (by less than 10%) so drop a tooth or two from each rear cluster cog and save more weight;
- Lower stand over height frames can be made;
- There’s no reason road/tri/MTB/hybrid/tourer bikes can’t use the same rim diameters (different widths).
- Tall riders can stick to bigger heavier wheels if they want to;
- Anybody who reckons angular momentum of bigger wheels is important can glue weights to their rims or experiment with 750C rims (joke);
- Any comfort lost from using smaller rolling radius wheels is irrelevant to race suitable roads.

What’s up?…M

ASlb - 08/23/12 - 11:21pm

I read everything from the start and I saw how the comments changed as people had time to think about it a little more. I agree with what many are saying- this is not about need, but want.

I participate in races and triathlons – My son(7years) has a MTB and a Road bike, but not a good fit like this. When he said he wanted to do the Kids’ triathlon, I started looking around for something like what I have- knowing the importance of fit and parts. Couldn’t find anything resembling a kid’s race bike that is ready to race – like the adult bikes. Don’t want flat bars- he wanted something like Dad.

Bought what i could find- dropped the saddle all the way down -frame is too big.
– changed the stem – top tube is too long.
– handlebar is too wide. Can’t get anything smaller/

So right now he has an OK set up, but could be a lot better on one of these. We did a 40km bike ride 3 weeks ago on his not too good set up and he loved it. I am sure he will love it more if the set up was better. But do that on a wide tire, everyday cheap bike! Kid will hate the idea of riding very soon. I am not pushing my kid to do anything- this is up to him. But what he wants to do – I would like him to enjoy it! That’s why we ride and participate- I don’t race, I participate and I make sure my kids understand the difference.

Yes- they will outgrow the bike, but they will enjoy their ride- How many of us who rides a lot, upgrades parts and bikes every year or every 2 years? MANY!!! We don’t need it! It is all about enjoying!
If they outgrow it – I think this will make for a very good second hand market with high value. Meaning then the parents won’t mind spending a little more on the NEW bike as they know that they will get a good price on selling it to somebody else. I can even see parents forming groups- “Ok- you buy now for your kid and when the bike is to small, then I buy from you for my kid and then I will sell it to my other friend who has a younger child”. Nothing wrong with that. With good quality parts and frame, etc. and a hand me down network between parents-, a higher price I think is justified for sure.

Bottom line – I would want my kid on this! It looks good and he will enjoy it !!!!
Just my 2c!!

gern blanston - 10/08/12 - 4:02am

I’m amazed at all negative comments. Why do people feel that they have the recipe on how to enjoy a bike? My personal story is that my family started riding high end bikes in the early 60′s, when it took 6 months to a year to get a bike from Italy. I caught the bug and by 1970 when I was 7 years old my Dad put me on a small race bike from Europe that no one had ever seen before. At the age of 10 I was out doing my Dad’s favorite 100 mile ride on a regular basis. Those cycling experiences on a high end child’s road bike changed me forever. After over 40 years of riding and racing I am now ready to pass on the same to my 7 year old, only to find that there is a hole in the market for people that would like to have a 20″ wheel bike. I am going to take the time and money to build up a bike from scratch with my kid at my side, because that’s what my Dad did with me. And oh, there’s no way I would have been pulling off those 1oo mile rides on a Specialized Hot Rock.

Richard - 10/31/13 - 1:22pm

I received the junior 2 bike today. It is an excellent product. High quality piece. The price is very reasonable when you consider what you are getting. There is enough adjustability to keep a kid riding for several years. I would definitely recommend this bike to others.

Alan Deuchars - 11/08/13 - 10:56pm

Junior development at Balmoral Cycling Club
We’ll worth checking out

Balmoralcyclingclub.com.au

Ron Hacker - 01/20/14 - 6:24pm

FYI,
While priced high…Felt’s 47cm DA1, DA2, DA3 and DA4 650 wheel bikes are smaller. Stack is 433 and reach is 387.

Dean Clementson - 06/03/14 - 7:57am

I have 2 kids on junior race bikes 20inch 24inch and I am putting together an XS frame on 700 wheels which the older one will move onto, and the younger will move onto the 24 inch. I think the best thing about putting kids on smaller bikes is the shorter cranks, it encourages the kids to spin properly.
I think the aero design of the culprit in unnecessary, as these kids don’t reach the speeds needed to take advantage of it. The weight is good, but I think with out the aero design they could build it lighter. A 1kg lighter bike for a kid is the same as a 2kg lighter bike for an adult. I am sure the kids will enjoy racing a lighter bike than a more aero bike.
I think 8 kg is a bit heavy for this size of bike for the price. There are other 20 inch bikes at nearly the same weight for half the price.

Andrew Liston - 09/04/14 - 4:56pm

I bought the Junior 2 for my son 2 years ago. He loves it and races in junior triathlons with it. The 650 wheels make a huge difference in speed and handling and he still has another year left on this steed. The refit every 6 months is the only hassle, but worth every penny when I see him out crushing 25 mile training rides with adults and smoking the competition at his races.

Post a comment:

Comment sections can be a beautiful source of knowledge, conversation and comedy. They can also get pretty ugly, which is why we've updated our Comments Policy. If your comment isn't showing up or suddenly disappears, you might want to check it out.