We recently got our ten year old daughter a new bike: an Opus Rambler. This is an unusual bike in that it is styled like a proper city bike, with fenders, rack and kickstand. The 2011 model comes in a sporty two tone blue colour. She really likes it.
Here it is in action at Bells on Bloor. We got plenty of compliments on the bike. She had very little trouble riding it back and forth, a distance of about 18 km which is probably a personal best for her.
The bike is nicely specced with an aluminum frame and aluminum rims (steel spokes and hubs). If we compare it with the Norco 20″ wheel bike from last year:
the two bikes weigh fairly close: both about 24 pounds. To be fair to the Norco, it is no slouch since it has an aluminum frame and rims as well. However, that suspension fork is heavy. Also, the bike as shown has a large, non-stock quill stem that I used to raise the handlebars.
I have two issues with the bike: firstly, the bottle mounts are between two closely spaced frame tubes, so the only bottle and cage that will actually fit is a side exit Sigg cage, with the smallest size water bottle.
A more serious issue is the fact that the bike has an aheadset style headset and stem. All kid’s bikes should have a quill stem so that the handlebars can be raised as easily as the seat.
Otherwise, we really like the bike. Not cheap for a kids’ bike, which probably accounts for this model’s rarity. I’ll spare you the rant about bike shaped objects. I do appreciate that the money spent goes towards making the bike quite light, and I’m not paying for a bad suspension fork that is of no use in the city.
We got ours at Sweet Pete’s. You might also be able to get it at Urbane.
Update: the Rambler no longer appears on the Opus bikes 2015 website, so it looks like it was dropped, which is really too bad. All the kid’s bikes are now MTB style. This is ironic since it was just reviewed by Momentum Mag. The review shows a photo of a red bike, which is the 2014 model, and I believe that the 2013 model was white. If you can find an older one at a dealer, go for it!
Update Oct 2016:
The younger daughter has outgrown the Rambler, and so we’ve found a good home for it. Here is a fuzzy picture of both girls saying goodbye to their blue bike.