High-Tech Kids Bikes Now Main Focus for Pro Tour Greats

Frankfurt, Germany

Two former German pro-cycling greats have now stepped up the pace for children’s bike offerings from their country.

Multiple world road time trial champion Tony Martin and prodigious Grand Tour stage winner Marcel Kittel have joined other co-founders to create specialist children’s bike manufacturer Li:on, which unveiled its first models at Eurobike 2023.

A 360-degree lighting system, frames built with recycled and ultra durable materials and extra reflective paint are among the features to make Li:on bikes safer and tougher, according to Marcel and Tony, who have both become fathers in recent years.

A paint additive makes the frames highly reflective, while a large rear light has been integrated into the seat stay of Li:on’s top two models, along with an inbuilt front light, to reduce risk for young riders, Tony told a media launch of the bikes.

Li:on’s frames and forks will be manufactured in Germany from recyclable plastic-based carbon, through an injection moulding process the company says will reduce carbon emissions by about 67% for each bike.

The bikes will then be assembled in Belgium, keeping the process within the target European market to further curb emissions.

The plastic-based carbon frames and forks have undergone extensive impact testing to show they should survive many years.

Tony said he and Marcel were 100% involved in creating the start-up, which was established in 2022 with a goal to create the safest and most innovative children’s bikes, and aims to have the first bikes available in the second quarter of 2024.

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