Chris Hoy may have retired but he’s still busy, still riding and training and still in love with bikes. Speaking to Hoy at Revolution 2 in the velodrome that bears his name, Sir Chris explained that his enthusiasm for simply riding bikes remains the same.
And it was this enthusiasm for cycling in all its forms that was partly responsible for the introduction of the children’s-size track and road bikes with their 650c wheel size.
After Hoy announced his retirement from the sport in April 2013, he carried on training. “I still do something every day, I enjoy a good session in the gym or the turbo. I just enjoy riding a bike!” explained Hoy in Glasgow, though his transition from full-time bike rider to former full-time bike rider was smoothed by setting up his bike business.
“I had actually started thinking about setting up my own bike company in 2010, so no matter what happened in London or after it, the bike company was properly planned and I had discussed what I was going to do when I stopped.
“I wanted to stay in cycling but I didn’t want to get into coaching because that meant just as much – or even more – time away, I wanted to spend time with Sarra (Hoy’s wife) who has put up with the cycling for so long and never complained about it, so I had always loved being involved with the technical side of the bikes and the design and a bike company was perfect.
“Plus I want to help get people into bikes, help make it more accessible. I want to get people on bikes – and hopefully have a successful business too. Basically I needed an excuse to keep riding bikes!” laughed Hoy.
However, speaking of getting people on bikes, with all the newcomers and middle-aged riders coming into or returning to cycling, the offspring of these riders often find it hard to find a well-made, intelligently thought out and designed bike. Enter the two new 650c wheel-sized Hoy bikes, the ‘Meadowbank’ track bike and the ‘Cammo’ road bike. Both are designed for children, but are ‘proper’ bikes which ride and handle, as much as possible, like adult machinery.
As Hoy’s designer James Olsen pointed out, “We get asked all the time what age range the 650c bikes are for but I see it more as a bike that will fit riders of a certain height and leg length. So really, you can say they would ‘fit’ an average eight or nine year old, but then again if you are older but smaller, they fit just as well.”
For the full tech spec and prices (£450!) it’s all on the Hoy bikes website. And for those wondering where the all-singing, all-dancing full pro-spec Hoy track machinery is, let’s say there’s something very special in the pipeline – but it won’t be budget-spec or in children’s sizes!
HOY Meadowbank £450
HOY Cammo £600
HOY Fiorenzuola £750
HOY Sa Calobra .004 £1300