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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 104 > BORN TO BE CHILD

BORN TO BE CHILD

BARNEY TRAVELS TO THE POSH SOUTH TO GET RAD WITH BIKES MADE FOR YOUNG FOLKS A THIRD HIS HEIGHT.

EARLY RIDER

Henley-on-Thames is a town best known for rowing. As such, it’s perhaps not the first place you might think to look for a bike company – but there are secrets here, nestled in the rolling hills of Oxfordshire. Secrets pretty much smack bang in the middle…

Betty sits proud out front, initiating the welcome party.

Early Rider as a company might strike you as an unusual choice for a We Work Here article. It initially built its reputation on quality wooden balance bikes, for one thing. In fact it doesn’t make anything that’s designed as an adult bike, but it embodies a spirit and ethos we can all recognise. And as for wooden balance bikes – well, exclusively working in wood was a while ago; there’s much, much more to it than that now.

Test fleet at the ready.

Walking up to Early Rider HQ, which is in an old converted sawmill, the first thing you see is a ’50s ice cream trailer, which I later learn is called Betty. She’s apparently a stalwart at the various shows the Early Rider crew find themselves at. And next to Betty is a very fine looking Harley Davidson motorcycle, sporting the latest in ‘aged chic’ finishing detail. Not your average bland corporate company then.

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About Singletrack

Hans Rey – No Way? Yes Way! 30 years as a sponsored bike rider. Hans must be doing something right. We chat over burgers and beer. Bike Test: Hardcore Hardtails – We test three examples of that very British of bike categories: the long forked hardtail, with bikes from Ritchey, Onza and Chromag. Classic Calderdale – Sim ponders our need to name trails and places on a guided tour of Singletrack’s own home trails. Trail helmets – 12 (count them!) trail helmets ridden and rated. Early Rider – a profile of a company that’s making kids’ bikes cool again Nepal – Spectacular views and bikepacking courtesy of Miranda Murphy, Todd Weselake and Steve Shannon. Joe Barnes – A profile of enduro racer, former downhill racer and Dude of Hazzard Joe Barnes. Shimano: behind the blue veil – Chipps goes to Japan (and Singapore) to see what makes this very private company tick. Retro Bikes – Were the good old days better, or just different? Warning: may contain pictures of alarming outfits.
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