The 20-inch Thunder features hydraulic disc brakes (Courtesy)

Canadian brand Opus Bikes is bringing its line of high-end
bikes to the United States. Perhaps most remarkable among the brand’s offerings
are its high-end kids bikes, including a 20-inch-wheel bike with hydraulic disc
brakes and other performance components. Opus also has a deep range of urban
bikes that the company hopes will find favor in the US.

Opus Bikes is the house brand of Canadian parts distributor
Outdoor Gear Canada, much like Surly is a house brand for American parts
distributor Quality Bicycle Parts.

David Bowman, the owner of OGC for 34 years, started Opus
Bikes 13 years ago, after a number of years distributing bikes from
Specialized, Gary Fisher, LeMond and others.

“They just weren’t getting the product that they felt the
Canadian market needed,” said international sales director Chris Dimmick. “They
thought, ‘you know what, why don’t we try our hands at manufacturing?’ They did
just that, starting with six road models.”

Now Opus has 19 road bikes, 20 mountain bikes and five
’cross bikes. But most striking are the kids bikes, which are all built with
performance parts and smart geometry.

Every single kids bike features a hand brake

All the kids bikes come with handbrakes, including all the
tiny 12-inch models and even the no-pedals stride bike. For 2013, the hydraulic
brakes found on the 24-inch bikes will appear on a 20-inch bike — something
that is unheard of in the category.

The 20-inch Thunder will have Tektro’s new
hydraulic brakes, SRAM 2×7 gearing and Opus’ special light version of a Spinner
Grind fork.

Launched three years ago, the kids bikes range from $175
to $720. So why kids bikes in this price range?

“For one thing, Mike Bajohr (Opus Bikes kids’ category
manager) could not find a kids bike that he would be proud to put his kid on,”
Baddick said. “That was the impetus to bring something to the market that’s just
not there. That’s a gamble. Second, he couldn’t find bikes that his two boys would not

The 24-inch Spire features hydraulic disc brakes, a bash guard and a 100mm fork

Baddick is quick to point out that Opus isn’t just buying
stock kids bikes from factories, and is designing new geometries as well as including
performance parts.

“Our adjusted geometry has a little longer rake, a little
longer fork,  and seat stays that are a little
longer, so the bike is not going to get twitchy on them,” Baddick said.

Opus also has 25 urban bikes, from fixies and an e-bike to
European-style city machines and flat-bar road bikes.

Look for more coverage of Opus Bikes on BikeRadar during Interbike
in September.

The Ivanna is one of 25 urban bikes from Opus

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