Good bikes for children

Discussion in 'Family and Recreational Cycling' started by Mister Paul, 26 Feb 2012.

  1. HOU5EY

    HOU5EY Active Member

    My boy had a balance bike when he was two, soon mastered it. Bought him a proper bike from halfords and he was on the stableisers for two weeks, soon as I took them off having the balance was a matter of days before he was confident. He now rides to school every day since he started age 4. Problem is he's out growing his bike. Need an all weather age 4 - 6 bike that's actually good for commuting, luckily we have cycle paths right the way to his school.
  2. 3narf

    3narf For whom the bell dings

    Of course, we live in Cirencester now so we're posh! My daughter now has an Islabike... :blush:
    screenman and summerdays like this.
  3. Karlt

    Karlt Well-Known Member

    I think you'll find that most of us who are unwilling to spend hundreds on kids bikes also don't spend thousands on our own; mine's a £300 Triban SE 520 from Decathlon. Certainly looking around our bike club it's the people with the expensive bling for themselves who have the Islabikes and whatnot for the kids.

    The reason for this is simple - there's more to life than cycling for us. There's climbing, fell walking, swimming, scrambling, board games (these we take quite seriously; lots of board games and I'm still a diehard pen and paper RPGer), music, arts and crafts. These all cost money. For the Bianchi Bling crowd, who live and breathe bikes, they choose to channel all their leisure money into bikes, for themselves and for the kids. If I didn't buy games, take the kids into the Lakes for walking and scrambling, pay for climbing clubs, swimming lessons and music lessons, sure I could spend hundreds on kids bikes. But I do, so I can't. And you know what? The kids love their bikes. I recently bought a junior road bike for the boys; only the eldest can ride it thus far, £200 reduced. Bit old tech, weighs as much as mine does, but he's having a great time on it. The look on his face as he topped a local climb in 34/28 where he'd previously had 22/28 available, and yet found it easier because road bike geometry, rigid fork and overall lighter bike, was something to see, and I didn't need to spend £6-700 to see it. Sure, he'd be even faster on a bike weighing a kilo less. Perhaps as much as 10 seconds....
    Justinslow likes this.
  4. Hmm, thank you - just checked them out and they look very good. Much appreciated.
  5. seraphina

    seraphina Senior Member


    At my kids' nursery/preschool (it's on a campus so they are always out riding bikes/scooters) all the young kids (ranging from just turned 3 to starting school) riding pedal bikes with no stabilisers are on Islabikes. Even the Ridgeback kids are still using stabilisers. Now, this may be because Islabikes are generally bought by parents who know a bit about cycling and therefore go down the balance/no stabilisers route, but most kids will be hurtling about on balance bikes anyway (the nursery has loads).

    Our neighbour has been trying to get their daughter (nearly 6) to ride for ages and was a bit miffed to see MissS (just 3) bombing about the place with no stabilisers. Neighbour's kid has a bog standard Halfords job, complete with stabilisers and a big handle on the back to aid parents holding her upright. It's been a bit fraught with tears on the kid's behalf, but MissS offered her a go on her Islabike last night and within a few mins she was off and cycling. It was a bit small for her but the weight difference was enormous, and the small size seemed to be confidence inspiring. Her parents were amazed!
    summerdays likes this.
  6. The_Hawk

    The_Hawk Member

    South Wales
    I would recommend Islabikes. Both my children started on Isla balance bikes and progressed through the range. The great thing in my opinion is the scale and lightweightness...
  7. eron001

    eron001 New Member

    Hey, glad I found this thread. I was about to ask something. I'm planning to get a new bike for my daughter. As of now, she rides a Beinn 20" - Islabikes. This was actually a pre-owned one, I got from a sale.
    She's growing up fast and may need a bigger ride soon. I can't see too many Isla bikes available near my neighborhood and they also seem to be on the expensive side. So I would prefer some other brands that aren't as expensive. I don't want to compromise on the quality though. Can someone suggest me some good models of kids bikes? Is this one: Cannondale Race 24 Kids Bike a good option? It looks good. I guess 24" bikes will be good.
    Please correct me if I am wrong. Any advice will be really helpful.
  8. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    Take a look at Frog, Wiggins, Ridgeback and Hoy. Scott also do a reasonable range. Don't forget that the resale value of Islabikes is very high. You'll get 2/3rds to 3/4 of your money back when you sell it.
    eron001 and summerdays like this.
  9. eron001

    eron001 New Member

    Thanks @Crackle. I have seen some Frog models. It looks good. I will look into other models and try to make a decision. I know Islabike's resale value is good, but it's just that I feel that initial investment is a little high. Also, I contacted a couple of bike stores nearby and they aren't available.
  10. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Islabikes are sold directly from them rather than from stores.
  11. OP
    Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    There's a FB page where people sell used Islabikes.
  12. OP
    Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Legendary Member

    Once we'd worked through the Islabike range until the point where other brands were good enough (and much cheaper) to buy, we moved onto Ridgeback. Have a look at the MX24.
    Crackle likes this.
  13. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    Another vote for the MX24 and also a future vote for the Scott Voltage series.
    Mister Paul likes this.
  14. Kingy

    Kingy Active Member

    Worth having a look at 'Squish' kids bikes and the Dawes Academy.
    In both cases they are lightweight, good wheel/ frame range and comparable with Frog / Isla quality wise. Sold through Evans chain and LBS so should be easy enough to get hold of. Out of the two Squish might be the best fit as they have the quality at a slightly better price point than Dawes. They have 24" and 26" in the range.
  15. steven1988

    steven1988 Well-Known Member

    Just thought I would add my own experience of kids Bikes, my lad, a very small 9 year old has been on islabikes for the last 3 years.

    This year we have recently converted to Scatto bikes, a Belgian brand whose stand over height is lower than Isla. He is now on a 26" wheel compared to the beinn 24 he would be on in Isla bikes.

    Admittedly they are not cheap ranging from £700- £1250 from (depending on spec) but worth every penny.

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