Islabikes - a review
Islabikes is a British owned company that make proper bikes for children. When I say 'proper bikes' I mean a quality bike that has been designed for them by Isla Rowntree, who brings extensive experience in bike design, custom building and riding. Think of bikes with features that you usually see on adult bikes, but kid sized. A few weeks ago Islabikes sent Kitty and Ozzy their won Islabikes to try out and since then we have been heading out to the forest, putting the bikes through their paces.
Ozzy is learning to cycle at the moment whilst Kitty is a capable cyclist. The New Forest has some lovey cycle paths with great views where children can cycle safely away from traffic.
Kitty's bike was a larger frame size than her existing one that has been replaced. Her Islabike is bigger and yet much lighter. This is apparent when I lift the bike and for Kitty when mounts and steers it. Kitty has commented on how she finds her new bike easier to ride and that's what Islabikes is all about, providing quality bikes for children that will make them fall in love with cycling, something they will carry into adulthood.
Kitty is loving having gears 'like daddy's bike'. I was a little concerned that she would be confused about how to use them, or that the addition of gears would detract from her concentration as she hasn't been cycling for very long. The reality is that they have given her a real confidence boost and make hills that little bit easier.
Ozzy is still learning to ride on two wheels, but again he finds his new Islabike much lighter and easier to push that his old one. That lightness also makes getting on and off the bike easier for him too as leaning to get on and off requires less effort. I've found the 'Teaching your child to ride a bike' guide on the Islabikes website very handy. His cycling confidence is growing daily and seeing his sister cycling only makes him all the more determined!
Both these bikes have quick release wheel hubs so for people like us who have yet to invest in a bike rack, getting them in and out of the car is a doddle. We have found Islabikes to be well thought out, practical, high quality bikes. Some of my family that I have spoken to about Islabikes have heard very positive things from their friends about the bike quality and other online friends who own and have owned them declared their love for Islabikes too.
As we have discovered Islabikes are great quality, something that is reflected in the price of the bikes, the Beinn 24 at £399 and the Beinn 20 small at £329. They do hold their value very well, in fact resale value can be almost as high as buying new, testament to the quality and durability of the bikes.
An Islabike comes with a 5 year guarantee on frame and forks and a 2 year guarantee on parts. This covers faulty manufacturing, but not normal wear and tear. The guarantee only applies to the original customer.
Ordering Islabikes online
Next we chose a colour. We opted for the flaming orange red as this would mean that Oscar can 'inherit' Kitty's larger bike when she comes to outgrow it.
Islabikes then make the bikes to order before dispatching them, UK mainland delivery time is around 7 days.
You can also order from Islabikes via telephone, on (503) 954 2410. Their offices are open from 9.00 to 5.00pm, Monday to Saturday. If you would like to try before you buy then you can book an appointment at Islabikes Fitting Studio in Bromfield where there is room for bikes to be tried away from the road, and cafés nearby. Call to arrange a visit on 01584 856 881.
A final thank you to Kitty for helping me take the photos x