Islabikes: Buyer's Guide, Review and Tips | Total Women's Cycling

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Islabikes: Buyer’s Guide Review and Tips

For kids that are serious about cycling, Islabikes are the perfect investment

Boys enjoying their shiny new Islabikes


Designed by competitive cycling champion Isla Rowntree, Islabikes offers a range of versatile children’s bikes suitable for the two year old absolute novice rider through to the eight year old mountain biker and the sixteen year old triathlete.

All too often bicycle brands create mini-me versions of their adult bikes for children without fully taking into consideration the specific needs of a tiny child cyclist. The Islabikes range, however, features age-specific frame designs, short reach and easy to use brakes and handlebars, and they are super lightweight.

If your child loves mountain biking as much as they enjoy cycling to school, you don’t need to splash out on two different bikes for them; with an Islabike all you will need are two sets of tyres. Suitable as standard for family days out and short road rides, pop on a different set of tyres and your kids’ Isla will be all set for long distance rides, mountain biking, junior triathlon and cyclocross too.

You can also arrange for extra accessories to be fitted to your Isla before delivery so that it is ready to go complete with luggage rack, bottle cage and personalised name transfer straight from the box.

Islabikes are certainly pricey but they do hold their value incredibly well and there is a huge second hand market for them too, ensuring that you will easily be able to sell your kid’s Rothan when they are ready to upgrade to a Cnoc. Islabikes also offers a ‘buy back’ scheme to enable you to part-exchange your old Isla for a new one.

The Islabikes Range

There are five types of Islabikes: Rothans, Cnocs, Beinns, Creigs and Luaths. Rothans are no pedal balance bikes, brilliant for getting your tots learning how to cycle before they are old enough to try out a proper bike.

Cnocs are ideal first pedal bikes and can be used with or without stabilisers depending on your child’s needs. Beinn’s are available in a variety of sizes suitable for five year olds right through to adults. They are also incredibly versatile and can be adapted for use on roads or mountain bike trails.

Creigs are dedicated mountain bikes for the most serious of young trail-lovers and Luaths are fantastic road bikes suitable for competitive use.

Check out our guide to Frog Bikes too

Skip the stabiliser stage with Islabikes Rothan balance bike for two years plus

Islabikes Rothan


The low slung scoop saddle of the Islabikes Rothan balance bike makes it much easier for children to push themselves along on than other balance bikes. Suitable for two years and up, Rothans are available in a choice of red or pink and feature pneumatic tyres for use indoors as well as out. A great way to teach your kids how to ride a bike before they are ready for pedals, Rothans have short-reach handlebars and easy to operate brakes as well as an integral steering limiter to keep accidents at a minimum.

The Best Kids Balance Bikes on the Market

Islabikes Cnocs make for the perfect first bike for your three or four year old

Islabikes Cnoc


Available in two sizes, the Cnoc 14 is suitable for three year olds and upwards and the Cnoc 16 is designed for four year olds and upwards. An ideal first bike, it is quick and easy to attach ‘no tools’ stabilisers to a Cnoc and all of the parts are specifically chosen to be operated by small hands.

The chain is fully enclosed to prevent clothes getting caught and torn and the wheels are incredibly lightweight so your little one will be able to easily move this bike around. Cnocs are available in a choice of red, blue or pink. 

Buying Your Kids First Bike

Islabikes Beinns can be adapted to be mountain bikes, hybrids or road bikes

Islabikes Beinn

£299.99 – £449.99

The most versatile Isla, Beinns can be used as mountain bikes, hybrids or road bikes depending which wheels you choose. There are six different size Beinns available: 20 small for five years and up, 20 large for six years and up, 24 for seven years and up, 26 small for eight years and up, 26 large for eleven years and up and the 29, an adult’s bike. To work out which Beinn would most suit your child, take a look at Islabike’s size chart.

Smaller Beinns feature seven gears and are available in a choice of red, blue or pink. Bigger Beinns feature eight gears and come in both red and blue. The adult Beinn features ten gears and is available in bronze.

For kids that love single track, Islabikes Creig mountain bikes enable children to hit the trails from just 8 years old

Islabikes Creig

£699.99 – £749.99

Islabikes specific mountain bike, the Creig, is available in lime green in a choice of two sizes: 24″ for eight years and up, and 26″ for nine years and up. The ten speed gears and Continental Explorer tyres are perfect for hitting mountain bike trails and the child specific design, including short reach brakes, means your kid will be comfortable and safe whilst doing so.

For eight year olds to teens, Islabikes Luaths can be used for road racing, cyclocross, touring or triathlons

Islabikes Luath

£399.99 – £499.99

Islabikes’ premium road bike, the Luath is designed for road racing, cyclocross, touring and triathlons. The Luath Kids Road Bike is available both in 24 inches and 26 inches suitable for eight years plus and nine years plus respectively. The Luath Junior Road Bike also comes in two sizes, the 700 small for eleven years plus and the 700 large for thirteen years plus.

Islabikes can customise your child’s Luath to specifically meet the needs of their chosen discipline. Choose which tyres will best suit them and then decide if they’d benefit from mudguards, luggage racks, Ortlieb panniers, clip less pedals and many more accessories. Any customisations you make at check out will be completed before delivery, taking all of the hassle of kitting out a new bike away from you.

Where to Buy Islabikes

Islabikes are based in Ludlow in Shropshire and their bikes can be bought in store or via telephone.

To make a telephone purchase, first have a browse of the website to decide which style bike would best suit your child. Once you’ve decided between a balance, road or mountain bike, use the size chart to determine which size bicycle they will need. Then phone the store and talk your order through with a member of the sales team.

If you are still unsure whether you have made the right decision, the staff member will be able to advise you further. Once you’ve placed your order it will then be processed and will be delivered to your door free of charge.

If you live local to Ludlow or fancy a day out there, you can book an appointment at Islabikes’ Fitting Studio so that your child can try out different styles and sizes of bike before you make a purchase.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Second Hand Kids Bike

It’s also possible to purchase an Isla second hand. There are always lots for sale on eBay and Gumtree and you could also look out for adverts in your local paper and in newsagent’s windows. As always when buying second hand, take extra care to ensure that the bike is in full working order and is safe for your child to ride.

Islabikes all come with a five year guarantee on frames and forks and a two year guarantee on all other parts. If you’ve bought a second hand Isla outside of the warranty period and a part does need replacing, get in touch with Islabikes as they stock a selection of Isla-specific parts in their store.


Liked this Islabikes guide? Check out these too:

How to Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike

Frog Bikes: Buyer’s Guide Review and Tips

The Coolest Kids Helmets


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