Parents all over the world better be preparing to dig deep at the next anniversary of their sprogs because today Islabikes announced a brand new range of performance bikes for children.
Pioneered by entrepreneur Isla Rowntree [read our interview here] Islabikes arrived on the scene in 2006 – they were the first brand to introduce premium lightweight children’s bikes that wouldn’t weigh a significant portion of the child’s body mass.
Having reached their tenth year trading, the brand have brought out a new range of models: The Pro Series. The bikes in the range – which consists of starter bikes, cyclocross bikes, cross country mountain bikes and mixed terrain bikes – sit above the current offering, and are designed to cater for the needs of young racers looking to progress through the Junior racing scene.
Across the range shoppers will find top end highlights such as custom carbon forks, seatposts, mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes, newly developed Stan’s NoTubes rims to allow for tubeless systems, and Shimano Ultegra shifters.
Islabikes have gone so far as to create brand new tyre designs where they were unable to find adequate options in the wheel sizes they were catering for – such attention to detail is a first in the children’s market.
All bikes within the range feature custom handlebars, chainsets, pedals, grips, saddles and seatposts, to ensure they meet the needs of children. The components are designed to gel with the ergonomically designed frames to offer comfort and performance.
The brand only makes unisex children’s bikes – when we spoke to founder Rowntree, she told us: “We don’t do gendered bikes, because we don’t need to. One of the things I use to inform my design decisions is a huge book of child data sets. It’s got every body measurement that you could think of – the obvious things like height and weight and chest and hip and waist, but also the less obvious, inside leg and hand grip strength and hand girth diameter. It’s got each of those for male and female, from aged two up.
“In the data sets, pre-puberty, there is no significant difference between boys and girls on anything that affects the fit of the bike. Girls are generally very slightly smaller for their age, so then they’d still be on our bikes but would move up to the next size a little bit later.”
Speaking about the new bike range, she said: “Every year we attend numerous races and cycling festivals with our bikes. At certain events, Tweedlove and cyclocross races in particular, we have been in awe of the speed and skill levels of some of the young riders. I wanted to deliver a range of even lighter, higher specification, performance focused Islabikes with all the benefits of our holistic design approach for those whose lives revolve around youth cycling competition.”
“These are serious bikes for children who are serious about their cycling. I hope we see some of their names crop up as Olympians in the future.”
Describing some of the key selling points, she said: “We have designed full carbon forks that perfectly match the geometry of each bicycle size, low Q factor [distance between the pedal attachment points on the crank arms] cranks, our own superlight and grippy cyclocross tyres and sprinkled each bike with titanium and aluminium finishing bits to shave off the last bit of weight. These are serious bikes for children who are serious about their cycling. I hope we see some of their names crop up as Olympians in the future.”