isla bike cnoc14This is for all you parents out there with wee ones growing into big ones that are just desperate to get on a bike. I’m a parent of 5-year old, into everything, twins who just love what the outdoors has to offer.

While researching how to get them started on a bike we decided on the balance bike route (small bike without pedals) and certainly don’t regret our decision. They quickly mastered the balance bikes and were happily whizzing along before they reached 4 years old, however, what next?

A friend of mine suggested Islabikes as the way to go and, having not heard of them before I looked into them a bit more.  On the face of it they look good but are expensive.  Also, the brand name isn’t perhaps as well known as the likes of the Specialized or Ridgeback equivalents either, so I had no prior knowledge of anyone having owned one.  After a bit of head scratching we did decide to go for the Islabike Cnoc14 for our dynamic duo.

From the day of arrival it was clear that the bikes were quality products. Well built, well finished and sensibly designed for small people. When the day came to introduce the bikes to the kids at 4 and a bit years old, twin number one was off pedalling immediately (generally confident in most things).  It took twin two a couple of days more (less confident at ‘going for it’) but again, had very little problem adapting to the Islabike.

The balance bikes certainly had a part to play in the speedy transition to the pedal bikes, but the Cnoc14 definitely eases the process. The kids can use the brakes easily (once they realise that they need to use them once in a while!).  They appear comfortable to sit on and are robust, as they need to be for the inevitable bumps that junior riders dish out on their bikes. We’ve also had them round the Green Trail at Glentress a few times so know they can cope with that type of trail as well.

Importantly, from kids’ point of view the bikes look good as well, but from a parent’s point of view there are no unecessary add-ons that either detract from the usability of the bike, add to the weight or just waste space and money.

I’m an Islabike convert and the kids are now riding Cnoc16s at 5 years old. One final reason to go for an Islabike is the resale value. We were gobsmacked to receive between 75 and 80% of the orignal cost back when selling through E-Bay.  The bikes were in good condition but were a year and a half old.

There are obviously others out there that think like me.

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