11 Jan 2016

I Am an Islabike Convert

J had been asking for a pedal bicycle for near enough six months now. He finally got one for Christmas this year. An Islabike. His first pedal bicycle.

I Am an Islabike Convert

J had been on his Puky balance bike for two years to the day. It was his Christmas present from two years ago.

M bought him an Islabike Beinn 20 small. It looked huge in comparison to the diminutive Puky. I was apprehensive. Perhaps we should have gone for the Cnoc 16? Or got something a lot cheaper? They are fine bikes alright, but an Islabike doesn't come cheap. I was extremely sceptical about spending all that money on a child's bicycle. J would soon be outgrowing it and moving up a size. Could we justify the expense?

I put up my hands and admit I was wrong. It was one of the best decisions M has made. It took all of 20 minutes before J was pedalling away furiously, all on his own, on his new Islabike.

Islabike Beinn 20 Small
Lightweight and with fantastic specs

Here's how he did it:

A strong foundation for great balance was laid down by two whole years of riding a balance bike. He started on the Beinn 20 small with the pedals taken off. That was my brainwave. I got M to remove the pedals so J could ride the Islabike as a balance bike. He spent all of Boxing Day morning running circles in the lounge. Most importantly, he could touch the floor with his feet when the seat was on its lowest setting. This gave him the confidence to take on the bike.

Starting out without pedals on the Islabike

By afternoon, we couldn't contain ourselves. J and I nagged M to refit the pedals and take the bike outdoors. M was reluctant. He wanted J to carry on practicing without pedals. The child quite literally put his foot down and refused to ride if the pedals didn't go back on.

Now it was M's turn to admit defeat. We started by supporting J and his bicycle as he adjusted to the size and tried to find his balance. We hadn't rounded the corner when I was able to let go of J, M only just supporting his back. By the time we went round the block once, he was riding by himself with no parental support at all.

Can you feel the speed?

We've been out in the park these last few days with J and his Islabike. He has been speeding along like a little boy racer. The confidence with which he is handling the bicycle is simply astonishing. He speeds up, brakes, slow balances, all sorts depending on the situation. He has also figured out how to ratchet up the gears. We've had absolute strangers complementing us not just on the bicycle but also our son.

The child who wouldn't go five paces without his Mum is now unfazed by people, dogs, children, scooters, cycles, anything in his way. It is almost magic, the cool confidence he displays when he is on his Islabike.

So forget the light-weight frame, the excellent ergonomics, the sturdy brakes, the fantastic gears, the neatly gripping tyres, the shining reflectors and the delightful bell. A big thank you, Islabikes, for the self-assured confidence you have given my child. This is from a Mum who is bursting with pride as she watches her little boy growing up.


  1. What a fantastic bike! I agree that balance bikes are the way to go - I did think they were odd when we first got one for my firstborn but I can see the benefits hugely. When my youngest is ready for a bike I'll be considering this one!

  2. Oh wow this looks great! Boo has just got her first balance bike for her birthday but this looks like a great next step. It looks like a proper racer bike!

  3. What a lovely bike, I have never had a bike before but my brother did when we were younger and it was similar to this. I want to get one for my nephew and this looks awesome.

  4. This looks brilliant, I love cycling and I hope Freddie is confident on a bike when he's older too x

  5. Well done little one! It sounds like a great bike! I'm on a bike with stabilisers atm as we never got a balance bike... Picked it up from a carboot. He's taken to his really well!! Great review x

  6. Yep, balance bike all the way. N was the same. Got the balance bike age 2, rode it all the time in and out of the house. Then just got on a pedal bike and that was it. It's so nice to see them taking it on and doing so well so quickly.

    I'm impressed he's got gears. I'm not sure N would cope with those - he's still only using one brake on his new bike.

  7. Aw that's so lovely, I'm so glad he's got the hang of it. I hope to teach my eldest to ride a bike properly next summer and the Islabike sounds ideal, her current pedal bike is definitely too heavy for her so it's a great idea to try a lighter alternative.x

  8. That's brilliant! Well done little man :O) My little one learned to ride at Christmas too.

  9. Well done - this looks so good. Riding a bike is such an achievement - I was never very good! Kaz x


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