Islabikes: Best Mountain Bikes for Children

Sold in both the US and the UK, Islabikes was founded in 2005 by one of the only female bike designers in the world, Isla Rowntree.  Instead of entering the crowded adult bike market, Rowntree choose to build bikes for the younger generation.  Islabikes now sells thirteen bike models designed for children ages 2+ to 11+.  Included in this range of models are balance bikes, a beginner mountain bike and a kids road bike for older children.

Review of the Islabikes Rothan

Because it is slightly more expensive than the Puky LR1, the Rothan falls just short of being the #1 rated balance bike.  However, with a higher price tag comes a more sleek and contemporary design that may appeal to more kids.  The larger than normal tires and lightweight aluminium frame will make it easier for the young rider to learn how to balance on the bike. an Islabikes luath 700

Unlike the base level Puky LR1, the Rothan includes a standard rear brake to teach children the importance of stopping.  One downside of the Rothan is that it does not have a flat front frame with a foot rest.  As a result, if the rider wants to balance or coast they must lift their legs and leave them elevated.  This may become uncomfortable and annoying over time.  Because the seat is adjustable and close to the ground getting on and off the bike is easy especially if a child loses their balance while riding.

The reviews on the Internet are extremely favorable with one reviewer going so far as to say the Rothan is “Bl**dy Brilliant.”  In addition to the bike being well made, many reviewers praised the Rothan for its ability to teach a child how to balance on two wheels before moving on to a bike with a more elaborate braking system and pedals.  Available in several colors and can be passed on to younger children because of the exceptional build quality.

Islabikes: other recommended bikes

 an Islabikes Beinn 24

Beinn 24

Built for an older child (7+) is perfect for the experienced rider who is ready to learn about all that biking has to offer.  Can be used for a kid just wanting to start out mountain biking on small beginner hills or simply to ride around the neighborhood.  The lightweight frame and advanced safety features make it ideal for a growing child to use.  The frame is large enough and the seat is adjustable so that the bike can be grown into.

Cnoc 16

An introductory bike, the Cnoc 16 starts off where the Rothan leaves off with pedals and a braking system.  Because the materials are lightweight and easy to fix, it is the perfect first bike for a child.

Luath 700

Designed for a teenager (13+), the Luath 700 is an excellent bike for anyone interested in getting started in road biking.  Because it does not offer many of the advanced parts and components in bikes for advanced riders, the Luath 700 can be considered a training book for an experienced rider looking to go to the next level.

 an Islabikes luath 700

All of the parts and mechanics are visible, making it easy for the rider to get accustomed to fixing the chain, adjusting the gears and checking the tires

To find out more about Islabikes, go to the Islabikes Webpage


Colin started mountain biking in the early 2000s and has haphazardly, and with barely increasing skill, dragged his bike around the majority of Scotland's trail centres since then. Colin has oodles of hard earned experience in how NOT to do things - listen, be warned and don't repeat his mistakes...   More about Colin... Google+ Colin

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