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Isla bikes - would you recommend? Is there a cheaper alternative?

(10 Posts)
Rowlers Fri 01-Mar-13 19:41:10

Thinking of replacing DD's super heavy old bike with shiny new and much better Isla bike but they are (for us) ssssooooooo expensive!
So, have you taken the plunge and invested? Are they really worth it? Is there an alternative which would not cost so much?

UniS Fri 01-Mar-13 19:57:33

We have invested and love Islabikes. have had 3 so far and the 4th is on its way . 1-3 we have bought new, 4 is a second hand purchase.

The first 2 sold secondhand for about half the cost of new. Could have got more for them on e-bay, but sold to families we knew. For number 4 I paid about half the cost of new.

DS likes them, the lightweight bikes mean he is able to cycle faster and longer than many of his peers, so we get a decent days cycling out as a family with out a whiny 6 yr old struggling to keep up or not managing to get up hills. On his 20 inch Beinn DS has done 100 miles in 4 days touring, crossed dartmoor a couple of times, tried mountain biking, forded streams, started bike racing and rides to school regularly.

I am however looking forward to him being tall enough for a 26 inch wheel bike which will give us a bit more choice of manufacturers. And thus more chance of getting a decent bike secondhand.

OP- how old/ tall is your DD?
One more nice thing about Ilsa bikes is that they are not very gendered, any body can ride a red or a grey bike.

Rowlers Fri 01-Mar-13 21:43:46

That's really interesting, thanks.
A friend said the same thing about their DS being able to ride much further without any grumbles.
DD is 9 in 3 weeks and 1.36m tall- about 4 ft 5?ish?
Was wondering about second hand - were you pleased with the second hand purchase?
I suppose we were edging towards buying new with a view to bike eventually being passed on to DS who is 5.
Just wish they didn't cost so much!

Piffpaffpoff Fri 01-Mar-13 21:52:19

We have always had Islabikes for our two and usually manage to resell them for about 75% of the purchase price. The resale value is a huge factor in us choosing them - each bike we've had so far has actually cost us only about £20/£30 per child IYSWIM? They are super-light and we've definitely found that the kids go faster and further on them. 4yo DD did 8.5miles on her new (to her) Beinn 20 last week - she was v pleased with herself.

I think if you can find the cash to buy one, then definitely do it.

Rowlers Fri 01-Mar-13 22:06:47

wow 8.5 miles, that's great. DS is 5 and loves cycling and will ride a long way but his bike is so crappy. That's a really good resale value, maybe that'll be the deciding factor for us, thanks.

loler Fri 01-Mar-13 22:16:20

We've got 3DC and had a variety of bikes - Isla bikes are by far the best. Light and easy to ride, really robust (they look as good 5 years/3dc later as they did new). Expensive but would never buy a different make now!

UniS Sat 02-Mar-13 19:29:10

If your DS already likes cycling, he will love cycling with an Islabike. Ds was hitting 20 mile (flat) days age 5 and has been heard to complain that a ride is not long enough when its "only" a hilly 6 miler.

He moves up to a Beinn 24 next week, he'll be unstopable this summer.

Piffpaffpoff Sat 02-Mar-13 21:40:06

UniS DS moved up to a Beinn 24 at Christmas (thus freeing up the 20 for DD) and I can hardly keep up with him now, he goes like the clappers!!

Rowlers Sun 03-Mar-13 20:30:00

So the meaasge is clearly, that Isla bikes, albeit expensive, are well worth it. It's what I expected but it's good to have the reassurance. Thank you all.

vess Mon 11-Mar-13 10:55:41

Islabikes are lovely, wish we could afford them!

There are alternatives maybe not as great, but it ultimately depends on what you want the bike for and how much are you going to use it.

Ridgeback have some good bikes, Raleigh too. I'm sure there are others, too. For a 9 year old you'd need a youth bike, and I think there's plenty of choice. I would definitely ask her, though, as kids tend to be influenced by trends and what their friends have. DS wanted a mountain bike at age 9, two years later it was all about BMX and now, at nearly 13, is desperate for a racing bike.

We cycle a lot around town, bikes are our main transport - for trips up to about 5-6 miles, usually less. DD1 was fine with a second-hand 20' Raleigh from when she was around 6. Now, at nearly 8, she has outgrown that, so I got her a Peugeot kids' racing bike (from ebay, for around £60) which she really enjoys.

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