Advanced search

What is the smallest children's bike you can get that has gears?

(12 Posts)
DownInTheJungle Thu 12-Aug-10 14:41:03

I am looking for DD(5) who loves cycling and really needs a 'proper' bike now - she can easily go for 8 mile rides shock and just loves it smile.

I can't find anything with gears that has smaller wheels that 20inches. She really needs a 16inch or 18 at a push. Any ideas?

Will she really need to wait two years or so before she can have a proper bike?

JeffVadar Thu 12-Aug-10 15:12:37

Islabikes do this one with 20" wheels on a 10" frame which they say is for a minimum inside leg measurement of 46cm, height 110cm, age 5+.

I can recommend Islabikes, DS has the Luath. If you keep them nicely you can sell them very easily secondhand, and for good money.

ivykaty44 Thu 12-Aug-10 15:16:03

I managed to get a scot - for dd1 when she was 6 years old - but she had a 20" inside leg from groin to floor thoguh this was 12 years ago and it was nearly £200 so a xmas pressie

how long is your dd inside leg? as 5 years olds don't come as standard grin

ivykaty44 Thu 12-Aug-10 15:19:28


Look at the seat post angle and how far down it will go...

If the seat post is to long and will nto go down as far as you want - see if you can get it cut so it will go further down

basildonbond Thu 12-Aug-10 23:03:51

dd has had several islabikes, starting with the cnoc 16" when she was nearly 4, moving onto the Beinn 20" when she was 5 and a half, and she's now inherited her brother's Beinn 24" (she's 7)

I can thoroughly recommend them - they are brilliantly easy for kids to ride and everything's just the right size and pressure to make it comfortable

Isla is very helpful if you need advice, but a good start would be measuring her inside leg - get her to put a book in between her legs and measure from the top of the book to the floor

ragged Fri 13-Aug-10 09:37:20

Gears are a waste of time on small bikes, imvho, very few children manage to use them sensibly before the age of 8 or 9. They just don't get how to do it, and the gears end up being unnecessary weight and mud-catchers.

(Suspension on little kid bikes is worse, mind, that really is a waste of weight/money/space.)

Islabikes: I'd recommend a Cnoc 16-- DS (just 6yo, very avg height for his age) he has done many 4-12 mile rides on it. He can ride a Beinn 20, but the Cnoc is lighter (1.1 kg makes a difference at this age), and is just right size and will be for another year or so. The Cnoc has a footbrake which is ideal for kids, I just wish the Cnoc or something similar came in a 20" wheel version, really.

DownInTheJungle Fri 13-Aug-10 15:32:48

Thanks for all your ideas. I like the Islabikes, just a bit shock at the prices! The fact they are designed for small people, not just scaled down sounds great.

DS was using gears fine at age 6, but he was much taller than DD, so had a 20" bike. DD is only 110cm (not sure of her inside leg, but will measure), so is at my reckoning, about 2 (or even 3) years off being tall enough for his old bike... Hmm!

ragged Fri 13-Aug-10 15:42:35

Islabikes runs a trade-in scheme so effectively you'd get something back for you money, also they sell like hot-cakes 2nd hand. The main worry is that our kids will trash them given half a chance or it could get nicked.

All of the quality bikes are similar prices, I'm afraid.

You could scan around local shops and see what you could get instead, specialised do a small relatively lightweight bike for a fair whack less. See how light a bike you can get for your money locally.

SwissMom Mon 17-Apr-17 22:59:17

Same question seven years later:

We recently did some 14 to 16 km tours with our three kids. The youngest turns four next month and is keeping up quite well.

But now his "wethepeople prime" is too small (inside leg 43cm) and he's on his sisters heavy one-geared 16'' Pegasus bike.

Is there any geared lightweight bike for a reasonable prize out there?

Greetings from Switzerland (Emmental)

Mumski45 Mon 17-Apr-17 23:13:50

Even seven years later I would say same answer. Look at Islabikes however with an inside leg of 43cm you would be looking at a cnoc 16 and not a Beinn 20. You can get good bikes secondhand on eBay or FB selling pages if the price is a bit steep.

SwissMom Tue 18-Apr-17 14:35:31

Wow, thank you so much for your fast reply!

The Cnoc would definitely be great for flat terrain so that he hasn't to pedal so much.

But what about steep sections? We have to cross so many "real" hills around here and I always feel pity for him whenever I choose a lower gear.

Mumski45 Tue 18-Apr-17 14:46:21


I think the problem with gears for such young children is that they don't really learn how to use them properly until they are older. My DS (9) is on a Beinn 24 and I still need to remind him when to change up or down. on a recent holiday he was given a specialised hot rock with front and rear derailleurs and he found it too confusing so decided to stay in the middle chainring and only change the ones at the back.

The Islabikes solution is a good quality light bike that he can manage himself without having to think about it too much.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: