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Big bike for a 3 year old

62 replies

Chefwifelife · 28/04/2020 06:36

Our son is 3 at the end of July and an absolute whizz on his balance bike. Looking for recommendations for his next bike. Do you just skip stabilisers if they’re mastered a balance bike? He’s on 25th percentile height wise.

Many thanks in advance

OP posts:
Chefwifelife · 28/04/2020 08:18

@BikeRunSki I’ll have a really good look at the website and give them a call. We’re over 2.5 hours from Shrewsbury. In your opinion would you go second hand or new? Any experience of the bike club scheme?

OP posts:
BikeRunSki · 28/04/2020 08:22

@Chefwifelife - it’s a bit of a gamble, but a lot less than with other bikes. Islabikes are designed to last forever, so if you can get a Preloved one that has been well Looked after, you’re golden. If it needs a service, or new tyres, these things could add up a fair bit. It’s worth remembering that Isla’s warranty only goes with the original owner.

ishouldtryabiteachday · 28/04/2020 08:25

Out of interest how much would you say is a reasonable price for a second hand kids Isla for a 3 year old ?

BikeRunSki · 28/04/2020 09:01

@ishouldtryabiteachday - they often sell up to about £50-75 less than new price if they are in great condition and a current colour/decals.

Equimum · 28/04/2020 09:07

Another one coming on to say Islabike. We were given a Raleigh for our eldest to learn on, and at 6, he could ride, but was still quite wobbly. Got him an Islabike for Christmas and he confidently rode 5 miles in Boxing Day. We bought our 4 year a CNOC 14 at the same time and he is doing brilliantly.

Definitely look second hand. There are groups on FB, but we found it was cheaper to make offers on eBay. We got a CNOC14L with only a few minor scratches for £130 in November.

Nanalisa60 · 28/04/2020 09:10

Look at Ridgeback bikes they are not heavy like the bikes you get at Halfords,

You often get them on Gumtree second hand, look on the ridgeback site and you will find out the size and name of the bike you need.

Bloomburger · 28/04/2020 09:27

We got DD a Wiggins bike, you can buy them in Halfords, it's made like and Isla bike so ergonomically designed for a small body rather than an adult bike sized down. They aren't as expensive as Isla bikes.

The one tip that helps so much when teaching small children to ride a bike is to keep stiff arms. They have a tendency to bend their elbows which makes them wobble all over the place.

TrophyCat · 28/04/2020 09:39

Another one coming on to say islabike - there is a pre-owned islabike group on Facebook or check eBay.

We bought my son a cnoc 14 when he was 3, took off the pedals and let him balance bike along for a few weeks so he could get used to the bigger bike and the hand brakes, then put the pedals on and he just cycled off.

My husband thought I was insane for spending £200 on a second hand kids bike, but DS rode it every day for 2 years and I then sold it on for £150. And used that £150 to go towards his next second hand islabike.

INeedNewShoes · 28/04/2020 10:19

As I mentioned, you really need to measure the inside leg.

DD is 92cm tall but inside leg only 35cm. Poor DD seems to have inherited my short stocky legs!

BikeRunSki · 28/04/2020 11:21

@INeedNewShoes- the smallest Islabike Cnoc should fit her.

BikeRunSki · 28/04/2020 11:25

.... also, one thing that Islabike accoubrfot isn’t that children generally grow mostly I. The back until they are 8 ish, then their legs grow more. They have looked into the body proportions of kids compared to adults and designed their franes accordingly.

BeautifulCherryBlossom · 28/04/2020 12:59

We also got a wiggins bike as a PP recommended. Cheaper than frog and Isla but still lightweight. It's the weight (or lack of) which is key IMO and why these bikes are expensive. Decent frame but just smaller.

The only downside of the smallest wiggins bike is lack of gears. I don't know if a 3 year old could master gears though?

ishouldtryabiteachday · 28/04/2020 15:11

I've obviously been in a cupboard all my life. I cannot believe how expensive these all are, even second hand.

My DS has a second hand rubbish bike we were given for freeSmile But he is struggling to pedal it despite having really strong legs for a nearly 4 year old. He didn't get on the balance bike from Smyths.

What's my cheapest option for something lightweight ?

BeautifulCherryBlossom · 28/04/2020 19:27

@ishouldtryabiteachday I agree, they are crazy prices but if you enjoy cycling as a family it's really worth it to get the children enjoying cycling and able to do it well. You might get lucky on a local selling site.

DH is a bit of a bike enthusiast so he enjoys spending £££ on the children's bikes. However we have 3 DC and hand them down to each so cost per ride isn't that much. And we do enjoy a good bike ride.

BeautifulCherryBlossom · 28/04/2020 19:37


realised I didn't offer any advice! 16" wheels should be good for a 4 year old. Take a look on eBay at the wiggins bikes. This is the one DS learnt on. He now uses a 20" age 7.

They seem to go for around £100 second hand . £220 new at Halfords.

pennysays · 28/04/2020 19:43

We're in the same position. He's graduating from a frog balance bike which we loved to a frog 38 which he'll get on his 3rd birthday. We're skipping stabilisers.

CheriLittlebottom · 28/04/2020 20:08

Definitely go sit on some if you can. DD was 5 and a half when she got her Wild bike, she needed the 20in wheel size as she's tall and long legged.

00100001 · 28/04/2020 20:12

Room bikes are also excellent. But very difficult to get second hand in UK, as they're new here.

Possibly better than islabikes.

However, YY to islabikes 👍👍

00100001 · 28/04/2020 20:12

Woom, not Room!

CheriLittlebottom · 28/04/2020 20:15

Obviously, after lockdown for sitting on bikes! Oops. If you're planning on getting it sooner measure inside leg and consult websites for size guides.

Mumoftwoyoungkids · 28/04/2020 20:21

Agree a 14 inch cnoc Islabike.

We got ds once when he was just over 3. He was also a whizz on his balance bike. Dh picked it up one morning and in the afternoon I took dd to a friend’s birthday party. As I left dh said “While your gone I’ll have a go with ds and the bike and see if we can get the saddle the right height etc”.

Two hours later I got back from the party and a small boy whizzed last me pedalling his new bike with a very red faced dh in pursuit! By the time he turned 4 he had done a 20 mile ride with us on his (very tiny) bike.

Dd (10) also has an Islabike and races on it.

BikeRunSki · 28/04/2020 21:35

Bike shops are still open....

CheriLittlebottom · 28/04/2020 22:11

Oh yeah, so they are! Being stupid, sorry.

Chefwifelife · 08/05/2020 07:24

So my husband has looked at all the suggestions and we’ve narrowed it down to the Woom 2 or the Isla croc 14 small.

Any help on making the final decision?

OP posts:
blondie87 · 08/05/2020 07:29

If they are competent on a balance bike, don’t bother with stabilisers! We went from an Isla balance bike to an Isla bike and DS was riding it within 10 minutes of getting it out the box!

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