We are a cycling family!
When my wife and I first found out we were having a baby, my mind immediately starting running through ideas of how we were going to keep riding our bikes. Three years later and my little girl is now riding her own bike! That’s right, at three years old; she is riding a pedal bike without training wheels.
So to say that we take our cycling gear seriously is a drastic understatement. Our bikes are prize possessions that take us on all kinds of varying adventures. When our daughter was just able to walk, we presented her with a push/balance bike. Our little dare devil spent about two years off and on with the push bike, and within the last six months REALLY started enjoying it. She started rolling around on local pump tracks with it and taking it to the park on every trip that she could. To us, it was obvious that her balance was more than sufficient to step up to a pedal bike, but what brand?
As I stated earlier, we are SERIOUS about our bikes. So when I started shopping for my daughter’s first bike, I spent a ton of hours both at local bike stores and online reviewing what makes a good kids bike.
What I found out after hours of reading was that the fit of the bike is just as important to our little riders as it is to us.
So getting a bike that has the proper balanced geometry is critical. What this means is that the bike isn’t just shrunk, it’s appropriately sized to allow our kids the ability to balance and properly pedal. I had all but made my final decision to purchase an Isla CNOC 14 when a buddy of mine who works at a bike store called me randomly and started raving about how well built these Isla bikes were. That was all it took for us. We contacted Isla and ordered up a bike for Christmas delivery.
The ordering process was very simple. We went over a few questions regarding our daughter’s height and inseam to make sure the sizing would work and we were off and running. We added the fenders to the order because #1 they look awesome and #2 they are nice for keeping the water down during snow melt here in the Denver area.
The fenders lead me into my first compliment for this bike. How many kids bikes do you know that are well designed enough to actually have quality fenders as an option? These fenders are both functional and stylish. They immediately make you realize how well thought out this bike is. The fenders are firmly attached and hug the tires just enough to stay out of the way during the inevitable crash.
Another feature that we’ve been impressed with is the braking system. The Isla CNOC 14 has both a rear coaster brake and a hand front brake. Initially I thought it would be a while before our daughter figured out how to use the handbrake, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within a couple of rides around a parking lot she had figured out how useful the front brake was for slowing down and getting her feet on the ground before stopping. The brakes are smooth and function very well. I anticipate that maintaining them will be a breeze.
The folks at Isla have been making bikes long enough now to have come up with some really creative safety features for first time riders. One of these features we liked was the enclosed chain guard. The free-floating chain guard keeps our little girl from finding a way to get her clothes, hands, hair, socks or any other items that don’t belong wedged into the chain. For a parent, this is incredibly comforting and helps you focus on teaching your child to ride the bike vs not damaging themselves.
Finally I would say that the adjustability of the bike is very well thought out.
The seat can be lowered significantly and the handlebars can be moved around to accommodate all different sizes of munchkins. It’s nice to know that this bike will be able to grow with her for a little while.
Our experience with Isla bikes has been superior to all expectations. They are producing well-built kids bikes that have quality components and are built with tough falls and learning in mind. Our little girl is riding a pedal bike at three years old! She is totally enjoying the experience and we are excited to have found her a bike of this caliber to learn on. Thanks Isla bikes for making an amazing bike for our little cyclist.