Islabikes Rothan

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When you find that nearly everyone you meet is doing a double-take at your new purchase you know it’s either because you’ve bought something quite stupid, or you’ve chosen one of those products that attracts attention for all the right reasons.

islabikesrothan

Islabikes Rothan
Price: £74.99
From: Islabikes 01746 710835 www.islabikes.co.uk
Tested: Time flies when you’re having fun

When you find that nearly everyone you meet is doing a double-take at your new purchase you know it’s either because you’ve bought something quite stupid, or you’ve chosen one of those products that attracts attention for all the right reasons.

The Islabikes’ Rothan fits securely into the latter category. Making a tiny pedal-less bike for toddlers isn’t a new idea, but the Rothan is a particularly well thought through and executed example. It’s light (7005 T6), strong (grown men who should know better have ridden it down hills), has small bars and grips, a comfy saddle, decent light wheels with Presta-valved tubes and, most of all, it looks like a proper bike. This is very important for a bike-obsessed two-year-old and the main reason for those double takes; “There’s a child riding a bike… hold on, he’s tiny! That bike’s tiny! And there are no stabilisers!”

It took a very short time for everything to ‘click’ and this bike has been ridden solo very enthusiastically from 2nd birthday onwards. Now we just run to keep up with instructions on slowing down. Saddle height adjustment is important for the sprouting toddler. It needs to be high enough to not be cramped but low enough to get a nice long pushing stride. The Rothan’s saddle has an impressive range and one of the reasons we chose it over its competitors.

One of the disadvantages of getting good two-wheeled stability early is that the keen young rider does discover equipment limits fairly quickly but will still be too small for the next step with pedals and levers. A brake might be nice now and some knobblier rubber might have saved a few recent tumbles on loose surfaces but 12in wheels will always have their grip limits and the standard easy rolling cut slicks certainly seem to take the effort out of pushing along.

Overall: The Rothan gives little people the simple joy of just riding a bike.
Jonny Bateman

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