First decent pedal bike for a 3yr old+

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  • First decent pedal bike for a 3yr old+
  • hora
    Member

    I know the Islabikes exists but I was looking for other suggestions as well.

    Any suggestions?

    tinsy
    Member

    Hora, honestly, look no further, you tried the balance bike on the cheap & bought twice, just pay the money & get the Isla.

    Ours is brilliant, utterly brilliant.

    Get something cheap of ebay – they’ll outgrow it in no time. waste of money at this age. A bike is a bike to a 3yr old – they have no more of a concept or appreciation of a ‘quality’ bike than they do of the relative benefits of 26″ vs. 27.5″ vs. 29″ – they’ll probably prefer to play with the box it came in anyway. Buy bikes for your kids, not for you. My 3yr old has ridden the crap out of her £20 balance bike and loved every second of it, now she’s got a borrowed pedal bike to play on which now loves and she’ll outgrow in less than a year, then she’s onto hand-me-downs from her sister. She’s more bothered if the bike has a chair for her teddy bear on the back and pink tassles on the end of the bars rather than the ‘quality’ of the bike. If she ever shows a desire to haul the bike to the top of a hill and sending it down a knarly rocky descent with 6′ drops, then I might consider buying her a quality bike – and replace her Disney Princesses helmet for a full facer while i’m at it.

    What was the verdict when you asked the same question a few months back hora?

    I’ll be getting Noel an Islabike probably but it’ll get double the use when we hand it down to Oscar as well.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    I went for an Ridgeback MX12, because the LBS had one, and its well over engineered for a 3 year old, I quite often ride it 🙂

    The ISLA is lighter, but its much more expensive, and you will not always get the money back, my lad has already scratched his to pieces.

    TESCO had some perfectly good ones too for about £50 and they were not too heavy either. OK they might not last as long as an Isla, but hay the child is only going to have it for 2 yrs max ?

    Edit: What Wobli says above

    hora
    Member

    Unfortunately hora jnr will wipe out a decent resale value. For example I caught him trying to ride down three stairs on Sat. It didn’t work out and the bike clattered about abit. In just a year the bike has gained a fair few scars. I’ve regularly left his bike outside overnight in all weathers. Would I do that with an Isla if I had one eye on resale? Would I scold him with the way he rides it?

    I’ll consider a secondhand Isla at a decent price still but not £60 off when I could buy a new one for that that little bit more.

    The ISLA is lighter, but its much more expensive, and you will not always get the money back, my lad has already scratched his to pieces.

    Just seen this which echoes what I’ve experienced so far too^.

    On my first bike for him (Decathlon)- that was utter junk. Not even fit for purpose and was refunded after a weeks use.

    The Strider is a beaut of a balance bike.

    The cheap bikes that I’ve seen, appear to weigh almost as much as my (not very expensive) road bike, and have rubbish brakes. Living in a hilly town in Derbyshire, I think the lightweightness of her current (strider) balance bike makes a massive difference compared to the super-heavy balance bike that some friends have. The balance bike has been to BMX tracks, for 2 mile rides round here, up in ski-lifts in the Alps, loads of places. I think that’s worth the extra £20 that I paid compared to the heavy one which got to the park a few times. Plus the weight is less to carry when you get half way down a 300m descent and she falls asleep on her mum’s shoulder!

    So now she’s ready for a pedal bike I’ve gone for the lightweight but expensive option again.

    tinsy
    Member

    Its your money, its not about bigging the child up, but getting something that’s great, my little lad, is well, little, the bike is light, really light, like he can carry it about no problem out the door & down the steps if I am too slow getting ready.

    On the top of ramps at the skate park he can easily stop with brakes that work first time every time, nothing rubs, nothing creaks, it just works.

    The handlebars are especially cool, smaller diameter bars, smaller grips, levers with just the right reach, the cranks are their own, perfect length for the bike, the pedals too, a small version of a V8 in plastic, Kenda SB8 tyres.

    Did I mention its light?

    The finish is really durable, but a few quids worth of heli tape does the whole bike, yeah it will get bruised its a bike like any other BUT its the best you can get.

    The ISLA is lighter, but its much more expensive, and you will not always get the money back, my lad has already scratched his to pieces.

    But that’s the Ridgeback, I guarantee you the finish is not as durable.

    I do get it, he is 3 its a lot of cash, true he will have fun on anything, that’s not my point, its £200 of that some of will come back.
    E.G, if someone came out with a fork & its reputation said its the best you can buy at £200 you would have already bought them.

    natrix
    Member

    I got a second hand islabike for my son, who’ll hand it down to his sister. Even if I lose £60 on resale that’s still only £30 each child, which I think is money well spent.

    The Deacthlon bikes are a mixed bunch, my daughter has a decathlon balance bike which is great, very light, lots of adjustability, decent brake etc, but some are not so good……

    hora
    Member

    heli tape is a good idea

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Ridgeback.

    geetee1972
    Member

    One that is the correct size.

    Oh wait, hang on……better get one that’s too small 😀

    Premier Icon GHill
    Subscriber

    Frog bikes? About the same price as Isla, but might be worth checking out.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    All three of mine have been through Hotrocks of various wheel sizes (12″ balance version about to be surplus to requirements I think). Worth pointing out I know a Speccy dealer though and get a bit of discount.. but I also know he’ll sort out any issues really quickly.

    They’ve never complained about the weight, the forks, the brakes or the gears (or lack thereof), and are ridden everyday so to be honest I wouldn’t sweat too hard making your mind up. Think about the sheds we’d have cheerfully ridden all day when we were their age.

    hora
    Member

    Think about the sheds we’d have cheerfully ridden all day when we were their age.

    From memory I picked up a Strika not so long ago and was surprised with how heavy it was/is. From my many many happy memories of riding it I travelled many miles often alone on it and not once did I think ‘what a pig’.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I’ve a Specialized hot rock 16 that is surplus to requirements. Though he may find it confusing with regard to enforced gender rolls. Are you comfortable with pinkness?

    Think about the sheds we’d have cheerfully ridden all day when we were their age.

    I couldn’t ride at all till I was something like 5 (and I think that was pretty normal), and I lived somewhere flat. Both those things make a big difference to how important weight is I reckon. The cheap balance bike, the kids we know literally couldn’t pick it up to get on and ride when they first started (at just before 2), whereas the fancy one, even small kids can pick up.

    hora
    Member

    My lad regularly helps fill bags with coal at the pithead in his 12 hour shifts.

    He’ll be reet. 8)

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    My youngest was quickest to switch so far, a few days after 3rd birthday – but he was already a nutcase on a balance bike and had 2 brothers and a couple of 7 year old neighbours to keep up with / inspire him. Daily cycles to school, first in a trailer then on his BB seemed to just make him assume he could ride.

    That, and Haribo, seem to be more important than a few grammes, even quite a few grammes. They all swap bikes (funny watching 7 year olds on a 12″ balance bike, and the 4 year old on a 20″ looks like its a 29er) and just treat them all as different rather than better or worse.

    Wharfedale
    Member

    Got a Ridgeback MX12 here. Well built and a great compromise between the cost of the Isla bike and poorly made cheap bikes.

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Subscriber

    Doesn’t matter which one you buy to be honest, you’ll want to change the frame after a couple of weeks…

    hora
    Member

    No I wont… he ‘buys’ bikes for keeps. His Strider will be kept for him/memories. You can’t do that with a Islabike as you are focused on resale values 8)

    AdamT
    Member

    +1 for Frog bikes. My 8yo has one and loves it. They have a range that goes down to the young-uns too.

    wilko1999
    Member

    I went for a Hotrock, but only because I got it for £35 second-hand off here, and in great nick. It will get used by both our children, so great value really.

    Frog bikes is only £5 cheaper than the islabikes at that size though (£185+10 postage vs £200), and an unknown as to whether you can sell it on afterwards.

    Joe

    Lucas
    Member

    Our Isla bikes Rohan cost £120 new 2.5 years ago. Number 1 son used it a sh!te load for 2 years, number 2 son has used it a sh!te load for 0.5 years (and I expect him to use it for 1.5 more years). So its cost me £30 a year of usage time…….who gives a f*** about the resale vale, £30 is nothing to pay considering the fun we’ve all had out of it. I’m going to keep it forever.

    1 year ago I bought a Cnoc16 for #1’s third birthday. that cost me just over £200 (or 4 nights on the piss). Its been so well used (arguably because of the quality and ease of riding etc etc) that I consider that a very worthwhile investment in our families well being. I don’t care about the resale value of our Isla bikes I care about the fun we’ve had out of them as a family. Maybe we’d have got the same amount of fun out of a cheaper bike, I don’t care we’ve had so much fun out of the ones we’ve got.

    hora – Member
    No I wont… he ‘buys’ bikes for keeps. His Strider will be kept for him/memories. You can’t do that with a Islabike as you are focused on resale values

    So he buys his bikes and keep them forever, just like his….oh no, wait

    Premier Icon BillOddie
    Subscriber

    No I wont… he ‘buys’ bikes for keeps. His Strider will be kept for him/memories. You can’t do that with a Islabike as you are focused on resale values

    DNA test needed…

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    he ‘buys’ bikes for keeps

    Nah, He’ll ‘sell’ it, then forever search for a bike that is the same, long into adulthood despite the frames always being a bit too small.

    hora
    Member

    😆 tarts

    Here he is in action

    The ridgeback weighs 18.5lbs vs 12.5 for the Islabike. If you think about it, if I could drop a third of the weight off my own bike by spending £100, I’d do that as soon as I had the £100. If it is anything like her current bike, it’s also something I am likely to have to carry for significant distances once she gets tired – having carried both heavy and light balance bikes back, there is a real difference, even just back half a mile from the park.

    Maybe I am obsessing needlessly, but with the balance bike, buying a light one meant that it got ridden tons, and that has been great value for the fun. Other kids I know with the same balance bike have all got on with it really well. If the fancy pedal bike lasts a year or two and is used anything like as much as the balance bike, then it’ll have been worth it whatever, ignoring the resale stuff.

    jonathan
    Member

    It’s funny isn’t it? I was recently making the whole “Islabike resale value” argument to a colleague*, but in reality I’d much prefer any bike to have been thrashed to within an inch of its life rather than carefully molly coddled for fear of damaging the resale value. I’m not saying this is what happens, but it must effect the attitude kids have to their bike if they think you’re looking over their shoulder and worrying about it getting scratched. Once they’ve got a few scratches you no longer care too much and they have the freedom to ride them however and whenever they like. Our Cnoc14 is on its second rider and is scratched to bits and on its third set of tyres, but is thoroughly loved by both pilots, past and present. I doubt I could bring myself to sell it when the time comes. And if you’re not planning to sell it do you really want something that will just remind you that maybe you could have got something better 😉

    Obviously all bikes are great etc, but there are really good reasons why Islabikes are better than most other kids bikes. Having regularly trawled what’s on offer it’s one area of bikes that you really do get just what you pay for I think.

    * Now the very happy parent of a Cnoc16 owner, but cursing the fickle nature of children. Having gone through 2 previous cheap bikes and struggled to get son even interested in riding, on being present with the Isla he has promptly fallen in love with it and riding 🙂

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