Just In: Islabike Beinn 24

A high-quality bike for children that'll be delivered in time for Christmas

by Mat Brett   November 29, 2012  

If you want to get your child a good bike for Christmas – or at any other time of year, come to that – you have to consider an Islabike. We don’t know anyone who has regretted buying one.

Most kids’ bikes really ain’t much cop. They’re heavy, the brakes aren’t very good, they’re… well, they’re just a bit disappointing. Islabikes might be more expensive than most children’s bikes but they’re also much, much better. Plus, when it’s time to sell it on, you can get a decent price for the bike as long, as it’s still in reasonable nick. Islabikes will even buy it back if you buy a larger one.

The Beinn 24 is built around a 7005 T6 aluminium frame – like many, many adults’ bikes – with a cromo steel fork. The components fitted are child specific, so you get brake levers that little hands can reach easily, for example. They’re linked up to linear pull brakes (V-brakes by another name) rather than the usual stiff calliper brakes that you get on most kids’ bikes.

The 24in wheels use box section rims so they should be strong enough, and there are some meaty Kenda tyres on there that look like they’ll last. Quick releases make sorting out punctures a whole lot easier, and save time if you want to whip the wheels off to sling the bike in the boot. Islabikes spec them on all bikes with wheels of 20in or larger.

The Beinn 24 comes fitted with a SRAM X4 8-speed derailleur gear system that gives a wide ratio range (it’s an 11-32T cassette). We all know how children can struggle on the hills and that can put them off cycling. Remember? It used to be really difficult. Maybe it still is.

The SRAM 3.0 Comp twist grip shifter is really easy to operate. There’s just the one chainring up front; Islabikes reckon that children can find multiple chainrings difficult to understand. Plus, going with just a single (32 tooth) chainring saves weight and makes maintenance easier.

Islabikes do the details well too. You get eyelets for mudguards and a rack, for example, the saddle is a reasonable size rather than something borrowed from a tractor, and many of the bearings are sealed to keep maintenance to a minimum. Oh, and the Beinn 24 is available in three different colours. As well as this hot pink version it comes in chili red and aquamarine blue.

Our review bike weighed in at a highly reasonable 8.6kg (18.9lb). In this size it’s aimed at children aged 7+, although it also comes in 20in and 26in wheeled models – a small and large version of each. There are even adult versions too. Islabikes have a size chart that’ll help you pick the right one. 

The price? It’s £349.99. Now we just need to check the EU regulations on child labour and get a small person on board to do the reviewing.

Order from Islabikes and delivery will usually be made within seven days. Check out the full range at www.islabikes.co.uk.

14 user comments

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Superb kids bikes. The majority of the kids racing in the Central League cyclocross are on Islabikes.

posted by chrismday [43 posts]
29th November 2012 - 13:13

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Indeed Brilliant bikes, got one of these already & santa is bring two more this year! I'm almost as exicted as the kids as the eldest is getting his first drop bar bike! They truly are well built for kids and worth the extra intial expense. The resale prices on ebay aren't that far of the inital cost, you'll lose a lot less on these than the average kids bike.

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

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posted by Coodsta [94 posts]
29th November 2012 - 14:08

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We're huge fans of Islabikes in our house.

Coodsta is spot on. And even with the recent price rise, the Beinn isn't much more than the Hotrock and MX24. Both these otherwise good bikes are considerably heavier (ca.4kg more) and poorly designed & specced next to the Beinn. You really do get what you pay for.

Expensive? Not compared to iPhones, consoles and a load of other overrated, overpriced gizmos you could buy for the money.

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posted by Simon E [1730 posts]
29th November 2012 - 15:00

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I have a soft spot for Islabikes having had one of her trailerbikes 20 years ago which was well made and great fun and created a bond between me and my children. I'm glad her priciples are still going strong.

New Forester

posted by Forester [68 posts]
29th November 2012 - 16:19

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our first cnoc14 ended up costing me 30quid, that was 2 kids over 2 years. bargain in my book.

didnt think twice about getting a cnoc16 and Beinn20 last year.

posted by mrchrispy [259 posts]
29th November 2012 - 16:31

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My youngest son has had an Islabike Luath for a few years now and still loves it ... rides like a dream (he has just nodded sagely from over my shoulder) and he would recommend it to anyone. They are definitely Cool

Cycling - not just a pastime or sport - free your soul on the open road.

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posted by timbola [199 posts]
29th November 2012 - 16:51

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My Son is getting a Beinn for Christmas. Nice to hear the good reviews on here. Can't wait!!! Smile Smile Smile

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posted by mingmong [172 posts]
29th November 2012 - 17:54

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Cracking bikes. Keep their value well too.

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posted by CycCoSi [20 posts]
29th November 2012 - 20:26

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Luath 24 stashed at Grandma's ready for Christmas. I was genuinely jealous, I want a new bike......

posted by Ting [51 posts]
29th November 2012 - 20:50

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my youngest has one of these and loves it .... to the point
of wanting to go out in the rain !!!

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [556 posts]
29th November 2012 - 21:56

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mingmong wrote:
My Son is getting a Beinn for Christmas. Nice to hear the good reviews on here. Can't wait!!! Smile Smile Smile

So's mine - it's sat in the garage at the moment with a sheet over it!

posted by Chris James [99 posts]
30th November 2012 - 9:08

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Chris James wrote:
it's sat in the garage at the moment with a sheet over it!

How can you wait another month??! That's a particularly masochistic form of torture. I think I'd cave in and say "Have your present early and let's go riding."

Last night's road.cc tweet linking to this article is on the button:
"Not just any kids bike pretty much THE kids' bike by which all others are judged.
Yep, they set the bar pretty high.
Cool

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posted by Simon E [1730 posts]
30th November 2012 - 10:55

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Islabikes Beinns served my daughters well in riding through England and Europe for 6 months last year. Well built, superbly finished with racks and mudguards fitted, they gave thousands of kilometres of untroubled joy.

We were able to sell our youngest's at the end of the trip for not much less than what we bought it for.

www.4bikes1tent.org

posted by django69 [1 posts]
1st December 2012 - 4:40

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as others have said, these are fabulous bikes. fit is just right and most important the weight and sizing of the bikes make riding a joy for us. now on our 3rd bike a beinn 24 as reviewed which he adores. cannot recommend them highly enough!

Soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur, happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr purr purr

posted by Izaak30 [63 posts]
14th January 2013 - 18:00

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