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"Shop early for kids bikes," says UK bike brand... but is it too late for Christmas already?

It’s not just adult-sized bikes that are being hit by the bike shortage. Don’t miss out on getting the perfect bike for your child this Christmas by shopping too late, and check out our recommendations

Parents looking to gift their child a bike this Christmas are being urged to buy now to secure one and avoid disappointment on Christmas day. Leading brands including Isla Bikes are already largely out of stock, with bikes only available on pre-order for delivery by 31st January 2022. 

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Don’t expect to walk into your local bike shop and pick up a bike for your kid in the days before Christmas. It’s an approach that may have ended in disappointment previously; and this year, it’s an even bigger risk. 

Bike shortages have been a massive issue this year due to the supply chain being severely disrupted by Covid-19, at the same time that demand has rocketed with people wanting to ride both for exercise and transport. 

> When will Britain’s bike shortage end? “God only knows,” says industry insiders

Online bicycle retailer Bobbin Bikes has seen sales soar in the lead up to Christmas, and has warned parents against leaving it too late to secure a kids bike as a present this year. 

A spokesperson from Bobbin Bikes said: “A bike is a traditional gift to give at Christmas, especially for children who grow out of them so quickly. The current shortages across the sector do mean if you want to gift a bike, then you need to shop early rather than leave it to the last minute.

“The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns lead to an unprecedented demand for bikes in the UK and the sector is still struggling to meet demand. That coupled with restrictions and shortages of materials in manufacturing and issues with shipping and delivery all exacerbate the problem.

“Hopefully things will begin to ease in 2022, although experts are predicting the shortages will continue in some form.”

“Like other companies we’ll be working hard to ensure we do all we can to meet demand particularly at such a special time of the year.”

Are there any kids bikes currently available? 

If you’re only starting to look now, is there any chance at all? Looking online, if you’re a parent you’ll be relieved to know there are definitely still some present-worthy options available; although bikes from leading brands including Isla Bikes are already few and far between.

> 16 of the best kids' bikes - we take a look at everything from balance bikes to junior superbikes 

Some good news first: Decathlon has a sale with up to 30% off, plus free delivery on selected kid’s bikes across Btwin’s range for all ages, including:

Check out other options at Decathlon here.  

Decathlon kids bike sale.JPG

Despite being the ones giving warning, Bobbin Bikes also currently has availability on its kids bikes, with the following bikes in stock, for example:  

Looking to really spoil your child this Christmas? At the premium end of things, you can still get hold of Specialized’s ultra-fancy Hotwalk Kids Carbon Balance Bike for just shy of one grand. It has a lightweight Fact 9r carbon frame and carbon wheels, as well as grips that are 38% smaller for better grip for little hands.

Specialized Hotwalk Carbon-4

However, at Isla Bikes for example, there’s not much currently in stock or expected to arrive in time for Christmas. Things are looking okay at the moment for the balance bikes; the Rothan 12 Age 2+ (£199.99) is available in Teal and so is the Rothan 14 Age 3 +, which is also in stock in orange. 

But, for three to five year olds, Isla Bikes only has one starter bike currently available, the Cnoc 14 Large Age 3+ in orange - the rest are either sold out or only available on pre-order for delivery by 31st Jan 2022.

> Review: Islabikes Beinn 24

The same applies to Isla’s multi-purpose range (for five up to 9+); all except the Beinn Age 9+ (£599.99) XS are either sold out or not expected to arrive for opening up on Christmas day. 

Is the kids bike you were hoping to buy your child for Christmas still in stock?

Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.

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