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evans and specialized Hotrock 16

gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
edited December 2008 in Family & kids cycling forum
(I posted this in the road-beginners section for the good service from Evans - but actually it might be of interest here too as it concerned me about the brakes on the Hotrock 16)

Just thought i'd mention some good service from Evans which I received today - they often get knocked so thought i should post about my positive experience.

I bought a specialized hotrock 16 kids bike for my 5yr old daughter from evans online before xmas. She has a hotrock 12 which she has learned on and recently taken to riding without stabilisers (which I was very very proud of!) so I looked for a 16" wheel bike for her - it came down to 3 - the spesh hotrock, the ridgeback melody and the islabikes 16" - I went for the hotrock as I am a keen specialized fan and she has the 12" already and also we were buying my youngest a "hotwalk" balance bike.

anyway - of the three it is the only one with a caliper brake (and a coaster brake on the back) where the others were V-brakes.

basically the brakes were awful - she simply couldn't stop the bike and would waver about and try putting her feet down before hitting something - like my car in the driveway - which she got shouted at as I was sure she wasn't using the brakes. and then I tried pushing the bike forward with the lever pulled as tight as I could the wheel would still turn so a five year old girl had no chance of stopping this thing! (and I felt very guilty for shouting at her)

So I rang the evans at the trafford centre (well the chill factor ski slope) and spoke to a guy called Tom who said `i should come down and they would see what they could do and if they couldn't fix it up then they would accept it back at the store.

anyway - he was very knowledgable and helpful and had the mechanic check things over whidh didn't help that much - he suggested some soft compound pads and even found a shimano deep drop brake caliper ( dual diff type - for a roadbike) and offered to get the mechanic to fit it - although it didn't actually end up going on due to the clearance required.

so we ended up getting a refund and now my daughters is gutted but it is the right thing to do - she would never have had any confidence in a bike which she couldn't stop! And I couldn't have let her out of the house knowing she is likely to hit something so it had to go back. Very helpfull staff though and i was really pleased at the time they took to try and sort us out.

so now it looks like the islabike for her although the paint job is rather uninspiring and it will take a while - I could get a ridgeback from my LBS in St. Annes - anyone any thoughts on these or others?


  • My 6 and a half year old has had the small beinn 20" from Islabike for a year. He went straight from a 12" wheel to that. Islabike have some good details on their website to allow you to size them correctly. I can't fault the bike and the brakes are excellent. My 4 soon to turn 5 year old had a GT 16" BMX. It is a cracking bike and even though it has caliper brakes they are excellent. Comparing it with the 16" Islabike which one of his friends has, it is heavier but the finishing kit seems a bit more robust.
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Islabikes, Islabikes, Islabikes. Best designed, proportioned, built, accessoried on the market.

    Paint job uninspired? Tut, tut, shurely you mean understated.

    Will be lighter, easier to ride, easier to brake :wink: and have a better resale value.

    4yr. olds upwards had them from Santa and brought them to t' club last Sat and are absolutely delighted with them, viz:

    "I can go faster!"

    "I can steer better"

    "I can stop more easier"

    "I learned to ride one-handed on Christmas Day!"

    Etc., etc.

    By the way, did I mention Islabikes?

    No commission, no relation, no unreasoning bias.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • gkerr4gkerr4 Posts: 3,408
    just to conclude this little tale...

    I called Islabikes this morning and managed to make an appointment to try a bike out this afternoon so my 5yr old daughter and I took a blast down to wolverhampton and tried one out!

    the result - she is now the owner of an Islabike Cnoc 16!

    She loved it! - from the first little taster in the car-park - as soon as she realised that the brakes work - that was it, she just wanted to ride it!

    so the deal was done and i have only just managed to get her off it to take her to bed - she is looking forward to a trip to the prom tomorrow to get some riding practice in!

    very impressed with the service from islabikes. Lovely on the phone, very helpful when we got there and so nice in setting the bike up for my daughter. very pleased!

    the bike is excellent - head and shoulders above the specialized in terms of design and build quality. the bearings, crankset and headset all have a lovely feel about them - so smooth and solid feeling - much more like the feel of adult bike quality components.
    you can see the thought that has gone into the design and selection of components on the bike - the thinner grips, the small brake levers - all great stuff! - very impressed!
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Ah, I did mention Islabikes.

    Now contact Blackpool Youth cycle Association Go-Ride club secretary on

    [email protected] and see if they do stuff for kids her age.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
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