New Bike For 6 Year Old

daniel_owen_uk Posts: 192
edited December 2009 in Family & kids cycling forum
Right had mucho success last time I came her for advice on the 3 year old's bike (walked away with an islabike CNOC for £65), so I am back after more advice.

Bit more budget this time round.

Has to be girl specific, now I am not saying it has to have bows on it flowers, but as a minimum it needs to be girly colours.

She is fair good on her current bike, I have taken her around places like clumber park (fairly flat), but she struggles on big hill (steel bike and singlespeed doesn't help).

I have seen a reasonable deal on a mongoose rockadile. (£150)

But would love your suggestions on what bike and where to buy (I am good enough with a spanner to build it up).


  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    Both ours started out on a Kettler at 2/3, then both had Scott mountain bikes - very well made, but a bit heavy and too many gears.

    The 9 year old now has a Luath 26 and we'll be getting a Beinn for his younger brother for Christmas. They are just so good and so kid-specific, streets ahead of anything else I've found on the market at sensible prices, I honestly can't see us even looking at another brand now.

    6 years? That would probably be a Beinn 20 then.

    And, no, I don't work for Islabikes ....
  • I think I have just about talked the missus into it (had done before your post).

    I figure as it's not too girly (just pink writting), then the 3 year old can move to it when she is finished with it.

    Just the whole £210 for a kids bike is a bit eye watering. Suppose it lasting two children and keeping a pretty good resale value is comforting though.
  • andrewc3142
    andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    I wouldn't disagree the cost adds up across a couple of kids, given they grow out of them in a couple of years, although in comparison to the various DS's, Wii's and the like ours don't get things kind of even out.

    Unless someone had money to burn, I don't think the Islabike range is worth it for a trip around the park two or three times in the summer. However, my (and it sounds like your) kids get good use from their bikes and now the older is 9 the 20 mile or so ride on the road we do first thing each Sunday morning is important to both of us. Now with clipless pedals and skinny(ish) gatorskins pretty cool as well for the aspiring Contador.
  • Mike Healey
    Mike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Looked after, s/h, Islabikes go like hot cakes.

    I've yet to see any of our kids hankering after something else once they find one in their christmas stocking/birthday parcel.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • AGNI
    AGNI Posts: 140
    Check out ebay and see how much islabikes sell for.

    We got our 6 year old a Beinn 20 this year. His 4 year old brother will have this handed down to him at some stage. After he is done with it, the bike will go on ebay and will fetch at least 60% of its retail price.

    There are not many other kids bikes out there that can sell for the same.

    In our case, cost of bike £220, sell for £130. Cost over 2 kids over 4 years, £90. No brainer.
    Still suffering with wind
  • I would suggest a mongoose rockadile, good cheap bike :D
  • I bought the wee man a Raleigh!! Tradition et al
  • Right a month to go before the big day and I am debating.

    Islabike beinn large


    Gt Scamp (£159)

    Looking at the two, they both have aluminium frames (6061 vs 7005, so probably in favour of the isla).

    Wheels are both aluminium with QR hubs.

    Suspension fork on the GT (debatable if it's a plus)

    Brakes are same

    Shifters and mechs are much of a muchness.

    Tyres are chunkier on the GT.

    Finishing kit are much of a muchness (maybe slightly in favour of the GT because of the QR seatpost clamp, but that is really picking peanuts out of poo).

    Cranks are better on the isla (cartridge bearing vs square taper).

    But is it all really worth the extra £60?

    Any suggestions? Anyone own a scamp?
  • Ordered beinn 20 large yesterday, can't wait for her to get out and ride it :)
  • Both of mine (10 and 8) have graduated to Islabike Beinn's this year (credit-card severely damaged) but they do seem to me to be worth it. They are very well made and (with the exception of the reach adjustment for the brake levers) came very well set up. Both are more enthusiatic cyclists as a result, especially my ten year old daughter who has cracked her first 'arrow on the OS map' hill thanks to the very low bottom gear (32-34). Both covered fifty miles in a week during the school holidays. .
  • My daughter got a benin 20 (didn't do small or large then) when she was 6 - and really enjoyed it. We got her a benin 24 when she was 7 and have just got her a luath 24 road bike (she is now 8). She wore out the cheap 16 inch bike we got her when she was 5 (hadn't heard of isla bikes then) and have just got our 4 year old a cnoc 16 which he whizzes around on, although he did learn to ride on cheap kids bikes (skip and flea market - £5 outlay)

    We have been really pleased with them - she rode her benin 24 in France doing 40 miles each day for 3 days - a cheap kids bike wouldn't be up to this.

    I hope your daughter enjoys it as much as mine has
  • I hope she doesn't grow out of bikes as fast as yours has :O

    That's costly!
  • We did expect the beinn 20 to last longer - but she grew! The beinn 20 we have is smaller than the beinn 20 large so yours should last longer - She is using both beinn 24 and luath 24 - and could have managed without the luath, but she was ready to try the road bike position and she really loves it - we plan to put knobblys on the beinn 24 for off road riding
  • The Beinn 24 tyres are absolutely fine off-road, unless you are doing something very specialist. We've tackled plenty of rough terrain with them.
  • Snelly
    Snelly Posts: 140
    I would suggest a Marin Girls Hidden Canyon. We have the boys one for my son and can't fault it. Really nice.
    Fortes fortuna adiuvat.
  • Looks ok, but;

    it's more money than the isla,
    doubt the front fork will do a deal,
    it's pink so the little boy wouldn't ride it when she was done with it
  • Snelly
    Snelly Posts: 140
    The fork is fine for what it needs to do but I take your point about the girly colour!

    I actually wanted to get one of these:

    Unfortunately they had sold out and the shipping was a bit of a pain. The Marin has been good though. My little boy did 12 miles on it yesterday and he is only 5.
    Fortes fortuna adiuvat.
  • She will take a while to get used to 7 gears nevermind throwing a triple chainring at her (not litterally :P)
  • Got a tenner off, they scrathed the front fork building it, only a 2mm x 1mm mark, tried to push em for £20 but they weren't having it lol

    Being dispatched today for delivery tomorrow.
  • Too late for original poster, but for others looking for alternative suggestions I got my 6 year old a Kona Makena from our local bike shop for £130 (RRP around £180) last year which has been great and he loves. Available in 'boys' or 'girls' colours, although both colours would do either. I thougth it a better deal than the Islabike and advantage of getting it from a lbs.
  • Arrived yesterday, not had chance to put it all together (it's at the mother-in-laws so the birthday girl doesn't see it), but what I did see of it, looks lovely, and it's frighteningly light.

    Not quite sure isla know what a scratch is, the mark on the fork is raised, not sunk (basically something on the fork before it was painted, but it's not bad at all (I wouldn't have returned it, even if they sent it without telling me).

    Can't wait to let her ride it!
  • We bought our son a benin 20 large for his birthday last month. It's excellent. I can't fault it at all. He absolutely loves it. Weighs much less than his previous bike.

    If it lasts him 2 years and he rides it for 2 hours a week on average (expect he'll do much more than this), then it will have cost us £1 an hour - bargain.

    Not to mention being passed on to his sister and any future resale value.
  • How are people talking to kids of this age about gears?

    She will be coming from a single speed.
  • The gears quickly become instinctive.

    The gearing is pretty low anyway so your daughter should be able to pull away quite happily in 3rd on the flat.

    Generally my son will use 2nd uphill, 3rd on the flat and 4th downhill (he hasn't cycled any big hills yet). He does mess around between 1st and 7th as you'd expect.

    The ony difficult bit was getting him to remember to pedal when changing gear - seems to have mastered it now.
  • Snelly
    Snelly Posts: 140
    I agree. My 5 year old picked up how the gears worked on his Marin Hidden Canyon (two cranks at the front too) very quickly. The day after he got it, we were riding uphill near home and he said "Wow Dad, this is really steep - I am switching to my smaller crank." I shan't forget it - it was a lovely moment! :wink:
    Fortes fortuna adiuvat.
  • Sounds like a lovely moment :)

    Thanks for all the advice.
  • One week to go (I am probably more excited than she is).

    Took her out on her Giant Pudon (bike to be replaced) this weekend, she is really ready for the new bike, knees are way too high and she can't pedal fast enough really.

    She has started standing up no the pedals now, which she wasn't doing before, kept trying to get her to do it but she wasn't convinced, seems to have mastered it now mind.

    She said she "really wants a new bike with gears" and she is going to ask write a letter to Santa to ask for one, bless, she has no clue.
  • Took her out for a quick ride over the weekend, bike is lovely, she hasn't fully grasped the gear changing yet, but she did do a few changes (mainly down, to go faster), but all in all good experience, she has no issues riding it at all.

    It's 100% perfect size (which I am happy about).
  • Really pleased to hear she likes it.

    Hope you realise that you have started down a long road of isla bikes - my kids don't particularly know many brands but they get really excited when they see Isla bikes when we are at bike events and can spot one a mile off.
  • Had started before then the three year old has a cnoc :-)