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Suggestions for a 6 year old girl's first geared bike.

DirkgentlyDirkgently Posts: 14
edited November 2013 in Family & kids cycling forum
Hi all, after great advice to my last post a few months ago regarding which hybrid/MTB to get myself I thought I'd ask a similar question on behalf of my daughter. She is six and a half years old and slightly above average height for her age. At present she has a 18" wheel bike - an Apollo Woodland Charm from Halfords. She is getting to the point where she is riding that confidently and I think the next logical step would be to look for a 20" wheel bike as most of these seem to come with some form of gears.
The favorites at the moment are The Carrera Luna (from Halfords) or the Ridgeback Harmony (from Evans).
Does anyone have any comments about either of these bikes or possible alternatives please?
My one concern is that her friend has just got a second hand bike with a grip-twist gear system (I don't know which make/model) and doesn't have the strength in her hands to actually change gear on the move. She as to stop, change up/down 1 gear with both hands and then let the gears engage as she pedals away.

Thanks in advance.


  • Hi,

    My son has an Islabikes Beinn 20 Large - he is 7 now and had it for a year. He will be 8 in January and I will be looking to get him something like the beinn 26 small then.

    You will no doubt have read the forum and seen the great reviews for Islabikes and its the only bike I would look to buy.

    A key driver for me was the resale value so although its more up front you make up for it when you come to sell.

    Good luck.
  • Are there any outlets that sell Islabikes? I would like to look at one in the flesh before I'd really consider ordering one. I have searched the web and the reviews are all very positive however.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,453
    Islabikes are only available new from them direct, or second hand normally ebay. They are pretty much the best, new arrival to consider is frogbikes lighter than halfords stuff
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • While all 3 of mine have Islabikes, I was in the LBS at the weekends and they are now stocking Frogbikes. Having had a quick look, they look to be slightly lower spec than Islabikes and lower price too: the equivalent of the Beinn 20 small that I bought for my youngest for £299 in the spring is £250 but bears comparison with the Islabike. Especially if you want to be able to go and take a look before splashing the cash, they could be worth looking at...


  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    It's not my money so I say go with Islabikes, tho' Frog have had some good reviews. whatever you get, please, please, please, don't get one with any form of suspension
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • what about the resale value of the Frogs - is it a false economy?
  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    what about the resale value of the Frogs - is it a false economy?

    A bit soon to say, (probably). I suspect the net cost per year, taking the current Islabike s/hand premium into account, will be slightly higher, but you never know.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,453
    Frogbikes have had a bit of a spread in one of the cycling mags either active or plus cant remember which this month. Something to do with a Pudsey children in need theme i think. Had a decent write up sometime ago following a review in one of the above magazines as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • My 7 yo got the Carrera Blast 20" for his 5th birthday, I changed the twist shifter for a SRAM trigger shifter within the first 2 weeks and he has had no problems since, the Luna is just the girls version of the Blast and for the money I don't think you can fault it.
    Carrera Fury for the muddy stuff
    Boardman Road Team for the black stuff
    PDQ for the TT stuff
  • Islabike! We have two now and the resale value on them is great. You can get cheeper but still good bikes but the do not resale as well as Islabike so if you have the money buy one and you will benefit when you sell it on.
  • othelloothello Posts: 577
    Both my son and daughter have had 24" Specialized Hotrocks (A1 frame version) which are great bikes. They sit just below the Islabikes in terms of weight and resale, but we wanted a more 'chinky' style MTB than the Benin. Both our two do have Islabike Luath's so I can vouch how good their bikes are.

    On both of the Hotrocks I changed the grip shift for thumb shifters. A cheap change and made a big difference to how they used the bikes.
    Blogging about junior road bikes
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 1,010
    Snap, my daughter got a beinn 20 small for her 6th birthday - and absolutely loves it. It's her 3rd isla, and her next will be an isla too. I reckon I've lost £100 in 6 years cycling on the bikes - resale is excellent.

    We drove a couple of hours to test the CNOC when we got her that - worth a visit, but make an appt.
    Insert bike here:
  • 100% go for an Islabike. You can make an appointment and go and get fitted for one at their base in Ludlow. We did just that as I wanted to make sure the hype was justified and I really wanted my daughter to enjoy her cycling and make it central to encouraging her to have a healthy lifestyle in the future so that cycling and exercise are second nature. It was really important to me, so we made the 6 hour round trip and made a day out of it - my daughter's health and enjoyment of cycling was easily worth a day out and £30 in diesel.

    We've had 2 more Islabikes since then for my son - a second hand Rothan that we lost a tenner on when he'd finished, and another brand new one we still have.

    Even if they weren't such a good proposition as a slowly depreciating item - and I have to admit the financials aren't quite as good as they were in that they now cost more and I can detect second hand values dropping slightly - I would still buy them. They are properly designed and fit for purpose all the way through. In my experience it is very rare to find a product of any type that has its customer so thoroughly in mind through the design. They are designed and specified for children, and in no way a cut down version of an adult bike that most alternatives seem to be.

    They are great bikes, you don't need to see one in the flesh but if you're set on it like I was, I would recommend the trip out to Ludlow and there is a lovely cafe their as well.

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