Got a growing future cyclocross star in your household who needs a new bike this ’cross season? Or know a height-challenged cyclist having trouble finding a 700c wheel bike that fits? Islabikes has a new frame size that just might fit the bill.
Islabikes, a UK-based company specializes in all manner of lightweight kid’s bikes. Isla Rowntree, a winning cyclocross racer herself, founded her namesake bike company in 2006, and you may have heard this one before, but Islabikes’ early production took place in a barn in Claverley, England. Islabikes has since expanded and now features a Portland, Oregon office for U.S. distribution.
A few years ago, we reviewed Islabikes’ Beinn 20, which we found to be a well-constructed bike with 20″ wheels aimed at children ages five and up. The Beinn 20 uses size-specific parts and provides a ride that was, in our little tester’s experience, responsive and enjoyable.
Islabikes continues to add more sizing options to its lineup, and recently we saw one of its newest offerings, the Beinn 27. Equipped with 650b/27″ wheels and featuring the same design concept as the Beinn 20, Islabikes designed the Beinn 27 for riders ages 10 and up.
Although the Beinn looks like a hybrid, we like the model as a flat bar cyclocross-worthy bike for young riders because of its versatility. The bike’s aluminum frame and wheels that roll on knobby 27.5 x 1.6″ tires means the bike is ready for pavement, dirt and the cyclocross course.
Islabikes builds the 15″ Beinn 27 frame with 7005 T6 aluminum and a chromoly front fork, and it has a claimed weight of 21.8 pounds with pedals. The company uses progressively larger wheels with its models to maintain proportionate geometry.
The Beinn provides young riders with components that give them an adult-like feel as they grow in the sport. The bike’s drivetrain features a 32t front chain ring with an 8-speed SRAM X4 rear derailleur. The front chain ring has a two-sided chain guard to keep things in place over rough terrain.
The front shifters are SRAM 8-speed Gripshift with reach-adjustable brake levers that attach to mini V-brakes.
The frame and fork have good tire clearance for wide tires to provide young riders with a comfortable riding experience. Islabikes specs the 24-spoke alloy 650b/27″ wheels with its own Reidh tires that have a “pimply” tread pattern for on and off-road riding.
The Beinn 27 retails for $650.
At Sea Otter, Islabikes also displayed its extensive line starting with the foot-powered Rothan balance bike for the youngest future cycling stars out there.
Parents often obsess over getting the lightest bits for their little ones, but Islabikes does the heavy lifting by finding size-specific components that balance fit and weight savings. It’s a good time to be a two-wheel kid.
More info: islabikes.com