Learning to ride a bike is a big part of your childhood. For me, I would say it’s up there with learning to walk and talk.
I still clearly remember my very first bike. It was blue and white and was called “Bluebell” This bike was passed down to my brother and then to my sister, although by then the stabilisers were rather iffy! Still, we all learnt to ride on that trusty little blue bike!
Fast forward to the present day and balance bikes are now readily available. A “pre bike” as it were, to help you learn how to balance your weight without the need for stabilisers.
We didn’t get on the band waggon early on enough with E so he is currently learning to ride a bike with suspension stabilisers that have a bit of “give” in them to help with balance.
For M, we were very lucky to be sent a Rothan Balance bike by Islabikes which we have been testing out over the last month or so.
If you’ve not heard of Islabikes before, the company was founded by Isla Rowntree an ex-national cyclocross champion who has a clear vision to build lightweight bikes that are gender neutral. It’s a British owned company that makes good quality bikes with children in mind.
Islabikes have a wide range of bikes that are suitable for children aged 2 plus. They stock balance, starter and multi-purpose bikes as well as mountain, road and cyclo-cross bikes and adult bikes.
The bike arrived in a huge cardboard box and I had visions of us having to put together the bits and pieces for the bike the night before M’s birthday but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it came fully assembled. We literally just had to lift it out of the box.
There were a few minor adjustments to the height of the saddle but it was ready for action in less than a few minutes.
One of the first the first things I noticed about the balance bike was how just how light it is. Made from lightweight aluminium the total weight of the bike is just 3.5kg – that’s just 7.7 pounds!
The second was how cool it looked. The bright green frame against the black wheels, saddle and handlebars makes it really stand out.
M was very eager to get on his shiny new bike and at first found it difficult to turn but after giving it a few goes he quickly got the hang of it.
With the weather being so up and down, we kept the bike indoors so he could have a play on it whenever he fancied. E also got in on the action too and they both zoomed around indoors.
As we were heading to Devon last week it was the perfect chance to test the bike outdoors properly. M absolutely loved being able to go around the big courtyard area we had outside our cottage. Having been confined to a small area indoors before, it made a real difference to have some freedom to pick up some speed!
He’s not really grasped the concept of using the brake just yet but I think it is only a matter of time.
Overall, the Rothan balance bike is beautifully made and has been well designed and thought out. We’ve had some lovely comments about the bike whilst on holiday and M absolutely loves it. He enjoys being able to join in with his big brother and feel like a “big boy” riding his bike.
The Rothan balance bike retails at £149.99 and can be bought online direct from the Islabikes website. Delivery is free within the UK and all Islabikes come with a 55-yearguarantee on frame and forks and a 2-year guarantee on parts.
* We received the Isla Rothan Balance Balance Bike in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.