Review: Islabikes – Rothan Balance Bike

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.

Rothan Balance Bike

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.

First impressions
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.


Road testing
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.


This little speed demon of mine loved every minute of being set free to roam around outdoors!



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.


  1. Newcastle Family Life

    This looks great I love the colour. I have been thinking of getting my little girl something like this for he third birthday soon. It looks like he is having lots of fun on it , I bet you were pleased you did not have to spend ages building the bike x

  2. Balance bikes didn’t exist when my two were small sadly, they look amazing though. Confession though I can’t ride a bike myself – do they do adult balance bikes?!

    Stevie xx #PicknMix

  3. Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    Balance bikes are such a great first step to cycling looks like M he has mastered it already. Such a great way to enjoy some outdoor fun. #TriedTested

  4. This looks fantastic. It’s a great introduction to cycling. I wish balance bikes had been around when my girls were little x

  5. Wow – I have not seen one like this before! I love how it looks and the video of M shows how much he is enjoying it 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS. Hope you return next week 🙂

  6. mommyslittleprincesses

    Oh wow M is so confident on his Islabike and its a great looking balance bike too. I can see why he loves it. Xx #KCACOLS

  7. Island Living 365

    What a wonderful bike. It looks fab and really well made. I remember my first bike, it had streamers coming from the handles and a bell. I loved it. I would like a bike that now actually! #KCACOLS

  8. These are such a cool idea – I love the colour of this one too! x #KCACOLS

  9. Madeline Littlejohns

    I love balance bikes, I think they’re a brilliant idea. And this one in particular looks so cool! x #KCACOLS

  10. me and b make tea

    my friends boy has one of these and he loves it. they are quite pricey but supposed to be really good #KCACOLS

  11. Thanks for this review, I have not heard of this company. However, I love the idea! Gender neutral bikes would be awesome! As a family, we love biking,and are currently into mountain biking. It is so good for the children and adults really to lower stress, let off steam and work on their balance! #KCACOLS

  12. Fairy Queen

    I hadnt heard of the company either so its good to see a mums review on how it works in practice. Once they get the hang of it its such a good feeling isnt it x
    mainy – myrealfairy

  13. Carol Cameleon

    Funny really, in that our little girl (6) has barely shown any interest in bikes! I do like the idea of balance bikes though and this one sounds pretty good. #kcacols

  14. Leo Lionman & Mummy

    This looks fab, we brought Leo a wooden balance bike when he was 2 1/2 and he took no interest. I think because he didn’t have that time to develop balance he now still had stabilisers on his big boy bike..I think he would of liked this more as it looks much more like a proper bike! #KCACOLS

  15. Pingback: My first bike and a trip down memory lane – Suburban Mum

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