Islabikes has always specialised in children’s bikes. But it’s now launched a range of bikes aimed at the over-65s, available via its website.
Isla Rowntree, who founded Islabikes in 2006, says that many of the adaptations essential in a good children’s bike also apply to bikes designed for older riders.
“Older people have been ignored, much like children pre-2006. I want to prolong their cycling lives so they can continue to enjoy physical health, psychological wellbeing and those vital social connections that come from riding with friends,” says Rowntree.
The main adaptations of the Icons range are their low weight, low step-over for easy on/off, light controls and very low gearing. In honour of the 1960s, the three bikes are named after Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.
The Joni is an urban bike weighing 11kg with pedals and with a very low step-over height. There is a 32 tooth chainring coupled to an 11-40 8-speed cassette. It’s controlled via a gripshift shifter, so it can be used easily even with reduced hand strength and dexterity. That’s coupled to SRAM hydraulic disc braking, again with a light action and short lever reach for ease of use – features that Islabikes includes in its children’s bikes too. It’s priced at £799.99.
Like the Joni, the Janis, priced at £1199.99, has a low step-over design. Islabikes says that it’s designed for club riders, tourists, keen leisure riders and ex-racers who want to continue to cycle recreationally.
Islabikes quotes a weight of 9.4kg and it’s specced with 10-speed gripshift gearing with a 30 tooth chainring and an 11-40 cassette. Islabikes fits its own narrow Q-factor cranks. Again, there’s SRAM hydraulic disc braking.
Finally, the Jimi, also £1199.99, is designed for exploring off road. It weighs 9.9kg, thanks in part to its rigid carbon fork which saves around a kilogram in weight over a suspension design.
Again, there’s a low step-over and low gearing: a 26 tooth chainset coupled to an 11-40 10-speed cassette. As with the other Icons bikes, there are gripshift controls and hydraulic disc brakes.
If you do get a flat, there’s a unique rim profile on all the Icons range, making getting the tyre off and the tube changed easier. And available accessories include a dropper post for easier mounting and dismounting, a mirror and a bar-mounted bottle cage.
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Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.
He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.
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