A £150 the Rothan isn’t the cheapest balance bike on the market, but factor in all the finer points of detail, such as the rounded allen key bolt through wheel axles that prevent rider injuries in crashes, 12” puncture resistant tyres, and a balance bike specific scooped saddle that helps a bottom stay put and little feel touch the floor, all adds up to giving the feel of a real bike and enhances the experience of riding a bike for the first time. Add to all this a choice of four bright colours, makes it’s perfect for picky toddlers.
Size specific and light action brake leaver
Small diameter bars
Integral steering limiter
Choice of four colours
Hard to fault it!
Islabikes is celebrating its 10th year on the market this year and has enjoyed success launching premium kids bikes this year too.
The Islabikes Rothan is the industry marker of how to build a kid's first bike.
>> The best balance bikes: a buyer's guide
>>> The best kids bike helmets: a buyer's guide
The size specific micro reach brake lever and smaller diameter handlebars allows little hands to not only grip the bars securely and reach the lever, but the lever also provides a light action braking, making stopping a realistic feature, unlike many children’s specific bikes.
The balance bike’s geometry makes the bike very stable, within a handful of rides my two year old was able to confidently scoot and lift her feet up to free wheel on slight downhill slopes.
An integral steering limiter, that prevents the handlebars from spinning all the way round, really helped prevent a few total wash outs and total toddler tangle.
Non-rider to rider in under an hour
Made from aluminium (7005 T6) makes it incredibly lightweight at just 3.2kg. Not only does this make manoeuvring the bike by the rider very easy, it also means that once they’ve had enough, there’s minimal effort for the parent having to carry it back through the park.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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