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We put a pair of Islabikes' Beinn 20 do-it-all bikes for six-plus children to the test, with the help of the people they're aimed at: a seven and five-year-old brother and sister

islabikes beinn 20 op
Overall Score
Finally, a kids bike as light and well specced as a grown up's bikes
Expensive but re-sale values are high

Frame and Forks

Let's start with the wonderfully light 7005 T6 aluminium frame and chromoly forks. These durable and brightly painted components are very light without compromising on strength.

Designed to provide a perfect upright riding position for your growing child, the two frame sizes allow for your child to sit up straight while cycling, thus enabling a more balanced stance on the bike, and minimising the need to over-reach for the handle bars.

Jacob (7) Beinn 20 large: "I like the green colour and the large fits me really well. It's not too big."

Alice (5) Beinn 20 small: "Mine's cool; it's pinky purple!"


Brakes and Gears

Once again, great thought has gone into these - the easy-to-reach and easy-to-pull aluminium brake levers, connected to V brakes, give a powerful and yet light action when braking, even with small hands.

Older children will even easily be able to use the brakes with only a couple of fingers, allowing for greater control of direction while braking, while maintaining a good grip on the handlebars. Even 5-year-old Alice can be trusted to brake hard when needed, although she does still wobble a bit when coming to a stop.

The numbering of 1 to 7 is easy to read on the gear shift, and a light action twist grip gear shifter is used, rather than thumb shifters, which can often confuse an adult let alone a kid.

The kids certainly have no problem using them, informing anyone who'll listen what gear they are in, and the single front cog, with seven-speed rear cassette, is easy to navigate.

The 32-tooth chainring being the biggest rear sprocket, provides a very easy bottom gear for hill climbing, and when they get into 7th on the flat, they take some catching!

In fact, with the wide range of gears available, covering longer distances such as 20-30 miles in a day is a realistic possibility, even at this age. The double-sided front chainguard is a nice touch, as it helps keep trouser legs clean and catch free.

Jacob: "My brakes are brilliant, I can control my speed on really steep downhills without putting my feet down, and the gears are easy."

Alice: "Awesome brakes, even I can stop myself now!"


Wheels, tyres and Seat

The aluminium double wall rims, with steel spokes, roll really well, particularly on the Beinn 20 Small, which has a fantastic wheel-to-frame size ratio. The aluminium quick-release hubs help keep the weight down, and make for very quick and easy wheel removal - when mending punctures, or trying to squeeze the bike in the boot of your car.

The bikes come with 20 x 1.5in Kenda Small Block Eight tyres as standard, which can be upgraded to the Schwalbe Marathon tyre - a quality touring tyre, featuring a 'Smartguard' puncture resistant strip and reflective sidewalls.

The kids haven't complained about the seat, so it must be okay, and the aluminium seat stem is long, allowing for lots of growing room.

Jacob: "The tyres are good in mud."

Alice: "I like riding my wheels through puddles, and the mudguards stop my legs getting wet."

The Beinn 20 costs £329.99, but mud guards, rear rack and bottle cage are extra. Yes, that is a lot of money for a child's bike - however, if you're serious about getting your kids into cycling with and without you, what you get is probably the best kids bike on the market.

Also, with high demand for second-hand Islabikes, you'll get over half of your money back when the kids grow out of them. At time of reviewing, a well looked after second-hand Beinn 20 is making £200 plus on eBay.

So if you can look after the bike, and afford the outlay, you'll see your children ride a brilliant bike for around a £150 loss. Alternatively if you buy a £150 kids bike new, by the time they're finished with it, you'll probably be left with a trip to the dump.

Built to last, the Beinn 20, from Islabikes, is a brilliantly thought out and designed bike that will still be of value long after your child, or children, have outgrown it.

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