Okay, so it doesn't have the same ring to it as Riker the Biker, but what it lacks in rhyme it makes it up for in impressiveness!
We've been wanting to buy the kids nice bikes for some time because we believe that parents have an opportunity to offer a love and appreciation of cycling to kids when they are young. Put an adult on a nice bike for the first time and it's like a moment of enlightenment. It's no different for kids. After riding heavy and clunky department store models for years, it's no wonder that kids can't fully grasp the joys of riding, let alone riding any distance.
So, we put some effort into finding the best models of kids bikes out there and we landed on a brand called Islabikes. The frames are lightweight and engineered for a child's proportions, the handlebars are lower and narrower, the brakes were designed for smaller hands, and the pedals have a narrower profile. All these features serve to ensure proper positioning on the bike which, as any adult who's ridden a poorly fitted bike will know, makes all the difference in the world.
So we splurged and bought one for each kid. A small 20 inch wheel size for Riker and a 14 inch for Ari. As soon as we pulled the bikes from their cartoons we could tell these were quality products. Beautifully and elegantly designed, lightweight and built with quality brand-name components, we knew it was money well spent.
Riker was nervous at first to be on a big kid bike (gears and brakes!) but after letting him take the time he needed to feel it out, he was off and riding within the hour.
Ari took a bit longer to get on the bike and preferred to keep riding his balance bike. We didn't push it but within two weeks of getting the bikes, he was coasting along so effortlessly on his balance bike that Brian bribed him with four jelly beans to get on the pedal bike!
With just a little help to get the hang of it, he was off and pedaling!
What a great feeling it must be to ride a bike for the first time. And he only just turned three a month ago! We're very proud of both of our keen cyclists!
Want to know more? Read one of the most thorough reviews I found of the Islabike Beinn 20" small here.