Islabikes reworks chain guard to keep little fingers safe

Islabikes ChainGlider completely encases chain to prevent accidents

Islabikes' reputation for high-quality, thoughtfully made kids' bikes has spread outside of the company's native UK to the US and elsewhere, and now all the company's lightweight starter bikes come with yet another smart design: a completely enclosed chain guard. 

The so-called ChainGlider chain cover was made with little ones in mind, to keep fingers, toes, shoes and clothes away from the chain, chainring and rear cogs. Although not so much an issue when the bike is being ridden, Islabikes founder Isla Rowntree knows that young kids' curiosity can lead to wandering fingers when the bike isn't being ridden.

“Children’s safety is the absolute priority and of paramount importance to us. Our company has been founded upon giving the best, safest cycling experience to children and their families,” said Rowntree, a multi-time national champion in cyclocross and cross-country.

BikeRadar editors are big fans of the Islabikes. We have never awarded anything less than a 4.5 stars to any of the many Islabikes we have reviewed over the years.

An islabike cnoc 16 uk edition. (in the us, federal law requires a coaster brake on bikes of the size, so the cnoc 16 has a front hand brake and a rear coaster brake:
An islabike cnoc 16 uk edition. (in the us, federal law requires a coaster brake on bikes of the size, so the cnoc 16 has a front hand brake and a rear coaster brake:

Related reading: Islabikes Cnoc 16 kids' bike review

Islabikes partnered with German accessory company Hebie to make the ChainGlider that comes on all Islabikes Cnoc bikes now.

“It has taken us two years to design and produce this product and it has been a complex technical exercise, so I’m delighted that together with Hebie we have designed a really effective solution," Rowntree said.

Islabikes claims to be the only children’s bike manufacturer in the world to replace the industry standard chain guards with its own. The ChainGlider comes stock on Cnoc 14 and Cnoc 16 bikes, thus named for their wheel sizes in inches.

The tool-free ChainGlider can be removed for any repairs, and can be retrofit on any Cnoc 14 or Cnoc 16 purchased since July 2012.

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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