Luath 26in road bike review
Kids road bikes have been on the way back for the last couple of years, and there are some good ones out there from the likes of Giant and Trek, but at £299 the Islabike gives them a real run for their money. Again versatility is to the fore – this bike can be used for road or track, and you can accessorise it for touring too, there are also custom pedal and tyre options.
At 9.7kg (21.3lb) it is as light as bikes costing £100 more and like the rest of the range it is beautifully thought out and specced. From the child-friendly shallow drops, short-reach Sora levers and the supplementary ‘cross brake levers on the tops (like the Cannondale Sport Road), through to the 8spd gears and lightweight wheels.
The bike comes with a single chainring on the front (but the frame comes with the necessary cable guides if you want to add that extra cog) matched to an 11-34t rear cassette – you could climb a wall on this (the low gears are particularly suited to cyclo-cross) and the high gear will give a good turn of speed (Luath is Gaelic for quick) – my elder daughter was certainly impressed with the bike’s turn of speed, sharp handling, and climbing ability. The wheels certainly play their part in that and are worth singling out for further mention: built using 28 hole double walled aluminium rims, with stainless steel spokes on aluminium quick release hubs, with a rear freehub – it’s not often you see that on a children’s bike. In fact we’re not sure we’ve ever seen one on a kids bike before.