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Islabikes CNOC 14 child's bike tested


Luca gives it big legs

Mean and moody – that’s enough about the bricks

Islabikes CNOC 14 £109.99, purple colour kit £19.99

Just lifting Islabikes’ CNOC 14 out of its box is enough to reveal that this is a childrens’ bike with a difference. It is nothing less than a proper lightweight bicycle in miniature. Is such a device necessary? Once tried, the answer has to be yes, not least because any child given a machine like this is likely to be hooked on cycling for life.

For starters, its lightweight 7005 T6 aluminium frame keeps weight to a bare minimum. The welds are superb, the graphics clear and attractive and the matching saddle a great addition to a cycle that really puts the opposition to shame.

Four-year-old Luca’s previous mount had been a wooden hobby-horse-style scooter with no pedals. Within 10 minutes of climbing aboard the CNOC, he was pedalling as if born to it thanks, as far as could be seen, to stable geometry and a really dialled riding position. Isla Rowntree’s attention to detail means that while the saddle is adjustable for tilt, height and reach, the hars are also adjustable to enure that a small child from 3 years upwards will be able to ride comfortably.

The next machine in the range, the CNOC 16, is suitable for children of 4 years and older, but the 14 is big enough to provide service for at least a couple of years. Once grown out of, its exceptional build quality should ensure a high residual value.


Finish worthy of an adult machine

Coaster brake and mudguard eyes – the CNOC 14 has it all

Detailing is exceptional, as might be expected of a bike from a former top competitive cyclist. Besides well-thought-out geometry and tubing sizes, there are mudguard eyes should the bike be used in all weathers plus integral mounting points for stabilisers.

Braking is provided by a pedal-operated coaster brake on the back wheel and a V-brake at the front pulled by levers suitable for small hands. The bar grips are suitably sized and fitted to undersized bars. All rotating bearings run on balls for low rolling resistance, while the lightweight ‘easy roll’ tyres are fast, grippy and durable(unless the rider gets a taste for that back-pedal brake…)

In fact, there is no aspect of the CNOC that looks anything less than the best available solution. It puts all other bikes of its class in the shade, as the children of Queens Park, north London (and many of their parents)made very clear. And there’s no reason to suppose the other bikes in Isla’s range are any less impressive.


Bomb-proof construction will last and last

Adjustable bars match saddle

Verdict

Exceptional – will excite envy amongst other children and their parents


goodLooks, build quality, durability and more

badNowt

performance 10

value 10

overall 10

  • www.islabikes.co.uk
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