Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $549-$599
Best Use: Multi Use
Where to Buy: Islabikes Website
Testing Location: Montana and Wyoming
Testing Environment: All conditions
The Islabikes Beinn is an 8 speed, lightweight (just 19.4 pounds) bike made specifically for kids aged ~ 7+ (inseam 22.5″; height 55″). It is intended to be an all-around bike, for riding both the paved roads and the trails.
Islabikes have obviously put a lot of thought into this bike to make it comfortable for young riders from the very beginning (see details below).
While we wouldn’t take it on any super aggressive mountain biking routes, we do feel as though it easily adjusts between dirt and pavement. Granted, the knobby tires do allow trail riding (and J has tested that extensively), there are other bikes out there that handle the trails better.
The specs (taken directly from Islabikes):
-Weight: 19.4 lbs (including pedals)
-Lightweight 7005 T6 aluminum frame, proportional geometry
-8-speed, wide-ratio Sram X4 gears with light action shifter
-Short-reach aluminum brake levers with V-brakes give powerful, light action braking with small hands
-Lightweight wheels with quick release hubs
-Multi-surface, lightweight tires
-Exclusive, child-specific component set
We have managed to get quite a few kids on the Beinn for testing. Across the board, we found that they felt comfortable right away and rode easily. That’s always our best sign of a great bike.
The Beinn can handle trails like the one in the photo below…but J rides more cautiously on them than he does on his more dedicated mountain bikes (as would be expected).
The Beinn 24 (and the entire Beinn line) have a very narrow Q factor (the distance between the pedals) which allows the riders’ feet to touch the ground easily, pedal comfortably, and lean over in a corner without clipping a pedal.
The Beinn also boasts a strong and lightweight frame, angled handlebars to better fit a child’s narrower shoulders, a chain guard to further protect the rider and a perfectly (any) kid-friendly saddle.
What we love:
– Great geometry
-8 speeds make hills easier
-Super light weight while remaining strong and sturdy
-Easy to reach handbrakes
What we aren’t so crazy about:
-Sometimes grip shifters are tough for kids only because they accidentally get moved as the child moves their hands. However, we have heard no complaints from J at all….was just something new to get used to and take note of.
-While Islabikes markets this as a mountain bike (along with a touring or commuting bike), we wouldn’t take it on very aggressive trails, as mentioned above. It’s just fine for railroad grades or dirt paths, but just the skinnier tires aren’t made for looser dirt, etc. Directly from Islabikes: “This bike has been designed to be ridden by kids on smooth paved, grassy, or dirt surfaces with moderate gradients. It is not intended for any kind of jumping.”
The Bottom Line:
The Islabike Beinn 24 is a great bike for kids who love to ride on fairly moderate terrain and want something light with great components. J loves riding this bike on our paved neighborhood trails and when he knows he will have to climb hills (because of the fact that the bike is lightweight and is easy to shift and ride).
Islabikes generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.
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