We’re very sad to share the news that Islabikes have announced that they will cease sale and production of bikes, once remaining stocks are sold.
The brand, which paved the way for all the quality kids’ bikes we take for granted today, has confirmed that they’ve produced their last run of bikesthough the company is still solvent and will be fulfilling all outstanding orders. They’ll also continue to provide replacement parts for the foreseeable future.
Islabikes have been a regular feature at Cycle Sprog, ever since we started blogging as a family 12 years ago.
Back when most bike brands were just shrinking down adults’ bikes without any thought for children’s needs (with the end results being far too heavy and not small hand-compatible), Islabikes were one of the few good options available.
Our youngest Cycle Sprog T learnt to pedal on his blue hand-me-down Islabike that his brother had also learnt to ride on. In fact, it was Islabikes current MD, Tim Goddall, who fitted that particular Islabikes during an outing to their original Ludlow showroom.
Over the years Islabikes introduced an impressive range of bikes to the market, for all ages of children.
We have reviewed many of them and have always been impressed with their quality and build.
While we can now enjoy a market with lots of brilliant options for bikes designed for children, for all budgets, this hasn’t always been the case, and it was Isla Rowntree – the founder of the brand – who proved there was a market for good quality, correctly sized kids bikes.
Rowntree stepped back from the day-to-day running of Islabikes via an MBO in January 2021, handing majority ownership to Tim Goodall.
Since then, it has been a turbulent and difficult time for the cycle industry as a whole, and neither Tim nor Isla wish to continue.
In the past years, Islabikes haven’t gone without further innovation attempts. Most notable was the launch of their Imagine project, which aimed to build a circular economy of high quality bikes. This saw the brand’s bikes being circulated, serviced and maintained, with nothing being thrown away, but recycled at the end of life. Whilst never reaching the stage of mass roll out it’s a legacy that hopefully the cycling industry and wider manufacturing industries can continue to build upon.
They also launched their Icon range, designing bikes for older riders with restricted mobility and prototypes for people with disproportionate Dwarfism. Innovating bikes for the young and old, Islabikes have been forward thinking and pushing accessibility to the sport, which truly is admirable.
According to their press release:
“Today, it’s easy to forget just how bad most children’s bikes were when I started Islabikes 18 years ago”, said Isla. “They were monstrously heavy, fitted with outsized components and had dreadful brakes that were out of reach. They were so poor I believed they had the potential to put many children off cycling for life and I founded Islabikes to change that – to give children a better experience of cycling with the many benefits that brings.
“Islabikes’s early success gradually gained attention from other and bigger cycling brands and, as a result of them following our lead, today good quality, well thought out children’s bikes are available from multiple places, and for me, that is a wonderful thing.”
“Tim and I would like to thank our many loyal customers, colleagues and suppliers who have contributed to the Islabikes story over the last 18 years.”
All this to say, the legacy Isla and Tim leave with Islabikes is an impactful one, and we will be sad to no longer see their wonderful bikes and innovation, as will, we’re sure, so many of our readers whose Sprogs have grown up on Islabikes.
So what’s next for Isla bikes?
- There will be ongoing supply of spare parts and existing guarantees will be honoured.
- The company remains solvent and has no outstanding creditors.
- There are still lots of models available to buy while remaining stocks last.
If you don’t need a bike currently, we are confident their bikes will live on within the second hand market, as we know they last for many many riders.