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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:26 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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MikeD wrote:
Quote:
I guess my real bugbear with Islabikes is that they claim to have designed around childrens needs, things like low weight and smaller levers to suit small hands, but where they epically fail is that they fit SRAM gripshift gears to their small bikes and these are not suitable for children as the action is not light at all, this is a blatant case of the bean counters getting involved in design, the design for a childs bike should be for the lightest action possible and this is via a trigger shifter.


There's no ideal solution to this. There's a minimum hand size for triggers - if the nipper doesn't have a long enough thumb they're stuck. Short of designing a child-specific shifter (as Islabikes did for brake levers) it's a compromise one way or the other. Although it seems an odd bugbear given that the same shifters appear on the Hotrock...

As for bean counters, how big an outfit do you think Islabikes is?



They list Tektro very short reach levers in the spec, these were fitted to the Carrera Blast that my lad has.

Actually the action of the trigger shifter is much lighter on the full sweep per gear and on the 1 sweep for 3 gears Shimano kit. The Shimano grip setup on the Hotrock is lighter than the SRAM setup, I tested both side by side in the shop.

Basically they get a better deal on the SRAM (and we all know that SRAM are making a big market push at the moment) so it goes on the bike, simple, otherwise they would put Shimano on, simple as.

As for the suspension forks, yes this maybe the first generation to get them but it is also the first generation to get 'light' bikes, how ever did we manage to get anywhere with the tanks we had?

I think the expression is they have never had it so good.

I doesn't matter how big an outfit they are, they preach and advertise a philosophy by fitting the kit they do they compromise and fail in delivery.
If I had spent the additional money over the Carrera or Hotrock and had to spend another £40 replacing the transmission I would be pretty upset considering the promises made.

Carl.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Thanks Ken.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:01 am 
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Quote:
They list Tektro very short reach levers in the spec, these were fitted to the Carrera Blast that my lad has.


Carrera lists "short reach" rather than "very short reach". If they're the same ones, then Carrera is benefitting from the effort that Islabikes put in to design them and get them made.

Quote:
Actually the action of the trigger shifter is much lighter on the full sweep per gear and on the 1 sweep for 3 gears Shimano kit. The Shimano grip setup on the Hotrock is lighter than the SRAM setup, I tested both side by side in the shop


I'm not disagreeing with the lightness of the action, I'm simply pointing out that if you've got hands below a certain size you can't use triggers effectively either.

Quote:
Basically they get a better deal on the SRAM (and we all know that SRAM are making a big market push at the moment) so it goes on the bike, simple, otherwise they would put Shimano on, simple as.


I think you're being a little harsh on Islabikes here. Obviously cost of components is a consideration, otherwise the bikes would be three grand. But I have a hard time believing that the designer would put in all that attention to detail and then single out the shifter to save a few pennies. After all, it seems to be the only aspect of the bikes you don't like, which suggests that they're doing most things right in your eyes, no?

Quote:
As for the suspension forks, yes this maybe the first generation to get them but it is also the first generation to get 'light' bikes, how ever did we manage to get anywhere with the tanks we had?


Heh :) Fair point well made.

Quote:
I doesn't matter how big an outfit they are, they preach and advertise a philosophy by fitting the kit they do they compromise and fail in delivery.


I'm just pointing out that it's just one person designing and speccing the bikes. There's no army of accountants there.

You're entitled to your opinion, of course. But kids' bikes from mainstream brands have got better in recent years largely in response to Islabikes coming on the scene.

I'll certainly shop around when the next size up is needed, though :) And certainly no doubting that they've never had it so good. Lucky blighters.
[/quote]


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:33 am
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Location: WI, USA
Bullpup wrote:
Are there any good child friendly 24" supension forks?


That's always been a weak spot for decent 24" wheel bikes. That's one reason why many of them are over 30 pounds and no fun for kids to ride any distance. Huge shortcoming on the industries side. I think the lightest fork ever built in a 24" size was that Ballistic alloy fork but the travel is so minimal it may as well be rigid. I doubt if there's anything on the market under 5lbs at the moment. It's all about liability and the fork companies covering their backsides.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:55 am 
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We just skipped 24" with our 2 lads.

They got a Fisher and a Hot Rock 20" when they were 6 and because of the adjustment options, was able to keep them running until they were big enough to fit 13" 26.

I have to say that I think the Islabike is a cracking concept though. I'd have bought them for our 2 if I wasn't in the trade and overseas!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:08 am 
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I was going to go down the Isla route but the trouble with children is that when they see parents, adults, friends etc with suspension on their bikes, no amount of explanation regarding weight etc will convince them that no suspension is a better option. Similarly the argument that a rear gearset is all they need won't work because the first thing they do is count the number of gears...

The situation was made worse because the only Isla riders locally are 2 lucky girls!

I went with a Hotrock A1 FSR and my son is delighted which after all is the whole point of Christmas!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:20 am 
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader / Rider
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dbmtb wrote:
They got a Fisher and a Hot Rock 20" when they were 6..


Didn't know Fisher made 20" kids bikes...

My boy is 7 and rather small for his age. A 24" is too large for him so I will have to search a 20" and was thinking of a second hand Hotrock, because they are more common over here. But a Fisher would be sweet!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:31 am 
MacRetro rider
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My eldest son is small too stumpjumper, I got him a Trek mt60 20" when he was 7 - it did him up until 12 - it was heavy but the adjustability was second to none, the cranks even had dual pedal holes so you could change the length as they grow. He went from that straight onto the 46er I built further up the page.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:31 pm 
retrobike rider
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I bought my neice a Spesh Hotrock for chrimbo, my mate got his daughter a Giant Taffy whish is the same sort of thing but you can find them alot cheaper!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:47 pm 
retrobike rider
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Just seen this, bit of a clean and would be fine.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/mtx-giant-20x20-w ... 20b675d6fe


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