Islabikes was born in 2006 when former professional cyclist and triple British cyclo-cross champion Isla Rowntree set about changing the future of children’s bikes.
As the cycling expert in her family and group of friends, Isla found that she was being asked for recommendations for bikes for their young children. As an evangelist for cycling in all its forms, she realised she was unable to wholeheartedly recommend any of the children’s bikes on the market at that time which were typically low quality, very heavy and ergonomically poor. She was concerned that they were more likely to deter children from cycling rather than instil a lifelong love for it.
With her background in cycle design and personal experience as a small person of overcoming the limitations of ‘standard’ bikes, Isla felt she could do better and established Islabikes to do just that.
Equipped with only a homemade desk, £5 special offer phone/pen pot/stapler/ruler set and a single workstand for bike assembly, Isla rented a tiny workspace in a converted barn in Claverley, Staffordshire, and set to work.
Driven by Islabikes' disruption, what followed was a remarkable reinvention of the children’s bike market, whereby the understanding of and demand for quality children’s bikes grew alongside a nation’s passion for cycling. Continual product development is part of Islabikes’ DNA and our range of children’s bikes has evolved into the selection of highly refined models available today.
Isla’s most recent lightbulb moment came whilst mountain biking with her parents, where she realised that she already had design solutions that would benefit and extend their cycling lives. Inspired by this, Isla went on to create a range of adult bikes that are game-changing for riders who find getting on and off difficult, lack the strength to ride up hills, change gear and struggle to reach their brakes.
True to our roots Islabikes remain a small, busy company, now based just outside of picturesque Ludlow.