When your 11 year old child is smaller than pretty much everyone in her class, is often mistaken for a child much younger and weighs about the same as many toddlers, you know she’s small.
Weighing in at a whopping 50 pounds, she’s small but very healthy. Ever since she was very young she has loved salads. She’s been eating vegetables and fish for years and now asks for sushi whenever possible. She likes to run and with her small stature, can do it rather effortlessly. She’s wants to participate in gymnastics and cheer. Unfortunately, we paid for lessons for a few years and every time a new session started, we noticed younger and younger kids in her group her while the bigger kids were moved to other groups. It’s a challenge and we make due where we can.
A few years ago we started going on bike rides as a family. Both Madison and Kennedy were mature enough to know how to cross roads and be aware of their surroundings. We would ride around the neighborhood and sometimes add extra distance if the weather permitted.
Our limitation, however, has always been Kennedy’s small stature. More specifically, her bike. While Scott, Madison and I all had bikes with gears for tackling steep hills, Kennedy was still riding a traditional steel bike. We constantly watched yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist and merchandisers for a bike that fit her height and weight but we always came up short. Bikes for kids her size were cutesy and lacked gears and mostly were made of steel. Bikes with gears generally had larger tires and shocks making them too heavy for her. We would have been happy with lightweight and no gears but the combination was nowhere to be found.
We didn’t consider buying online because we weren’t confident about brands or sizing. Kennedy was content just riding short distances around the block with her friends and we pretty much scrapped the family rides until we could come up with a better solution.
Now we have it and guess where the bike came from. That’s right. Online. I was skeptical about sizing but when Kennedy’s new Beinn 26 small from Islabikes was delivered, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was for her. As I channel my inner Goldilocks, this one was juuussst right. It didn’t really matter though because Islabikes offers free 90 day returns.
Bikes for kids aren’t always high quality as much as they are designed for durability. Steel bikes are less expensive than aluminum ones which is fine since kids grow like weeds and often outgrow them so quickly. We’ve come to realize that sometimes cheaper isn’t better. In our case, it stifled the way we were able to be active together. While the price of Islabikes are more expensive than what you would find at Walmart, they’re also available in the right size and material.
As I said, we’ve been in multiple retailers and haven’t been able to find one that fits her. The prices at Islabikes are right in line with what you would pay at a sporting goods store or specialty shop. Let me repeat again that the best part is being able to actually find one in the right size. Having a few color options to boot is a bonus.
You know how awesome it is? Just yesterday we went on a bike ride that lasted for about three hours. We headed to the park to hit a couple Pokemon Go Pokestops then rode around town, had a quick bite at McDonald’s then headed home. I wish I had logged how many miles it was, but I didn’t load Runkeeper before leaving. Calculating it on a map, it was about 6 or 7 miles with a variety of hills and flatlands. Kennedy kept up with Scott without a problem!
Yes, I love that we can go on family bike rides again and not have to fret about the distance or elevation. But what really makes a difference is what Kennedy thinks about this new bicycle. Here’s what she says: “My new bike is amazing. It is a lot lighter than my last and also has gears! Even though I am a tween now I still love the little bell on it.”
Whether you’re struggling to find a bicycle for your petite child or simply need to upsize the bike your child is currently using, check out the selection at Islabikes. Although we had to purchase a kickstand (that’s normal for bikes these days), we didn’t have any other complaints about the Beinn model. You can learn more about the Islabikes story, visit their website, get expert advice or ride along with their updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
When was the last time you went for a bike ride?