"A cracking mountain bike for serious young riders" Reader review by Paul Glossop
Proportioned, lightweight and loaded with quality kit. The Islabikes Creig 26 is a serious mountain bike for young riders who tackle the roughest terrain.
Reader review by Paul Glossop
Islabikes Creig 26 kids bike review
What size wheels does it have?
What type of bike is it?
How long have you had the bike?
Did it require much setting up? Was it straightforward? Did it come with any tools?
Isla (nearly 10) pulled the frame from the box and pulled the packing off. She put the skewer in the front wheel and installed it, and the rear was already in. The pedals went on with the included spanner, the seat set to height with the included Allen key, and she was good to go.
What are the best things about the bike?
Straight out of the box, little details stand out. The narrow Q factor isn’t just a narrow bottom bracket, but custom cranks that just clear the kinked chain stays, wringing every millimetre out of the design. Hitting the trails round and Rivington, Isla was flying down cobbled descents with the lightest touch on the hydraulic discs, which is crucial for small hands that struggled with grip on vbrake levers. The RST F1rst suspension fork is tuned for the light rider, and took the sting out of high speed pavé. She had the confidence to take on increasingly big drop-offs. The Creig looked after its rider on the first enthusiastic nose-heavy hits, and two years later cushioned the landings as she learned how to fly over tabletops. This bike has really helped Isla develop as a rider. It stayed composed through early enthusiastic bashing down rocky steps. As she grew and learned to shift her weight around, lift the front, finesse steeper ground, and take it out into bigger mountains, the bike inspired confidence and a joy in riding.
Do you have any niggles about the bike?
Islabike customers debate the merits of twistgrip vs trigger shifters. For Isla by age 10 she was interested in using more than one gear, and got on fine with the gripshift. The gearing was a little high, and I put a 32 tooth chainring on from Superstar Components. If you buy one today it will already have a 32 on, and 11 speed 11-42 on the back. A bit of birthday bling added colour matched SupaCaz grips and resin pedals improved the contact points. The stock tyres were fine, but I replaced them with Panaracer Fire XC Pro, set up tubeless (Stans kit with a bit of trimming) for a slightly more aggressive tread.
Durability. Will it be able to be passed on to another child and/or re-sold?
There’s a little bit of growth yet, but already her younger sister has had the saddle down and will be on it soon. The Creig 26 are not so common second hand, and have a strong resale value, so it will probably go straight on to another local GoRide club rider.
This is a cracking mountain bike for serious young riders. It’s more expensive than a Frog, but it will sell for probably 2/3rds its original price. If you can find a used one, you can expect to pass it on to another family and get your money back. Islabikes were arguably the first to produce genuine kids mountain bikes, and they are joined now by the slightly cheaper Frog, the similar Scatto, and the super bling Hope Academy bikes. All offer kid specific geometry and components, and each have their loyal fans. For a girl developing her skills on the trail, the Islabike has been the ideal ride. Rating: 10/10