Islabikes CNOC 14

Islabikes CNOC 14

This review was completed with the CNOC 14″ Large.  Islabikes now offers a smaller CNOC 14 with a seat range of 13″ – 16.5″ for younger/shorter kids who are ready to ride.  Both CNOC 14 sizes also comes with dual-hand brakes as well as a coaster brake.

*If your child is in size 5 pants, or close to moving up, be sure to read our CNOC 16 review.**

One afternoon, while chasing my two-year-old around the neighborhood on his balance bike, I witnessed a common argument between a parent and child. Eager to ride a bike without training wheels, the eight-year-old bravely told her father she was ready to try. Upon mounting the bike, she got scared, Dad got mad and within minutes the bike was put away. Her father was upset that she didn’t “try”, but the problem wasn’t with his daughter, it was her bike. A cheap big-box store bike, that weighed more than half of her weight and clearly too small for her, it would take one brave girl to get on and ride it the first time (or even second or third time). So as it is with most parents, they are quick to blame their child and rarely, if ever, the bike.

A week later story the repeated, but with a five-year-old who, much to his mother’s frustration, was too scared to ride his Huffy Rock It without training wheels. Riding by, I stopped to ask her if she would be interested in letting him try out a balance bike, she was. One week later, I traded the balance bike for the Islabikes Cnoc 14″ and then watched as her son got on the bike and rode away. Within a week, he was keeping up with his older siblings on their family rides to the park.

Sometime later, I had the opportunity to try the bike out on a three-year-old (shown below), who was having trouble transitioning to his 14″ Diego bike from his balance bike. Upon convincing him to give the Islabikes a try, he reluctantly got on the bike, starting running, then balancing, and was soon riding off down the street. It was easy, tearless and only took minutes for him to confidently ride on his own. Best yet, instead of his parents marching off in frustration, they were screaming with delight, “I can’t believe it, he’s riding!!”

isalbike 14 ride

In most cases, it’s not the child, it’s the bike. Given the right bike (and preferably a balance bike beforehand and never training wheels), kids as young as three, or even two, can easily and quickly learn to ride a pedal bike tear and frustration free. The lightest and narrowest pedal bike on the market (to our knowledge anyway), the Islabikes 14″ is hand down the best first pedal bike on the market. For taller kids, the bikes is also available in a 16″.

Islabikes 14 and 16 comp

**Islabikes have raised their prices, the CNOC 14″ and 16″ now cost $309, the CNOC 14 also now has Dual brakes**

Perfected from top to bottom, the Islabikes Cnoc series, is fine tuned to specifically fit the frame and physical abilities of preschoolers. As a result, they are easier to ride, easier to balance and allow kids to ride earlier and more confidently as compared to their 12″ bike counterparts. From personal experience with our kids, we also found that our kids were able to ride for longer distances as they don’t tire as easily.

When transitioning to a pedal bike, the first step to riding is determine the correct size bike for your child. Due to the gap between the pedal on the bottom stroke and the ground, a child can technically ride a pedal bike with a minimum seat height that is about 3.5″ taller than their inseam. The problem is that they won’t be able to touch the ground to start or stop.  As a result, we recommend purchasing a bike with a minimum seat height which is similar to your child’s inseam. The minimum seat height of the Cnoc 14″ is 18.5″ and the Cnoc 16″ is about 19.5″.

For kids who are confident with a hand brake, an inseam slightly less than 18.5″ could be manageable on the Cnoc 14″ as they wouldn’t have to rely on their feet in order to brake. Considering the hand brake is on the front tire, however, it is not recommended to use it when riding very fast or downhill as quickly stopping the front tire could cause the bike to endo. Both bikes, however, do have a coaster brake (pedal backwards to brake), as required by law, but they can confuse some kids when first learning to ride.

Since the maximum seat height on a lot of balance bikes is 18″, the Islabikes 14″ is a great bike to transition to. As a point of reference, Islabikes’ balance bike, the Rothan, when used with an extended seat post option, maxes out at 18.5″.

Islabikes 14 and Rothan

Islabikes vs. other 12″ Bikes

Although technically a 14″ bike, the Islabikes Cnoc 14″ is sized the same as other 12″ bikes. In fact, although it is much larger than the $40 Huffy Rock It, its minimum seat height is only 0.5″ less. It is also a lot lighter than both the Specialized Hotrock and the Rock It.

14 and 12 comparison

One of the most significant differences we found between the three bikes was the wheelbase length. The longer the wheelbase, the more stable the bike is, the lower the center-of-gravity and more room a child has for their knees when turning. The additional six inches of wheelbase on the Islabikes is clearly evident in side-by-side comparisons.

Pedal bikes wheelbase

When seen in action, the longer wheelbase clearly makes a big difference in the body position of the rider. The stretched out frame causes the rider to learn forward on the bike, which lowers the center-of-gravity of the rider and creates a much for favorable body position for the rider.

12 bike geometry2

In addition to being longer, Islabikes are also narrower. While other bikes use adult sized components to build their bikes, Islabikes redesigned all theirs to specifically fit a child’s body. As a result, when riding their bikes, kids only have to splay their legs out slightly, while on others it is quite significant.

12 inch width2

The quality of the Islabikes is also clearly superior to lower-end bikes. The required chain guard on the Huffy Rock It is extremely flimsy and is known to brake within a couple weeks of use. The chain guard on the Specialized is made of rigid plastic and is quite durable, but the sleek, removable chain-guard on the Islabikes in superior in both style and function.

chain guards

Lastly, rather than settling for the standard width handlebars (which are sized for adults), the Islabikes have narrower handlebars and corresponding grips to better fit smaller hands. The micro-reach brake levers are also appropriately sized for preschoolers hands. To improve the safety of small fingers, the large rubber bumper at the end of the handlebars protect hands when accidentally running into walls or gates (when passing through) as well as during falls.

handlebar grips

Bottom Line:

The Islabikes 14″ and 16″ are everything a child’s bike should be, lightweight, easy to use and a joy to ride. Although they come with a heftier price tag of $309 ($369 for the CNOC 14 Small and some colors of the CNOC 14 Large, not including shipping), if they are in your budget, they are worth every penny. In addition, due to their high-quality and rarity, Islabikes tend to have a very high resale value.

Where to Purchase:

If you happen to live near Portland, Oregon, you can stop by Islabikes’ showroom to check out the bikes in person. For everyone else, Islabikes ships their bikes all throughout the US and can be ordered by calling (503) 954 2410. Additional information about their bikes can be found online, but to ensure you order the correct size, they do not take orders online, but rather over the phone. When calling to order, be prepared with your child’s height and inseam measurements.

New Colors

The CNOC Series is now available in orangey-red, pink an green.

Cnoc 14, 16 Colors

FTC Disclosure: Two Wheeling Tots LLC was provided an Islabikes Cnoc 14″ to help facilitate this review, however, Two Wheeling Tots LLC is not an affiliate of Islabikes and does not profit in any way as a result of sales through this review. No monetary compensation was provided for this review.

      • tony77

        After exploring this web site we bought an Islabike Cnoc 16 for my daughter’s 4th birthday. It was a good fit with the saddle right down (she was 102cm at the time). She had used a balance bike just a little, but she was not very proficient. My wife, parents and sister were skeptical that this would work – everyone said we start with training wheels On day 1 she couldn’t balance, pedal, steer, brake – nothing. We supported her under the arms and encouraged her to ride around the neighborhood for 20-30 mins a day. Bending over while running was a little back-breaking! But she got noticeably better every day, which encouraged us, and after a week she was riding all the time with no help at all. Now she loves riding, and she’s by far the youngest kid in the neighborhood with no training wheels. The bike was only part of the success – we worked hard too! – but it certainly made things easier.

        • Yeah, I’m glad it worked out in the end, you had me nervous there for a minute! Awesome job for hanging in there. Some kids pick it up right away, but others take a little time. I have known a lot of parents that have given up when their kids don’t get it the first time, but as you found out, with a little encouragement, and some hard work, kids can do amazing things on bikes! After my first two kids hopped on a pedal bike and took off, I assumed it would be easy for all kids, but with my third, it has been a challenge and has really helped me realize that every kids learns at their own pace and it’s okay. Congrats again and thanks for sharing.

      • Nicole

        Hi Natalie,

        I’m hoping for some help for choosing a bike for my four (almost five) year old. He has been on a balance bike since he was 2.5 – first a y bike then for the past year and a half a TykeBike balance bike. He loves his Tykebike. Seriously loves it and is very proficient with it. We weren’t quite planning on going to a pedal bike just yet but the people who lent us this tykebike want it back for their daughter. It has understandably left our son in tears to think about giving his bike back! I’ve been trying to talk him into a pedal bike but he is unsure and thinks it will be difficult. With all that said, would you recommend pushing him into a pedal bike? I have understood and agree with all you’ve said about pedal bikes – weight and low center of balance and think the Islabike sounds awesome. I’m a bit nervous about the price tag, though. But we have two more boys coming up that could move into this bike as the years pass.
        Our son is about 44″ with an inseam of about 18.5″. We were also looking at the Tykebike 16″ pedal bike since that is what he has known and is a bit cheaper, or the ByK…just wanted to hear your thoughts. Or any other bikes we should consider?
        Thanks!

        • Has he ever tried a pedal bike at all? If not, do you think he is just anxious to try something new, or does he just really like his balance bike (which is the problem I have with my little guy right now)? If he really likes his balance bike, then it really depends on his personality. If he is going to stick to his guns about a balance bike, then I would probably get one to use through the winter (which could then be passed down to your younger kids) and the get him a pedal bike in the Spring. Since kids his age tend to grow quickly, unless you live in a climate where he can ride year-round, you wouldn’t want to rush him into a bike that he may grow out of sooner than you would have liked (especially with the higher-end models). If you think he may take to a bike once he has one, but still hesitant, then I would go for the WOOM3 with the freewheel option (no coaster brake) as it is the best combination of lightweight, upright positioning (with a low-center of gravity) and no coaster. Next, I would go for the Islabikes, due to it’s low weight and geometry. The TykesBykes Sprinter and the ByK 350 are also both great bikes, but may not be the best for hesitant riders. The TykesBykes doesn’t have a coaster, but is about 5 lb. heavier than the Isla and WOOM. A great bike for aggressive kids, but may be too much for timid kids. The ByK is great as well, but it does have a coaster brake, which can quickly turn him off the bike. The push handle and the low weight of the ByK (as well as it’s lower price) make it a great option as well. Hope that helps!

      • Wiard Hazewinkel

        Hello Nathalie; we are looking for a new bike for our 4yr (august). He now rides a specialized hotrock 12″. He really does ride well on it but it becomes to small, so we are looking for a 16″. We have trouble in deciding between the iskabike 16″, the early rider belter 16″ or the tykesbikes sprinter ss16″. What would your choice be?

        kind regards Wiard

        • All three are great bikes, but they do have their differences. If you plan on riding around town and mainly on paved surfaces, I would go with the Islabikes CNOC. If you are riding on single-track or on dirt, I would go with the TykesBykes. The Early Rider is an amazing bike, but I would personally go with one of the others as since your son is already familiar with coaster brakes, the Islabikes brakes won’t be a problem and it is actually lighter than the Belter.

      • Matthias C

        Hi, My 3 yo son seems to be done with his balance bike and has been asking for a pedal bike for a while (and a scooter too, since it’s quite the fashion).. We’ve been looking around a lot to find the best bike for his size and stumbled onto your reviews which were very helpful. However, my wife and I are having a difference of opinion. My son’s inseam is about 14”, which is quite small and I thought the Cleary Gecko would be the best fit for him, but my wife thinks we should get a 14” bike so that he can use it longer, especially with the price tag on most of those bikes (maybe the Cnoc 14 would be a good choice in that case ?).. How long would my son be able to ride on the Gecko if we chose that one ? Or would it be better as my wife says to get a 14” bike that would last him longer ? We were also thinking about the ByK 250, but some points in your review seems to indicate that the Gecko is a better bike.. What’s your opinion on which bike would be best for a 3 yo balance biker with 14” inseam ?? Thanks for your help !

        • Glad to help! Between the Gecko and the ByK 250, I would go with the ByK (although I believe they are sold out in all colors but pink right now). The Gecko does have it’s benefits as it is lighter, has a lower minimum seat height and it doesn’t have a coaster brake, BUT it is really small and you son will probably outgrow it within a year, while the ByK you can probably get two years out of it. The CNOC would be an awesome choice as well, but it is going to be too tall for him right now. My son is also three and just started wearing 4T pants (which are a little big) and he fits on the Gecko and the ByK, but not on the CNOC. So which is best? It really depends. If you don’t mind buying another bike a year from now, I would go with the Gecko, if you prefer not to, you could try to find a non-pink ByK (if that is an issue) or you could get him some fun accessories for his balance bike now (a ramp, bell, basket, nameplate, etc.) in hopes that you can hold him off on his balance bike until he is taller.

      • Thomas

        Hi, my son is quite small and so I will start him on a Hotrock 12 (I am living in Europe and the Cleary Gecko nor the ByK 250 are sold here). What is your opinion on switching him after the Hotrock 12 to the Cnoc 16? ( I am trying to avoid to spend money on the Cnoc 14…)

        • You should have no problem going from the Hotrock to the CNOC 16 as the max seat height of the Hotrock is 19″ and the minimum on the CNOC 16 is 18.8″.

      • Dora

        Hi, I am going to get my son an Isla bike for his 4th birthday. He has been riding a balance bike for the last 2 years and is ready to move on to a first pedal bike. He’s tall for his age (42 inch/106cm) but has a relatively short inseam (16 inch/41cm). What is your opinion on getting the CNOC 14 vs the 16? He meets the minimum criteria for height for the 16, but not the inseam (minimum 42cm). Thanks for the advice!

        • It really depends on your son and desire to ride. If he is eager, athletic and adventurous, he may do just fine on the CNOC 16, if not the 14 will be better. The main difference is that on the 16 he won’t be able to touch the ground with his feet, just the pedals. This means he WILL NOT be able to touch the ground to start or stop the bike while on the seat. In order to do either, he will have to have one leg having over the frame while the other leg is starting or stopping the bike. For most kids, this method is tricky and uncomfortable and can also be very dangerous since they are used to stopping with their feet and can forget to stop with their hand brake or coaster brake at first. As a result, for their first pedal bike I highly recommend (as well as Islabikes) that the child be able to touch the ground with their full foot (which he would be able to do on the 14) when learning to ride their first bike. For subsequent bikes, being only able to touch with their tippy toes is actually preferred as it allows them to get the proper extension on the pedal.

      • Andrijana Bončić

        Hi, I am late to the game here my son is not a risk taker 🙂 We had a tricycle this whole time he will be 5 in a month and i want to get him a proper bike. I was going to go with CNOC 16 as he is 45 inches tall and he really wants training wheels and is intimidated when he sees me looking at a bike without them. That being said CNOC 16 with training wheels was my first choice until i looked at the specs saying maximum capacity weight is 57LB – My son is 54Lb I am afraid that the spring growth spurt might put him over the max weight the bike can take. My second choice was Wroom 3 but i don’t know if i can attach training wheels to it and i do not see weight capacity for the Wroom – He does have a younger sister what will inherit his bike but i would like him to use his bike this spring summer and fall at least- any suggestions? Should i go with the CNOC indent be worried about the max weight- I should mention we live in NYC and most of the bike riding will be done in a park flat terrain don’t see any of us off roading 😉

        • Wow, I honestly hadn’t noticed the weight limit on the Islabikes. With your son already close to that, I would certainly look into another bike. Then again, most of the weight limits on these bikes are due to regulations versus the bike’s actual weight capacity. I would consider calling Islabikes before completely ruling them out just to be sure. For the WOOM3, I’m quite certain training wheels can be attached to the bike. They have amazing customer service though, so I wouldn’t hesitate to call them as well if you wanted to be sure. Sorry for not giving you exact answers, but I don’t want you to buy a bike based on my assumptions. Lastly, another bike I may consider is the ByK 350. It is a lightweight bike (not as light as the WOOM and Islabikes, but lighter than the major brands), has a low center-of-gravity design and comes with training wheels as well as a handle to help keep him steady so that he can learn without the training wheels. We had a chance to review their smaller 250 (http://www.twowheelingtots.com/byk-e-250/) and thought it was a great bike for the price. They are not as high-end as the others, but they are still great bikes.

      • Brian

        I just wanted to chime in with an update on the Cnoc models (pronounced “knock”, in case anyone else was saying “see-knock” like I was 🙂 ). My oldest is making the transition from a balance bike (Rothan) to a pedal bike and I wanted to stick with Islabike but I didn’t want the coaster brake handicap. I spoke to Islabike’s customer service to see if I could buy the parts from they’re EU spec models to convert to freewheel/dual handbrakes and was surprised to hear that they are currently rolling out the Cnoc with front AND rear handbrakes (at no extra cost!). They’re still being shipped with the coaster brake but a drop-in solution might be as easy as buying a complete f/w assembly from WOOM or similar for a few bucks.

        • Awesome, great to hear! I knew the changes were coming, but not this soon. Thanks for letting me know!

      • Hsiawen Hull

        JUST got off the phone w/Islabike because of the reviews from TWT, your info has helped me get my little guy on and stay on two wheels. I ordered w/o training wheels because he has worked so hard to develop his balance on the Hotwalk! Any tips?

        • Awesome. Islabikes are great! Having mastered the Hotwalk already, I will probably get on the bike on simply take off! If he is more hesitant, the best way to get him to transition is to have him sit on the bike, put his legs behind the pedals and have him push the bike while on his tippy toes. Once he starts moving, then have him start pedaling. It may take a while, but with time he will get it.

          • Hsiawen Hull

            It actually showed up last night. I ended up taking the pedals off for about 30 minutes and let him balance bike it and build his confidence. This morning he woke up and wanted to ride, so I slapped the pedals on and in 10 minutes he was pedaling all on his own! Thanks for ALL your reviews, I would never have bought an Islabike had I never read your site. I’ve learned a lot from your reviews and that’s kept my kid on two wheels!

            • Yeah! Glad to help and that you found an awesome bike for your little guy. Isn’t it amazing what kids so young can do on bikes? Plus, good job in keeping the pedals off for a while! I clearly forgot to mention that option.

      • Aaron Sylvia

        so my daughter is turning 4 in a month and i was considering the Cnoc 14″ or the Woom 2. she has about a 15.5″ inseam and is 38″ tall. any suggestions on which route to go? her brother is a year and a half so i plan to pass down whichever to him at the appropriate time but i’d like her to get enough time out of the bike to make the $300 plus purchase worth it. should i be looking at 16″ bikes instead?

        • With a 15.5″ inseam, the WOOM2 would be better as it has a minimum seat height of 17.5″ versus 18.5″ on the CNOC. For hesitant kids, it is actually best to start with a bike in which their inseam matching the minimum seat height, but it isn’t required. When their inseam matches the minimum seat height, they can start and stop the bike with their whole foot touching the ground. This helps kids feel more comfortable when learning to ride. Technically, when riding a bike, kids only need to touch the pedal and not the ground if they know how to properly stop with a hand brake. Since the pedals are two inches off the ground, kids can ride bikes in which the minimum seat height is two inches greater than their inseam, but they will only be able to touch the ground with their tippy toes. For some kids, it isn’t a problem and then hop on the bike, push with one foot and then take off. For others, it is really scary for them not being able to touch the ground, so a taller bike is a turn off. So in the end, it really depends on your child. If she is less hesitant, I would go with the CNOC as it will provide her more room to grow, but will be pretty big for her now. If she is timid, I would go for the WOOM2 or even the ByK 250 (with a minimum seat height of 15.7″) as they will allow her to touch the ground with almost her full foot.

      • Jürgen

        What a great bike! My son got the CNOC14 for his third birthday! He is not so tall (36,5″) but he managed to ride within few days…we removed the pedals so he could get a feeling for the bike like if it was a balance bike! After a couple of days we put the pedals in place and he just rode away 🙂 one little hint for parents with rather small kids! We even removed the reflector mounted under the seat so you gain another 2cm…the seat is just lower which was perfect for my son! Now he can reach ground when seated!

        • Yes, it is an amazing bike. Thanks for the tip about removing the reflector as well, I really need to add that to the review. Islabikes cannot sell the bike without it and many parents don’t realize that they can take it off.

      • victor

        Hi,
        My Grand-Son is 5 1/2 and is ready to graduate from his “First-Bike” to a real bike.
        CNOC16 should fit him well. I e-mailed ISLABIKE to see if I can get the CNOC16
        without the heavy coaster brake. The answer was no—legal issues. Understandable.
        I then offered to buy a UK spec rear wheel as an add-on as Woom offered last year.
        The importer’s rep e-mailed back that they could not do that and if I wanted a freewheel
        I would have to buy my own rear wheel. They may have a good reason for not offering a
        freewheel option but they have lost sale to Woom. I hope the change their policy

        • The information you received was correct, there are legal issues when dealing with the lack of coaster brakes in bikes. Sadly, it has MUCH more to do with CPSC regulations that bike companies. The standards they use for kid’s bikes are really old and need to be updated. In the meantime, we, as well as the bike companies, are left dealing with the mess they have created.

      • Michelle

        Alright, so we are going back and forth between the CNOC & WOOM 2. My son is 39.25″ tall with only a 15″ inseam and weighs 37 lbs at 4 years old. He’s definitely ready for pedals as he mastered his balance bike last summer, but I want him to be able to freewheel as I’ve already seen his tendency to pedal the wrong way on other pedal vehicles. I really prefer the CNOC and the person that I spoke with when I called Islabikes suggested that any standard 14″ freewheel kit may fit, but they don’t sell one. Do you know of anyone with experience that might be able to tell me if they have successfully used a WOOM kit on the CNOC?

        • I was under the impression that WOOM’s freewheel kit would not fit on the CNOC 14, but I went and remeasured and I think it might. Both bikes have the same size hub and tire, would should allow for an easy swap. The chain guard on the Islabikes, however, will most likely not fit once the back wheel has been swapped out (the kit is an entire new back wheel and hub). As a result, I wouldn’t recommend it an exposed chain it likely to cause problems on a child’s bike.

          • Michelle

            OK, so I actually asked Islabikes this question again when I called them back, and though they couldn’t guarantee anything, they thought it would work so we decided to order. I wanted to share with you that we got my son the newest model CNOC 14 and swapped the rear wheel out with the WOOM 2 freewheel with no difficulty at all (chain & guard fit just fine). FYI, they have changed the tire on the new CNOC so the tire that comes on the WOOM freewheel is slightly larger. For now we haven’t switched the tire out on the freewheel, but we do plan to do so. We had the pedals off for 2 days and he was begging for them. He hasn’t “taken off” quite yet but he is getting close (he is a cautious kid). It may help when we change out that tire. I will keep you posted.

            • Yes! That’s awesome news, thanks for sharing! I’m surprised everything fit, but I am so glad it did. Thanks for answering the question we’ve all been wondering. Sounds like he is on his way to cruising :).

              • Michelle

                Natalie, I just posted a video of him on your Facebook page. He’s doing great!

              • Yeah, thanks so much! I love how you can actually see him pedal backwards a couple of times during the video. So excited it all came together, he’s doing awesome :).

      • Ade Nettell

        Early Rider Belter 16 or Islabikes CNOC 16? I can’t decide!!

        • Both are great, but if you are planning on riding any hills, I would go for the Early Rider as the coaster brake on the Islabikes will be a pain. The Belter as has a more aggressive geometry for off-roading. For any other riding, I would go with the Islabikes.

      • Jenna Tanis

        I stumbled upon your website while researching moving from a balance bike to a pedal bike….I love all of the information here! Our son has mastered his balance bike and is interested in moving to a pedal bike. My husband and I are unsure of which bike to get though, as our son is short for his age. He is turning 4 next month and just started wearing 4T pants and only has a 16″ inseam. I really liked the CNOC 14 & WOOM2 bikes but it seems like the seat height on both will be too tall for him. He really likes to be able to put both feet fully flat on the ground when starting and stopping. Should we be looking for a Special Hotrock 12 instead? Thank you!

        • How did you measure his inseam? If he is in 4T pants, his inseam should be closer to 18″. Of course every child is different (as are clothing brands), but I would double check before you order a bike. The best way to measure is to have him stand against a wall with his heels touching the wall. While he stands up straight, have take a larger hard bound book (like a kids picture book) and have him grip it between his legs. Slowly push the book up as fas inr as it can go. Once it stops, make sure the book is perpendicular to the wall and measure from the spin of the book to the floor.

          Assuming his inseam is great than 16″, then he should be fine on the CNOC 14 Large (minimum seat 18″) or the WOOM2 (minimum seat 17″). My son is also in 4T pants and rides the CNOC 16 as well as the WOOM3, but he can only touch with his tippy toes, so those would certainly be too big for your son.

          As for the Specialized, you can see a picture of my son on the Hotrock 12 and 16 here: http://www.twowheelingtots.com/beyond-the-balance-five-reasons-why-balance-bikes-are-worth-the-hype/. You can see the Hotrock 12″ is on the smaller side, but the 16″ was much harder for him to ride as compared to the CNOC and the WOOMs.

      • Jenna Tanis

        Hi Natalie, thanks for getting back to me. I double checked his inseam, making sure to follow your guidelines and the picture on your website. I only got another 1/2″ or so. My son has been in 3T shorts all summer and is just moving into 4T pants. Most of the times his pant legs are too long in whatever size he happens to be in. As a baby I was constantly rolling the cuffs a bit so he wouldn’t step on them. I think he just has really short legs for a kid his size. Would the CNOC 14″ small be better? Thanks for all your help!

        • Thanks for double checking With a 16″ inseam the Islabikes CNOC 14 small would be your best bet. If you needed a more affordable option, the ByK E-250 would also work, but the CNOC is much better quality.

      • brandyn

        So you said that the Cnoc has a coaster break in the US because of a law, why are there a few that don’t, Spawn Furi and Clearly Gecko?
        Thank you

        • The simple answer is because they found a loophole in the system. If the maximum seat height of the bike is high enough, then the coaster brake rule doesn’t apply. As a result, you have to buy an additional seat post on the Gecko to get the seat down to 15″. The same applies to the Furi. If you live in the US, you are required to alter the seat post yourself, which they explain on their Furi listing: ”
          Not Exactly as Pictured – Our US model of the Furi will ship with a full chainguard and a 300mm long seatpost to comply with CSPC requirements. The longer seatpost will not allow the seat height to the minimum allowable height the frame is capable of. The bicycle can be modified by the end consumer by shortening the seatpost or installing a shorter seatpost such as the 130mm seatpost that is used on the international model.”

      • Ben

        Hi I just wanted confirm that if you want to get rid of the rear coaster wheel on the CNOC14, the Woom2 freewheel will fit. Both bikes use a 110mm rear dropout spacing just like a BMX bike. In fact, the coaster hubs on both bikes appears to be identical, made by the same manufacturer. And it’s well worth the money buying the Woom freewheel because it’s almost of full pound lighter than the coaster wheel. The freewheel kit is actually a whole new rear wheel including the tire and tube, so it’s a pretty easy DIY swap.

        • Awesome, thanks! This will be a huge help to others. I believe you are right in that many people assume that it would be a huge undertaking, but considering you are just swapping out the rear tire, most parents could manage without a problem. Plus, a full pound different is just icing on the cake!

        • Jim

          Thanks! How can I get my hands on a Woom2 freewheel?

      • Jim

        Hi. My daughter is 3.5 yrs old (inseam 16″). She has mastered her Early Rider Lite (12″), continues to enjoy it, but it’s short for her now, and she also is very interested in pedals. She is not a super aggressive rider, but she is also not extremely timid. She rides mostly on pavement. Should I buy a bigger balance bike, or go for pedals? I would go for pedals, but… (1) spending >$300 would be hard for our budget, and (2) I don’t see a clear winner. I like the CNOC14, but I’ve read it may not be helpful for new riders to have coaster brakes. I like the Woom2, but I’ve read it may not be helpful if the bike geometry (and handles) force the riding position to be too upright. I’m tempted to go to REI or the local bike shop to buy a cheaper 12″ or 16″ pedal bike and just give that a go. Or I could just get her a larger balance bike, which is also more affordable. Thoughts?

        • If you daughter is asking for a pedal bike, I would give it a try! I would first take her to a bike shop and have her test out a bike to see if she really wants to pedal or just likes the idea of pedaling. Actually, with an inseam of 16″, it is going to be a challenge to find a bike small enough to allow her to run around on it without training wheels on. If she is adventurous, she actually might just fit on the Specialized Hotrock 12, so I would start there. If she hops on the bike and is eager to start pedaling around (even if it is challenging), I would pursue a pedal bike, if not, I would go for a larger balance bike. Besides the Hotrock 12, I wouldn’t consider looking at any other 12″ bikes in shops as the will be more challenging for her to ride. If you wanted a cheaper bike than a WOOM or an Islabike, I would go for the ByK 250 now (the purple is on sale for $170, http://amzn.to/2hbIs4O), which will certainly fit her now. Once she outgrows the ByK I would then look into a WOOM or an Islabikes.

      • Antoine

        Thank you for the amazing site! I’m trying to figure out what to get for my daughter. She’ll be turning 4 in February, which is when we were planning to give her the bike. She currently wears 3T clothes, which generally fit her spot on. Her inseam is around 17.5″. She currently has an Islabikes Rothan that we got her when she was 2 (and eventually upgraded with the longer seat post). She didn’t ride it much until this past summer, but then rode it a bunch and now has a good handle on balancing. She likes to use the hand brake, but I wouldn’t say she has “mastered” it (it’s not second nature). She is not big risk-taker, but she likes to challenge herself in ways that aren’t dangerous (e.g., how far can she balance without putting her feet down, etc.). She is very excited about the idea of a pedal bike, but hasn’t tried one.

        Based on your site, it sounds like she would be better suited with a 14″ bike like the Cnoc 14″ large or the Woom2 than the 16″ equivalents. I’m a bit concerned about how fast she might outgrow it, though… Islabikes lists a 19″ maximum inseam for the Cnoc 14″ large, which is just a half inch higher than the Rothan balance bike she’s currently riding. If we get her a 14″ bike now, will she just outgrow it right away? What usually comes next for kids that start on a 14″ pedal bike? Do they usually need a 16″ bike too or can they jump straight to a 20″ bike?

        Also, I haven’t seen much about saddle comfort. My daughter’s main complaint with her balance bike is pain from the saddle. The extended seat post on the Rothan came with a different saddle than the shorter post had, and this new one seems to works a bit better, but it is still her major complaint (and the reason she often wants to stop riding). Do you have any recommendations? Between the Islabikes and the Woom, do you have a sense of which would be more comfortable? Thanks again!

        • Glad to help! The debate between a 14″ and a 16″ is challenging. For most kids, it is much easier to learn to ride on a smaller 14″, but kids outgrow them quickly. We currently have both the CNOC 14″ Larger and the CNOC 16″ for my 4yo in 4T pants to ride. He can ride both, but fits MUCH better on the 16″ now, BUT when learning to ride back in May, the 14 was the perfect size for him to learn on. With a 17.5″ inseam, I would go with the WOOM3 first, and then the CNOC 16. The WOOM3 does not have a coaster brake (back pedal brake), which will make it easier for her to learn to pedal one, especially since she won’t be able to touch the ground completely with his feet. The geometry on the WOOM3 is also more upright than the CNOC, which makes it more comfortable for beginning riders. We also have the WOOM3 for a short time and for everyday riding, it is my son’s favorite bike. Hope that helps!