Islabikes Creig 24″
Pros & Cons
- Feather weight for a mountain bike
- Gear ratio has a wide enough range for flat terrain or climbing serious hills
- Well-designed geometry gives kids confidence to tackle terrain without being afraid of flying over the handlebars
- Air adjusted fork truly takes the bite out of the trail
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- Wide handlebars put grip shifts and brake levers a little too far out for maximum ease
**Islabikes are no longer available in the US**
Kelly from Haven Outdoors authored this review for Two Wheeling Tots. Kelly is an avid mountain biker and a father of four and certainly knows his way around bikes and kids.
The Islabikes Creig 24-inch mountain bike is definitely a contender when it comes to quality mountain bikes for your little one. My 8-year-old has been riding this bike for a few weeks now and this bike has helped take his riding skills to a whole new level and his love for mountain biking has increased leaps and bounds.
First things first, let’s look at some numbers and specs. The bike comes set up with the following:
- Weight: 23 lbs, 5 oz (including pedals)
- 7005 aluminum frame with ergonomic fit
- Lightweight adjustable air fork with lockout
- Sram DB1 hydraulic disc brakes with levers modified for shorter reach
- Sram GX 10 sp gears – wide ratio 11 – 36 cassette
- Exclusive Islabikes component set for best fit and control
- Disc specific rims with Vee Rubber Crown Gem tires
- Quality hex key set supplied
This is a high-quality bike. While it is not the cheapest bike out there, I can say that you do get what you pay for. Keeping the bikes weight down is critical for young riders. Weighing in at around 23 lbs., the Creig makes easy work for kids when pedaling uphill on extended climbs. Any experienced mountain biker can tell you the difference they can feel in just a couple of lbs. when climbing in and out of the saddle. Compared to a department store brand bike that weighs just over 40 lbs. the Creig is the undefeated feather weight champion.
The gear ratio has a wide enough with an 11t-36t cassette and a 32t narrow-wide chain ring up front gives a younger rider plenty of gears to choose from whether blasting down or slogging up. I was actually really surprised at some of the climbs my son was able to clean on this bike.
The RST F1RST 24 fork really does the job. Having and air adjustable fork for a light rider is outstanding, to say the least. This fork is supple and plush and really takes the bite out the trail even through bigger rocks and roots that littered some of the mountain terrain we rode on. About halfway through one of our rides my son said, “My hands don’t even hurt!” Having a good fork gave him a lot of confidence to plow through some of the rougher stuff and carry a lot more speed.
The SRAM DB1 hydraulic disc brakes work perfectly! They have plenty of stopping power with just enough modulation to not through your kid over the bars. The ease of pulling the levers make for a lot less strain on little fingers keeping your child out riding longer.
One aspect I would like to see improved is the grips. They are too wide which puts the grip shift and the brake levers too far in. I would probably throw on some ESI foam grips and cut them down in width a bit. This would help get your kids hands out wider on the bar, but bring the control in closer to their reach.
Next, let’s look at the geometry:
- Horizontal top tube – 490mm
- Seat tube – 305mm
- Wheelbase – 952mm
- Head tube angle – 69.5⁰
- Seat tube angle – 74⁰
- Chain stay – 395mm
- BB height – 259mm
- Q factor – 158mm
The wheelbase is something I noticed while my son was riding in that he seemed very stable and controlled on the bike, yet it wasn’t too long to where he could handle some pretty tight switchbacks on the Creig.
The seat tube angle is just about right keeping a comfortable position while pedaling when seated.
The head tube angle is dialed right where it needs to be. Even though this is more of an XC type build and frame, I like that they have a considerably slack head angle. This one hit the sweet spot keeping the front end down while climbing but being slack enough be playful and give confidence when the trails got a little bit steep. My son was able to charge down some pretty aggressive single track with me and not feel like he was going over the bars or have to get back behind his seat at all like we all did back in the 90’s.
The chain stays are short enough to keep the bike playful and the ability to bring the back end around with the bike through tighter corners but long enough to keep the bike stable at higher speeds. The bottom bracket height stays low enough to make your kids feel like they are “in the bike” rather than “on it.” Again this helps with confidence allowing kids to make quicker progress. Last of all, the Q factor keeps little legs in closer to the bike. Pedaling alignment looked good and comfortable for my little riding partner.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a bike that will let your kids progress quickly on real mountain bike trails, rather than just around the neighborhood or perfectly groomed out singletrack, the Islabikes Creig 24 is a solid pick.