Early Rider Belter, the best first pedal bike?

Early Rider Belter

Early Rider

If you take your bikes seriously then, like me, you probably take your kids bikes seriously too.  You bought a balance bike to get them started on the right path and now they’re ready to take the next step and ride their first pedal bike.  From personal experience I know that there isn’t much choice when it comes to quality kids bikes.  In fact the only company I can think of that offers a well designed and well made first pedal bike is Isla bikes……     until now!  After a number of years in development Early Rider have introduced a new first pedal bike to their range, the Belter!

For the purposes of this article I’m going to make a direct comparison between the new Early Rider Belter and the Isla bikes Cnoc 16.  If you know of any other first pedal bikes at a similar price point that offer any competition to these two then please let me know and I’ll include it in the comparison, but as things stand these are the best bikes around. Both are specifically designed for kids with custom made parts, both are lightweight at under 6kg, both have 16″ wheels and both are similarly priced, the Belter is £229.99 and Cnoc 16 is £199.99.

Early Rider Belter

  • Price £229.99
  • Weight 5.6Kg
  • Wheels 16″
  • Aluminium frame, mini V brakes, aluminium hubs and rims
  • custom belt drive, single speed
  • carbon seapost

Cnoc 16 Isla Bike

  • Price £199.99
  • Weight 5.98Kg
  • Wheels 16″
  • Aluminium frame, mini V brakes, steel hubs and aluminium rims
  • traditional chain drive single speed
  • aluminium seatpost

The Early Rider Belter wins on weight by nearly 400 grams. In terms of function there are two major differences 1) the Early Rider Belter uses a belt drive, efficient, no need to oil and virtually maintenance free, a definite advantage! 2) The Isla bike Cnoc 16 has both a front and rear brake whereas the Belter has just a rear brake.  Having just one brake accounts for some of the weight difference between the two bikes, I think that just a rear brake is more than adequate for a first pedal bike but some parents may prefer to have both brakes.

However. . . . the thing that really separates these two bikes is looks.  The Early Rider Belter is a thing of beauty, the brushed aluminium frame, the leather style saddle and handlebar grips, the carbon fibre seatpost, even the belt drive just looks cool.  Sorry Isla but the Cnoc 16 doesn’t even come close.  Early Rider have achieved both function and form whereas the Cnoc 16 only succeeds at one.  Early Rider is the new kid on the bloc and with looks like this plenty of heads will turn!  In comparison the Cnoc just seems bland.

Belter beautiful

Value for money.  Kids grow FAST!  So they grow out of their bikes pretty fast too, expect to get 2-3 years out each bike in my experience so £200 or £230 sounds like a lot of money.  Our family has now owned 4 Isla bikes, 2 of which have been sold for approx 85% of their original value, that makes them cheaper to own than one of those cheap supermarket bikes, no brainer! Isla bikes hold their value and there’s no reason that the Early Rider shouldn’t be the same in that respect.   Yes they’re quite expensive, but if you look after them and sell them on or pass them down to the next in line they’re definitely worth it in my opinion.  Nothing else on the market even comes close.

In conclusion.  Both the Early Rider Belter and the Isla Bikes Cnoc 16 are superb first pedal bikes both from British companies.  Both bikes are lightweight and fit for purpose, many kids bikes on the market weigh twice as much as these which can make learning to ride and struggle and any slight incline impossible.  The Belter is slightly lighter with some beautiful styling and wonderful attention to detail while the Cnoc 16 has both front and rear brakes and is £30 cheaper.

I know which one I’d choose…..

The complete range of Early Rider bikes is available online at Babi Pur including the new Belter the new Spherovelo Juno and the Early Rider Classic

Isla bikes are only available to buy direct from the Isla bikes website 

Peter Barton

Introducing the Early Rider Spherovelo

Early Rider Spherovelo

The Early Rider Spherovelo is here.  Sometimes a product comes along that’s a little bit special, one that without a doubt we would buy for our own children, the Spherovelo most definitely is one of them.  Designed for children as young as 9 months this is the perfect introduction to riding, balancing, zooming about and generally having fun.

So we know it looks cool and we know it’s a ride on toy for babies but what makes it so special?  The Spherovelo is a kind of hybrid bike designed for young children, instead of wheels it has spheres hence the name sphero – velo (velo meaning bike).  This means the ‘bike’ tips and relocates creating trail, rather than falling over, allowing a very young child to control and ride it.  Your child can lean into corners, balancing just like when on a bike whilst their feet are never far away from the floor so they learn and build confidence in their own time.

The Spherovelo also has removable casters, one on each side, which add complete upright stability which means babies as young as 9 months can sit on it and start pushing themselves around. When your child is ready, just remove the casters to make it “unstable”.

3 years in the making by British based company Early Rider, who pioneered some of the first balance bikes, they have created something truly innovative that helps develop children’s motor and balance skills and most importantly it looks like incredibly good fun to ride!

The Spherovelo is available to order now at Babi Pur at £69.00.  A superb present for 1 and 2 year olds.  The phrase “must have” is over used but this really is a “must have”


Peter Barton

Early Rider – balance bikes

A bike with no pedals?  It didn’t make much sense to me when my husband first mentioned these kid’s bikes which have no pedals or stabilisers yet are designed for children as young as 20 months.   The first thing I noticed was how ‘cool’ they look with the flame detailing on the wooden frame and the chunky wheels.  The reason they have no pedals is so that children can concentrate on learning to balance first.  Then they can learn to steer and stop with confidence.  The ‘Early Rider’  has ‘restricted steering’ to prevent children from over turning and falling over, once they have built their confidence it can then be changed to the ‘unrestricted steering’ setting. 

Lite Series – Pre 2-4 years

Weighing just 3.25 kg this is a great little bike which is suitable from 20 months will give your young child confidence and independence and help develop their balance and motor skills. 

Classic Series – 2-5 years

The original Early Rider and looks really cool!

Evolution Series – 3.5-6 years

This is the latest addition to the Early Rider range, designed to grow with your child’s confidence.  A great looking lightweight bike in the style of a chopper

Our daughters have been playing with their Early Rider bikes for a couple of weeks now and have already mastered balancing skills.  Isabelle (22months) is a little short for her ‘Lite’ bike and can only use it when she has shoes!  Harriet(3) has the ‘Classic’ and is really getting the hang of it.  These bikes attract lots of attention when we go out with the girls and people are always commenting on how beautifully made they are.  The quality and attention to detail really does show in these bikes.

Buy these bikes online here 

Visit the Early Rider website