Much-loved children's bike manufacturer Islabikes has announced it will cease sale and production after 18 years in business.
The announcement came on Islabikes' website today, founder Isla Rowntree, who stepped back from the day to day running of the company in 2021, thanking "our many loyal customers" and saying it "is a wonderful thing" that so many cycling brands now produce good quality bikes for children.
Pointing out that the company remains solvent and has no outstanding creditors, remaining stock of current models can still be bought and there will be an ongoing supply of spare parts, with existing guarantees also to be honoured, the statement says.
Acknowledging the "turbulent and difficult time" for the cycling industry, both Rowntree and majority owner and manging director Tim Goodall say that they do not wish to continue.
The company was founded in 2005, Islabikes saying it is proud to have "improved the cycling lives of hundreds of thousands of children" and "revolutionised" the market with "innovative designs for smaller hands and bodies".
Rowntree said: "Today, it's easy to forget just how bad most children's bikes were when I started Islabikes 18 years ago. They were monstrously heavy, fitted with outsized components and had dreadful brakes that were out of reach.
"They were so poor I believed they had the potential to put many children off cycling for life and I founded Islabikes to change that – to give children a better experience of cycling with the many benefits that brings.
"Islabikes' early success gradually gained attention from other and bigger cycling brands and, as a result of them following our lead, today good quality, well thought out children's bikes are available from multiple places, and for me, that is a wonderful thing.
"Tim and I would like to thank our many loyal customers, colleagues and suppliers who have contributed to the Islabikes story over the last 18 years."
As mentioned earlier, it has been a challenging time for the bike industry in recent months, various manufacturers, retailers, distributors and other cycling-related businesses no longer trading.
Just yesterday we reported the news that components giant Shimano, something of a bellwether for the cycling industry as a whole, has reported a fall in sales and said the global cycling market remains "weak".
UK bike sales have also fallen further in 2023, that despite them dropping to their lowest level in 20 years last year. And various big names from the cycling industry have gone out of business this year too, distributors Moore Large and 2pure just two of the casualties.
In the past week it was revealed that Wiggle Chain Reaction is reportedly heading towards administration due to issues with parent company funding. Signa Sports United, which owns Wiggle Chain Reaction and several other cycling retailers, learnt last week that it would no longer be receiving €150 million in funding over the next two years, putting its businesses in danger.
Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.