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  1. #1
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    Convert Islabike Beinn 26 or start over?

    Looking for opinions: I bought my son an Islabike Beinn 26 small about 18 months ago when he just barely fit it. We're starting to do some trail riding as a family. I've upgraded to Black Jack tires, but he lacks confidence on it. Is this a good bike to upgrade to be a better mountain bike, or should I sell it and start fresh? I'd probably swap to an air fork, new wheels that could support disk brakes, new brakes, and new tires.

  2. #2
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    From what I have read, they are a very light and quality mtb. If you (or he) is just starting trail riding, I would put the biggest and best tires on there and let him run with it for a while. Make sure the tire pressure is not too high. The brakes should be fine if they are adjusted properly. Then, when he has a season or two of riding under his belt and had built his skills up a bit, an air fork could go on the Beinn. A kid can arguably build up more skill riding rigid for a while than jumping straight to a suspension fork.

    If the bike is still too big, you could look at swapping the stem, cranks, bars, etc.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by trombs21 View Post
    Looking for opinions: I bought my son an Islabike Beinn 26 small about 18 months ago when he just barely fit it. We're starting to do some trail riding as a family. I've upgraded to Black Jack tires, but he lacks confidence on it. Is this a good bike to upgrade to be a better mountain bike, or should I sell it and start fresh? I'd probably swap to an air fork, new wheels that could support disk brakes, new brakes, and new tires.
    It will be ok for casual riding. This is not a bike meant for serious trail riding. If it were me, I would not sink more money into this bike trying to make it something else.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesmokingman View Post
    It will be ok for casual riding. This is not a bike meant for serious trail riding. If it were me, I would not sink more money into this bike trying to make it something else.
    This

  5. #5
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    As far as I know from UK models the Beinn has no rear mount for a disk brake.
    So even after spending on wheels you still have this. (Not impossible to solve but...???)

    Whether you want disc brakes will depend where you live and what you ride.
    For us it was as much about me not having to true wheels every week or second week to stop the noise of mud ... as the brakes on his 20 needed to be adjusted right in... even taking a wheel off meant deflating tyres or removing the brake cable

    All that said, I can't imagine riding what we do now (18 mo after his first 24) on rim brakes and no suspension. We ended up a second bike (full suss) as well as he competes in XC but we mostly ride aggressive trail and downhill when we can. (Non of that was really planned BTW...)

    You might get the Beinn into a decent XC machine (but unless he is racing why would you)... but it will be limited to that IMHO.

    If I was starting today... not knowing what we would end up riding I'd hedge my bets on an Orbea 24.

  6. #6
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    My boy started on a Bienn 20 and progressed very quickly. I mounted fatter Small Block 8 tires and changed the shifter to a SRAM thumb actuated. His technical abilities progressed quickly and was able to ride very technical terrain despite the rigid fork. The Bienn line are very light and simple with great ergonomics that encourage riders to ride all terrain.

    He is now on an Islabikes Creig 24 which has a suspension fork and disk brakes. He still grabs the Bienn 20 for the pump track and trials type riding.

    Unless your son is riding rough terrain as moderate to high speeds, the Bienn will probably be your best bet. It's versitile and rugged.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the input, there's some good advice in this thread. I'll likely switch him to an Orbea for our dirt-based rides.

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