Islabikes has launched their latest range expansion with the Icons Range. With the headline “The Ride Continues” and an accompanying motto “Aging is not lost youth but a new age of opportunity and strength” the bikes are aimed at the active but older consumer who wants a simple, lightweight, reliable package.
The company website lists the benefits that a life in the saddle provides: physical fitness, connection with nature, social bonding, independence and positive mental health are among them. It also explains the feature-advantage-benefit of their bikes in clear and uncluttered language.
Something the rest of the trade doesn’t always get right, perhaps we could all learn a thing or two here – or as someone at CoreBike put it to me yesterday “the industry spends too much time talking to itself and not enough time talking to everyday consumers in their language”.
The range comprises three bikes for older riders.
- Joni – an urban bike for getting around town
- Janis – for road cyclists seeking a more comfortable ride
- Jimi – a mountain bike for off-road explorations
Islabikes’ say they have fused a unique set of features and benefits: Lightweight, Low Step-Over and Low-gearing. It’s so simple anyone could have done it. So why didn’t anyone do it? In fact, many brands sort of do and sort of used to. But the message kind of got a bit lost Perhaps they don’t quite bring together what is essentially a tried and tested formula for making a bike, but with a fresh eye like Isla?
- How many bike brands put bikes like this in their own section in the catalogue or website?
- How many brands use appropriate aged cyclists, in the countryside, wearing a raincoat (instead of the ever present cliche of a young rider, clearly-a-model-not-a-cyclist-due-to-awkward-position-on-bike, in an urban setting, in the sunshine)
- How many brands actually publish the weight of their bikes? (NB – Soapbox moment: I could write a whole separate piece about how this used to be standard practice up to the mid 90s and how self defeating it has been to drop it)
Isla were instrumental in changing the way the whole industry viewed, designed, manufactured and sold kids bikes. Some might say many parts of the industry are still catching up with them. Perhaps they are about to do it all over again for the Baby Boomers?
Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they did an e-bike next.
Watch that space.