Bobbin Bikes Review: Are These Bicycles Worth The Penny?

Bobbin Bikes

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B is for Bobbin. So says the bright and fun introductory video of an English bike brand with Dutch DNA. It blends a passion for the Pantone colour palette to the traditions of elegant bicycle design. We can promise no lycra threads in this review of Bobbin.

Who Are Bobbin?

Bobbin is now included in the Kybotech Group portfolio of companies. This company specialises in online stores but has a leaning towards leisure products and outdoor furniture. The bike brand originated as the brainchild of Sian Emmison and Tom Morris. 

In an interview with Bloom in 2019, Emisson explained how, in the late noughties, as artists recently arriving in London from the Netherlands, they were surprised to see how few people were commuting by bicycle. After starting by selling other brands’ non-sporty bikes, they curated their own vision by getting a feel for what was popular in the UK capital and grew the company independently. 

Part of their success came from introducing stylish products which attracted a new community of customers. People who weren’t obsessed with sport and tech, but were interested in good design and beautiful things.

What Does Bobbin Specialize In?

Bobbin sells comfortable everyday riding, done in a relaxation reminiscent of the commuting around Amsterdam. The adult bikes look durable and come with the right amount of accessories, like a forgiving saddle, chaincase, mudguards / fenders and a rack. There are seven products in the adult range.

The Bobbin range of 15 bikes for children is very grown-up and follows the standard set by the adult range. Wicker baskets, stylish cream-coloured tyres surround wheels which come in many sizes to suit any growing brood. Starting with balance bikes, these run up to 26” diameter wheeled city bikes all in the same standout colourways.

Bobbin Bicycle
(Photo: Bobbin)

The bell is a lovely touch but you’re sure to be noticed by the key marker of the entire range of the brand’s bikes – a nod to great vintage design and simplicity – which is complimented by the subtle pastel colour palette available across the range. They are beautiful bikes to behold.

Accompanying the bikes is a range of safety-certified helmets, different bells, lights and locks as well as tassels for the bar ends. These are aimed at the kids range. A Bike Sizing Quiz will help with frame selection and wheel diameter choice.

Not being preoccupied with tech really helps the pricing. These bikes are good value.

Are Bobbin Bikes Good?

Bobbin Bikes hit their mark. Users – thought mainly to be female at the same time as Sian Emisson’s Bloom interview – love the idea of cycling without racing. The Dutch influence is strong and users love the colours, the comfort of the saddle and practicality of the racks and accessories. 

I enjoyed one sporty, road focused user’s review who said his model reminded him of the bikes that older generations rode to work and the comfort of the grips and wider handlebars which encourage leisurely riding. Many British bike brands are drawing on the same heritage. The quality of the frame is a real standout and although the components are entry level, they are simple to maintain and adjust.

This meets our ideal of the philosophy of cycling for transport, for going to the local market or meeting friends. And it’s clear that the quality and accessories which come with the kids bikes goes down well with younger owners as well as their happy parents. 

The kids bikes are just as well made, just as colourful and robust. The brake levers are cleverly designed to be closer to the handlebars for smaller fingers to grip. The full chain guard on the Gingersnap model is pleasing on the eye. It’s good to see the emphasis on the fun and enjoyment in riding a bike. Expect to see Mums, Dads and kids all on colour co-ordinated models.

Is Bobbin Bikes a Good Brand?

Bobbin Bikes is distinct and clever by shifting the focus onto the lifestyle offered by owning its products. The founders spent a considered amount of time building a brand which emphasised the subtle and stylish way in which adults and children can move through cities at their leisure.

In the absence of any dedicated retail outlets (the company once ran a few pop-ups and boutiques in metropolitan capitals) the online store is simple to navigate and places the emphasis on the colours and style. The press list attached to the landing page is a real indicator of the brand influence – Vogue, Vanity Fair and Country Living scroll across a banner. 

The Instagram account places emphasis on happy riding in the countryside and the city. The founders, both originally artists, said the beautiful colours draw inspiration from Dutch artists, graphic designers and the creator of the children’s classic, The Moomins.

Black Bobbin bicycle standing in road
(Photo: Bobbin)

Where Are Bobbin Bikes Made?

Bobbin Bikes are designed in London, then pieced together in Asia and then shipped to a regional distribution centre back in the UK capital. The overwhelming majority of niche bike company products in this price point are built this way. Costs are reduced and savings passed onto the customer.

The company ships its products around the world. Assembly needs to be completed at home when you receive your Bobbin Bike. There are instructional videos on the site and not all tools are supplied. You’re likely to spend a bit more time putting together the adult version than the kids balance bikes.

Does Bobbin Bikes Make E-Bikes?

All Bobbin Bikes rely on pedal power only, or leg-power in the case of the Gingersnap and Moonbug balance bikes. 

Bobbin Bikes Review

Bobbin bikes are not heavily inspected by tech-focused junkies or weight weenies. They are loved by the design and lifestyle press. Their co-founders found a niche amongst city dwellers who didn’t want to be intimidated by going into a bike shop. 

The design influences and trusted frame design with a very relaxed riding position brings joy and takes complication out of stepping over the top tube of the bike. The subtle touches like the step-over frame and built in mudguards / fenders add to those pleasures in just getting out and about on your bike.

Branching out into a wider model range for children than adults is an inspired choice for this brand because as well as introducing kids to the fun of riding in a colourful and non-sporty way at an early age, the shared colour scheme with the adult bikes is almost certain to capture loyal families who will be repeat buyers.

The company’s Trustpilot is a rewarding 4.3 out of 5. Although the total number of reviewers is less than 400 as we write, nearly three-quarters are happy to give five stars out of five.

The quality of the frame and pleasure at first beholding the colour are key takeaways from the comments.

It will be interesting to follow the direction of the company as it sits under the umbrella of the new owners – will the values flow from the founders to the current custodians of the brand?

Best Adult Bobbin Bikes

  1. bobbin brownie 7 dutch bike

    Signature vintage style

    Brownie 7 Dutch Bike

    Dream of Amsterdam’s quiet commuting with seven-speed gearing in colour-matched style and plenty of built in accessories.

  2. bobbin fold folding bike

    Stand out without compromise

    Fold Folding Bike

    Convenient, easy-to-fold bike in a smart gloss finish capped with seven gears.

  3. bobbin birdie lightweight bike

    Zip around in style

    Birdie Lightweight Bike

    A lighter version of the Brownie 7 with the same step-through frame, gearing and accessories.

  4. bobbin hummingbird bike

    Comfortable all-rounder

    Hummingbird Vintage Bike

    Retaining the sophisticated style and great frame with accessories and a flush of countryside colour.

  5. bobbin daytripper bike

    Your next BFF

    Daytripper City Bike

    A utilitarian utopia. Simple, strong frame, chain guard, unfussy with polished features.

  6. bobbin gingersnap 26 bike

    Join the revolution

    Gingersnap 26″ Wheel

    The smaller wheels present petite adults or teenagers with a sophisticated substitute for sport-only cycling. Refined.

Best Bobbin Kids Bikes

  1. bobbin gingersnap 16 bike

    Retro design and dinky features

    Gingersnap 16″ Wheel

    Packed with sophisticated features and a colour pallette to induce school gate envy.

  2. bobbin gingersnap 12 inches balance bike

    Beautiful boundless Bobbin

    Gingersnap 12″ Balance Bike

    Toddler and pre-schoolers can join in the days out or shopping trips in step with Mum and Dad.

  3. bobbin gingersnap 20 bike

    Growing kids won’t put it down

    Gingersnap 20″ Wheel

    Glossy, seven-speed gearing and handmade frame with grown-up accessories. Pretty colours.

  4. bobbin moonbug 12 inches bike

    Toddlers will never be cooler

    Moonbug 12″ Wheel

    With training wheels attached to a bright glossy frame and full chain guard plus cream tyres.

  5. bobbin gingersnap 26 inches wheel kids bike

    Poised petite pedalling

    Gingersnap 26″ Wheel

    The smaller wheels are comfortable and stable and the high-quality finish really stand out in the crowd.

  6. bobbin hornet 20 inches hybrid bike

    Non-stop adventures

    Hornet 20″ Wheel Kids’ Hybrid Bike

    With an alloy frame, BMX-style pedals and flat handlebars there comes a nod to dreams and exploration.

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