Banwood has unveiled a brand new balance bike named Banwood x Rispal ICON. The bike was designed by Douglas Mont of the House of Rispal and will be available in a few select locations, one being the world-famous department store Harrods.
When I received news of the Banwood x Rispal ‘ICON’ balance bike, it did take more than a few minutes before I realised that something obvious was absent on this bike. I sat there, looking at my screen, somewhat confused. I asked myself, ‘Was this a piece of art for display?’ Fortunately, another member of the editorial team walked by, glanced at the screen and said, “that’s a nice looking balance bike.” I asked how she knew what it was, and she immediately said, “Duh! It’s got no pedals.”
Apparently, in the four-plus decades since I learnt to ride a bike, things have changed somewhat. My first bicycle was a Raleigh Budgie, replete with stabilisers that seemingly had a mind of their own and would frequently bend and come off. However, since those days, many experts now believe that balance bikes are better for helping to prepare young children for riding a traditional bike.
As you can clearly see (which I missed), a balance bike is essentially a bicycle without a chain or pedals. The idea is that young children use their own feet to balance and propel themselves. As the name would suggest, the bike allows kids to learn to steer and balance and, at the same time, gives them some independence. As the bikes utilise children’s legs and feet, they sit closer to the ground. In addition to this, the absence of pedals etc. makes them lighter.
Douglas Mont, a Rispal designer, said: “The idea of ICON came to life when I met the co-founders of Banwood at a trade fair in Paris. We saw the possibility of merging art and play and creating something unique together. ICON is a piece of art for parents to be proud of and kids to enjoy.”
The design of the Banwood x Rispal ‘ICON’ balance bike
The Banwood x Rispal collaboration unifies the playful kids’ world with the world of art, characterised by quality, safety and a retro design.
Douglas Mont wanted to create a retro design with elements from the 50s and 60s and a personal touch to evoke happy childhood memories.
ICON has been influenced by Mont’s design ethos and is instantly recognisable by its curved structures and horizontal lines representing the impression of movement and speed. It features carefully selected details, including an elegant, streamlined frame with a golden finish, a handmade leather saddle and Michelin wheels – a tribute to the town where Douglas Mont grew up.
Frida Jonsby, a co-founder of Banwood, said: “I’ve always had an eye for Rispal’s streamlined designs. Following Douglas Mont in his creative process has been so inspiring. It’s been an honour having the iconic House of Rispal collaborating with us for this exclusive launch.”
I cannot recall ever seeing a balance bike in my everyday life. However, it’s highly likely I have as they look virtually identical to a traditional bicycle. The Banwood x Rispal ‘ICON’ balance bike is one of the prettiest children’s bikes you’re ever likely to see. It would look beautiful just sat on a plinth in the home, which will probably mean that parents will need to be quick to get their hands on one as fans of great design are likely to be joining them in the queue.
Banwood is known for its classic, timeless design. Their hard work and attention to detail have resulted in something worthy of being handed down through families from generation to generation.
Banwood x Rispal ‘ICON’ balance bike – Where and how?
Banwood x Rispal’s ICON will be available in a few carefully selected locations worldwide, including Harrods, London. The ICON will be priced at £1,050. Customers can make an online purchase at banwood.com.
You can watch a video of the balance bike here.
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