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I own an Islabikes CNOC 16. The CNOC 16 need a new rear wheel; the CNOC 16's rear wheel (16 x 1.35 / 34-305 / 14t freewheel / M30 thread) rim and spokes are damaged after I partially backed over tire with vehicle (hub, freewheel, axle are fine), so I need to replace the wheel. Islabikes refuses to offer replacement (even if I pay) since they think there might be unseen/unknown damage to frame/welds and they won't ship to the US. My LBS doesn't have right size replacement options.

I was looking at 16 x 1.5 options online. The only replacements online I can find are thru JBI Wheelmaster. They're the right size and cheap, but I assume will be heavy and poor/moderate quality...

I measured the Islabikes CNOC 16's Over Locknut Dimension (O.L.D.) at 110 mm.

Anybody know what good 16" wheels (Woom, Prevelo, Cleary, Frog, Vitus, etc.) would fit? And can I mismatch front and rear tire size without significant issue/risk? (e.g., front is a 16x1.35, rear would be 16x 1.4/1.5/1.75)

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From https://www.islabikes.co.uk/products/kids-first-pedal-bike-cnoc-16-age-4

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  • Sorry, not meaning to be a clown here or anything, but wouldn't it just make more sense to go get another bike? By the time you've got all the replacement parts paid for, sourced and wheel built up the rider will probably have out grown it. I realise it's probably not considered a cheap bike, but is anyone who rides a 16" going to notice the difference between this and something that half the price? Would also consider going back to the LBS, while they might not have them, the question is can they get a replacement(or even advise you where)?
    – Hursey
    Jul 20, 2022 at 22:15
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    Thanks Hursey. No clownage taken. I'm likely the clown because I know just enough about bikes to be dangerous &/or dumb! A new Islabikes CNOC 16 is £399 ($480) and I purchased previously (Dec '17) at £289 (then $385), so I think the ~$50-$60 (wheel & tire) to replace/fix the wheel should be worth it. This was my older kid's first bike and my youngest just got old and big enough to ride it--she'll have at least 1 yr if not 2 yrs on it. Islabikes hold their value incredibly well and inflation is wildly high right now, so I hope to sell it in '23 for 75%+ of what I purchased it for in '17.
    – Nick
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:11
  • This is never going to be $50-60 problem. Jul 20, 2022 at 23:14
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    Maybe another option, could you take the rim from the front wheel, re-spoke it for the back then replace the front with any off the shelf wheel where you don't have quite the same limitations on the mechanics of the hub
    – Hursey
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:24
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    @Hursey that's a great idea as long as the front is a standard spacing Jul 20, 2022 at 23:33

3 Answers 3

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The real unicorn factor is the M30 aka metric freewheel threads. In terms of a complete wheel there probably isn't anything that can replace it directly because of that, even if all the other unusually-fancy-kid-bike boxes were checked (16 spoke, 16", non-coaster).

The point of the M30 FW is to run a 14t, which standard freewheel threads can't do. All 14t singlespeed freewheels need the M30 threads.

Left-hand metric/M30 freewheel threads were used on some BMX bikes to run left-drive, which is a different animal completely than what you need but is something you might run into if you go digging for a metric freewheel hub, so you have to be careful about that. A lot of them are also 14mm; metric 3/8 hubs are a fairly unusual combination, again even without the 16h etc.

Metric FW hubs are also often referred to within BMX as "flip flop hubs," a different use of the term than on adult bikes. BMX flip flop hubs have regular FW threads on one side and M30 on the other. They come in all permutations of left and right drive so you need to be careful to get the right thing.

If you had to build a wheel that does the job, most BMX race cassette hubs could do the same job, since they can take 14t cogs (other than one piece driver types). Those are mostly all 36h only, but coming up with a 36h light, narrow 16" 305 rim is probably possible - you would likely do that by buying a BMX-y kid wheel that has one and taking the rim from it. If you could find just a right hand drive metric FW hub in 3/8, you could do that too, but tracking one down might be tricky. The 110 isn't the problem; that is the standard for all these bike types.

The Woom 3 rear wheel is similar but with a conventional freewheel, not metric. It is a 16h 305 though. You could buy that and rob the rim to rebuild your hub. You should plan on needing new spokes and they are going to be an odd length, so have it built by someone who can just cut the spokes.

Depending on whether the old wheel is simply taco'd versus having point impact damage (dents, flat spots etc), the first thing I would attempt here is just unbending it the old-fashioned way to the point where it's truable, ie smacking it.

Basically any single wall basic aluminum rim in the approximate width class will do the job here, ie a Weinmann 509 or Alex X101. The problem is drilling if you were to try to re-use your hub, since 16h 16" is something Islabikes made up. It would more or less work to build that hub into a 32h rim, but that's also not a common 16" 305 drilling. The main expedient way to obtain

There is no fast solution here, and Islabikes is right to be suspicious that the rim really is the only casualty here, so there's a lot to recommend just buying a new bike.

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  • This site/community and you guys are awesome. Incredible knowledge! Woom 3 rear wheel is 120mm, unfortunately. But the Prevelo Alpha Two is 110mm...so I think may be in luck. I'm not wed to 16t freewheel--whatever I find will just chain gear/gain ratios (right?). Old wheel is definitely taco'd (love the term)--hard bent rim and ruined a few spokes. I really feel confident the frame is fine; I stopped the vehicle instantly and the car only crushed the wheel but didn't drive over the bike, and the frame was not pinned or damaged.
    – Nick
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:39
  • The Prevelo 2 is also an M30 hub so it looks like that actually will replace it directly Jul 20, 2022 at 23:59
  • Nice. Thanks for the subject matter expertise insight! I appreciate the help and knowledge, Nathan. -Nick
    – Nick
    Jul 21, 2022 at 0:24
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Any wheel at this size should be cheap. The islabikes wheels are light but they are also rubbish (ie nothing special).

You can use almost any replacement wheel that can take the freewheel but you may well have to alter the OLD on the wheel by changing the axle spacers around and potentially have to dish the wheel as well. A decent shop ought to be able to order a mass-market wheel for you and modify it to be suitable, I know I would.

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  • Agreed that any 16" wheel may work. JBI Wheelmaster has offerings on Modernbike site: 2x alloy options... 1) 305x25 3/8" x 110mm 28Hfor $33 and 2) 305x19 3/8" x110mm 36H for $45. But I don't know how if the new wheel FW is metric or standard?! I think it'll be tough to beat Prevelo Alpha Two option: rear wheel for $39 (with hub/FW), Tire (Kenda 16x1.5) for $25, and can reuse current tube or just extra $8. $65 solves my problem--confirmed axle/hub fit, with FW, and pretty close size (front tire is 1.35 and rear would now by 1.5). Am I missing anything or skipping something obvious?
    – Nick
    Jul 20, 2022 at 23:54
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I have had similar issues with a 20" wheel with rim damage.

Nobody had a suitable rim - it was a choice of a BMX rim, or a kid's bike, or something carbon and expensive.

Fortunately the hub was okay, so I ended up ordering a chinese rim from Aliexpress that had a very similar ERD. This let me reuse the same spokes.

Since your hub is okay, this might be a valid solution for you. Your new rim must have the same number of spoke holes, which is a multiple of 4 (ie 16 based on photo)

If you can get the same dimensions on the rim's profile, then the existing spokes will work, but if its more than ~2mm diff then you'll need replacement spokes, and that can get expensive.

Remember on a rear wheel, the left and right side spokes can easily be different lengths to allow for offset, for the gears. If its an IGH or single speed, they'll be closer.

You also need a rim tape, and make sure the valve stem hole is for the same kind of valve as your other wheel. Is no fun having to carry a spare tube for each wheel.


Given the size of the bike, I'd definitely just replace the rim and see how it goes. Something like https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10000003848074.html in 16 hole and Black to match the other rim. Confirm on the old rim that the loft and width are 21mm or close, and the internal width is about 16mm.

You'll want a spoke key that fits the existing spoke nipples.

Even bent spokes are serviceable, as long as they're not folded and creased. Adding a clear photo of the rear wheel as it is now might be helpful.

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