Yes, they take a bit of wrapping, but the look on your cycling progeny’s face when they launch off on a quality bike for the first time is worth a thousand reels of tangled Sellotape. Note we said ‘quality’!
The fact is, decent kids’ bikes are thin on the ground. You’ll find plenty of cheapo monstrosities made from scaffold tubes and decked out like superheroes or in princess pinks – but watching a child try to ride one is like watching Geoff Capes grunt an HGV across a car park.
Until this year, Islabikes were the big fish in a little pond, and had the market for discerning cycling parents all sewn up. Frog bikes leapt in in the Spring, and have been picking up some fantastic reviews ever since – not least from the little rippers let loose on trying them out.
Aluminium in place of steel keeps Frog bikes’ weight down, and the frames are finished with decent spec components that won’t throw a wobbly at the sight of a muddy puddle.
Whatever brand you plump for, you should reckon on budgeting from around £200 for a good kids’ bike (Frog’s pedal-powered range starts at £185, with the pedal-free Tadpole balance bike at £100). It may seem like a big outlay, but bear in mind a quality steed will last for years, hold its value and survive a succession of hand-downs.
We stock the full Frog range, and you’re welcome to bring the children to the shop for a test ride.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s the lowdown from the experts – the kids themselves!
Cycling Active say that ‘when mum and dad have matching £5,000 featherweight carbon-fibre bikes, it just doesn’t seem fair to palm off little Lily and Harry with a £49 special made of solid lead.’ We’d quite agree! But they gave the final word to nine-year-old test rider, Ollie: ‘I really liked the bike. It’s much lighter than my other one and goes a lot faster. It’s easier to pedal up hills and looks good.’
Road.CC deemed the Frog a ‘Very good kids’ bike that’s well-specced and fun to ride’. Their young tester – Joel, 5, clocked up an impressive 16 miles of hilly Derbyshire trail. ‘The bike was a revelation and his cycling confidence grew a huge amount in a very short period of time,’ they said.
Cyclesprog got parents and their kids to review the Frog 55. Once again, most telling was one of the youngster’s verdicts: ‘It feels very light and so I can get up the hill to school a lot easier than on my bike.’