On test: Frog Bikes for kids
A new brand of children’s bike, Frog Bikes, has been launched. The bikes are specifically designed for children who are lighter and smaller and need easy-to-work brakes and gears. Frog Bikes are lightweight and very colourful and they also use high quality components. They are sold in shops across the UK including Billy Bilsland Cycles in Glasgow. I asked six-year-old Lily to give a Frog Bike a go. Here’s what her mum Josie said:
“When I told Lily that she was going to try out a new bicycle, she was nonplussed – until the brand new 20” Frog Bike, with pink, green and orange spots appeared in our garden one day. Helmet on, Lily immediately jumped on board and, without stopping to let me check the saddle height or explain how different it might be to her own bike, she was tearing off out of sight.
“Aged six, Lily is confident on two wheels and loves riding her bike, frequently accompanying me and her dad as we run around the park. Even during the sprint sections of our interval training, her little legs can usually be seen in the standing up position, pedalling furiously to stay a few feet ahead.
“She was not at all worried about the shiny new bike we had picked up from Billy Bilsland’s on Glasgow’s High Street or her ability to ride it. Until, that is, she tried the brakes and discovered they stopped her in her tracks, literally, sending her tumbling onto the gravel.
“Undeterred, she climbed back on the saddle, her determined face tear-stained and blotchy, and gave it another go, my words of caution disappearing out of sight with her. Another fall and a few cuddles later, Lily realised that unlike her own bike, which had stiff brake levers she could hardly activate, the Tektro 836AL Aluminium V brakes on the Frog Bike not only fitted her small hands but were designed to be operated by little muscles.
“My heart was in my mouth as I watched her test out the different components as she sped around the large communal garden, finally getting to the point where she was slamming the brakes on at the last minute and slowing to a reasonable speed before hitting the bend. I was relieved to see that the hybrid tyres worked equally well on gravel as they did on grass and concrete, even though they were powered by feet inappropriately decked in sparkly silver sandals.
“The next day, Lily insisted on joining us during our park run and clearly noticed the difference in the seven speed Shimano SL-RS35-7R gears as she was constantly miles ahead, shouting over her shoulder to us to hurry up!
“Apart from the funny-shaped splodge on the seat, Lily’s biggest pleasure was definitely ringing the bell loudly at every pedestrian, dog walker, jogger and fitness group she came across and it was audible enough to clear a path through the crowd on a busy, sunny evening.
“As we prepared to hand the bike back, I watched her effortlessly manoeuvre the lightweight aluminium frame through the house into the garage, with strict instructions not to let the muddy tyres touch the kitchen floor, and realised how much easier she found the Frog Bike to move around.
“However, when asked her if she preferred the new bike to her own heavy duty version, she looked at me blankly in the curious way children have of making you feel incredibly stupid. Technical specification, after all, does little for six year olds compared with brightly colour spots!”