Frog Bikes 52  £245.00

8/10

Very good kids' bike that's well-specced and fun to ride.

Weight 8900g   Contact  www.frogbikes.com

by Dave Atkinson   June 28, 2013  

If you're looking for a good quality bike for a school-age child then the Frog 52 is well worth a look. It's light enough to be fun to ride, well-specced with sensible components and tidily built. It's not cheap, but should hold its value for when your progeny outgrows it.

Frog are new to this game, and the Frog 52 is suitable for children with an inside leg of 52cm or more (that's what the number means in all their bike names) which equates to a 5-6 year old. It's built around an alloy frame and fork, and the component choices are pretty sensible across the board.

The 20-inch quick-release wheels aren't overbuilt like they are on so many children's bikes and the Kenda tyres are fairly slick and suitable for traffic-free paths or the BMX track. Although they'd struggle on more technical stuff, most riding at this age is on tarmac or smooth surfaces.

If you're going anywhere muddy, the Frog comes with detachable plastic mudguards which aren't the sturdiest but do the job just fine and are easy to throw on and off.

Shifting is via a Shimano Revoshift twist grip, pulling the chain over a 14-28 freewheel. With a 36-tooth chainring at the front that gives a gear range of 24 to 48 inches, which is low enough for little legs to get themselves up some decent hills. The cranks are 140mm in length.

When it comes to stopping you get Tektro V-brakes and levers, with the levers adjustable for reach through a good range. Frog's own slimline grips are small enough for a child's hands to get a good handful of bar.

There's a child-friendly Frog-branded saddle too, and a quick release seatpost for easy adjustment.

The 52 comes in four colours – orange, purple, red and polka-dot – so even the fussiest offspring should be able to find one they like the look of.

The frame carries a five-year warranty.

Frog versus Islabike

Probably the first thing anyone in the market for a £245 kids' bike will ask is: how does it compare to an Islabike? So let's dive into that one first.

The comparable bike in the Islabike range is the £299 Beinn 20 Large, and that £54 of extra cash gets you a higher grade transmission and a stated weight that's around a kilo lighter.

The Frog tips the scales at 8.9kg (19.6lb) which will seem like a lot to anyone that's ever bought a decent road bike, but many children's bikes weigh in at a lot more than that.

Ridgeback's very decent MX20, for example, is 11.1kg (24.5lb) and that's by no means the heaviest out there; some kids' bikes come in at 12 or even 13kg. They're not fun to ride, those ones.

In terms of the ride position the Islabike and the Frog are broadly similar with the Frog having a crank 13mm longer (140mm compared to 127mm). We didn't have a large Beinn 20 knocking about for a direct comparison but against the smaller-framed Beinn 20 the pedal was a bit lower at the bottom of the stroke, even though the bottom bracket was higher. The Frog was was more or less the same as the 140mm-cranked MX20.

Junior testers love it

Our bike had a couple of testers along the way. Joel (5) stepped up to the Frog from a 16-inch singlespeed Ridgeback MX16 which was heavier and getting a bit small. For him the bike was a revelation and his cycling confidence grew a huge amount in a very short period of time, so much so that he was able to complete two 8-mile laps of the fairly hilly Carsington Water traffic-free trail in Derbyshire on the Frog. He needed a shove up some of the steeper hills but did the majority under his own steam, and soon got used to the shifting and braking, both of which he was very able to cope with.

Louie (6) was a more confident cyclist, coming off an Islabike Beinn 20 small, and he was very happy with the Frog too. Asked which he'd prefer to keep he decided that the Frog was better for speed and the Islabike for jumping – presumably down to the shorter wheelbase and smaller frame. But ideally he'd like both: getting into the n+1 mindset early.

The bottom line is that the Frog is a very good bike and worth looking at if you're in the market for a new steed for your kids; the range goes up to the 26-inch-wheeled Frog 73 at £280.

Is the Islabike worth the extra money? Well, the components are a bit more refined and you have to factor in that Islabikes hold their value better than pretty much anything we can think of, but the Frog is a very good bike for the money and is well worthy of consideration.

If you want your child to enjoy their cycling then the minimum you'd want is a bike that's not over-heavy, with components that work and that fit them. The Frog easily surpasses that minimum; it's a bike that children really enjoy riding and that's the experience that any parent wants their child to have of cycling. The Frog's built to last with good components and when the time comes to sell it on I'd expect it to hold its value very well.

Verdict

Very good kids' bike that's well-specced and fun to ride.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Frog Bikes 52

Size tested: Red

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

This great value all-aluminium bike has a high quality lightweight frame and forks and is tough enough for adventures in the woods! It has child-sized Tektro brakes with adjustable levers for smaller hands, 7-speed Shimano easy-twist gears and easily adjusted saddle height. Available in red, purple, orange or spotty, and comes with a bell, reflectors and mudguards as standard. Suitable for minimum inside leg of 52cm (around 5-6 years old). Free 5 year warranty available on the frame and forks, 2 years on all other parts.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Approx Age 5-6

Colour Red, Purple, Orange, White/Spots

Weight Approx 8.8kg

Fork Aluminium Fork

Frame Aluminium 10" Frog 52 Frame

Wheel Size 20"

Head Set 27mm

Bottom Bracket 116mm Sealed Bottom Bracket

Crank Set 140mm Aluminium Black Crank

Chain Ring Steel 36 Teeth

Chain Guard Integral Black Chain Guard

Brakes Tektro 836AL Aluminium V Brake Black

Brake Levers Tektro Aluminium JL510-TS V Brake Lever Black

Length of top tube 449mm (horizontal distance from seat post to stem: 474mm)

Stem Frog Bikes Aluminium 80mm Stem

HANDLE BAR Frog Bikes Aluminium Straight Handlebar Width 520mm

GRIP Frog Bikes Specific Slim Grips

SADDLE Frog Bikes Saddle Size:201*136mm, Black, adjustable rails for better fit

SEAT POST Aluminium 27.2 with Quick Release for easy adjustment

PEDAL Plastic with Ball Bearings and Reflectors

BELL Bell

RIM Aluminium 20" x 1.5" 28 holes Black (Weight:320g) and Quick Release for easy removal of wheels

Hubs Aluminium 28 holes

Tyres Kenda 20" x 1.5" hybrid tyres

TUBES Kenda 20" x 1.5" with Schrader Valves

Right Hand Gear SHIFTER Shimano SL-RS35-7R Revo-shifter 7 Speed Black

REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano RD-TY21 Black

FREE WHEEL Shimano 7 Speed Index 14-28T

FRONT REFLECTOR White

REAR REFLECTOR Red

MUDGUARD Plastic Mudguards front and rear

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well built with solid spec for the money

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10

Kids love to ride it. That's pretty much all there is to say.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

No issues during testing and everything on the bike.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

Not the lightest out there but light enough to make riding fun.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

All contact points and controls worked well

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

At the higher end of kids' bike pricing, but should sell on for a decent amount when yours have outgrown it.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Well thought out bike that kids love to ride.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

nothing really

Did you enjoy using the product? Joel and Louie did

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 190cm  Weight: 102kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Genesis Equilibrium with SRAM Apex

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Louie kept saying he thought the Frog was better than his Islabike for climbing - presumably due to to the longer cranks.

n+1 eh... there's going to be competition for garage space in the future..

[Louie's dad]

Iwein Dekoninck's picture

posted by Iwein Dekoninck [113 posts]
28th June 2013 - 9:55

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How did the kids get on with the Revoshift? My 5-year has an Isla Beinn 20 (sm) and struggles with the sram gripshift: he just doesn't have the strength to pull the mech onto the lower gears.

posted by ir_bandito [59 posts]
28th June 2013 - 15:44

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My daughter aged 8 has had a Frog 69 for three weeks. She's so delighted with it that from being a reluctant cyclist she's now demanding to be taken out whenever it's not raining. The lightness of the overall package is very impressive. She's long and thin but not very strong and with surprisingly small hands given the size of her feet but finds the Revoshift easy to use.

I went for a Frog over an Islabike as I could take her to a local bike shop that stocked them to see how it fitted (I'd originally expected to buy the next size down - the Frog 62). We're all pleased. Smile

posted by richn [4 posts]
28th June 2013 - 18:14

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ir_bandito wrote:
How did the kids get on with the Revoshift? My 5-year has an Isla Beinn 20 (sm) and struggles with the sram gripshift: he just doesn't have the strength to pull the mech onto the lower gears.

I think the Revo is bit of a lighter action than the SRAM. certainly joel had no issues with it

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7320 posts]
28th June 2013 - 18:29

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Great review, love the "better for jumping" bit made me smile! Good to have some reviews of other things than for adults

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
28th June 2013 - 20:51

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Louie's found his SRAM gripshift difficult to shift up into the lower gears for a long time, but is now fine with it. He didn't have a problem with either.

Iwein Dekoninck's picture

posted by Iwein Dekoninck [113 posts]
1st July 2013 - 10:28

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After much deliberation we just bought one of these for my daughter for Christmas in relatively gender neutral purple in the hope it can passed down to her little brother in a few years.

First impressions are good, it looks nice and reasonably well made. Weight is OK and the brakes are light to pull and seem effective. Rear wheel is a bit out of true straight out of the box which is disappointing but I can probably straighten it up a bit.

Will update once the bike has been received and hopefully ridden, fingers crossed it goes down well.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [796 posts]
17th December 2013 - 21:31

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