by Marc Basiliere
December 30, 2013
Shocking: Propain for children
Despite a name that evokes death metal more than parent/child trail riding and the rather unnerving specification of a Sixpack “Cock Ring” seat clamp, Propain’s Frechdax may just be the cutest full suspension bike out there. Unveiled at Eurobike this fall (and “immediately a crowd puller for Bike Daddy” according to Google Translate), the tiny full suspension bike– aimed at children between 4 and 7 years old–is now available for pre-order from Propain’s website.
The Frechdax is available with with either 16in or 20in wheels and has a whole host of neat child-friendly features. Using standard bottom bracket, disc, and dropout spacing, the bike is also compatible with most adult components, facilitating hand-me-downs. Cranks are Truvativ Hussefelts shortened to 115mm or 125mm depending on wheel size and the included ISCG05-mounted retention device should help keep the chain in place during the inevitable spills.
Rear suspension is a simple single pivot design and motion comes from a specially tuned RockShox Monarch R. Three Frechdax builds are available, starting at 1,400€ with one speed, Elixir 1 Trail brakes, and a Spinner air fork. 1,600€ adds an X7 drivetrain while the 2,000€ top level gets an Elixir 9 Trail brakeset, SRAM X9 drivetrain, and a 2oin
White Brothers MRP Loop fork (something the company sells a surprising number of). Raw, red, neon yellow, and neon green powdercoat are all available- and custom colours to match mom’s or dad’s bike are available as a no cost option.
As far as developing the Frechdax’s suspension and geometry, Propain have the following to say (via Google Translate, emphasis ours):
To transfer the robust handling of the “big” bikes on the FRECHDAX, one has first “scaled down” the geometry data analogously. In a next step, the first prototypes were tested by the PROPAIN children themselves.
On the basis of the observations of the children on the bikes and their feedback, the geometry was then gradually adjusted to a child-friendly driving behavior to ensure. In the final prototype, the children are then already been on the road this season and have clearly demonstrated that the Frechdax works perfectly and they had a lot of fun.
Bikes ordered now and should ship in 120 days (add another 15 days for custom colours). They’re not cheap, but Propain has clearly taken this project seriously. Enthusiastic parents of budding mountain bikers might even be able to justify starting with the 1,400€ 16in singlespeed and upgrading over the next few years while the “Sponsored by Dad” crew won’t settle for anything but the best. Either way, these look like a lot of fun… and have us wondering what on earth we were doing at 4 years.