Kids Bikes – UK Brands

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  • Kids Bikes – UK Brands
  • Premier Icon chappie916
    Subscriber

    Lovely, that’s the one.

    Thanks Captain.

    Premier Icon chappie916
    Subscriber

    I read something recently about a brand a bit like Islabikes but a 20% cheaper. UK brand and looked good.

    Only problem is I can’t remember what they were called?

    Can anyone shed any light please?

    It’s not Early Rider although their stuff looks fantastic.

    swanky
    Member

    chappie916

    I read something recently about a brand a bit like Islabikes but a 20% cheaper. UK brand and looked good.

    Hi Chappie,
    I think it was Frog Bikes that you were referring to.
    They were at the Cycle Show in Birmingham last week.
    They’re constantly improving the componentry and build on their bikes to make them even lighter and easy to ride, which is reassuring.
    This year they are putting shorter derailleur cages on to their bikes so that they are less likely to hit something and have a better (lighter) shifting mechanism, and they’re shortening the crank length to help out shorter legs too.
    They’ve also got 2 green spokes:) Looks funky that’s all – but kids love ’em.
    Anyway, I am biased to a point, as we sell them and we lease them. We do a number of other brands as well, but Frog is the brand that I put my own child on.
    I’d be more than happy to help you get your hands on one if you’d like to:)
    As I said, we have 3 different ways to get them:
    Cash purchase
    2 years 0% finance – I think that we’re the only ones offering this
    Swanky Kids Plan – this is a 2 year lease but you can end it early (after 15 months) and move on up to the next bike as soon as your child outgrows the one they’re on.
    We’ve introduced the Swanky Kids Plan to help get more kids onto good quality bikes that they don’t have to “grow into”.
    We figure that if a kid doesn’t have to struggle to ride, then they’re more likely to keep at it.
    Frog as a brand is a perfect fit for this as the componentry, geometry and weight is ideal for a kid to enjoy their cycling on.
    I’ve definitely noticed though that some kids have “unaturally” powerful legs and they seem to be undaunted by any type of bike they ride:) I imagine they’ll be able to keep going longer though if it’s lighter.

    I’m sure there will be some on this forum that’ll come out trolling about “How very dare you try to offer finance on kids bikes”.

    However, the 2 finance packages are to help parents overcome the barrier of “I don’t want to spend £200 on a bike that my kid will grow out of in no time.” There’s always the cash option as well.

    Of course, there are always other options open to you, like a second hand bike (we have an ex-lease Frog 55 available in Orange if you’re interested), or a Halfords “special”.

    We have a few Halfords specials ourselves. We use them at shows and events next to the Frog bikes so that people can see and feel the difference for themselves.

    It’s a no brainer for most people once they pick them up and compare.

    I’ve looked at the Early Rider range as well. The balance bikes look awesome. However, the pedal bike looks like the child would be kissing their chin with their knee as they pedalled. Did your kid get a chance to ride on one? If so, what was it like?

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    If you are looking at 16″ wheels then the Pinnacle Koto is definitely worth a look

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/pinnacle/koto-16-inch-childrens-bike-ec045260

    Although I’m a big fan of Ridgeback and Spesh Hotrock bikes too.

    clubber
    Member

    My son has a ‘Halfords Special’ apparently.

    It’s a Carrera Blast. Seems to compare pretty well to the Islabikes I’ve seen though it’s not a huge amount cheaper so maybe no surprise.

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_storeId_10001_catalogId_10151_productId_729003_langId_-1_categoryId_165602

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    swanky

    This year they are putting shorter derailleur cages on to their bikes so that they are less likely to hit something and have a better (lighter) shifting mechanism

    care to elaborate?

    my son’s Islabike came with a Sram X4 system, way to stiff for him to use. Tried a thumbshifter, but he didn’t like it, now got a Revoshift and an old XT rear mech of mine. Easier shifting, but still to shift for him to shift down (so he keeps it in second gear all the time)

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    Carrera Blast is spot on for the money. Ditch the suss fork & it’s not far off the same weight.

    swanky
    Member

    It’s a Carrera Blast. Seems to compare pretty well to the Islabikes I’ve seen though it’s not a huge amount cheaper so maybe no surprise.

    Hi Clubber,
    Using a term like “Hlafords Special” does betray my tendency to be a little bit of a bike snob at times – sorry:) I’m getting a little long in the tooth to change now though:)

    I’ve just looked at the Blast on the website and whilst it ticks the boxes in terms of what Dads would love their sons to be riding, it is probably not ideal.

    Suspension forks on a 20″ wheeled bike adds a lot of weight. I love the description of the “power adjuster” on the Halfords site. Do they mean the cable tensioning screw? Very innovative:) Does it have adjustable brakes by the way? We often find that kids have to let go of the handlebars to reach the brakes on a lot of bikes.

    I’m happy to hear that your son is enjoying his riding and it’s wonderful if he’s well able to ride for a long time with the extra weight. You’ve probably got an athlete in the making there.

    As for my own experiences, I’ve tended to find that kids’ bikes suspension forks are more about a marketing gimmick rather than having a real functional benefit to the kid riding. Suspension forks are just as likely to launch a kid off a bike as they are to absorb bumps.

    You’ll probably know yourself that riding a rigid bike makes you improve your riding technique. I’m hoping that the same thing applies to my own son riding a rigid bike.

    Anyway, down to brass tacks:

    Halfords bike: RRP £194.99 (although it’s currently in the sale at £159.99)
    Isla Bein 20: RRP £299.99
    Frog 55: RRP £250.00

    Lots of Halfords Bikes being given away on Freecycle
    Isla bikes sell well on ebay but are often fairly old as they regularly get handed down so you take your chances
    Frog 55 Bike starts at £7.68 a month from us and you get a brand new bike that’s delivered and set up by our mechanics at your home.

    swanky
    Member

    ir_bandito

    care to elaborate?

    my son’s Islabike came with a Sram X4 system, way to stiff for him to use. Tried a thumbshifter, but he didn’t like it, now got a Revoshift and an old XT rear mech of mine. Easier shifting, but still to shift for him to shift down (so he keeps it in second gear all the time)

    Sure.
    They are fitting a Shimano 7 speed system (Shimano RD-TX35 Black) with a grip shift.
    Whilst Frog don’t do model years (as they continuously improve their bikes throughout the model year as new components etc become available) the newest bikes have the latest Shimano system on it.
    My sons bike is a 2013 model. When it was new the shifter was a little stiff. Once I’d shifted it through the gears a few times it got much better and after a short time it became very easy.

    I think that the type of cable surround used together with the spring in the shifter can combine to make it stiff.

    A lot of the grip shifts are made for adult bikes and so they don’t consider the lower strength that kids have when it comes t shifting gear.

    It seems that Frog have thought this through from feedback from their dealers and resolved it. Time will tell though. Either way, our mechanics would make sure that everything was OK for you.

    Does that answer your question at all?

    Premier Icon chappie916
    Subscriber

    Thanks for all the updates.

    It wasn’t for me but a mate.

    I have to admit we’re onto Ilsa bike no 2. The first 14″ was bought when they were £129 and sold after both my kids had abused it for £107 on ebay… about 4 years old I reckon. £18 cost over 4 years can’t be bad!

    Not expecting same returns on the Bienn and the Cube 20 they’ve now got.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    I love the description of the “power adjuster” on the Halfords site. Do they mean the cable tensioning screw? Very innovative:)

    I expect it’s an inline power modulator, those sprung things.

    Premier Icon booktownman
    Subscriber

    I got my daughter a Carrera Luna nearly new / 2nd hand on ebay for £70. She was a bit between sizes for an Isla (my son has one) so I didn’t want to shell out.

    Yes, there is a small weight penalty with the Luna and sus forks aren’t really necessary, but daughter is 8 and she can handle the extra. I’ve been impressed with the bike so far.

    MrSmith
    Member

    There is also WORX bikes who do racing and cross bikes in 20/24/700c sizes.
    Not heavy cheap stuff but nice light bikes with the correct gearing for junior racing.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I’d want to see how the resale value of frogbikes was shaping up before stumping up that much cash.

    Even though Islabikes are more expensive, they have the reputation for not losing much SH value at all, so could work out cheaper over a few years.

    bent udder
    Member

    We looked at Frog when upgrading Udderlet Senior from his Specialized Hotwalk to a Cnoc 14. Islabikes hold their value very, very well as said above – and Frog are relatively unknown still. I’m not saying they won’t hold their value, but at present, everyone knows Islabikes, and pays silly money for second hand examples on the Bay.

    From memory, I think there was also a weight penalty – but check this in the shop, is my advice.

    In their favour, Frog looks like it is making some excellent bikes, has local bike shop support and some cracking colour schemes and specs, too. We’ll definitely be looking at Frogs when he outgrows his next bike.

    Premier Icon luffy105
    Subscriber

    Thread resurrection …

    Been doing some research tonight and really torn. I have twin 5 yr old boys and they both have cnoc 16’s that have been absolutely flawless. We have ridden them loads and they have been brilliant. 2 years on and they still look brand new too. I am going to sell them for £150 so have only lost £50 on each over 2 yrs which you just can’t grumble at.

    Now for the problem. I have to replace them. The boys are big enough for the Benin 24 now but at £350 a go it’s just so hard to afford/justify… Now I have seen the Frog 62 and on paper it looks comparable at £90 less per bike. Really could do without spending £700 on two new bikes this Christmas 🙂

    My question is, in going for the cheaper Frog am I losing out on anything apart from the resale value of the bike? I plan for the kids to have these bikes for a while so am not too bothered about what they will be worth eventually. The kids love biking and it is the one thing we really enjoy doing together so want to get the best that I can afford for them. I can stretch to the islabikes but if the frog is comparable build and performance wise then would be happier to spend less.

    Ah the joys of twins…. Two of everything and you can’t hand anything down. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    bonchance
    Member

    @ Luffy — skipping a wheel size is always good if you can – Personally I’d be very tempted with a cheaper 20 inch for 5yr olds – what side of 5 and how big is a factor of course. My avg size 6.5’r ended up on a 20 for what that is worth..

    That 20 inch Vitus linked earlier looks great (if the colour suits 🙂 – and take another 10% off..

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/vitus-bikes-minium-kids-bike-2013/rp-prod85582

    Wish I’d spotted it before I bought hotrock 20 for a 6.5yr old in July!

    The Hotrock was child’s choice and went down really well (looks great!). Everything works well also (even fork is ok!) — but I can’t help feeling it was a bit steep at nrly 250, and a bit porky with those sus forks. In the US they make a ‘street’ Hotrock with rigid forks which might have been my choice if available.

    Vitus seems to tick those boxes at a great price.

    The Frog’s look good as well. Islabikes are always nice at top whack and parents love them too (more sometimes)! The LBS visit/try out was a factor as well for us – quite good fun in the end. Otherwise I’d prolly have the Islabike now 🙂

    Do pardon my ramble..

    scuttler
    Member

    We have a Cnoc 14 and a Frog 55 and they both seem to be equally well designed and built (though they aren’t equivalent models). The jury’s still out for some time on Frog resale values and for that reason I expect the cost of ownership to probably be lower on the Islabikes. What swayed me to get the Frog was a) the ability to try and buy in a shop b) the impending ace weather and the need to make the most of it rather than wait for a delivery and c) the wicked orange colour.

    Remember that both are great and all things being more or less equal it’ll be a question of colour and availability rather than 50 grams and a particular spoke gauge. And if initial outlay’s more important than total cost of ownership then get the Frog.

    ianv
    Member

    I agree with bonchance, my son was riding a 20inch till 7ish and he could have gone a bit longer. I would seriously consider just going up the one size.

    Premier Icon luffy105
    Subscriber

    Sorry, that was a complete typo. Possibly wine/having been up to bollock the little darlings three times already tonight when they should be asleep induced. They are a pretty tall six and a half now, not 5. Going on the islabikes measuring chart just ready for the 24. Tbh the cnoc’s have been too small for them for a little while now but didn’t want to replace so soon.

    Thanks for all the advice though. The comment about parents loving the islabikes more than the kids is a good one though. 🙂

    jjj
    Member

    @luffy – My 2 girls have both gone from Islabikes Beinn 20 (one small and one large) to a Frog 62 each. They are probably marginally heavier than the equivalent Islabike and have plastic pedals rather than metal ones. But apart from that the quality of them seems pretty similar, and being able to try them at a tri event, get them delivered to a bike shop and the £90 saving each was worth taking the risk that the resale value might not be quite as good.

    Premier Icon luffy105
    Subscriber

    Thanks jjj, that’s reassuring to know. Thanks too for everyone’s input. It has certainly helped. I’m going to go and have a look at a frog at a bike shop near here.

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