A year or so ago, when we were looking for a new bike for Little Sir, we visited our local bike shop to have a look at the range. He had originally had a wooden balance bike which he loved, but it quickly broke through so much use, so we thought we might move him onto a bike with stabilisers. After all, when I was learning to ride that was the first type of bike we had, and we had bought Little Miss a bike with stabilisers when she was big enough – so we were pretty sure that was the way to go. Imagine our surprise when the owner suggested that it perhaps wasn’t the only way to go, and asked if we had considered the range of FROG bikes? Ummm, nope! I hadn’t even realised that there were makes of bikes anymore, which goes to show how much research I had done before hand!
It turns out that the FROG range of bikes is a little different to the standard ones I would expect to find. Firstly, they are much much lighter in weight that the average child’s bike. Secondly, they don’t do stabilisers! The premise they believe in is, balance bike first so that your child learns to balance, and then moving onto a pedal bike. This was all very new to me. I had expected Little Sir to move from his balance bike, to a bike with stabilisers for a year or so and then finally taking them off so he could ride alone. Talk about turning my thinking on it’s head! And actually it makes sense. On her bike with stabilisers, Little Miss is learning how to turn the pedals, but she isn’t learning how to balance. In fact it is very stressful taking a bike with stabilisers anywhere – unless we are on an even pavement, it can be a case of getting off and pushing for most of the journey! Not ideal when we are all on bikes!
So, feeling reassured by the cycle shop owner, we bought Little Sir a gorgeous orange Tadpole balance bike – and away he went. It really is so much lighter than a standard bike and he very quickly learnt to push and balance as he was riding. However, it wasn’t until we recently took both children out on their bikes together that we really noticed the difference! Little Miss, on her stabilisers, is much slower and her bike is much more cumbersome. When the children got off their bikes to cross the roads it was even more apparent that the FROG bike was so much lighter and more manoeuvrable for Little Sir. Another huge plus was when Little Sir decided after 50 minutes that his little legs had had enough, Mr N was easily able to carry it home – definitely not something we could do with a bike with stabilisers!
So this Summer we have decided that we will teach both children to learn to ride their bikes with pedals on Frog Bikes. We will be upgrading Little Sir from his gorgeous orange Tadpole to a first pedal bike, and we’ve also decided to go the same for Little Miss. A lighter, easier to ride pedal bike has got to be a winner!
Have you taught your children to ride? Did you go through the stabiliser stage? We’d love some tips on the best way to do it!
Disclosure: We weren’t asked to review the range of FROG bikes, we just love them so much and thought you might too!