Looking for a first pedal bike for your 3 or 4 year old? The Frog 40 is a perfect bike to learn to ride on.
It’s lightweight, has a freehub rather than a coaster brake, and comes in a variety of fun, bright colors. It’s 14 inch wheels make it easier to roll over obstacles and go fast than a first pedal bike with 12 inch wheels.
Read on to learn more about what we liked about the Frog 40 (and the few things we didn’t).
Review In A Nutshell
- Lightweight build
- High quality components
- Child appropriate geometry
- Comfortable, wide tires
- Comes with freehweel (no coaster)
- Lots of fun colors
- Geometry may be too aggressive for more timid riders
Price and Where to Buy:
- $430 at ReadySetPedal.com** (FREE SHIPPING)
Why We Like Frog
Ten years ago, there weren’t many great options for kid’s bikes. Most of the offerings were heavy, cumbersome, and lacked any real appeal. Kids could not handle the weight and not nearly as many really wanted to ride.
Since then, a select few brands have entered this very niche market providing children with appropriately sized frames and components that made riding fun and easy. Frog is one of them!
Like the handful of other brands in this very niche market, Frog entered business around 2013 with the idea that children need bikes that fit them and not just smaller versions of adult bikes. Their bikes have appropriately sized crank arms, smaller handlebars, child specific geometry, and lightweight frames.
The Frog 40 and all of its siblings fit this profile and are ready to roll on or off-road with fun in mind.
Lightweight Builds Make Riding More Fun
Parents often struggle with the price tag of these modern wonder machines for their little ones. If you were to go buy a department store bike, not only would this size come with cumbersome training wheels, but it would be heavier than my full suspension, adult mountain bike. Pushing that weight around is not fun or easy.
The Frog 40, in contrast, comes in at a reasonable 13.9 pounds and is easy to handle. My 4-year-old nephew was the demo rider for this bike. He is on the short end of the height spectrum and has learned to pedal well.
He wanted to move up to a 16” bike that we gave him, but it was still just a bit tall for his comfort level. The Frog 40 fit right in between his old 12” bike and the soon-to-ride 16”.
It is lightweight enough that he immediately got on and took off. He loves it! It’s also red, his favorite color.
Geometry And Components That Fit
It is obvious how fun a bike is be when the frame and components fit, function, and offer comfort. Frog has designed their frames to fit comfortably in a “mountain bike” position that offers comfort, stability, and a great look. The frame has a low stand over height and is easy for kiddos to get on and off.
The Frog frame has sliding dropouts in the rear which allows a parent to adjust the wheelbase of the bike. This not only allows one to adjust the chain tension, but also increase stability and change ride characteristics. Between the dropouts, the steerer tube adjustability and seat adjustment, this bike should be able to grow with a child well into age 5.
The Frog 40 has quality components and is a reliable bike that will last far beyond the years your child can ride on it. This makes it a great investment since it can be handed down to multiple children or sold used for a good price.
Like all bikes at this size, the drivetrain is a simple single speed. Other brands like Woom and Prevelo are also relegated to running simple drivetrains because the frames are just too small to fit a derailleur and shifter. Additionally, most children at this age struggle to shift gears or even grasp the concept of shifting.
Brand name Tektro mechanical v-brakes provide stopping duty. The brake levers of appropriately sized and easy to operate.
More importantly, the bike doesn’t have a coaster brake–woohoo! A freewheel makes learning to pedal so much easier. (If you really want a coaster, Ready Set Pedal will provide one at no additional cost). Learn more about why we prefer hand brakes rather the coaster brakes in our article on kids brakes.
Grips, saddle, seatpost, and other little bits are all Frog branded components and add to the high-end aesthetic of the bike.
Crank arms (102 mm) and handlebars (420 mm) are appropriately sized for most 3- to 4-year-old children.
Fit and Size
The Frog 40 is intended as a first pedal bike and is built to fit small riders. It does have 14” wheels though. If you have a very tiny cyclist (2-year-old) that is ready to pedal there are a few other options with 12” wheels out there like the Cleary Gecko that will fit a smaller height and inseam.
The Frog 40 frame will fit a minimum inseam of 15 inches. If you have a tall 2-year-old then you may be able to start them on this bike versus a 12” bike. My nephew is relatively small for a four-year-old, but I had to use all of the stem spacers to raise the handlebars to a comfortable height for him.
The seat still had plenty of room to raise and as he grows will place him in a very cross country, leaned over position. This makes the Frog 40 a great choice for more athletic kids, but more timid riders may benefit from a bike like the Woom 2 with its more upright geometry.
Comparatively, the Woom 2 has a minimum inseam length of 16 inches and the Prevelo Alpha One has a minimum inseam length of 14 inches. The Frog 40 frame sits right in between the two bikes in sizing and is similar to the Prevelo with a “mountain bike” geometry. The Frog might not fit the smallest of 3-year-olds, but only for a short time.
Height and inseam length are the best way to know what size bike your child needs rather than relying on generalized age suggestions. Below is a link to our bike sizing chart if you need help figuring out how to measure your child.
At this age parents tend to be extra cautious about their children’s safety. Fortunately, this little bike has some great details that were added to keep things safe and simple.
There are knurled, hex bolts attaching both wheels. This keeps the wheels firmly attached, but also keeps kids from getting scratched on the blots.
The front chain ring comes with a guard to keep kids pants from getting sucked in. Unlike the bulky chain guards on most kid’s bikes, the one on the Frog 40 is lightweight and simple. There is also a larger chain guard and fenders for wet weather if needed in your region of riding.
Wheels And Tires
The wheels are unique and well thought out. The wheels are built around Quando hubs.
There are two green spokes on either side of the valve for easy pumping and maintenance. The brand name Kenda tires have small knobs that offer great traction both on and off-road without hindering performance. In addition, the tires are decently wide offering stability in variable situations at 14×1.5 width.
The most important thing to note about the wheels is that they are 14 inch. Many first pedal bikes come with 12 inch wheels, but the larger wheels make it easier to roll over obstacles and reach higher speeds.
Being a mountain bike family, we don’t often look for bikes with kickstands, but understand their need. Frog sells an additional kickstand if you would like your kiddo to have one. They are not the junky steel kickstands of old, but rather a functional, easily mounted, spring loaded component that keeps the bike off of the ground.
In addition to the kickstand, the demo bike we received came with a bell, additional chain guard and fender kit. All of these items can make riding with your little one safer and more fun. If you live in a wet environment the fenders will definitely be a welcome addition and if you’re truly concerned about your little ones catching their pants in the chain the full sized chain guard has it covered….literally.
A Rider’s View
My nephew is fortunate to have an uncle that needs a little demo rider. He had outgrown his 12” bike and was absolutely elated to try out this red machine. (He mentioned it was his favorite color a few times). We were both glad that we found such a great bike for him to ride.
Not only did the Frog fit perfectly, but he was instantly comfortable on the 40 and took to the sidewalks of the park with ease and confidence. He told both his dad and I that he loved the new bike and that it was his “favorite.” My nephew was able to ride through tall grass, along the sidewalks and bridges of the park we were in.
The bike held steady in turns and off camber grass hills. My nephew also enjoyed using the bell with the various pedestrians that he approached as we rode along. It made me happy to see his success and happiness.
Who Do We Not Recommend the Frog 40 For?
At this size there really aren’t many great options for children’s bikes that are truly functional and easy to ride. Frog is one of just a few brands out there that meets the needs of true enthusiasts.
If you’re on a really tight budget, then finding a decent bike second hand is a better route to take then going to a big box store. If you whole heartedly believe in training wheels and big box store weights this is not the bike for your son or daughter.
Bottom-Line: Frog 40 is a Great Bike in a Tiny Package
Fourteen inch bikes are absolutely tiny. They are pretty dang cute too. Seeing your little ones smile and cruise along is what riding at this age is all about.
The Frog 40 keeps the weight light, the components at a quality level, and the color schemes in a variety to meet everyone’s desires. The sizing is great for smaller kids that can pedal it out but are not quite ready for shifting. Bike path adventures await your family with the Frog 40.