Having just reviewed a couple of super impressive 16″ bikes, I was somewhat skeptical of how the Frog 44 could compete. That doubt quickly disappeared as I saw the pretty, shiny little red bike in the showroom of Salt Lake City’s Saturday Cycles.
Not only was the paint job killer, the fenders, Kenda tires, and bell made the 16” bike an impressive little package.
The Frog 44 (the replacement to the previous Frog 48) is a favorite of UK families, and is available in the United States as well. Cue the cheers!
My 4-year-old certainly did when I pulled the bike from the back of my SUV on a Friday afternoon. He immediately asked to bike to dinner (which we obliged), and has been riding it pretty much constantly since then.
If you are shopping for a bike for your 4 year old, the Frog 44 deserves a place on your short-list of options. Read on for more info.
April 2023: Update includes additional photos, updates to the the bike including price, and additional information on scoring.
Review in a Nutshell
Overall Score: 90
- Attractive paint job
- Easy-to-reach, easy-to-pull brake levers
- Customizable – your choice of tires and rear wheel
- Comes with extras – fenders and a bell
- Steering limiter isn’t removable
- Aggressive geometry may be too much for timid riders
Price and Where to Buy:
Attractive paint job and design
I’m not going to lie – my favorite thing about the Frog 44 is the paint job. It’s just so pretty!!!
The Frog bikes come in a variety of beautiful color schemes and designs. In addition to the paint, there are several features that just make the bike look really slick.
The minimalistic chainguard includes the Frog image, and the spokes on the wheels nearest the air valve are green to match the accent color of the bike. Of course, none of these things affect the ride quality of the bike, but don’t worry, the bike rides well too…..
Kobby tires work well on or off road
The Frog 44 comes with knobby Kenda tires. We do a lot of mountain biking, and they have performed superbly on both the pump track and singletrack – as well as biking around town.
Your choice of coaster brake or freewheel
You can choose to get the Frog 44 with either a coaster wheel or a freewheel. We took the freewheel, and if you want to know why, read our post on kids brakes.
If you order the bike from Ready, Set, Pedal the bike comes standard with a freewheel. If you order from Frog Bikes USA, it comes with the coaster.
Dual Tektro handbrakes
We’ve had experience with the Tektro brakes on several bikes that we’ve tested, and they are the standard for high-quality kids bikes. The dual brake levers are easy for little hands to operate, and the stopping power of the rim brakes is good enough that we feel comfortable letting our son ride pretty steep dirt trails with them.
Geometry, Size, and Weight
Weighing in at 14.1 pounds, the Frog 44 is lightweight – but not quite as light as some of its nearest competitors. The Woom 3 for instance weighs a mere 13.1 pounds and the Belsize 16 weighs 12.5 pounds.
If you consider that that extra weight accounts to 5% of my son’s bodyweight, any weight savings at this age can make a significant difference. That said, the Frog 44 is still HALF the weight of most big-box store bikes and is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
The geometry is more aggressive than the Woom 3, and is probably most comparable to the Cleary Hedgehog. For timid kids, or children just learning to ride a pedal bike, I would recommend a bicycle with more upright geometry.
That said, my son LOVES the more aggressive geometry of the Frog 44 and has been doing a lot of pump-track riding with it. This is a case of choosing the correct geometry, for your child and their skill level.
Frog advertises the 44 for kids ages 4 to 5, but you are better off measuring your child and basing your purchase based off that. Read our article for tips on fitting your child to a bike.
Frog also offers an awesome fit chart on their website that you should make use of before ordering. My 4.5 year old barely fits on the 44 with the seat in its lowest position, so don’t just assume your kiddo will fit on this bike for their 4th birthday. Measure first!
The Frog 44 comes with a built-in steering limiter that is super helpful for kids just learning to ride. That said, it would be nice if it was removable for kids who have mastered their control of the bike.
My son has gotten frustrated multiple times at the pump track when he wasn’t able to make as sharp of turns as he would like. This was my only real criticism of the bike during testing.
Fenders and bell
The Frog 44 comes standard with fenders (or “mudguards” as the British evidently call them). This is the only bike we’ve ever tested that came with them, and is a really nice feature.
On a rainy day mountain biking in Fruita, CO, they did an excellent job of keeping my 4 year old dry and clean. The bike also comes with a bell included, which kids of course love!
How We Scored The Frog 44
|Quality Of Components
|Child Appropriate Geometry / Ease Of Riding
We gave the Frog 44 90/100 points. And yes, that’s an A!
We gave the bike a perfect 10/10 in terms of quality of components. Everything on the bike is brand-name and well thought. The additional little touches like the colored spokes and mudguards round out an impressive build.
The Frog 44 did lose a few points on weight and ease of riding. While it’s respectably light, it is a pound or more heavier than the lightest 16 inch bikes. That does make a difference for very young children!
Additionally, the geometry of the Frog 44 is quite leaned over and aggressive. Some more athletic kids will do great with this, but the average kiddo just learning to pedal will be better suited by more upright geometry.
In terms of customer service, we scored the Frog 44 an 8/10. Frog itself is a UK brand and does not sell directly to customers within the United States. Frog Bikes USA is an independent distributor, and the bikes are also sold thru the kids bike website, Ready, Set, Pedal. Both of these are great intermediaries but you won’t get the same personalized touch as you would from a company like Prevelo.
On aesthetics, we scored the bike 9/10. The bike comes in gorgeous paint schemes, but doesn’t *quite* meet the beauty of the Early Rider 16 (the only bike we scored a perfect 10).
Best 16 Inch Bikes
After testing the Frog 44, I’ve promptly moved it onto my “best of” list for 16 inch bikes. It contends with other high end brands like Woom, Islabikes, and Spawn. Indeed, the Frog 44 is a high-quality, easy-to-ride bike that I would recommend to any parent.
The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.
Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.
If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!