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We've had some exciting news from Frog Bikes, that's meaning that here at Cycle Sprog HQ we're eagerly anticipating 2018. Early next year Frog will be launching 4 - yes four - new bikes. Three new Frog mountain bikes, plus a hybrid bike for taller/older kids. Here's a quick glimpse of the mountain bike....
The news that Frog are moving into kids mountain bikes is excellent, especially if the new bikes are of the same quality as their existing hybrid and road bike range. We've written a number of times on this website about the lack of good quality, reasonably priced mountain bikes for children, and we're particularly pleased to see that they're doing two 26" wheel mountain bikes - the MTB 69 for those aged about 10-12 years, and the MTB 72 for those older kids who have an inside leg of 72cm. It's fabulous news as many manufactures have failed to realise that just because a child is tall, they don't necessarily have the hand span or arm length to control a full size adult bike, or the weight to make the suspension work properly. Here at Cycle Sprog we foresee the MTB 72 being popular with the younger teen market as a result, and wait with interest to see when other brands expand out to meet this group.
The third mountain bike in the range is a 24" - the MTB 62 - aimed at 8 - 10 year olds (with an inside leg of 62cm). The obvious question is whether, at any stage, Frog will also venture into the 20" MTB arena, either with or without suspension - we wait with anticipation!
The fourth new bike in the range is a larger hybrid bike - the Frog 78. Again, this is welcome news for families who have grown up with the Frog Bike range, and are finding that the bikes were just about to run out. This extension onto the older age range comes just months after Frog extended their smaller bike range, to cater for younger cyclists, and is a reflection of the increasing demand for quality kids bikes with components designed specifically for the age of the child, at every age and size.
The new Frog bikes don't go on sale until early 2018, but here's what we know about them so far.
Frog Bikes have designed a lightweight frame specifically for junior riders, to increase stability whilst improving control. All the Frog mountain bikes come with junior specific air suspension forks, complete with lockout and damping control, to enable optimal performance for lower weight riders. Travel on the 24" bike is 65mm, with 100mm on the two 26" wheel bikes.
The lightweight oversize handlebar and stem promise to reduce flex and provide better control, and the Tektro junior specific hydraulic disc brakes should make it easier for smaller hands to brake whilst remaining control of the bike - very important when you're hurtling down a red route with your parent trying to keep up behind you!
The Shimano rapid-fire 9 speed shift lever will hopefully help to reduce the whinging on the way up the hills, whilst keeping things simple with a single chain ring. Frog have fitted a Shimano Alivio HG-400, 9-speed, 12-36t cassette, paired with Shimano Acera RD-M3000 Shadow RD rear derailleur. Tyres are Kendra K1153 1.95 MTB.
As with all Frog Bikes, there is a 5 year warrantee on the frame and forks.
Frog MTB 62 (24" wheel) will be available in Metallic Grey with either Neon Blue OR Neon Red detailing and will have an RRP of £590 when it goes on sale in early 2018.
The Frog MTB 69 and 72 (26" wheel) will be available in Metallic Grey with either Neon Blue OR Neon Green detailing. The smaller bike will have an RRP of £600, with the 72 coming in £10 more expensive at £610.
The youth 26" wheel mountain bike market is growing quickly. The two Frog MTB's seem reasonably pitched for a lightweight hard-tail mtb, although performance will be the critical factor.
Further details, including full specifications, are available from the Frog Bikes website.
The Frog 78 will be the largest bike in the Frog pond, designed to fit those with an inside leg measurement of 78cm. Frog anticipate this will be ages 13 and over, but I think there's a few very tall younger kids out there who will be desperate for this bike.
The spec is very similar to all the other Frog hybrid bikes, and it comes with two sets of Kendra 26" tyres - for on and off road riding. Most importantly, it has all the child specific geometry and components that Frog are renowned for, which mean that it's proportioned for the size and strength of a child, rather than a small adult.
Priced at a very reasonable £370 we will be interested to see if this bike leads to other manufacturers responding with a larger 26" wheel hybrid offering. There's a good range of colours available - Neon Red, Neon Green, Dark Grey and Team Sky Black
Frog say the bikes will be available in early 2018 but can be pre-ordered from their network of local bike shop stockists. They will also be available from on-line stockists of Frog Bikes, such as Tredz , Rutland Cycles and The Little Bike Company. We'll let you know as soon as we hear they're in the shops.
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