Monday, 15 August 2016

Review: Union Jack Frog Tadpole balance bike

As a person who has never been able to ride a bike it was very important for me to make sure that L can do it. We have tried different ride on toys and I was convinced it's time to move on to something cooler- balance bike!

In the past few weeks we have been testing Union Jack Frog Tadpole balance bike (£100) kindly loaned by Frog Bikes.

"We are a small British company dedicated to making cycling fun for children. We believe that the lighter the bike, the easier it is for children to learn to ride, and to enjoy it more as they progress. Many kids' bikes on the market weigh nearly as much as the child!"
For those who don't know what balance bike is- it's essentially a bike but with no pedals which teaches the importance of balance to a child. 
I have seen balance bike once before in the park, it was a very sweet scene- a little boy on a tiny bike, at that time I thought that it's another fancy toy for little people, but hearing about the progress of other kids I do see it's positives.

Now to the features:
- suitable for 2-3 year old riders
- it's a lightweight, aluminium frame bike at 4.17kg or 9.2lbs (it's doesn't feel that way though when you carry it, to me it seemed equal to carrying a heavy shopping bag, and seemed certainly too heavy for my daughter to carry it, but was fine lifting it slightly), having said that it's easy to manoeuvre 

- handlebars have very soft grips with the right width for little hands 
- hand brake is perfectly reachable for little people and a real brake hidden above the rear

- rubber 12" wheels with spikes 
- Frog Tadpole balance bike has a turn limiter, it makes turning very smooth 

- the seat can be adjusted depending on your child's height and progress with the balance bike (we haven't actually tried this feature for 2 reasons, firstly, the height adjusted by the shop staff was perfect for L and secondly, we didn't have any leaflets attached with the bike so only found out about the features when looked up online)
- Frog Tadpole balance bike comes in the variety of colours (we were provided with Union Jack design but if you buy one you can certainly pick the one suitable to your child).

L has been testing the balance bike every other day for 2 weeks which is of course nowhere near to be enough to feel the bike and to get used to it. We have tried the bike on the tarmac and grass, in both cases L would ask me to hold handlebars or seat for security reasons. 
She did try it herself but once felt the weight of the bike and need for stability L opted for safer option- to use mummy. On week 1 I was holding on to the handlebars and on week 2 I re-assured and showed her that I am holding on to the seat or handlebar but in fact didn't, it felt that we are almost there, but L lost interest too quickly. I think if we had few more weeks we could have seen some progress with the balance bike.

I have spoken to other mums with toddlers of the similar age, almost every other boy or girl went from the stage of no interest to showing some brilliant skills in a skateboarding park! Balance bike is certainly an interesting product and of course only parents can decide if they see it as a potentially useful product or an expensive toy. 

Disclaimer: I was loaned  Union Jack Frog Tadpole balance bike for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.


  1. How cool is that!! Very retro! I'm considering a balance bike for Daisy but not sure what age they're suited to! Xx

  2. We have been looking at balance bikes for Holly who turns 2 next week this looks like a great one. It's great you can adjust it for your child X #triedtested

  3. love the design! balance bikes are great - need to get one for my daughter #triedtested

  4. Really interesting review... I'd heard of balance bike but didn't know what it was until I read your review... It sounds like a great idea but wonder does it make it easier or more difficult to transition to a proper bike hmmmm
    Thanks for sharing! #TriedTested

  5. Amy is just starting to use a balance bike. This one looks great.

    Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x

  6. They look cool and definitely help with balancing skills before riding a proper bike