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The Frog Blog

FROG BIKES OPENS NEW FACTORY IN PONTYPOOL

***Frog Bikes celebrates the opening of a new factory in South Wales with £1.7 million of funding from HSBC and support from the Welsh Government***

***Factory will create up to 50 local jobs***

 Frog Bikes factory in Pontypool official opening - 15th August 2016On Monday 15 August Frog Bikes, the makers of lightweight children’s bicycles, celebrated the opening of its new factory in South Wales. The Frog team were joined by Nick Thomas-Symonds MP, Lynne Neagle AM, local bike stores, and representatives from HSBC and the Welsh Government who have been so supportive of the new venture.

Visitors were able to meet the assembly team, and see first-hand how the lightweight bikes are made.  From threading spokes into wheel hubs, truing the wheels, adding brakes, gears, cables, handlebars and saddles, right through to the final checks before bikes are boxed and go out to stores  -  there are over 120 different component parts to each bicycle!  Some of Frog’s latest models were on display as well, including the Team Sky range and – new for 2016 – the Union Jack design supported by double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell-Shand.

The 120,000 sq ft site in Mamhilad Park Estate, Pontypool is Frog’s first manufacturing facility in the UK and will lead to the creation of up to 50 new jobs over the next few years.  With ambitions to be as environmentally friendly as possible, Frog uses low voltage lighting, electricity from renewable sources, and is developing novel reusable and low carbon packaging.

Jerry Lawson, Co-founder of Frog Bikes said: “We are absolutely delighted to celebrate the factory opening today.  It will enable us to be more responsive to the market, have more control over quality, introduce innovations faster, reduce our environmental footprint, and create jobs to benefit the local economy. There were times during 2015 when we couldn’t keep up with demand, and customers were left disappointed. We recognised that the time had come to re-shore our production model.”

Mark Emmerson, Head of Global Trade & Receivable Finance for HSBC UK, said: “Throughout HSBC’s partnership with Frog Bikes, we’ve been delighted to provide tailored funding and guidance to support Shelley and Jerry’s ambition to launch the UK production of their bikes. Frog Bikes is an outstanding example of an entrepreneurial business evolving to meet the needs of its customers, as well as looking for solutions to support the local economy. It’s fantastic to now see the project reach completion and we have no doubt that the new facility will support the company’s continued growth.”

Economy Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said: “I am delighted Frog Bikes – a highly innovative and specialist business – chose to locate its first manufacturing facility in Wales. The company is a very welcome addition to our advanced materials and manufacturing sector and I am pleased Welsh Government support will help create a significant number of new jobs. I wish the company every success in the future as it grows the business in Wales.”

Our Frog Road 58 Is Put To The Test

Cycle Sprog’s 7 year old recruit puts our Frog Road 58 through its paces!

“If road cycling or cyclo-cross is a kid’s chosen sport, or they are just desperate to get a bike with drop handlebars, then the Frog Road 58 is probably the best bike on the market.”

“You can always get a good feeling for a bike by how well it’s received by the children that are going to ride it. The Frog Road 58 has been very, very popular with reviewer T. He’s really enjoyed riding a bike with drop handlebars at long last, and having the cyclocross setup and tyres has meant he’s tackled routes on it that he might not have done on a standard road bike.

In terms of quality, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Frog Bikes – well built, looks good, rides well and is priced accordingly. Plus there’s the added exclusivity factor due to the lack of drop handlebar bikes for this age group.

I know that some say drop bars are not suitable at this age (and the lack of 20″ bikes proves that other manufactures may feel there isn’t a market). Well, if T and his reaction to the Frog 58 are anything to go by, I’d be looking to review that thought – he’s not stopped asking to ride the bike since it arrived for review!

The Frog Road 58 is that rare beast – a drop handlebar kids bike with 20″ wheels. It delivers fun in spades and is recommended for your budding road racers and cyclo-cross riders.”

To read the full review, please click here>

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Frog Bikes in top 10 of Startups100 index

We’re delighted to be included in the annual list of top Startup companies Startups100 index 2016, ranking at number 8!

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It’s a real honour to be listed alongside some of our favourite startups such as AppearHere and Bizzby as well as previous winners such as PurpleBricks.

Here are the criteria we were judged on:-

An innovative proposition – whether that’s disrupting a stagnant market with a new twist or (increasingly rare these days) a brand new and original product or tech

Impressive founders – from young founders with incredible drive to experienced entrepreneurs with a stellar track record

Employee numbers – we’re looking for businesses that can truly scale and make a positive contribution to the UK economy

Funds raised – although we’re also impressed by lean businesses that have grown organically

Traction to date – it’s not all about the numbers but they certainly help. Impressive turnovers, and even better profits, are a great indicator of early success

Potential – this is crucial. While traction is important we’re not afraid to back early-stage firms that we feel could be the winners of tomorrow…

Global ambition – we want businesses that aren’t afraid to dream big

Click on the image below to learn more.

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Breakaway Leads To Narrow Miss For Frog Bike’s Gracie Fox

After what seemed like months of waiting, the 2016 Southern XC Mountain Bike Season has Gracie at the startarrived and it all kicked off at Black Park near Slough on the 20th March. Riding in the Under 9s category for her final season in this age group, Frog Bikes rider Gracie Fox was eager to pick up where she left off at the end of last season and go for her 9th Southern XC victory.

Racing conditions were perfect. Following a slight sprinkle of rain over night the course was in fine form and ready for some exciting racing in the children’s categories.

Gracie was positioned at the front of the grid, nestled in with many boys and girls all nervously waiting for ‘the whistle’ to sound. The start was electric as all of the young racers jostled for a good position leading in to the first section of single-track. Gracie heads offHanging on to the back wheel of one of the fast starting boys Gracie found herself in 2nd place and in touching distance of Erin Loveless (Hillingdon Slipstreamers). Both riders were joined by Katie Allsop (Summit MTB) as the trio set upon working together and building a gap on the chasing riders.

 

Crossing the line to begin their last lap, 3 seconds separated the trio with Gracie moving in to 2nd place before entering the single track for the final time. Katie and Gracie exchanged places several times during the final lap and with Gracie now in 3rd place and gearing herself up for a sprint finish with 50 metres to go, disaster struck! Katie and Gracie were wheel-to-wheel heading through the final twist and turns of the course when both Katie and Gracie crashed at the same time. Katie was lucky enough to get away but for Gracie, her bike was tangled which allowed 4th place rider Orla Barrowcliffe (Summit MTB) to catch up resulting in 4th place for Gracie on the day.

2016 will be Gracie’s 4th year of racing Mountain Bikes and her 3rd season of being supported by Frog Bikes. What has really become apparent is the levels of ability in all of the children that are now arriving at the start line. The children all look like young professional riders who all enjoy riding their bikes very fast!! It’s great to watch and can only be a good thing for the future of women’s Mountain Bike Racing. Congratulations to all the girls who took part but a special Well Done to Frog Bikes very own Gracie Fox….it’s great to see you back!!

Gracie at full pelt through the woodsGracie catches up

Joanna Rowsell launches new Union Jack Bikes at Lee Valley Velodrome

Fresh from her medal winning performance in the Track World Championships, Olympic Champion Joanna Rowsell returned to Lee Valley to launch the new Union Jack Bikes range of Frog bikes.

To help celebrate was a whole class from the local nursery and assorted stockists, customers and well wishers.  The kids loved the bikes which were soon at the centre of a good-natured scrum. Joanna conducted an impromptu medal ceremony for the delighted kids and then took to the track with the adults and teenagers.

The bikes, which cover the full range from balance bikes through to hybrids will be among those assembled at Frog’s new factory in Wales.  Each bike carries Joanna’s signature and is available from Frog Stockists today.

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Frog Bikes builds bike factory in UK

We are delighted to announce that we are building a bike factory in South Wales to onshore our bike production. With the support of HSBC and the Welsh Government, we will be opening our new factory shortly and can’t wait to see Frog bikes rolling off the production line this summer.

Frog Bikes has grown so fast, and we’ve not always been able to keep up with demand. Having more control over our supply chain will make us more responsive to demand, and enable us to reduce our environmental footprint. And of course we’re very pleased to be able to create up to 50 jobs to boost the UK economy.Frog Bikes shoot, Surrey, 2014

Frog Bikes scoops Export Award

Last Friday Frog Bikes was absolutely delighted and honoured to win an award at the 2015 Startups Awards. A high profile panel of judges, which included Dragons’ Den star Touker Suleyman, Cath Kidston MBE, and Innocent Drinks co-founder Jon Wright, chose Frog Bikes as the winner of the Export Business of the Year award.Export Business of the Year - Frog Bikes

The judges said they were impressed by the fact that, just two and a half years since launching the brand, we are now selling bikes through independent bike stores in 24 countries – despite entering a market that is dominated by large global bike brands.  We have stockists all over Europe, and increasingly further afield as well, including Japan, South Africa and Canada.

We were also lucky enough to be the runner up in the Product of the Year category too. Congratulations to all the other finalists (and thank you for bringing samples along for us all to enjoy….. including Propercorn popcorn, Pip and Nut peanut butter….!) Thanks also to Startups.co.uk and all the sponsors for an excellent event!

 

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Glasgowriderz proud recipients of 13 Frog Bikes

A happy club with 13 new Frog Bikes

A happy club with 13 new Frog Bikes

It’s always great to see a local success story! Glasgow Riderz with the help of Glasgow Sport Council, Frog Bikes and Billy Bilsland Cycles have added 13 Frog Bikes to the club’s fleet! From humble beginnings, where the focus was to give kids access to cycling, the youth club gone from strength to strength and has even produced Olympians, Jonathon Mitchell and Ruairidh Brown!

Gold Medalist Antwerp Special Olympics

Ruairidh Brown – Gold At Antwerp Special Olympics

Jonathon Mitchell - Bronze for TeamGB

Jonathon Mitchell – Bronze for TeamGB

“It’s the support like this that enables us to deliver what we do, to continue and build on our current position as one of the UK’s largest and most successful Youth Cycling Club and Team. Thanks so much!”

Glasgow Riderz Club

www.glasgowriderz.co.uk

 

Read the full article here >

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to get technical…..

Every single Frog bikes frame, fork and component conforms to standards set by EN and International Standards body (ISO), and this means they have to undergo very rigorous testing. But what does that actually involve?

1. Impact tests. A weight of 22kg is dropped on both the frame and the fork from a height of at least 120mm (Fig 1 & Fig 2)

Figs 1 2

 

2. Bending Fatigue test for the forks. Cycles of ±400 N dynamic force are applied to the fork, perpendicular to the steerer-tube, for 100,000 test cycles.

Fig 3

3. The handle bars have a force of 190 N applied to them 50 mm from the free end on each side, parallel to the stem axis for 100,000 repetitions.

4. The wheels are secured to the frame and fork as per our manufacturer’s recommendations. A force of 1,000 N is applied symmetrically to both ends of the axle for 1 min in the direction of the removal of the wheel.

5. Pedal clearance from the ground. With the pedal at its lowest point, parallel to the ground, the bike must be leaned over at an angle of 23° from the vertical before any part of the pedal touches the ground.

6. Pedal clearance from the tyre. Bikes shall have at least 89 mm clearance between the pedal and front tyre or mudguard (when turned to any position).

7. Pedal impact test. The pedal-spindle is struck by a weight of 15 kg from a height of 200 mm, hitting the pedal at the centre of the tread surface.

Fig 4 rotational accuracy hybrid bikes

8. Wheel rotational accuracy and truing. The maximum variation of the rim relative to the axle is measured through one complete rotation. We measure both axial run out (lateral) and radial run out (concentricity) – see diagram left. All the Frog wheels go through a truing machine to make sure the spoke tension is accurate to 0.15mm.

These are the specific standards that our bikes conform to:

The Tadpole and Tadpole plus have passed EN71 (Toys) which is the standard for Balance Bikes.
The Frog 43 and 48 have passed EN14765 and are supplied with a full chain guard as standard which stores can fit if requested when you collect the bike.
The Frog 52, 55, 62, 69 and 70 have passed EN14781.
The Frog Road and Track 58, 67 and 70 have passed EN14781.
All bikes made from May 2015 onwards also comply and have been tested with the new ISO standards. Frog 43 and 48 comply with ISO8098 (2014) Frog 52, 55, 62, 69, 73 all Frog Track and Frog Road bikes now comply with ISO4210 (1-9): 2014 and the Tadpole and tadpole Plus conform to EN71 which has not been updated as yet.

Joanna Rowsell inspires young riders on the track

 

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Joanna Rowsell is undoubtedly one of Britain’s superstar cyclists.  European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic champion on the track, she is also an incredibly down-to-earth and approachable person. Everybody loves Joanna!

So we were absolutely delighted when she agreed to spend a Saturday afternoon with 5 young competition winners at the National Cycling Centre velodrome in Manchester.

Accompanied by a British Cycling coach, the kids all got to grips with their lightweight Frog track bikes. Some had never cycled on the boards before, but all were keen club cyclists, and very eager to get started, watched by their family and friends in the “d”.

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Joanna got stuck in immediately, and even helped them with their pedals!  How many other global sports stars would you spot doing that?!

The first few laps were taken very carefully, following Joanna and getting used to the feel of the bikes on the slippery surface.  Then the riders’ confidence started to grow and they began to test out the banks (“surprisingly steep” was the verdict).

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At this point, the adrenaline clearly kicked in and a decidedly competitive streak was evident around the track!  Frog bikes co-founder Jerry clearly couldn’t resist having a go, and squeezed his 6’4″ frame onto the 24″ track bike.

Lap times for a 250m “flying lap” were captured for all the kids, to see how they fared against an Olympic champion. Joanna clocked 18.07, Jack 22.41, Erin 22.69, Oliver 22.71, James 25.57 and Esther 28.51 (Jerry was by no means the fastest visitor at 25.05!)  Joanna was very encouraging of the children, and later said that they are far better cyclists than she was at their age!

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One of the high points of the day for the kids was the chance to see Joanna’s beautiful Olympic gold medal up close, and pose for photographs!  They also had their kit signed as a wonderful momento of their day.

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To find out more about Joanna’s amazing career, go to her website: http://www.joannarowsell.com/

Thank you to Chris Meads for all the photographs! http://chrismeadsphotography.zenfolio.com/