Frog Bikes is celebrating its 10th birthday!
14 February 2023 - News
Started by couple Jerry and Shelley Lawson in a spare room in their home back in 2013 Frog Bikes is now celebrating its 10th birthday!
Frog Bikes has grown massively over the past decade. The child-centred research-led design approach has earned Frog Bikes global accolades, industry awards and an award-winning factory. It has grown exponentially into a global success story with so many people genuinely loving Frog bikes!
The research behind the design
In 2013 after a fruitless bike hunt for their own two children, Jerry and Shelley realised there was a gap in the market for quality, lightweight and affordable kids' bikes.
All the children’s bikes they found were poorly designed and very heavy. Technical innovations had not trickled down from adult bikes to junior bikes; it was a neglected part of the market.
Jerry Lawson, Co-founder of Frog Bikes said:"Children are not just scaled-down adults: they have specific bike requirements which were not well met. We applied the same rigour to the design of kids' bikes that is usually only applied to adult bikes. This means that Frog bikes are not only extremely light and well-made, they also incorporate unique research-led design features which make them much more comfortable for children to ride."
Everything from the bike geometry to the quality componentry has been expertly designed. Features such as adjustable brakes and the handlebar stem add-on provide room for growth, whilst the shorter cranks, scaled-down handlebars and easy-to-reach brake levers assist comfort so kids can travel further and faster.
London Bike Hub commented:"From the design viewpoint, they are light, robust, comprehensively equipped and elegant. From the mechanic, they are fabricated beautifully. They are perfect, comfortable and attractive."
Frog’s journey so far…
Comprehensive bike range
Frog now boasts seven different ranges of children’s bikes, from as young as 18 months all the way to 14 years old, covering balance, first pedal, hybrid, city, road, mountain and track bikes.
“An impeccably specced well thought-through bike for children, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better kids’ bike.” - Total Women's Cycling
Partners through the years
Frog Bikes has partnered and collaborated with many organisations and stockists over the past 10 years with the primary goal to get more kids cycling, instil good cycling habits from a young age and encouraging lifelong participation.
Jim Whitehead, Head of Sales at Frog Bikes commented“It’s not just families and bike shops that love Frog Bikes. As a result of our durable and well-designed bikes, we are also the brand of choice for bicycle trainers, schools, city councils, sports clubs and global cycling brands.”
Independent bike stores
Frog has partnered with select independent retailers across the globe to help deliver professional and quality service to customers. Frog Bikes stockists are at the heart of everything Frog does and they take care of everything from bike fitting, professional advice, assembly by a qualified mechanic, ongoing support and servicing.
Frog actively supports the work the stockists do for the local community and aim to educate communities and provide resources so little ones get riding from a young age.
"Frog Bikes have really leapt ahead of other brands with their support of retailers and drive to make sure that bikes are on shop floors." - Sprocket Cycles
In June 2014 Frog Bikes joined up with the infamous cycling group Team Sky to bring a special edition of kids' bikes. Team Sky was the perfect collaboration as it was well known in the cycling world, especially because Froome won the Tour de France title in 2013 and 2015.
The range, from balance bikes to road bikes, was a huge success with bikes flying off the shelves! The partnership continued for 4 years and made good ground in encouraging more children to cycle, and who knows it may have been the start of creating some future cycling champions!
Carsten Jeppesen, Head of Technical Operations at Team Sky comments, “As experts in producing and developing kids’ bikes, Frog Bikes has created an impressive range, which is superbly designed for young riders, and is continually striving to create the very best lightweight bikes. Frog shares our determination to give children the best opportunity to enjoy cycling. We are delighted that Frog is making our range of children’s lightweight bikes, and hope that this range will encourage more children to enjoy cycling, at all levels.”
After expanding into the USA and Canada in 2016, Frog began their search for the ideal cycling brand to partner with. A collaboration with USA Cycling was launched in 2018 with a large range of USA Cycling bikes just for kids.
“A core component of USA Cycling’s mission is to develop the sport of cycling at all levels. We believe that the relationship with Frog Bikes, along with the striking USA Cycling design, will encourage more families to get involved in cycling and grow the sport,” said USA Cycling’s Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Fuad Hamza at the time of launch.
Supported by Joanna Roswell
In 2016 the Union Jack bike design was born supported by double Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell to celebrate the ‘Best of British’.
The new Union Jack design was launched by Joanna with local children at the Lee Valley Velodrome. Joanna was also Frog’s Brand Ambassador and was proud to put her name on the exciting range hoping to encourage children to get into the spirit of things and give cycling a go!
Tour de France™
Back in 2019 Frog Bikes started its collaboration with the most iconic cycling event in the world - Le Tour de France™. The collaboration was to bring a striking new range of special edition yellow Tour de France™ Frog bikes to consumers. These bikes were a huge hit, with many children wanting to join the breakaway themselves. They are still part of the range today all the way from toddler balance bikes to youngsters’ road bikes.
“Frog Bikes was the obvious choice for a collaboration to develop a range of Tour de France™ kids’ bikes. We were impressed with the research and attention to detail that has gone into the lightweight bikes. Frog Bikes also shares our values regarding our commitment to the future of cycling, children and the planet.” stated Clement Monteil from ASO Licensing.
Frog Bikes has been working with Bikeability Trust since 2014, supporting the Big Pedal initiative and to help more children access Bikeability training. Since then, our partnership has gone from strength to strength helping kids across the UK develop a lifelong love of cycling by teaching them the safety rules of the road and encouraging mass participation on bikes.
“Riding a bike is a fun and rewarding experience for children, and something that we want every child to be able to enjoy. Our partnership with Frog Bikes allows even more children to benefit from cycle training.” Emily Cherry, Executive Director of the Bikeability Trust
Frog Bikes factory
With support from HSBC and the Welsh Government, on Monday 15 August 2016, Frog celebrated the opening of its factory doors in Pontypool, Wales. The manufacturing facility has helped Frog be more responsive to the market, lower its carbon footprint and create jobs to benefit the local economy.
The factory is where Frog bikes are designed and built, from threading spokes into wheel hubs, truing the wheels, adding brakes, gears, cable and saddles, right through to the final checks before they are boxed up to be dispatched. There are over 120 different components to each bike!
Billy Bilsland Cycles commented"We are huge fans of Frog bikes. Their decision to have production in the UK is paying dividends. Frog has allowed us to keep putting big smiles on young cyclists' faces.”
Frog is now the biggest manufacturer of children’s bikes in the UK and the winner of numerous awards, including the Made in Wales Ethical & Sustainable Manufacturer Award in 2022.
In-house testing facility
The factory is also now home to our testing laboratory where we test our bikes to international safety standards, which involve static loading, fatigue and impact testing of the frames, forks and all of the components as well as dimensional checks.
Whilst the international safety standards are a minimum level of safety we ensure our bikes go beyond them. In this way, we ensure the quality of our products and that our bikes can withstand the trials and tribulations of children and last multiple owners. The hybrids, road, track and mountain bikes are even tested to adult safety standards just to go that extra mile.
We also design our own tests for the incoming inspection of raw materials and components as well as to aid in our research & development of new products and factory processes.
Frog Bikes are designed purely for children. Along with the ethos to build bikes with the child at the centre of everything (from the components to the colours), the frame geometry has been specifically designed to give a child a comfortable and in-control riding experience.
As children have growth spurts, Frog wanted to make bikes that a child could use comfortably for a longer period of time. All Frog’s first pedal bikes and some of the hybrid bikes have now been optimised to help maximise the lifetime of the bike for a growing child.
These bikes, with updated geometry, are designed for longevity and offer a lower bracket position which allows for a greater leg-length range to be accommodated, and the handlebar height can be adjusted within a 40mm range, making them ideal for growing riders.
Furthermore, Frog bikes are very adaptable, allowing them to last an even longer period of time and withstand the trials and tribulations of children. Find out how adaptable here >>
The average Frog bike resells for around 60% of its original price after 2 years of use.*
*Based on internal research carried out in November 2022.
Looking to the future...
We never stop innovating, bringing improvements to designs and new bikes to our range, novel materials to improve our environmental impact and exciting partnerships with some of the biggest names in cycling.
We care about protecting the planet around us. We are responsible for designing and developing products that help minimise the environmental impact of our operations.
We are continually innovating to reduce our carbon footprint, with components such as lighter cranks, fewer spokes, shorter seat tubes and rice husk pedals. We also have an MOT scheme and factory outlet bikes that help extend the life of used/imperfect bikes, and we make sure that spares are accessible in standard sizing.
It’s not just our products that we are making more sustainable… We’ve switched to renewable energy, installed EV chargers and bought an EV pool car, removed virtually all plastics from our packaging, and we’re actively working with others in our industry and beyond to accelerate change.
In 2021 Frog Bikes reduced emissions by 10% despite making more bikes and we are on track to halve total emissions by 2030!
Thanks to you all…
“We have come a long way since 2013, and we would like to thank all that have supported us through the past decade, it wouldn't have been possible without the stores, distributors and partners we trust, our loyal customers and our talented team who have kept us evolving! Reaching 10 years for any business is a remark of excellence and honour in itself - Thank you!”Jerry Lawson, Co-founder of Frog Bikes