Frog Tadpole Balance Bike Review

The Frog Tadpole balance bike features air tires, a responsive handbrake, and high-quality components on a stable, easy-to-balance frame. With 8 different colors and designs as well as an adjustable seat and handlebars, the Frog Tadpole is adaptable to fit a wide range of toddlers aged 2 to 4.

Looking specifically for a high-quality bike? With powerful Tektro brakes and Kenda tires on a lightweight aluminum frame, the Tadpole has you covered. Read the review below for all the details on the amazing features offered by the Tadpole!

boy riding the Frog Tadpole balance bike down a ramp

Frog Tadpole Overview 

RATING: Exceptional

MSRP$215

BEST FOR: Rugged, yet lightweight and nimble, the Tadpole is the perfect bike for preschoolers of all levels

SEAT HEIGHT: 13.3″ – 16.5″

WEIGHT: 7.6 lb.

TIRES: Air

BRAKES: Hand Brake

ADDITIONAL SPECS

FITS PANTS SIZES: 24 mo to 3T
FRAME: Aluminum
FOOTREST: No
BOLTS: Exposed

PROS:

  • Rugged, yet lightweight and nimble
  • Padded seat and Kenda air tires for great cushioning
  • Seat can be adjusted forward or backwards to accommodate torso length
  • High-end Tektro hand brake
  • Long wheelbase for increased stability

CONS:

  • Just over 3” of adjustable seat height

Frog Tadpole Balance Bike – Results of our Test Rides

That smile says it all.  For a kid who has a garage full of balance bikes at his disposal, he consistently chooses the Frog Tadpole. With its lightweight frame, high-end components, and long wheelbase, it’s easy to see why. 

Overall Performance

Whether on the dirt pump track or cruising the pavement, the Frog Tadpole balance bike delivers. No fancy over-the-top components and no cheap plastic parts. Just a fine-tuned, well-thought-out, and well-executed toddler’s bike.

boy riding a frog tadpole down a dirt path

Small for his age, our two-year-old tester (weighing in at 30 lb. and wearing size 2T clothes) loves to ride, but also loves to be challenged. Having mastered balancing this summer, he quickly graduated himself to the local pump track to take on the jumps and banked turns.

In his attempts to climb up every hill and cruise over every jump, the Frog came to our doorstep just in time. With its extremely well padded-seat, cushioning Kenda tires, and a long wheelbase, the Tadpole quickly began to resonate with our tester.

boy riding a frog tadpole balance bike down a dirt jump

His new partner in crime, the Tadpole provided him the stability and lightweight he needed to not only take on the pump track, but tackle it with all he had. On paved surfaces, the Frog performed just as well. Whether in our neighborhood or on two-mile ride along a paved bike trail, the Tadpole was ready for action.

boy riding a frog tadpole balance down a paved bike trail

Weight

The current model of the Frog Tadpole comes in at 9.2 lb. While not the lightest balance bike for its price range, the Tadpole’s impressive durability and ruggedness make up for the added weight. As a petite 2-year-old rider, our little tester had no problems with the weight and showed no signs of slowing down his pace while on the Tadpole.

Frog Tadpole Components

Tektro Hand Brakes & Comfy Grips

The quality Tektro handbrake on the Frog is easy for small hands to reach and activate, and also provides plenty of stopping power. As our little tester gets more adventurous, it’s comforting to know that that he has plenty of stopping power at his fingertips.

boy riding a red Frog Tadpole balance bike

Unlike the Frog Tadpole used to facilitate this review, the current Frog Tadpole now comes with the brake mounted with the rear brake lever on the right hand (per US standards).

As a UK bike, the Frog previously came with the rear brake on the left (per UK standards), but Frog now switches the brake on US bike to the right hand before they ship out.

The handlebar grips on the Frog Tadpole are also ridiculously amazing. Although grips are a strange thing to love, Frog’s customized grips are soft and pliable and very easy on the hands. The grips also lock into place to prevent them from slipping off.

close up image of the Frog Tadpole's grips

Padded and Railed Saddle

One of the first features of the Frog we took notice of was the thickly padded saddle. To help customize the fit, the saddle also sits on rails that allow the seat to move forward or back about one inch to accommodate kids with longer or shorter torsos. 

close up image showing the padded seat of the frog tadpole balance bike

Threadless Headset with Spacer

On most quality balance bikes with threadless headsets, the handlebars cannot be raised. Threadless headsets are designed to grip the handlebars very tightly to the bike’s steer tube (the part that extends from the fork to travel up through the frame of the bike) to prevent the handlebars from coming out of alignment.

The Frog Tadpole, woom, Prevelo, and Islabike balance bikes all have threadless headsets, but only the Frog allows for the handlebars to be raised or lowered. The handlebars can only be raised minimally, but it can still be helpful for taller kids.

The handlebars are raised by adjusting the position of the stem and spacers on the steer tube. The stem and headset can be loosened to allow the stem and spacers to slide off the steer tube. The stem can then be reattached to the steer tube with all three spacers below it. This process can be tricky if you are not familiar with bikes but any bike shop should be able to help you out.

Our little guy, however, was quite content with the standard setup with only one spacer at the top. As he gets taller though, being able to slightly raise his handlebars will help him remain comfortable on the bike for longer.

image showing the spacers on the frog tadpole balance bike

Turning Limiter

To prevent a child from turning too sharply, the Tadpole has a turning limiter. If a limiter is too restrictive it can negatively affect the maneuverability of the bike by greatly reducing the bike’s turning radius. Our tester did not experience any issues with the turning limiter.

boy turning the handlebars on a frog tadpole balance bike

Frog Tadpole vs. Other Balance Bikes

Compared to some of our other top-rated toddler bikes, the Frog Tadpole balance bike has the longest wheelbase, is the most adjustable (handlebars and saddle rails), and has the plushest seat.

It does, however, have the smallest range in seat height, so we wouldn’t recommend it for toddlers with an inseam great than 15.5″. For taller toddlers in 2T to 3T clothes, the Frog would be our top choice as compared to the FirstBIKE and the Islabike Rothan.

Frog Tadpole Balance Bike Bottom Line

An Exceptional pick for 2.5 to 3.5-year-olds, the Frog Tadpole balance bike is one of our favorite bikes we’ve tested.  From its long wheelbase, padded seat and high-end brakes, it is sure to have your child cruising happily and eagerly cruising no time.  With a seat range of 13.3 to 16.5″, the Frog is best for kids with an inseam between 14″ and 16.5″.

Availability

The Frog Tadpole is a great balance bike for boys or girls – it is available in red, orange, purple, and white with purple, pink and green spots.  In the US, Frog Bikes are only available online from Ready, Set, Pedal.

FTC Disclosure: Affiliate links are included in this review.  No monetary compensation was provided for this review, however, the reviewed product was supplied by the manufacturer or distributor to help facilitate this review. All opinions and images are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC.  All content and images are copyrighted and should not be used or replicated in any way. View our Terms of Use.

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