At a Glance
There have always been many solutions to carrying a child on your bike. Since the dawn of the bicycle, riders have strapped stuff, including offspring to their two-wheeled machines. Many of these child carrying devices are cumbersome, unwieldy and made of cheap plastic, but in recent years we have seen a change in the quality of seats available for kids on bikes.Buy Multi Tools on
The idea of taking one's child on a mountain bike with them may seem odd, but the cross-bar seat is nothing new and has been used for generations on 'normal bikes' to good effect. What the Kids Ride Shotgun seat does, is bring the child seat into the 21st century and give a safe and secure way to take a child on the trails.
Essentially the seat has two parts, a seat which clamps onto the frame, which also has foot pegs for little feet. It also has a cute, miniature set of handlebars which clamp onto your handlebars. Once all set up your little person can hold your bars whilst sitting comfortably on their own seat, ready to shred!
On The Trail
Installation is straight forward, the metal frame of the seat clamp is rubberised and slots over the frame and is tightened up with a quick release. Once this is secured, the seat is mounted and adjusted for the correct angle and the foot pegs can be screwed on. Getting it in the 'right spot' on the crossbar takes a little trial and error and will depend on the size of the child and bike. Once set up it can then be removed as one and installation each time is quick and easy. The mini handlebars have hinged clamps so can be mounted easily and removed without any faff.
Once set up it's simply a case of getting everyone on board and hitting the trails. This takes a little getting used to and coming up with a system that works for you, either swinging and leg over and lifting the child on, or leaning the bike against something and installing the child first. Once you've got a system it's pretty easy to get on and off safely and easily.
Once pedalling, everything feels very secure and having your child between your arms feels reassuring. The ability to communicate easily is a huge win and is so much better than a rear seat. Pedalling is a little different, having to ride with knees turned out a little, but this will depend on your bike and the seat position. Once further ground rules are established such as who is allowed to pull the brakes, things feel natural and it's an absolute hoot to be riding together.
Pointing downhill, the bike certainly feels different, with the extra weight, but with practice you can stand up and roll down the trails with ease. From this point on, the opportunities are endless, riding up, down and over anything you like. Wheelies are very difficult, but not impossible, bunny hops and jumps... I didn't try.
I loved the mini handlebars, they work brilliantly and really helped bring the kids into the riding experience. I would love to see a saddle with more scoop, with a higher front and rear to hold them in place as under braking or climbing they can slide a little on top of the seat. The clamping system seems a little clunky, and no doubt some will be concerned about their paintwork, but I've had no issues and used it on carbon frames with no problems.
There is no better way to ride with you little one than getting them on the bike in front of you. The Kid Rides Shotgun seat brings them right into the action to share the fun with a safe and secure ride!Buy Multi Tools on
This review was in Issue 64 of IMB.For more information visit Kids Ride Shotgun
By Ewen TurnerEwen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.