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For dads and moms who love mountain biking, it can be tricky to figure out how best to get your kids to love it too. Well, there’s an easy solution: a front mounted kids mountain bike seat. Kids Ride Shotgun makes one of the best on the market for kids aged 2 to 5, so we took it out for a bunch of test rides to see how it holds up.
But, first things first. Why is a front mounted kids bike seat such a great idea to teach your kid to mountain bike? Let’s explore.
Why not just get your little one a no-pedal push bike and hit the trails? The big reason is that no matter how flat and easy the trail is, kids under 5 tire too easily. You’ll be hard pressed to ride more than a half mile on a dirt trail. So, make it more fun for parents and to give your child a better glimpse into mountain biking, a front kids mountain bike seat is your best bet.
Now, why is it better to have a front-mounted seat versus a back-mounted seat? Lots of reasons. The big one is that it does a much better job of teaching kids to ride a bike. Riding up front helps kids visualize what it’s like to ride a bike and get a better feel for how to balance on two wheels. And when the trail gets bumpy, having your kiddo in front helps you keep them safer. Here’s a full list of reasons it makes sense for kids to ride up front on a mountain bike:
The great thing about the Kids Ride Shotgun mountain bike seat is how easy it is to set up. You basically set it up once and then you can easily remove it and put it back on with a simple quick-release. The Kids Ride
Shotgun seat is one of the only options out there with the quick-release feature, so there are no clamps or adapters you have to leave on your bike when removing.
Another reason the Kids Ride Shotgun mountain bike seat is better than most is that it comes with everything you need to get up and running: seat, rubberized clamp, foot pegs, toe straps, and even the tools you’ll need set it up on your mountain bike. Here’s a quick video of everything that comes in the box:
Kids Ride Shotgun also include very easy to follow instructions that are well laid-out in a simple guide. It took us about 15 minutes to set up and we were ready to ride! Here’s a glimpse at the instructions on how to mount a front kids mountain bike seat:
The Kids Ride Shotgun mountain bike seat is fully adjustable so it will fit just about any mountain bike out there. We tested it on a carbon Yeti SB 4.5 and an aluminum Trek Fuel mountain bike. The front kids mountain bike seat fit perfectly on the Trek, which has pretty typical geometry you’ll find on 80% of the mountain bikes out there, but we noticed a little slippage on the Yeti because of its steeper-than-average top tube. Even so, the seat was secure and saw no safety issues.
One other feature to note with the Kids Ride Shotgun mountain bike seat is that it has no straps to hold your kid in—they just hold on to your handlebar—which we think is a benefit because it engages kids much more in the experience of holding on and leaning into turns more naturally.
Conclusion? The Kids Ride Shotgun front mountain bike seat rocks! It’s easy to set up. Our kids totally loved it—like huge smiles the whole time they were riding. And it’s easy to remove, so you can hit the trails on your own time without wasting a lot of time.
Even better, it’s $150 which is cheaper than several other choices out there.
Want more info? Mountain biking dads and moms can learn more and order your own at kidsrideshotgun.com.
Check out more kids outdoor gear ideas here >
Steve Lemig is the founder of Wilderdad. He's been a lot of things over the years. Skateboarder. Mountain biker. Climber. Snowboarder. Bike mechanic. Forest firefighter. Woodworker. Creative director. These days he's a runner, writer, husband, and father. He writes stories to empower dads and encourage them to share outdoor adventures with their kids as a tool to strengthen families and build respect for the environment. He has also been the Communications Director at Road Runner Sports for the last 13 years.