Do your kids want to ride shotgun? Well, now they can with the Shotgun kids seat. Clamping quickly over your bike frame, the Shotgun front-mounted child seat puts your toddler right in the best seat in the house for maximum fun.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The Best Mountain Bike Child Seats in Review – a Guide to Kid’s MTB Seats
Age range 2-5 years or 22 kg
Weight 2.4 kg
Price €155 for the seat, Shotgun Handlebars are an additional €40
Fitting The Shotgun kids seat mounts to the frame tubes and can accommodate tops tubes from 30 – 68mm wide, and down tubes from 30 – 100mm wide..
The Shotgun front-mounted child’s seat is just what bike-mad parents have been waiting for. Affordable, secure and offering immeasurable fun, it’s the perfect way to introduce your toddler to the world of mountain biking. The Shotgun seat is secured over your top and down tube, and after the initial installation features tool-free fitment and removal, leaving no trace on your bike when removed. A seat for trail hunters, the Shotgun seat is perfect for exhilarating family rides and can be quickly removed for some sneaky hot laps while your kid enjoys an ice cream with your partner. Initial setup takes about 10 minutes, where you adjust the gap between the two legs (accommodating tops tubes from 30 – 68mm wide, and down tubes from 30 – 100mm wide.) and match the seat angle to your frame. Once completed the Shotgun seat can be fitted and removed without tools in under a minute. As the Shotgun seat does not rely on adaptors on the bike, it works well with some ‘problem bikes’ that have very short steerer tubes or bulky stems that caused us headaches with other seats. However, this does mean that the Shotgun is less practical if you want to move it quickly between two bikes with different frame designs, for example, to share the load with your partner.
In use, the Shotgun seat was a mini-pilot favourite, comfortable and minimalist it gives both the kid and parent space to enjoy the ride. An instant hit was the optional (€40) Shotgun Handlebar which really enriches your kids’ experience. Yes, your kid can hold onto your bar, but there’s nothing cooler than having their own bar and grips. Our two-year-old tester Brook loved yelling “Daddy bar, Brook’s bar”. The bars also make the ride safer too, raising the contact points for your kid and giving more security if they choose to stand up to yell “faster”. After being fitted correctly, the seat feels very strong and secure and combined with the handlebar, we had no fears at all on fun singletrack terrain. And what fun we had! Compared to a ‘strapped in’ seat, the Shotgun Seat is a revelation, encouraging laughter, joy and confidence. Each section of flowing singletrack was met with screams of delight from the test pilot, and we never felt unbalanced or cramped. Long-legged riders may find the Shotgun eats into knee room a little, but it is the lowest profile seat in the test.
Engineers on the team liked the simple design and the thick rubber pads work well to protect your frame. While we experienced no problems with scratching from the rubber pads, we would recommend using frame-protection tape on the contact points. It’s a little bit of a shame that Shotgun has used basic nuts rather than Allen bolts, Shotgun have included spanners for the initial setup, but on-trail adjustments cannot be done with a multitool. However, once set, removal and installation are tool-free. The fully adjustable saddle lets you ensure the saddle is flat and comfortable and even on problem bikes with flat or extremely sloping tops tubes we managed to get a quick and easy setup. The only bikes we found fitting more complex were bikes with a very large difference between the top and downtube diameters, and most eMTB’s were incompatible due to the larger downtube.
The Shotgun kids seat is a great solution for those looking to take their kids to the trails, encouraging fun, confidence and teaching valuable skills in a safe riding position. The Shotgun should be an essential purchase for any bike-mad toddler. As the setup is unique to each bike, it’s not so quick to swap between bikes, but once fitted the Shotgun is secure and comfortable. The optional Shotgun Handlebars are outstanding and would be an essential purchase whichever seat you choose. The Mac Ride is strong competition, but in terms of smiles for your money, we can think of few better investments than the Shotgun, taking our Best Buy award.
- Tool-free, secure installation
- Works better on steep sloping top tubes
- Rubber pads protect your frame
- Shotgun Handlebars are amazing
- Bolts are a bit fiddly
- Fixed leg length
- Tough to switch between bikes
- eMTB use limited
For more information head to kidsrideshotgun.com
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey