With experienced shredders on the trails far younger than when I started riding, the desire to take your kid out and get them experiencing the trails early is pretty strong. Bike trailers are great for carrying all the odds and ends that a toddler needs, but they are just too wide for singletrack and obstacles like gates and so on.
The Shotgun MTB seat puts your little one up front and makes them a part of the adventure, with the ability to see exactly what is coming up next and alongside the trail which is unlike a conventional kids seat or trailer arrangement.
Fitting is a simple affair, the seat fits toptubes from 30mm-58mm and downtubes from 30mm-80mm and is safe for both alloy and carbon. There is a substantial rubber upper bumper that spreads load evenly on the top tube, rubber covers on either side plate are thinner and offer less protection. I was honestly hesitant to clamp anything to my toptube given it has quite a fine carbon edge to it, this is something that you may want to consider before installing the seat especially if your child is nearing the 22kg limit. We would suggest if you are at all unsure or really do look after your bike to wrap a small amount of Frameskin or frame protector to be sure.
With an age range of 2 to 5 years, this is a great introduction for children who or are learning to ride a balance bike. The opportunity to get your little shredder out onto the trails and experiencing the feel of the trail through bars and pegs is pretty exciting according to our young tester.
If your child is on the smaller side like my 2 year old test pilot, holding directly onto the bars works well. If your child is a bit taller, Shotgun offer a handlebar extender for $49.
ON THE TRAIL
With your child’s weight slightly forward of centre, we added about 10psi more upfront with our 10kg passenger. Keeping the bike on the soft side worked well as we weren’t looking for air or drops and it gave us a planted feel. It is worth noting that your child is not restrained on the seat and needs to be able to support their own body weight. We found chatting about upcoming obstacles gave our tester time to stand, sit or lean getting the hang of it quite quickly and making the shared experience a great one!
It was no surprise that everytime we pushed into a turn or pumped off an obstacle, my ears were treated to laughing or “more” and that there was a grumble when we pulled back into the driveway.
Unlike other “upfront” style kids seats the Shotgun seat is truly quick release and after you have followed the installation instructions and get it setup nicely can be removed easily leaving your bike free from mounts and supports.