PTR: Whistler

Australian Mountain Bike - - Contents - WORDS: RYAN W AL SC H IM­AGES: TIM BARDS LE Y-SMITH

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

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.

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