The Do Little Bike Seat is a unique and easy way for parents to bring kids along for the ride – on paved trails or mountain trails! Read the review for more details on why we especially loved the Do Little’s low center of gravity design.
Do Little Bike Seat
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Parents who are completely comfortable on a bike and confident in their child’s ability to hang on safely. Great on mild single track and paved trails.
MOUNT TYPE: Mid-mount / MTB
AGE RANGE: 2 years +
- Compatible with most bikes
- Sits low on bike so there is more room in your cockpit
- Compact and easy to take on vacations
- Attractive design
- Compatible with dropper posts
- Initial installation is a lengthy process
- No handlebars for child
Do Little Bike Seat Review – Results of our Test Rides
The Do Little is a mid-mounted, harness-free seat that bolts directly to the frame of your bike. This allows you to more comfortably and safely take your child on more varied terrain than can be achieved with traditional front-mounted bike seats. The Do Little gives little riders the same feeling of being connected to the bike that they would have on their own set of wheels, and is convenient for parents as well!
We tested the Do Little on every kind of terrain we could find in a twenty-mile radius. It was awesome for all of them. Sidewalks, streets, grassy fields, downhill, hard packed dirt trails, soft sandy trails, down curbs, loose gravel, bumpy trails, and tight turns, etc. There isn’t anywhere a bike could safely go that we would hesitate to ride with the Do Little.
Child Rider POV
With the Do Little our riders are essentially sitting on the bike itself. This creates a pretty low center of gravity and improves a child’s balance. At first my two-year-old kept taking her hands off the handlebars; we had to teach her that she has to hold on (don’t let your child ride without holding on!). But the fact that she felt well-balanced enough to let go speaks volumes for the design of the Do Little.
We felt a lot more secure with our small framed two-year-old on the Do Little than we did with her on the Tyke Toter, another mid-mount child bike seat we recently tested & reviewed. On the Tyke Toter the rider hovers above the top tube of the bike in an upright position, which is fantastic for riding around neighborhoods and paved trails, but not ideal for less smooth terrain.
Our fearless three-year-old couldn’t get enough of the Do Little on rough terrain. She would point in the direction of the bumpiest paths and tightest turns and even stand up to ride. Standing up and shifting her weight with the bike allowed her to be more actively engaged in the ride as opposed to just being along for the ride.
As far as learning to bike on anything other than pavement, i.e. dirt trails, mountain trails, beaches, gravel, etc., my six-year-old benefited the most from the Do Little.
He attempted to follow me on his own bike through rough and sandy trails designed for dirt bikes (it’s the closest thing we have to mountain biking in our area). He found it discouraging and difficult. At his first time attempting this type of terrain, he actually told me, “Mom, I’m not good at this, I just want to ride on the street.” If that was his only experience, it might have turned him away from riding on anything but pavement.
I put him on the Do Little and around and around we went. He became truly excited about being able to ride his own bike in the same way we just had. Cue the parenting moment where we have a conversation about goal setting and working hard to achieve those goals! On a family bike ride the next day he went up and down a bumpy, grassy field by our house to “practice and get stronger”.
Adult Rider POV
Ease of Use
I love the convenience the Do Little offers when it comes to taking the kids on adventurous bike rides. This makes me more willing to take them out on a ride. I don’t have to load a bike trailer into the car or hook it up to my bike, wrestle the kids into the trailer, or strap them in while arguing with them about the necessity of being buckled. After doing all that I’m drenched in sweat long before the bike ride even starts. With the Do Little, I climb on my bike, my kid climbs on the Do Little, and off we go!
Because the child leans forward when using the Do Little, there’s enough room in the cockpit for the adult to maneuver while riding. This is especially true for bikes with steeper sloping top tubes and adults who sit with their seat in a higher position. There are quite a few factors and combinations that will affect the roominess of the cockpit.
The picture below illustrates how the adult seat height and the placement of the Do Little affect the space in the cockpit. Raising the adult seat and moving the Do Little toward the handlebars gives a lot more room in the cockpit. Lowering the adult seat and sliding the Do Little toward the adult’s seat will lessen the roominess.
Life Lessons on the Bike
Even more than the convenience, I love the opportunities for life lessons that the Do Little makes possible. I quickly realized that the benefit was much more than just being able to conveniently take my kid along for a bike ride.
My two oldest children (ages 6 & 4) have both been riding pedal bikes since they were barely 3 years old. However, because they are still so young, they lack the strength necessary to gain momentum riding on rougher terrain. As a result, they get frustrated or scared when they attempt to ride off-road and it becomes far more work than fun.
The Do Little gives my young bike riders a taste of what it feels like to mountain bike. Rather than being discouraged that they can’t ride tough trails on their own bikes, they have motivation to keep practicing. They know how fun it’s going to be once they learn because they’ve been able to experience it while Mom or Dad does all the hard work.
Lack of Child’s Handlebars
The Do Little does not have specific handlebars or grips for the child. There are pros and cons to this. Whether it is a pro or a con is based on where you want to go with the Do Little and how you & your child feel most comfortable riding.
My older, more experienced bike riders try to steer my handlebars and there was a power struggle in the beginning. This isn’t a huge issue, but there is a bit of a learning curve to find your groove. The younger riders have a tendency to fiddle with the bike cables and shifters on the handlebars. This isn’t a big problem, but it is something to be aware of.
2 and 3-Year-Olds on Do Little
For more adventurous kids, the upside of Do Little’s lack of child handlebars is requires the child rider to lean in in order to reach your handlebars. This puts the child’s body in a more aggressive posture, further lowering their center of gravity and improving their balance. This also builds their muscle memory for more aggressive bike riding for when they hit the trails on their own two wheels.
Having their own handlebars is great, but it’s important to remember that having handles closer to their body (Tyke Toter) or mounted on top of your handlebars (Shotgun) puts the kids in a more upright position and raises their center of gravity which can affects their balance.
Having ridden with the same children on both the Tyke Toter and the Do Little, both my kids and I certainly felt better balanced with their body position on the Do Little. The bike sways a lot less when they move in the seat or lean with the turns on the Do Little as opposed to the Tyke Toter.
However, some kids are not as comfortable leaning forward and prefer a more upright position. It’s more tiring to lean forward when you ride as opposed to being in an upright position. (Think a beach cruiser versus a road bike). Only you know what’s best for your situation.
Body Position on Do Little vs. Tyke Toter
Size and Age Range of Child
We’re able to fit all four of our kids, ages 2-6, on the Do Little. Because the seat accommodates a wide age range, you can use it longer. This means you won’t have to buy a new bike seat every time your child outgrows one.
The Do Little is for children under 61.6 pounds and 29.5″ to 55″. On the lower end we had our 2-year-old tester (33” and 22 lbs.) and on the higher end, we had an average-sized just-turned-6-year-old (46” and 44 lbs).
In my opinion, the ideal age range for the Do Little is 2 to 4.5 years old. At these ages the typical kid can’t ride fast enough on their own bike to keep up with an adult. They also don’t last as long on bike rides because they fatigue fairly quickly. But they do LOVE to ride at this age and have great attitudes about bike rides. The Do Little takes the work out of it for them without adding a significant amount of work load on to you.
3 and 4-Year-Olds on Do Little
We loved being able to take our 6-year-old on the Do Little, but admittedly, he wasn’t the most ideal size. It is significantly less comfortable to carry kids as they get heavier and older, especially if you are going to be riding along rough terrain or for long periods.
With all the jostling, my chin frequently collided with my son’s helmet. This resulted in a pretty sore chin and jaw for a few days. However, it was great to take him on short jaunts around the dirt tracks so he could experience the feel of aggressive riding.
For shorter adults like me (5’2″), the max height and weight of the Do Little are too big to safely (or comfortably!) ride with your child. Because the kid basically sits in your lap and in-between your arms, it’s just not practical. Our dad tester is 5’11” and didn’t end up with a sore chin, but still preferred riding with the younger ones. The 6-year-old, who is significantly below the max height and weight, adds a lot of weight when turning tight corners or going uphill.
While kids younger than 2 technically can ride the Do Little, I worry about their ability to sit still and hang on. I would be especially hesitant on actual mountain bike trails. They might become scared and try to hold on to the adult rider rather than the bike. Additionally, at that young age, developmentally they aren’t as comfortable with the forward lean needed for more aggressive riding.
My two-year-old frequently lets go of the handlebars and twists around to see me. She instinctively holds on tighter when the trail gets rough but this might not be true for all younger children. As with all child bike seats, you need to take into account your child’s developmental level and your comfort level when choosing a child bike seat.
Bike Compatibility & Mounting System
The Do Little comes with two different adaptor fittings so it will fit on most bikes regardless of the bike’s shape and size. It is also compatible with dropper posts. We mounted it on three different types of adult bicycles, (mountain bike, step-through frame, and diamond frame) and it has worked well with all of them.
The adaptor straps tightly to the top tube with a piece of velcro and a hose clamp. The main frame bolts to the adaptor. The “wings” of the mainframe squeeze to the top tube and down tube of the bike with architectural bolts. Rubber pads line the inside of the Do Little and the underside of the adaptor. This not only protects your bike’s paint job but also does a great job of further stabilizing the seat.
Finding the “sweet spot” of where to place the Do Little on your bike depends on the size & shape of your bike frame. This is a tricky process and a little bit more time-consuming than we’d like. Unlike other mid-mount seats, the angles of your top and bottom tubes significantly affect the angle of the Do Little’s saddle. It takes quite a few adjustments in order to make sure the ends up horizontal.
Initial installation will take about 30 minutes. Leaving the adaptor installed to the frame cuts subsequent installs to about five to ten minutes. *Helpful hint – Using a drill to turn and tighten the hose clamp significantly cuts down on install time. Just be sure that you do not over-tighten the clamp!
*Note for bikes with cables on the TOP of the top tube. A velcro strap and a hose clamp hold the adaptor to the top of the tube of the bike. This interferes with the function of the cables. The Do Little comes with two rubber packing strips to space the adaptor fitting so that it clears the cables.
I used the packing strips per the Do Little’s instructions and thought I was good to go. Through my ride the strips slipped out. As a result, the cables were pinched between my bike frame and the adaptor, impairing the proper function of the cables.
I have since reinstalled the seat with the the adaptor, velcro, and hose clamp under the wires. In my opinion, this is a much better solution than the packing strips and it hasn’t impaired the function of the cables or the seat at all.
Mainframe, Seat, & Stirrups
The seat and the stirrups are all connected to the main frame of the DoLittle. The seat and the stirrups are not adjustable. This makes installation a little trickier than on the Shotgun where you can adjust the saddle after installation or the Mac Ride where you can adjust the height of the foot rests.
Mainframe: Made from rib-pressed metal with a powder coat finish, the DoLittle is strong without being heavy or bulky. It looks as though it were custom made for the bike rather than an accessory to it. The slim design cuts down on the amount you have to splay your legs in order to accommodate the bike seat.
Seat: The seat is a traditional padded bike seat. It is non-adjustable and securely attached to the main frame as opposed to the Shotgun, where the angle of the seat can be changed after installation. Because it isn’t adjustable, it’s important to pay attention to the angle of the seat during installation.
Stirrups: Our testers love standing up in the stirrups of the Do Little. However, they don’t provide a wide base for feet to stand or rest. They don’t have grip or allow a really secure foot hold. They fully surround the foot without strapping them onto foot pegs. This is ideal in case you and the child need to break away from the bike quickly during a fall.
Our smallest tester’s ( 2 years, size 5 shoe) feet slipped fully through the stirrups while getting situated before the ride. She loves to stand while we ride along. Because there isn’t a beefy foot rest, she is more likely to slip through and get hurt. With bigger riders this is much less of an issue.
After reading numerous consumer reviews on the mid-mount seats where the child’s feet aren’t strapped in (Do Little, Tyke Toter), feet slipping through or off seems to be a common concern and while there haven’t been a lot of reviews where there have been bad accidents, they are frequent enough to make mention of. With the Mac Ride and Shotgun the child’s feet are strapped into beefy footrests with more traction for more secure and stable footing.
There are merits to both types of foot rests (strapped in versus not strapped down). Ideally, we would love to see mix between the two. Do Little’s breakaway style (not strapped in but fully surrounding the foot) but with a larger and rubberized foot base would allow the child to fall away in the event of a crash, but also give them more secure footing.
The Do Little has opened up a whole new world to explore with our young riders. Its makes it easy to take a child along on any type of ride, regardless of the terrain. The quality time and the new experiences you get to share with your kid on the Do Little are far superior to anything you can achieve with traditional front and rear mounted child bike seats.
The Do Little has quickly become a family favorite!