Kids Ride Shotgun Seat
The ultimate seat for mountain biking mini-groms, the Shotgun keeps them front and center while protected between their parents arms.
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Ages 2 to 5, with no straps kids must be strong and reliable enough to hold on!
MOUNT TYPE: Front
|Inches Needed to Mount||
2 to 5 yrs.
Pros & Cons
- Fits on a wide variety of bike frame styles
- Suitable for full suspension bikes
- Padded, adjustable saddle
- Keeps a centered weight distribution on the bike
- Allows kids to be front and center and participate in the rides
- Mini-handlebar attachment available
- Does not quickly move from one bike to another
- Spacers for mini handlebar could be improved
As a dad of 4 kids, I understand the struggle of having a passion for mountain biking vs. being a responsible parent and helping my wife take care of the kids. There used to be limited time to get out on my bike. I had what I would call “the window” and I would rush as fast as I could to get a quick ride in.
As my kids got older and could ride with me, there became more “windows” to go riding. But there was still conflict because the younger kids would get jealous that they couldn’t come. Or my wife would need me to watch all the kids. Now with kids’ bike seats that are designed specifically for mountain biking, like the Kids Ride Shotgun seat, I can get a ride in and at the same time become Superdad!
My wife can’t believe how often I volunteer to babysit the kids. Thanks to these bike seats I’m earning some much-needed brownie points at home. These bike seats are definitely a game changer for sure!
Specifically designed to fit mountain bikes (both front and full-suspension bikes), the Shotgun puts your little one aged 2 to 5 front and center. Suitable for sloped or flat top-tubes, the Shotgun is easy to install and the placement of the child helps maintain a centered weight distribution on the bike.
Upon unboxing the Shotgun I was happy to see all of the tools needed for proper installation. For a lot of mountain bikers this wouldn’t be necessary as a lot of us have those basic tools already. However, it still saved me from having to go collect the tools from my garage on my own.
The initial installation and attachment of the Shotgun to my bike was pretty straightforward and simple. I was happy to see I didn’t need to remove my handlebars and stem like I did with the Mac Ride (a similar seat I reviewed last year).
I just had to loosen the top bolt and adjust the Shotgun to the width of my top tube and tighten them back up. Then screw on the foot pegs, bolt on the saddle, and tighten the quick release between the top tube and down tube on my frame.
One small item I would like to have seen included is a small piece of rubber to go between my downtube and the threaded piece that the foot pegs attach to. The size of my frame has that piece just touching my frame. I will point out that there is ample coverage of frame protection on all other frame contact points. To solve this problem, you could just add a small piece of heli tape or in my case, a small piece of rubber I had lying around.
Mini handlebars that attach to your bars are available for the Shotgun as an optional upgrade. Attaching the mini bars was for the most part pretty simple. The only complaint I have with them is actually with the spacer rings provided to properly fit them on my bars. They’re made of a pretty cheap plastic. I think a more quality plastic or a strip of rubber would be better.
I’ve been talking to the manufacturer as I’ve been doing the review and they are looking at getting some of these improvements into their next run of the Shotgun as soon as possible. It’s always nice to see a company that is dedicated to creating the best product possible and is willing to listen to suggestions and ideas.
Once we had the Shotgun mounted up, I grabbed my daughter and immediately went out for a quick lap around the neighborhood. My daughter is almost 4 and is on the taller side for her age. She still fits comfortably on the seat as well as between me and the bars.
However, she could have benefitted from being able to bring the footrests down a couple of inches. Unlike other seats (including the Mac Ride), the footrest on the Shotgun is not height adjustable.
As we pedaled around the neighborhood, I quickly noticed how the mini bars (which sit above my bars a couple of inches or so) put my daughter in a bit more comfortable and confident position. Mini handlebars aren’t an option on the Mac Ride.
Shotgun vs. Mac Ride
I got ahold of the Mac Ride seat last fall and was able to put in a good amount of time on it. I was surprised how much fun my then 3-year-old daughter and I were able to have out on the trails together!
When I first saw the Shotgun, I was super eager to check it out as well. I liked how simple and clean it looked compared to the Mac Ride. It seemed to be able to work with a wider variety of bike frames as well. With seat tube lengths getting shorter and dropper posts getting longer, there are a lot more bikes that will be able to slam their seat posts all the way to the collar.
With the seat post being one of the two main attachment points for the Mac Ride, it doesn’t allow the dropper to be at its proper height. With my new bike, this was the case for me. The Shotgun allows me to keep my post fully inserted into the seat tube giving me proper seat height for seated pedaling uphill.
Another reason to choose the Shotgun could also have to do with the stack height of your bike. The Mac Ride relies on having enough room to remove a spacer and if you don’t have that room, it may not be compatible. There are also certain Trek bikes with a “knock block” system that may not allow the Mac Ride to be compatible. So keep that mind as well.
The saddle on the Shotgun is better looking and has more cushion than the Mac Ride. This is important as your child will typically be seated most of the time and that extra cushion helps filter out the bumps and trail chatter a bit more.
I feel like the saddle could be just a bit narrower however and perhaps a bit shorter in length as well. It is worth mentioning that the saddle is on rails like a traditional bike saddle and is adjustable forward and back as well as being able to easily adjust the angle of the saddle.
The saddle on the MacRide is not on rails and cannot be slid forward or back, but the seat is longer and u-shaped to allow kids to naturally move forward or back on the seat.
One thing I liked a bit more about the Mac Ride was how quick it is to switch from bike to bike. Although it’s more work up front, the Mac Ride is easier to remove and attach between two bikes. I had the headset spacer installed on both my bike and my wife’s bike. Once that was done it was quick and easy to switch the seat between the two of our bikes or just be able to quickly take it off to go on a ride without the seat attached to our bikes.
With the Shotgun the seat has to be properly adjusted to fit each bike. While this process doesn’t take long, it does take about 10 minutes to remove and then set up on another bike. As a result, swapping the Shotgun from bike to bike on a regular basis would be much more work than with the MacRide.
So while both the Shotgun and the Mac Ride are great bike seats, they both have their own strengths.
Here’s what we like better about the Shotgun:
- Fits on a wider variety of bike frames and sizes
- Padded adjustable seat
- Mini handlebars attachment available
And here’s what we like better about the Mac Ride:
- Quick and easy removal from the bike
- Footrest is height adjustable
Riding with the Shotgun brought all the same giggles, laughs, and weeeees we had on the Mac Ride. There are other seats and other ways of bringing your kid on a ride with you, but there’s something about having the child being on the bike and holding the bars that gives them a more involved, connected experience. It also makes them feel like they are the ones in control!
If you have a passion for riding bikes, you’ll love sharing rides with your child. It’s a pretty unique bonding experience and will give your young one a taste of what mountain biking really feels like. It will also help give them confidence as they are learning how to ride their own bike.
If you have a kid between the ages of about 2-5 years old and you have a passion for getting outside on your bike (on or off the trails!) you owe it to you and your significant other to pick up one of these kids’ MTB seats! The Kids Ride Shotgun seat is definitely a great option, especially if you are using a dropper post that is fully inserted into the seatpost.
Check out this video from Shotgun that shows how much fun the ride can be for parents and kids!