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REVIEW

Kids Ride Shotgun Saddle System

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Oct 7, 2019

"What!? What Are You Doing Papa?!?!"

I look up sheepishly. I've been caught in the act with the Kids Ride Shotgun (KRS) saddle in one hand and my ratchet in the other. There's no sense in trying to equivocate, and for that matter, the kid carrier is mounted on my bike, so I just get it out there; "I'm going for a ride tomorrow and I'm getting my bike ready."

There's some blinking, a deepening scowl, and then without ever looking away from my Marin, an arm silently rises with one finger pointing straight at my single speed. There are no words but, like Dickens' grim Ghost Of Christmas Yet-To-Come, there's also no doubt of the point being communicated.

It took a couple of rides to warm up to the system but now it has to be installed and ready to go at a moment's notice. After all, there are trails to be ridden.

Kids Ride Shotgun NSMB AndrewM (10).JPG

There's only so much real estate available even on my size large Marin Alpine Trail but I'm making it work with my five year old. She's a few pounds under the max weight of 48lb/22kg.

Kids Ride Shotgun NSMB AndrewM (11).JPG

All frame contact points are rubberized so the Shotgun Kid Seat is frame-finish friendly, even for carbon fiber frames. Once set up it's a three-minute job to remove or install.

Shotgun Kids MTB Seat

The unboxing of the Shotgun system is received with an incredulous look, a furrowed brow, and a healthy dose of judgmental eye-rolling. I may have gone in too hard with the guarantee of good times; I'm certain every parent and grandparent has a similar story of disappointment.

On my first test ride there is a fair bit of faffing about to optimize our fit, because my daughter is near the cusp of the max recommended weight and, more obviously, the max size to accommodate her on my size large bike.

On the trail, I moved her seat closer to my handlebars to make more room for me and adopted a slightly sideways position descending so that in larger compression events I'd take the back of her helmet in my shoulder rather than my chin. I only ride the KRS system off road with flat pedals and that's what I'd recommend; some quick dabs are sometimes required when things get bumpy.


There's something magical about the words "papa, let's ride Seymour after school today."

Smiles Per Dollar

My daughter and I share our number one complaint about the KRS system; we didn't have one three years ago. In the back of my mind, I'm always a bit melancholy as I feel her leaning into turns, pumping over roots, and generally hooting and hollering. She's beyond pumped to hit Highschool Trail laps after Kindergarten a couple of times a week and badgers me to make it happen, which makes me pumped too. There's something magical about the words "papa, let's ride Seymour after school today."

I've been thinking of wrapping my bar with a bit of roadie tape as her hands get a bit chilly in the rain but I can't see myself spending the extra 33 USD on KRS' bolt-on kid's handlebars. Otherwise our setup is dialed. Removing and reinstalling are quick and easy and actually the biggest job is getting my fork settings back where they were.*

*I run a coil rear so no adjustments are necessary

Improvements

Keeping in mind I'm trying to prolong usability with a kid at the tall end of the scale, I've been thinking about trying a lower profile saddle to see if I can buy myself (5'9") a touch more visibility. Claire wishes it came with a size double-extra-longer-than-longest GeoMetron with a seriously dropped top tube so that we could keep riding it forever. I'd need a Dream Bar mated to a 31mm stem to ride the thing but we have so much fun I actually daydream about it sometimes. Lastly, KRS should include some pedal extenders with every kit. Better to have that Fatbike-wide feeling than to be fighting for purchase on my flat pedals.

Kids Ride Shotgun NSMB AndrewM (9).JPG

No bad weather, just bad gear. My tiny person loves the Shotgun Kid's Seat in all weather conditions. I am thinking of adding some roadie tape for the cold weather.

Kids Ride Shotgun NSMB AndrewM (12).JPG

Different weather, different horns, same stoke. The balance of the extra weight has a big effect on my fork settings but I don't tweak rear shock or tire pressures at all.

The Kids Ride Shotgun Bike Seat is so much damn fun I'm at a bit of a loss to explain it. It sells for 150 USD / 200 CAD and that includes free shipping to Canada, the USA, Europe (including the UK), Australia, and New Zealand.

There are a bunch more details on compatibility along with a video showing how easy the install will be at Kids Ride Shotgun.

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Comments

mrbrett
+4 Bikeridenow Cr4w Andrew Major SiT
mrbrett  - Oct. 6, 2019, 10:11 p.m.

My kindergartner loves riding on my bike, on a Mac Ride. He mostly likes shuttling though, because the trails are more fun and a little faster pace. 

For grips, I just cut down some Renthal black push ons and used a nozzle on the air compressor to get them far enough inboard.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:22 a.m.

Hadn’t thought about just shooting on some grips. Extra hand position for those long climbs too?! (Hahahahaha)

Reply

jitenshakun
+1 Andrew Major
Jitensha Kun  - Oct. 7, 2019, 10:14 a.m.

I grabbed some gripshift grips (nice and short) from Canadian Tire and squeezed them on with the air compressor.  If gives my son a warmer/softer bit to grab, which only works when I can get him to let go of my grips.

Who know an 800mm bar was about right for a toddler.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Jitensha Kun
Andrew Major  - Oct. 8, 2019, 12:15 a.m.

Only 800mm?! Get that kid a Manticore!

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velocipedestrian
+1 Andrew Major
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 7, 2019, midnight

I have a Dolittle on my commuter (slightly simpler, same idea) but haven't braved fitting it to a mtb yet.

Collecting a helmet in the chin is common, and the knees and feet are awkward as you say. Roadie bar tape helped the hands of the little person, any road focused shop should have a short length for cheap. 

Maybe this is the motivation I need to get it on the dirt.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:21 a.m.

The Clairebarian is very cautious by nature so I’ve been pretty shocked how much she loves rolling trails on the KRS!

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velocipedestrian
0
Velocipedestrian  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:16 p.m.

Yeah, my own little big four (and a quarter!) year old is cautious too, but she seems completely unfazed by traffic when we ride through town.

I suspect the trust in the pilot is stronger than reality - she's never seen me crash, so it doesn't happen.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 8, 2019, 2:57 p.m.

We have a well loved Burly Trailer Bike we use a fair bit for getting around town and she’s great with it.

I ummm ‘tested’ the structural integrity of the roll cage and 5-point on our Chariot a few times but its a point of comedy these days.

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SiT
+1 Andrew Major
SiT  - Oct. 7, 2019, 12:56 a.m.

Worthing also look at the Mac-Ride as it fits quickly to the a stem spacer and the seat post. My daughter lives trips out on on it! Yep and as MrBrett a bit of bar tape on the bars works great.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:20 a.m.

How old/big is your tiny person? I’m under the impression that none of these systems fit past five.

Reply

SiT
+1 Andrew Major
SiT  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:50 a.m.

Hey Andrew, think height of the child and size of bike/adult rider. My little one is 3.5ys, but is 105cm tall - so very quite tall for her age (she as the same height as an average 4.5year old). Mac-Ride say ideal for 2-3year old, but works for 4-5years. Think the increasing frame reach is helping as you can get them further forward.

You should def give one a go to compare to the Shotgun (also Shotgun do some nice mini handle bars to attached if you don't want to put little grips or bar tape)

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Mammal
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:58 a.m.

Like I say, if I could ride a beyond-longest GeoMetron we could make this beauty work a while longer! 

I need a mountain tandem that is cable-steered from the stoker position...

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SiT
0
SiT  - Oct. 7, 2019, 8:08 a.m.

perhaps an offroadised Onderwaterfiets? :-) 

https://onderwaterfiets.nl/tandem-modellen/onderwaterfiets

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 9:25 a.m.

Foot pegs instead of pedals up front, one of those new Manitou kids forks, CaneCreek suspension post for the front rider, and a 5” rear end for the stoker. Maybe toss in 220mm rotors front and rear. Yeah, I’m in!

UFO
0
UFO  - Oct. 11, 2019, 9:57 p.m.

My 5.5 year old kind of fits our macride still, she's about 44" tall. I'm 5'8" and I've sized up to a 445-455 reach now (for my own riding preferences), whereas I was previously comfortable with a 430 reach, so that also helps with the kid carriers.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 12, 2019, 11:46 a.m.

My Marin is 465mm Reach and that's the #1 deciding factor in how long we'll be able to keep riding the KRS. My tiny person loves it to the extent that we'll use it as long as we can semi-comfortably squeeze on.

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fartymarty
+1 Andrew Major
fartymarty  - Oct. 7, 2019, 4:08 a.m.

Both my daughters rode on a Weeride from 1 until they were too big for it (about 2 years ago).  I miss those days.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 7, 2019, 7:38 a.m.

I guess the next step is to get a MTB sidecar?! Adaptive trails are slowly starting to show up and they’re wide enough...

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Oct. 11, 2019, 3:08 a.m.

My oldest (8) is on 24s and youngest (5) is on 20s.  The challenge is getting them interested in riding trails.

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BT180
+1 Andrew Major
Ben Terry  - Oct. 8, 2019, 9:30 p.m.

This is the best thing ever. I often ride with my two older boys and my little 2.5yo was getting left out. Now i have the KRS he's always begging me to go ride. Absolutely loves it. So good having them right up front with you, in the thick of the action.

I think the only problem will be getting him on a bike of his own. He's always going to want to ride with daddy!

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 12, 2019, 11:49 a.m.

We've had that struggle for just getting out riding in general. My tiny human isn't interested in mountain biking herself (which is totally fine - but may change with our KRS experience) but she loves just going for rides. Left to her own devices that would always be on our Burly trailer bike vs. on her own bike. 

But then the only thing I've really learned about parenting is that kids are constantly changing their minds about everything so who knows - maybe next week the trailer bike is out and it's trail riding time all the time.

Reply

lev
+1 Andrew Major
Lev  - Oct. 9, 2019, 3:52 a.m.

I have just tested mine with my 4 year old today.  He loves it.  If you're wondering where to get one in the UK, lovelo.co.uk had stock, so try there.  For his grips, i sprayed some lube in to an old set of ESI grips and slid them on to the inside of my bars.  Works perfect.

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GiveitsomeWelly
+1 Andrew Major
Karl Fitzpatrick  - Oct. 12, 2019, 1:17 a.m.

I've got a Dolittle and my now 4 year old and I would get up a good head of steam on some (quite ridiculously) fast trails...

I fitted a shaped piece of pool noodle to my stem after a small yet abrupt kicker caught him out and sent his 'bits' into it. They're were some tears but chocolate/ ice cream/ lollies fix everything.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Oct. 12, 2019, 11:50 a.m.

I rolled our Chariot trailer a couple-or-few times... nothing like the tiny human ratting you out to mom for bribing them with ice cream so they wouldn't rat you out to mom

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visal1
0
visal1  - Oct. 12, 2019, 8:10 a.m.

Woah cool. Maybe I'll have to get one for my boy.

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Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - Oct. 14, 2019, 12:28 p.m.

For little'r ones (3-4 YO, max 50 lbs) the Feva Star Seat out of South Africa is pretty good value at $50 USD. It's high density foam and straps on to the frame. Took my son down Bobsled several times on it and have never had an issue with it.

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doug-hamilton
0
Doug Hamilton  - Oct. 16, 2019, 6:14 p.m.

These seats are pretty cool, but the thing everyone needs to remember about is spinal compression on your kids lower back when riding off road. Kids bones are quite soft and injuring their lower back from banging around off road is a reality if you get to carried away. Always keep that in mind as it's easy to let the 'Daddy, faster, faster' egg you on, but may be detrimental to your kids long term health.

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