The best front mounted bike seats for older kids

The majority of front child bike seats sold in the UK are designed for toddlers and young kids, who are unable to pedal themselves. They tend to have enclosed sides to support the child and a 5-point harness to keep them securely in the seat.

They also usually have a maximum weight limit of about 15kg. This is great in theory, but what happens when your child gets to the age of about 3 years and they become too big to physically fit in the front seat, or too heavy for the seat's upper weight limit?

Thankfully, there's a growing number of front bike seats that you can continue to use beyond the age of 3 years, or a weight over 15kg. Some are designed specifically with mountain biking in mind, and others are more suited for everyday journeys or more leisurely family cycling.

kids ride shotgun mtb front seat kids

SAFETY WARNING - there are a number of front bike seats being shipped to the UK that are available on Amazon and eBay that claim to be able to take VERY heavy weights (surely they haven't got lb and kg mixed up have they?). You're potentially buying a cheap seat that doesn't come backed up with the appropriate reputable brand name and the associated safety features.

Take a look at the fixing points and the construction of the seat and make sure you're happy putting the weight of your child onto the seat through the fixing point. Ask yourself if you're seeing any evidence of safety standards to back up the claims of taking an older and heavier child and whether a manufacturer's website can be found. Have you seen any photos of a child actually using it? Compare it to the weights and construction/mounting points of the seats highlighted in this post.

Which front seat is best for my bike?

All the seats featured in this post are suited to steel and aluminium framed bikes. Please do not use a child's bike seat on a carbon fibre bike (or one of any other material) unless you've checked with the manufacturer first.

Every bike is different, so we can't provide specific advice for each make of bike. However, we do state below which types of frame the seats don't fit.

For specific queries visit the website of each manufacturer. If you're unsure if a particular seat will fit your bike we recommend;

  1. Emailing the seat manufacturer to ask
  2. Speaking to your local independent bike shop
  3. Joining the Family Cycling UK Facebook group and searching the group for similar questions. If someone hasn't asked about your specific type of bike then post your own question - there's usually someone who has fitted a seat to a similar type of bike.

Cycle Sprog is a reader-supported website. When you buy through links on this page we may earn an affiliate commission.

The best front bike seats for older kids

Below we take a closer look at the front seats available for older kids. Please be aware that some of these seats don't have the same levels of restraints as bike seats for smaller children, so you do have to be happy with this level of risk when riding with your child.

For a summary of the maximum weights, fixing points, and prices see the table at the end of the post.

Kids Ride Shotgun MTB seat

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended seat

The Kids Ride Shotgun seat is a front child seat designed specifically for mountain biking. It allows you to get out on the trails once your Sprog is 2 years old and is a brilliant way to give them a love of MTBing from a really early age!

3-year-old twins H and E absolutely LOVE their Kids Ride Shotgun seats and the places they get to ride with their parents. Their review covers the difference between the rand of seats available and their pros and cons.

There are currently three Shotgun seats available:

  1. Original Kids Ride Shotgun seat: best budget option
  2. Kids Ride Shotgun 2.0 seat: best all-rounder for all non-electric bikes
  3. Kids Ride Shotgun Pro seat: best (and only option) for e-bikes, and for families that will be taking them on and off their bikes lots.
shotgun 2.0 mtb bike seat for kids

All Shotgun MTB seats are designed for children aged 2 to 5 years (the Shotgun 2.0 and Shotgun Pro have a higher weight limit of 27 kg).

The seat is fully adjustable to fit top tubes 35 – 68mm wide, and down tubes from 35 – 100mm wide.

This range of adjustment covers all mountain bikes, and even some of the new e-mountain bikes hitting the market.

The Shotgun 2.0 seat has moulded rubber padding to protect your frame, and swaps between bikes easily with no special adaptors or clamps required.

The Shotgun Pro seat can also be swapped between bikes easily and features zero frame contact.

You can also get a mini set of handlebars to fit on top of yours, for your little shredder to hold onto!

Where to buy your Shotgun Bike Seat

** Please be aware that there have been issues with poorly made counterfeit Shotgun Seats - only buy from a reputable dealer or direct from the Shotgun website ***

These are all reputable dealers that sell Shotgun products. 


Shotgun's own website (best for expert pre- and post- sales support)

UK only: 




Evans Cycles


Ebay (best for second hand bargains)



Oxford Little Explorer bike seat

Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended brand

OK, so I'm a bit biased about this one, but it's the newer version of the bike seat I used to commute with my youngest Cycle Sprog once he was too big for our rear bike seat. I still miss the "cuddly" rides we used to have in what was then known as the Oxford Leco.

Having my arms around him as we rode to nursery and school every day was such a special time, plus I'm sure his traffic awareness was greatly improved by being able to see and talk about everything with me.

Oxford little explorer front bike seat for kids
Oxford little explorer front bike seat for older kids

The bike seat is designed by Oxford Products, a UK based company. The Little Explorer can only be used on bikes with a top tube so isn't suitable if you've got a step-through frame.

The maximum child's weight for the Little Explorer is 22kg, so should be good for most kids aged between about 3 and 6 years.

Buy New

Mac Ride front bike seat

A very simple but elegant design, involving an aluminium frame with a plastic saddle and straps, the Mac Ride kids bike seat has been around for a number of years and is beloved by mountain biking parents.

The Mac Ride seat is a very sleek design which can be easily and quickly unclipped from your bike when you no longer need it, and stored flat in a rucksack or other bag.

The seat is attached to a special front mount spacer on the top tube. Two of these spacers are included with each purchase so you can swap your Mac Ride easily between bikes.

Mac Ride mountain bike front seat for older kids
Mac Ride mountain bike front seat for older kids

Mac Ride can be adjusted as your child grows, with the seat and footpegs moving away from the handlebars as your child gets longer arms and legs.

The maximum weight suggested for the Mac Ride is 60lb (which equates to 27.2kg) and an age of about 5 years of age.

Buy New  Buy Used

Frame-mounted seats

If anyone knows how to carry kids on a bike it's the Dutch, so it's worth looking at how they do it. The majority of Dutch bikes are step through city bikes, and so top tube mounted seats won't work. have a range of very simple frame-mounted saddles to fit a wide variety of frame sizes and shapes.

The maximum weight limit for the child is 40kg and all seats come with a two-year warranty.

Prices vary depending on the Euro/Sterling exchange rate but are in the region of £65 to £100 depending on the model, with additional shipping costs to the UK from The Netherlands plus any currency conversion costs levied by your bank.

frame mounted seat for older kids

Summary of front mounted bike seats for older kids

Here is a summary of all the currently available front bike seats featured in this article.

Remember, if you’re buying a very cheap bike seat not featured in this article (one that appears to allow a much heavier child to be carried) do your research to check it’s going to be safe and comfortable for your child.

Seat nameMax weightMounting pointPrice
Shotgun MTB seat22 kgTop tube£85
Shotgun 2.0 MTB seat27 kgTop tube£145
Shotgun Pro MTB seat27 kgAdditional top tube£200
Oxford Little Explorer22 kgTop tube£35
Mac Ride27 kgAdditional top tube£197

Before you go...

Front bike seats are a great way to transport older kids, but it's also worth considering your longer term options (as these kids keep on growing!)

If you're using your bike for daily transport (rather than mountain biking) then it's worth thinking about cargo bikes.

Cargo bikes do require a higher investment than a bike seat, but may well be the right solution for your family - either now or in the future. Read all about cargo bikes.



Are there no front mounted seats with harnesses. I want to cycle with me autistic 3 yr old but would need him to be secure


Hi Nicola
The old Oxford Leco seat used to come with a backrest and harness, but they removed it in the new model. It might be worth checking on the Family Cycling UK Facebook Group to see if anyone has one of the old models for sale, or else has any experience of fitting their own harness to a seat for an older child.
There is also a rear seat with a strap for older children, which is recommened by a parent in this article
Kind regards

Henry Peacock

The top tube is the crossbar – found on men’s bikes.

Ladies’ bikes have two parallel down tubes instead.

Step-through bikes don’t have a crossbar either. They usually have a large, down tube.

Sarah Davies

Such a helpful article which I should of read before I emailed earlier for advise! I’m interested in the Little Oxford (although not many stock’s it seems) or Do Little I think but I’m unsure about fitting. Can I be sure What’s a top tube and down tube? I can send pictures of my 2 bikes if possible?


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