How to pull a child’s bike behind your bike

There are many reasons why you might want to pull your child’s bike behind yours, whether it’s because they’re itching to pedal for themselves but aren’t physically able to do an entire journey, or you’re navigating a particularly busy area that doesn’t feel safe enough.

So if you’re trying to figure out how to pull a child’s bike behind your bike, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide we’ll take you through all the different ways you can pull your child along, from tow bars that attach their bikes to yours, to specially-designed tagalong bikes, and everything in between.

We’ve broken the guide down into different sections for each option, so if you already have an idea of what type of setup you’d like, use the links below to skip ahead. Otherwise, grab a cuppa and take a look at the myriad ways you can pull your child’s bike behind yours.

Once you’ve made a decision, be sure to check out our guides to the best tagalong bikes, best tow bars for kids bikes, and the best kids bike trailers for specialist product recommendations and more in-depth buying advice.

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


There are 4 main ways to attach your child's bike to yous, depending on your budget and type of cycling you're going to be doing:

Remember to always follow the manufacturer's instructions when fitting equipment to your bike and your child's bike. Where possible, test without your child involved first, and never ride beyond your capabilities.

A mountain biking parent towing their child's bike with a tow rope, in the woods

Tow bar for fixing your child's bike to your bike


An adult's bike with a child's bike hitched to the back via a towbar


A tow bar is a quick, low-cost method of attaching your child's bike to yours and is ideal if you need to take your child short distances to somewhere where they can cycle themselves. 

It's a metal bar that attaches to your seat post and lifts your child's front wheel off the ground, allowing you to tow them short distances. The bar then folds up onto your bike so you can both cycle independently.

This is ideal if you're towing your child short distances to somewhere else, where they can then ride by themselves, or if you need the comfort of knowing you can hook them up if they run out of energy towards the end of your ride.

The downside of a tow bar can be the riding position and stability, due to the position of the child's bike. We don't recommend these for very long bike rides, and some children feel very nervous at the feeling of leaning back whilst being towed along. Others, however, love it!

There are three main brands of tow bar available in the UK: Trail Gator, the ETC Towbuddy and TrailAngel. They have similar features and your decision is likely to be down to availability at the current time!

Be sure to check out our ETC Towbuddy review for more detail!

FollowMe Tandem for pulling your child's bike behind you


FollowMe tandem attached a childs bike to an adult bike for safe on road cycling


A FollowMe Tandem is a step up from a towbar, both in terms of quality and price. It's a much more stable piece of equipment that is suitable for longer rides (including off-road) as well as regular commuting in traffic.

Whilst the FollowMe does still lift your child's front wheel off the ground, the angle of their bike isn't as severe as a towbar, making for a much more stable ride, particularly on more bumpy terrain.

There are two different versions of the FollowMe, depending on what type of wheel your child's bike has. If you have any queries about this, contact them directly as they are really helpful and will explain exactly what you need.

Cycle Sprog reader Alice told us: "Having used all of the options on this page, they all have their place, but the FollowMe is well, well, well worth the money. A bit like Islabikes, you are paying for a well thought-out design and quality engineering and manufacture, which holds its value really well. Ours was in pretty much constant use for 4 years, and we sold it for over £100."

For more information, read our FollowMe Tandem review.

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Tow Rope for pulling your child up hills


A cyclist climbing a hill With their child's bike tethered to theirs, with The Shotgun MTB Tow Rope


Don’t go too fast while in use, and either unclip on downhills, or allow your child to tow you, so that you can control their speed from the rear. If you use a tow rope while riding infront of your child downhill and brake your child will probably crash into the back of you. 


A tow bar or FollowMe tandem are both good options for younger children who need to be pulled along. However, sometimes older children just need help to get up hills when you're out on a family mountain bike ride, but are fine riding down them again. This is where a specifically designed tow rope can come in.

The Shotgun Tow Rope is a slightly elasticated rope that allows you to help your child up the hills (of course they do need to pedal as well!) and then you just unclip them at the top. It also comes with a handy waterproof carry pouch that your child can wear, so they carry the rope when it's not in use.

Some Cycle Sprog readers have had a go at making their own tow ropes. Laura shared with us: "We tried the tow rope at the weekend - it’s just a car tow rope but it’s the best thing we have ever used - there were no tears or frustration. The best bike ride we have been on as a family - can’t wait to get out again!"

The alternative to the Shotgun rope is the TowWhee. They're both very similar in terms of functionality, but the main difference is that the New Zealand Shotgun provides you with all the accessories plus the option to buy a pouch that allows your child to carry it whilst not in use. With the American TowWhee, you have to buy them separately.

Tie your child's bike to a trailer when they get tired


A cyclist towing a trailer with children's bikes tied to the back of it

When you’re carrying a young child who has reached the stage where they want to start riding their bike for short distances, then consider buying one of the best bike trailers.

You can simply tie their bike to the trailer and they can sit in comfort whilst you pull them along. You get fit and they get their bike ride. Win / win!

Cycle Sprog reader Kirsty has recently done this and told us: "We’ve been out for our first full family bike ride today using the trailer option. 3 year old hopped back in the trailer for the bigger hills and the busier road sections and we just used a single bungee cord to quickly strap the bike on the back. Allowed us all to get out and about and the littlest one did a total of 2.4 miles, she was awesome!"

Carry a child's bike on a cargo bike


Another option is to tie your child's bike to a cargo bike. There are several ways to do this depending on what cargo bike you're riding. On a longtail cargo bike, you can either tie the bike to a front rack or you can pull it along.

In a box bike, you can put the child's bike in the box if you've got space for that. There's also the option to tie the child's bike to the side of the box.

Longtail bike with child's bike attached to the rear

Attach your child's bike to a pannier and pull it along

A child's bike hitched up to a Bakfiets, with the front wheel secured inside a Bakkie Cycles pannier bag


Most panniers aren't designed to carry a kid’s bike, but Bakkie Cycles make a saddlebag that can also be used to tow a 16-20" child's bike (and can also have a child seat fitted, as shown).

For smaller kids’ bikes (10-16" wheels) these can fit inside the pannier, but it's not possible to have a seat attached at the same time. Unfortunately, there aren't currently any UK stockists for Bakkie products at the moment - but you can buy directly from their website.

You can also use the "bag and drag" option of putting the front wheel into a standard pannier. Cycle Sprog reader Rachael told us: "We just have a cheap Ikea pannier at the moment. It's only a 16" wheel bike and short distances. I just pop my 5yo up on her crossbar saddle."

Need to pull more than one kids’ bike (and an adult bike)?

Check out this great post by Madi Carlston over at FamilyRide for inspiration

Do you have a different way you've managed to cycle with your child and their bike at the same time?  Drop us a line in the comments below so others can be inspired!


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