Kids Ride Shotgun Seat Review

A Kids Ride Shotgun seat offers families the opportunity to ride off-road and mountain bike trails with their child sitting shotgun, up at the front of the bike being fully involved and immersed in the experience.

This Kids Ride Shotgun seat review and overview of the full Kids Ride Shotgun seat range is here to help you on your hunt for the best front bike seats for older children.

We were lucky enough to get our hands on one of the first Kids Ride Shotgun seats to arrive in the UK in 2019 and we loved them. Getting your kids involved and upfront on a bike truly is a wonderful experience. We're back with an updated review, covering two of the three seats in the Kids Ride Shotgun range. But what is important to focus on, is the experience a Kids Ride Shotgun seat gives a child (and their parents), and if you like the sound of that, then it's a case of working out which seat, out of the three in their range, will fit your bike and budget!

This review will focus on the Original Kids Ride Shotgun seat, as well as the Pro model- our review family have used both and share each model's pros and cons.

Towards the end of the review, we also have some useful FAQs for families looking into Kids Ride Shotgun seats for their preferred styles of riding

If your child isn't quite old enough for a Kids Ride Shotgun seat yet, we recommend our best front bike seats for toddlers younger children to help you decide which seat is right for you.

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

Kids Ride Shotgun Seat Review

Kids Ride Shotgun seat key data:

Price - £85 to £200
Age range - 18 months to 5 years
Date of review - June 2024

Pros - They bring so much joy to both the child and their parent! The range of seats suits a wide range of budgets and riding styles.
Cons - They will give your Sprog a need for speed on their own bikes!

Kids Ride Shotgun seat scores

Quality - 5/5 - The full range of seats are well made, robust and high quality.
Value for money - 4/5 - The range of seats give an option for all budgets and are comparable in price to competitors.
Resale value - 5/5 - Kids Ride Shotgun seats are well know and have good second hand resale value.
Final verdict - A brilliant top-of-the-range selection of front bike seats for a whole host of budgets and riding styles. The perfect way to inspire your Sprog's to love riding bikes with you!

Find out more about the Cycle Sprog review process

Differences between the Kids Ride Shotgun seat range

All Kids Ride Shotgun seats offer the children the wonderful experience of being fully involved and connected with an off-road bike ride.

The differences between the three Kids Ride Shotgun seats are outlined in the infographic below. Your bike type and budget will probably be the biggest deciding factors.


Kids Ride Shotgun original seat on a blue mountain bike

Kids Ride Shotgun Original seat

  • £85
  • On/off – 2 minutes
  • Regular MTB only
  • Frame mounted
  • Fixed footpeg height
  • Kids 2-5 years

Learn More

Kids Ride Shorgun 2.0 front child seat on a mountain bike

Kids Ride Shotgun 2.0 seat

  • £145
  • On/off – 30 seconds
  • Regular MTB only
  • Frame mounted
  • 2 footpeg heights
  • Kids 18 mo-5 years

Learn More

Shotgun Pro Child Bike Seat On Bike Close Up

Kids Ride Shotgun Pro seat

  • £200
  • On/off – 15 seconds
  • E-bike compatible
  • Zero frame contact
  • 7 footpeg heights
  • Kids 18 mo-5 years

Learn More

About our reviewers

Our test family is a family of four. Mum, dad and twin girls aged three and a quarter. H and E are learning to ride their own bikes, but are avid passengers too with mum and dad on their Kids Ride Shotgun seats and Burley trailer.

As a family they love spending time on bikes together, riding at trail centres, on scenic cycle routes, pump tracks, local sea-side promenades and disused railway lines.

Riding mountain and road bikes in all sorts of places, the family started using a cycle trailer when the girls were younger, before getting the original shotgun seats for the girls' second birthday and started using them immediately.

Fitting the Kids Ride Shotgun seats


Fitting the Kids Ride Shotgun original seat is fairly straightforward if you’re not afraid of a spanner and a set of Allen keys; which are supplied with the seat. We bought the handlebars to go with them too, with the first seat taking around 30 mins to fit and the second about 10 mins, after we figured out the right position to have the feet relative to the seat.

We ride with and without the girls on our mountain bikes so are often taking them off and putting them back on our bikes. This only takes a few minutes as you don’t have to go through the initial set-up every time, just an unscrew of one of the footpegs and the quick release to get the seat off, and a couple of bolts for the handlebars.

When riding without a child, the seat can sometimes get in the way on more technical descents. We often keep the mini handlebars on if we’re short of time, giving you a great aero set-up for any road/gravel sections and then the kudos you get from other riders when they realise that you’re a parent and still manage to get out!

Pro seat

Fitting of the Kids Ride Shotgun pro seat is also fairly easy, the only main difference is that you need to take the stem off to fit the special headset spacer. If you’ve never fiddled with your bike before then this might be a bit daunting, but in reality is very easy and once you’ve done it you never have to do it again. It still takes about half an hour to work out the right position of everything and there’s a little bit more work in getting it set up as there’s just more options for adjustments (length of leg struts etc.).

Fitting the Pro handlebar is much easier than the standard one as it’s just finding the right sized shims (all supplied) and a couple of quick-release levers to attach and un-attach.

Once the Pro seat has been fitted for the first time, this is when it comes into its own. To take the seat and the handlebars off the bike takes less than a couple of minutes. In fact, I’d give under 30 seconds a go if I were racing it. Putting it on again is just as quick and easy. It makes owning the Pro version so satisfying and you’d be thanking yourself for choosing the upgrade every time.

Being able to put the seats on and off the bike so easily is a big benefit if you pack the bikes in the van (like us) where the frames are butt up against each other, as there’s no awkward foot pegs rubbing against the frames.

Riding with the Kids Ride Shotgun seat

Up until we got the Kids Ride Shotgun seats, we had only had the trailer to carry them on our rides together. Great for on the road or gravel but we were always limited to wide trails on the mountain bikes. Having the girls on the top tube, in the middle of our bikes made so much sense for singletrack and more technical trails, so we were excited to test the seats out as soon as the girls were ready.

How did we know when they were ready? Well, we figured we'd test them out in a controlled environment so we headed to the local pump track.

Helmets: check. Feet in stirrups: check. Hands on bars: check. We’re ready!

Keeping in mind the golden rule of doing anything new with children: Don't scare them out of enjoying it. So, we build their confidence (and ours) by pedalling slowly around the park.

'Wheeeeee!' they shout, and all seems good. 

The weight feels central and we roll over some rocks and down banks to see how that goes down. Their reactions were mixed... maybe we'll keep it smooth for now, so we head around the block and get some more time to get comfortable with things.

The best thing about the seats is that being right in front of us means we can continually reassure and talk to keep them engaged with the ride.

We were encouraged that they were good at sitting still in the seat and keeping their feet in the stirrups. They could listen to instructions...

Right, onto the pump track, no issues! The girls loved it, we love it. A good first test.

Since then, we’ve done countless adventures with them, exploring local trails, parks, disused railways and mountain bike singletrack at various trail centres around the country. When the girls were about 2.5 years old, we did a big 3-hour mountain bike ride on trails near Dunkeld, Scotland. Yes, there were a couple of stops and some tactical bribery with snacks, but on the whole they loved it and we were surprised by how far we could actually go with them on the seats.

Both seats are comfortable but the kids do start to complain about sore bottoms if sat for longer than 40 mins. We try get them to stand up on their feet every now and then, which helps. A benefit of the Pro version is the adjustable legs that will mean that it’s more comfortable for when they grow taller, as they’re not as cramped up and they can still put weight through their feet, not just through the seat.

Overall, they love it. We still remember their glee on their first proper ride with them on the blue singletrack at Whinlatter Forest mountain bike trails.

Even now they are over 3 years old and heavier, handling of the bike doesn’t feel much different from riding without them. 

Now they can ride their balance bikes proficiently, they want to use their handlebars to steer us around puddles etc. I let them do this once they’ve asked me to and it is safe but remind them not to do it when I am not ready.

Important things to know about riding with a Kids Ride Shotgun seat

  • The helmet to chin clearance is worth considering. If you are particularly small or your child is particularly tall, then you may have more of an issue. The original seat sits lower than the Pro seat. With a (small) 3 year old on Mum's bike with the original seat, there are occasional bumps of the helmet on chin. For taller Dad, there’s no issues with either Pro or original seat.
  • Whilst you don’t need to purchase the kids handlebars if buying the original seat, I would definitely recommend doing so for two reasons: When they get taller, their position actually needs their bars to sit much higher than if they just held on to yours. Secondly, it stops them fiddling with all the levers and things that are irresistible to a child to play with.
  • Riding with a child in front of you on your bike is not 100% comfortable. Your legs have to angle out a little more, which can cause ankle/knee pain over a long period of time. Having a dropper post definitely helps to make sure you’re putting less strain through your knees when ascending.
  • Getting on and off the bike becomes harder. Again, having the luxury of a dropper post will help. Especially if you have a small bike and you don’t have room to stand between your saddle and theirs.
  • Be warned: riding with them on your bike in the ‘driver’s seat’ gets them used to riding technical and fast trails. Kids are like sponges, the faster and gnarlier you ride, they’ll end up doing similar on their first bikes. You just hope they’ve learnt the responsible things you teach too, or you’ll end up a nervous wreck every time they line up on the edge of a steep hill.

Why spend £115 more and get the Shotgun Pro seat?

  • The Kids Ride Shotgun pro seat has adjustability within the footrests, so will fit an older child more comfortably.
  • It doesn't make any contact with the the bike frame, meaning you're safe from scratches and damage.
  • It has a slightly more complex initial fitting set up, but once that is done it's a 15 second job to fit and remove the seat. So if you plan to use it lots, but also remove it to use your mountain bike without a child, then this will be a significant time (and faff) saving over the years.
  • If you have an electric bike, then the Pro seat is your only option - allowing you to still use buttons on the top tube of the frame.
  • The Kids Ride Shotgun 2.0 seat is £60 more than the Kids Ride Shotgun original seat, and gives you many of the functionalities of the Pro seat, including adjustable height foot pegs and quick, faff-free 30 second fitting/removal.

Kids Ride Shotgun handlebars

Kids Ride Shotgun produce two different types of handlebars, the 2.0 costing £38 and the Pro at £60.

Both handlebars attach to the adult's bike bars and give the child somewhere to hold on out of the way of the adult's gear and brake levers. They have rubber grips, meaning little hands will also stay warmer than if they were straight on the bare metal of the adult's bars.

The Pro handlebars are quick release, and are super quick to put on and take off, tool-free. As can be seen in the photo, the Pro bars are wider and have more rise, resulting in a more stable and comfortable ride for the kid, and a closer experience to their own bikes bars (plus loads of space to mount a bell or light!).

The 2.0 handlebars bolt on, meaning they take a little longer to put on and take off the bike and require an Allen key (supplied). The 2.0 bars are a bit simpler than the Pro bars, but it's unlikely your child will notice much difference, just you'll have a bit more faff to fit and remove them!

Buy Now

Does the Kids Ride Shotgun seat damage my frame?

As the Original and 2.0 seats make contact with your bike frame, it's worth noting that when you take these seats on and off, you have to make sure that both the rubber on the seat attachment and the bike frame are clean, as it relies on friction to keep the seat in position. If it slips and it has dirt on the contact points then it may scratch your frame. You could avoid any possibility of scratches if you tape up your frame, but it’s still best to ensure everything is grit-free before mounting. 

Also, a common question is if the Shotgun original seat can be mounted to a carbon frame. Our reviewer did research that concluded it was fine and can confirm after having one mounted to his carbon bike for well over a year has had no issues. The clamping force is not that significant if you make sure the contact points are clean.

If you are worried about damaging your bike frame, then the Pro seat is well worth the investment for peace of mind and zero frame contact. 

Can I mount the Kids Ride Shotgun seat on my road or gravel bike?

While technically the range of Kids Ride Shotgun seats might be able to be fitted to a drop bar bike there are a couple of limiting factors that mean the brand advises against it.

  • Clearance between the foot pegs and the front wheel: On mountain bikes, with suspension, there is a lot of space for the foot pegs without risking the child feet hitting the front wheel. On drop bar and hybrid-style bikes, there is less space between the frame and the front wheel significantly increasing the risk of the foot pegs and wheel colliding, resulting in poor, dangerous bike handling and the inability to steer!
  • Comfort for both the adult and the child: On a drop bar bike, the adult's chest is lower and closer to the stem (to be faster and more streamlined), this means there is less room for a child in the gap between the bike frame and the adult's chest/chin.
  • Getting on and off the bike: Many mountain bikes have dropper posts, meaning the adult can lower the seat, put their feet on the ground and get off easily. With a saddle that is very high on a drop bar bike, there is little room for the adult to move forward over the top tube to put their feet on the floor and get on and off the bike - Emily, from the Cycle Sprog team, tested this without a child involved and got tangled and trapped in between her seat and the Kids Ride Shotgun seat.

Keeping kids warm on the Kids Ride Shotgun seat

As the girls aren't moving and are open to the elements and wind while riding the Kids Ride Shotgun seat, keeping them warm (and happy!) is something we have honed over the years.

The girls will wear their normal cold weather clothing, including warm shoes and we'll ensure they have their waterproof layers over the top for wind and splash protection.

They like wearing their sunglasses too, as this protects their eyes from splashes and wind.

Keeping their hands warm was something their usual thin gloves weren't up to for winder riding. The Kids Ride Shotgun pogies are awesome to prevent the wind chill when going downhill especially. They are very thick, durable and waterproof and we are slightly jealous Kids Ride Shotgun dont make an adult sized pair!

The girls don't have any problem getting their hands in and out of them on their own, and once they are attached easily with the velcro they stay put really well.

At Cycle Sprog we know the challenges some families have in encouraging kids to wear gloves and use pogies, our top tip shared from the community is to fit the pogies to a toy pram or shopping trolly that your kids love playing with at home to get them familiar, and confident with putting their hands inside the pogies!

We have loads more tips and tricks for keeping your kids warm on a bike seat which we recommend reading!

Thoughts from the Sprogs

First quote from E when using the shotgun: "I love biking!!!!" 

Overall verdict

If you want a way to show your child the joy of riding bikes, whilst also having loads of fun yourself, then these seats are for you. The Kids Ride Shotgun seats are top quality, secure and provide everything you need in the box (plus some stickers!).
You won’t be disappointed if you go with the original seat, but if you ride a lot then We’d recommend the Pro version as you’ll thank yourself every time you take it on and off the bike.

If we only had one child then we definitely would have invested in the Pro seat but still don’t regret buying two of the original versions, but the Pro is so much more convenient.

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)




ride shotgun meaning figuratively

Gracias por la ayuda, nos sera de gran utilidad.

Ben Hardy

Do you think you should have mentioned it doesnt meet the safety standards in any country? As the earlier reviewer says, it is like the Oxford and lots of other seats. And none meet safety standards. There are no restraints to hold your child in place so any sudden stop or accident and they are not protected.

Penny Millar

Hi Ben. Thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely correct, there’s a whole new category of off-road child seats like this that don’t have a safety standard. There is always an element of risk involved in cycling and it would be for parents to risk assess and decide if seats such as the Shotgun were suitable for their/their child’s use. Kind regards, Penny



I bought this for my rigid commuter bike but I think that I cannot use it as the distance between the top tube and down tube is too far for the bracket to reach, am I missing something or was I a fool for trying a mountain bike specific one on a non-mountain bike?

Lucy Timpson

Thanks for the useful review! I notice on the Kids Ride Shotgun website that it mentions that it’s not suitable for road or gravel bikes due to the clearances required between the down tube and the front wheel. But it looks like from the pictures that you managed on a hybrid. Any thoughts on the clearances needed?


Wonder how different it is to the Oxford Explorer which is way way cheaper, which I really like. Just sawed a cm off one of the plastic foot plate to make it fit a thicker tube… extra handlebars look fun though!


Hi Nick – a good question! The difference between the Shotgun Seat and the Oxford Explorer is that the Shotgun has full rubber moulded protection on all points of frame contact, is fully adjustable to fit virtually all frames, and is quick release in terms of fitting / removal. Hope this helps, Karen p.s. Yes – I wish I’d had extra handlebars for my Sprog when he was that age – would have been loads of fun!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.