KIDS RIDE SHOTGUN TOW ROPE
So simple and yet so useful
Kids Ride Shotgun is a company that started out making a seat and stirrup setup that bolts onto the mid-frame of your bike, along with a handlebar extension that lets your kids ride your bike with you and start understanding balance and steering during the ride. Of course, kids being kids, soon enough they want their own bike to ride. Once your kids are old enough and strong enough, they will likely keep up with you or maybe even pass you easily on a trail. But, when they’re just starting out on a bike, what’s a good way to stay together on the trail?
We’ve always said that e-bikes are the great equalizer, allowing people of different abilities and fitness levels to be able to ride together. There aren’t a lot of choices for smaller e-bikes for kids, and that’s just not an option for many families with kids that are going to outgrow a bike every few years. What happens if you live in a hilly area or you don’t want to ride slowly all the time? The kids aren’t going to have any fun trying to keep up with fit parents.
The answer may just be carrying a tow rope. Kids Ride Shotgun makes a purpose-built rope system that allows you to hook the kid’s bike to yours in seconds. It’s really an ingenious and simple solution. Basically, it’s a bungee cord that can stretch from 5.5 to 10.8 feet in length, so it won’t go slack enough to get caught in a wheel, and it has a load rating of 500 pounds. It attaches to the kid’s bike around the stem using a cord and a carabiner, which are both included, and the other end has a loop to go around the parent’s saddle.
It literally takes seconds to install or remove, and it comes with all that plus a hip pack to store it. The hip pack also has room for snacks, toys or other trail essentials.
FORGET THE KIDS
As helpful as the tow rope can be to help facilitate your kid’s interest in cycling, we discovered a more important takeaway is that it isn’t just for kids. If you have a friend who is struggling to make it up certain hills or if their battery goes flat, you can help pull them along, too. In fact, on a recent photo shoot when the chain on one of our test bikes broke, the tow rope worked wonders in slowly but easily towing the ailing bike and its grown-up rider out of a deep canyon.
Yes, the tow rope is simple enough to question its value, but as we realized on that photo shoot, it works really well. We like the fact that it’s very easy to install, remove and store. It is also pretty genius that it’s a bungee cord, covered in flexible fabric, so if it ever snaps, the
bungee itself is less likely to smack you. It’s likely to be something we’ll carry on rides for the reasons we mentioned. We’d suggest getting just the tow rope and not the hip pack, which is a bit pricey at $30.
• So simple, so helpful
• Not just for kids
• Not cheap
• What, no color options?!