When we heard that Kids Ride Shotgun was coming out with a new kids mountain bike seat (Kids Ride Shotgun PRO) we couldn’t wait to check it out. We’re owners of the original Shotgun seat and handlebars and are big fans.
Our two-year old and three-year old LOVE riding shotgun with the original set so we were excited to see what updates, changes and improvements they had made to this new Pro seat. It did not disappoint. Not only was it a major upgrade, it came in a bold, brand new look too (which you can read more about here*).
We were most excited to find out that it has a no frame contact mount and can even fit on ebikes. It is quick-mounting, very adjustable for finding the sweet spot for your little rascal’s ride and definitely looks pro set up on the mountain bike.
Review In A Nutshell
- The new mounting system leaves your bike frame scratch-free and works with unique e-bike frames
- There are tons of adjustments for dialing in the Pro Seat to best fit your rascal
- Design details and construction that looks and feels like a mountain bike component
- Quick release design for mounting and unmounting
- Ability to swap easily between bikes
- Available at your local bike shop
- Requires you to have room on your steering tube and dropper post for mounting, which you may or may not have
Price and Where To Buy:
- $250 List
- Check price at KidsRideShotgun.com*
- $100.00 at Amazon.com* (Last updated: 2023-06-08 at 05:14) – More info
Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Kids MTB Seat Video Review
Setting up the Pro Seat
Setting up the Pro Seat is easy to do for any novice or experienced bike rider. Kids Ride Shotgun has an easy to follow unboxing and assembly video on YouTube for the first time you set up your new Pro Seat. We suggest you set aside about 15-20 minutes to get the seat mounted and adjusted for the first ride.
We wanted to show photos of the original Shotgun Seat and the new Pro Seat at the same location, so that meant we were destined to assemble the new seat at the trailhead parking lot. It was admittedly a bit harder to do with two ready to ride little rascals eager to get on the trail and a minimal toolbox. Luckily, we had the necessary tools with us to make it happen.
Mounts To Your Headset…..
The Shotgun Pro Seat comes with three allen/hex wrenches that fit their bolts. You’ll need to remove your headset first which you’ll most likely need additional tools for. It’s always a great idea to keep those tools on hand in a to-go bike necessities bag.
After your headset is removed, take off one or two of the stock spacers and replace it with one of the Kids Ride Shotgun spacers that has a groove/slot in it for the quick release. Tighten up your headset, making sure that everything is secure and straight. Loosen the front clamp of the Pro Seat and clasp it around the slotted spacer you just installed.
…And Your Seatpost
Next we need to attach the rear seat tube clamp. Loosen up the large clamp on the rail behind the Pro Seat. This will allow you to adjust the length to properly fit almost any bike frame.
Next you can unlock the seat tube clamp and fit it around the seat tube, or around the lower portion of a dropper seat post if you have one. You should be all set up at this point. Just make sure there isn’t any play or wiggles in the clamps.
Some Issues You Might Run Into
While the Kids Rides Shotgun PRO will work on the vast majority of mountain bikes (including e-bikes), there are a few scenarios where it may not be the best fit for your bike. First, you need to have enough stack height (10mm) to install the mounting spacer. Secondly, you need space (14mm) on the bottom (non moving part) of your dropper post. If the dropper post is inserted all of the way into the frame, you won’t have anywhere to clamp the seat.
Able To Take On And Off And Swap Between Bikes Easily
The biggest complaint we had with the original Kids Ride Shotgun seat is that it wasn’t that easy to take on and off or swap between bikes. With the KRS pro, you can easily take the seat off for rides sans kiddos, and put it back on when you want to take your child along.
The other gripe was that for parents who both want to ride with the seat, the original wasn’t easy to swap between bikes. The new KRS Pro comes with two headset spacers, so you can install one on both mom’s bike and dad’s bike.
Plenty of Rider Adjustability
No matter your toddler’s size, the Pro Seat is designed to be highly adjustable to make their rides (and yours) as comfortable as possible.
The Seat Can Tilt…..
After installing the Pro Seat, we first made sure that the seat itself was at a comfortable angle. Unlike some of the other seat options out there, the team at Kids Ride Shotgun took the time to design a custom mount for the seat angle, so that you can make sure it isn’t at an angle that is uncomfortable for your child.
They suggest that a good starting place is to have it parallel with the ground. Not nose high or low. That can result in your toddler sliding off or having too much pressure in their groin.
…Move Fore Aft…..
In addition to the seat angle being adjustable, you can move the entire seat and pegs up and down the rail. This is essential to make sure that you have ample room for your pedaling legs, and dialing your little one’s reach to the handlebars.
This is a significant improvement over the Original Kids Ride Shotgun Seat. With the Original Seat, you would have to loosen the entire seat set up to fine tune its position on your bike frame. With the new Pro Seat, four quick hex screws allow you to fine tune to a very specific location.
…And The Legs Are Adjustable Too!
Another big upgrade of the Pro Seat over the Original Shotgun Seat is the foot peg location. With the Original, you only had one location for the foot rests.
The new Pro Seat has adjustable foot peg heights with seven predetermined locations, and a range of 7.5” to 10” from shortest to tallest location. This has to be one of the biggest functionality improvements for rider comfort.
Detailed Design and Construction
One of the most beneficial design features is the fact that none of the Pro Seat construction touches your frame. The Original Shotgun Seat pinched the top and down tubes of your frame to connect to your bike. The Kids Ride Shotgun team made sure to add padding and rubber to minimize damage, but there is still a high chance for scratching and rubbing marks onto your frame.
And with bike prices these days, we needed a better, no-contact solution. The Pro Seat solves that problem and another: e-bikes.
Electric mountain bikes typically have a very wide down tube to accommodate the battery. This means that the Original Shotgun Seat couldn’t clamp on the frame as it needed to.
With the new Pro Seat, that’s no longer an issue. The adjustable leg bars on the Pro Seat bend outward to go around wide E-Bike frames, but also fit naturally under your rascal’s little legs without rubbing.
Large and plush, the Original Shogun Seat is similar to something you would find on a quality BMX bike, but the new Pro Shotgun Seat resembles something you would find at the top of a ”Best Mountain Bike Seats” list on any MTB blog site.
It’s sleek, cool and still has great padding. We like that it fits the aesthetic of the rest of the mountain bike industry a bit more.
The Original Shotgun Seat pegs are basically a dowel with gnarled edges. They work well enough, but definitely have room for improvement.
The new Pro Seat features a more moto style peg with little nubs for traction. We love them!
And we could tell our boys seemed a bit more sure-footed when they got on the seat too. But don’t worry, the nubs are rounded, so they aren’t too sharp for little feet or curious little hands.
The foot straps on the Pro Seat look to be the same as the Original Shotgun Seat. In this case, that is a positive.
The straps have elasticity and allow you to tuck your little rascal’s feet in snugly. There are two options for how tight they can be, depending on your kid’s foot size. They are simple, quick and easy. All good things when your toddler decides it’s time to stop, jump off and point something out to you.
We Recommend The Optional Handlebars
Just to be clear, the little kid’s handlebars shown in our photos are another product that Shotgun offers, and they are sold separately from Original and Pro Seats. They can be added to your order or purchased as a bundle option. Separately they are currently listed for $35.00 USD on KidsRideShotgun.com.
We think these are a much needed upgrade for anyone buying any front mounted child’s bike seat. The kid’s handlebars provide a secure and stable place for rascals to hold onto helping them feel secure and confident on their ride with you.
As you can see below, if you were to take the kid’s handlebars away, our rascal would naturally grab the large handlebars right where they are bent. So in our case, it would be an unnatural angled grip, would cause them to have to lean or be bent forward in order to reach the bars to hold onto, and might deter them from wanting to ride or feel safe.
Age and Weight Range for the Kiddo
The recommended age and weight is 2-5 years old and under 60 lbs/27 kg. This is the higher than the original KRS (which had a weight limit of the 48 lbs) and is on par with the MacRide (which also has a 60 lb limit).
Kids Ride Shotgun’s recommendation for if your little rascal is ready to ride with you is if they can sit independently, follow simple directions and stay awake for the amount of time you’ll be riding with them. In our experience, kids reach this point at quite different times in their development.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have a tall child that obstructs your view of the trail, it’s time to get them on their own bike (plus the Kids Ride Shotgun tow rope).
What kind of riding is this seat best for?
We think the Shotgun Original and Pro Seats are great for any light trail system. Our local riding spot has a short 1/2 mile loop of rolling hills, sweeping turns, tall grass, and shade coverage. Perfect for building confidence lap after lap with our little guys.
But that’s not the limit. We have friends that climb large hills overlooking coastal views with a rascal on the front. Two things to keep in mind: A long ride means your child might get tired of sitting or holding on. This may or may not result in you needing to carry them.
And secondly, we definitely don’t want to go down steep, rocky or uneven terrain. So ride at your own risk, and pick wisely where you go.
We have even done a few laps around our neighbor park that has a walking/riding trail. While the seat is marketed as a “mountain bike” seat, there is no reason not to use it for around town riding as well.
Fun can be found anywhere–half the time our boys just enjoy the wind in their little faces.
Kids Ride Shotgun PRO vs The Competition
Everyone’s been quick to call the new Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat a copycat of the Mac Ride Child Bike Seat and the discontinued, pre-Mac Ride LOCT Body Space Child Saddle. While they do share a similar mounting set-up, they each offer a different take and experience on the child’s bike seat.
At $250, the Kids Ride Shotgun PRO is not cheap. In fact, it’s the most expensive front mounted bike seat that we’re aware of. That said, you really can’t put a price on quality time spent with your child.
Kids Ride Shotgun Original Seat = $150 USD + Shipping Mac Ride = $229 USD + Shipping Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat =$250USD + Shipping
The Mac Ride has a larger, flatter, more scooped, seat design. As we touched on above, the Kids Ride Shotgun Pro Seat uses a more traditional style padded seat. This does cause the child to sit higher on the KRS Pro than on the MacRide, so keep that in mind especially if your child is on the taller end of the spectrum.
As far as mounting goes, the two seats are nearly identical. Both mounting systems mount at the steering tube and seat tube.
We do appreciate that the KRS Pro has more fore-aft adjustability than the MacRide, and positions the child’s feet further back under the seat.
We believe that each brand is unique enough from each other, and more importantly, they all offer a child bike seat meant to share and inspire the joy of riding bikes together as a family. So in that regard, they are all good in our book.
In addition to the new seat design, there are some new pogies from KRS. The Kids Ride Shotgun Pogies are a brilliant way to extend your child’s riding season deep into colder weather if you choose.
Looking like a pair of black boxing gloves, they’re designed for children ages 2-5 years old, and work with all Shotgun seats and handlebar products. Made from 100% ripstop polyester on the outside with super warm 3M Thinsulate insulation and a soft polyester fleece lining on the inside, these children’s bar mitts are rated to -22°F (too cold for me, but don’t worry, we won’t judge anyone!).
In proper fashion, they’re also waterproofed and feature sealed seams in critical areas – make no mistake, these are every bit as well made and feature packed as anything an adult would use, which is the way it should be for children’s gear!
The KRS Pogies attach to Mom or Dad’s handlebar (or a KRS shotgun handlebar) via a flap that wraps around the bar, closing securely with velcro. The mitts themselves are rigid and stay open to easily allow children to get their hands inside.
A draw-string closure is there as well to keep the elements out. What we really loved was how wide these Pogies are, allowing our two year-old tester to slip her hands in while wearing a down-filled winter coat without issue. The Pogies are also large enough that a child could wear a thin glove liner if they wanted, although these mitts are so warm, a liner is probably not necessary.
The only thing we felt important to note was that these are designed solely for a child using a shotgun seat – they will not accommodate brake or gear levers, so if your child is riding their own bike, you’ll want to look for a more traditional style pogie.
If you’re still lucky enough to be enjoying shotgun rides with your little one, however, the KRS pogies are a great way to keep the stoke going as the temperatures drop. Even after the snow melts, we plan on using them into early spring to keep our little ones hands warm and ensure the smiles keep coming day after day on Daddy’s bike!
Bottom-Line: A Highly Adjustable Seat That Makes MTB With Little Kids A Blast!
The Shotgun Pro Seat is perfect for riding families looking to inspire their kids to enjoy riding. It is highly adjustable to fit almost any bike and toddler.
The zero frame contact design is a nice upgrade from the Original Shotgun Seat that pinches your frame. The new mounts for the Pro Seat have quick releases, so you can remove the entire set-up as you’re out the door to ride with your buddies.
Lastly, the new fit and finish details of the Pro Seat match the level of the mountain bike market much closer than any other option out there. The Pogies are also a fun accessory if your family is into cold weather riding. Check out the behind the scenes on the development of the Pro Seat over at Kids Ride Shotgun* to get inspired by the team behind one of our favorite bike add-ons.
Learn More About Front Mounted Bike Seats
- 7 Best Front-Mounted Bike Seats For Your Baby or Child
- Mac Ride Child (Toddler) Bike Seat Review
- Do Little Child Bike Seat Review
- Kids Ride Shotgun Original MTB Seat Review
About The Reviewers
Our Rascal friends, Warren and Therese, met through their mutual love of riding and have injected their passion for bikes into their family unit. Warren grew up riding dirtbikes at a young age, which expanded into mountain biking and BMX racing. Therese rekindled her love for bike riding when she was introduced to dirtbikes and mountain bikes. They share their joy of riding with their two young boys, “Cuatro and Ez.” You can find them out at Wheelie Ranch, building bike lines and dirt tracks or out at their local tracks, bike parks and trails.
Chris Del Sole has been an avid cyclist for over 20 years. He is now sharing his love of the sport with his wife and three children. A Marketing Director by day, in his free time he can be found riding, working on, looking at, talking about, and generally geeking out over bikes. In the winter, he spends his weekends teaching skiing and encouraging his kids to “send it” off every jump in sight.
Since the writing of this article Chris has left his track down the trail and passed on. He will be forever missed and thought of often. Chris, thank you for the indelible mark you left on this world.