Please note that many of the links on our site are affiliate links. These are denoted with an *.  By clicking on them, Rascal Rides gets a small commission on any sale.

TowWhee (Bike Towing Rope) Review

You know the scene.  You’ve decided to take junior on a trail ride, and things are going great.  She’s ripping all the downhills, you’re laughing together, it’s a beautiful afternoon and you’re out riding with your kid.  

But then, half-way up a big climb, she slows waaaay down and then stops suddenly in the middle of the trail.  She slumps over the handlebars and dramatically announces that she can’t go on.


Enter the TowWhee. The TowWhee is an ingenious little bicycle tow rope that allows you to haul your child up big hills (or little hills for that matter), making real trail rides possible with young riders.  

And while the TowWhee seems to be heavily marketed at the mountain bike community, it also works equally well on long rides around town.  In fact, for parents who live in cities with lots of hills, the TowWhee is a must.

May 2023: Updated with additional competitor information and purchasing options.

Review in a Nutshell


  • Makes long, hard rides possible with a young child
  • Multi-sport applications
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used with any seatpost


  • Requires frequent hooking and unhooking
  • No self-storage

Price & Where To Buy:

TowWhee Detailed Review

The TowWhee in Use

One end of the TowWhee connects to the adult’s saddle, the other connects to the child’s handlebars or stem.  With the optional quick loop and caribiner, you can leave one of the two ends attached which decreases the amount of time that it takes to connect and disconnect.  The process of hooking and unhooking is quick — it takes less than a minute once you have the hang of it.

We’ ve also recently discovered the TowWhee fast stem hook accessory that we really like. This makes hooking and unhooking even faster, and older kids can do it on their own. Watch the little video below, if you’re curious.

Once we’re hooked up, we like to count down (“1, 2, 3”) and then start pedaling.  The Tow-Whee will stretch surprisingly far and does an excellent job of absorbing the load in a way that isn’t jarring.  Not surprisingly, you can definitely feel the weight of your little passenger, but it requires significantly less work than a trailer-cycle and maneuvers much better.

The TowWhee performs best on sustained climbs where it is easy to maintain a steady load and distance between bikes.  It works less well on undulating single track, and in these circumstances, we find ourselves hooking and unhooking frequently.  

The other minor issue is where to store the Tow-Whee when not in use since it doesn’t come with any kind of storage solution.    I stuff mine in my hydration pack or hip pack, but it takes up the space I would normally use for a jacket.  Fortunately, it weighs almost nothing and doesn’t add any extra effort to sometimes-challenging family bike rides.

Tow-Whee Bike Towing Rope

Allows child to develop skills

Compared to a trailer-cycle, the TowWhee is far superior in terms of building your child’s endurance and bike handling skills.  Even when towing your child uphill, they have the opportunity to put in real work and maneuver obstacles.  

Once at the top of the hill, you can unhook your child and let them cruise solo — something you can’t do with a more traditional towing solution.

Singletrack Riding

We’ve always enjoyed doing big trail rides with our son.  Around his first birthday we started taking him mountain biking in the iBert seat.  Then came the Weehoo.  

Eventually, however, he began to ask more and more often to ride his own bike and wanted to ride it for longer distances.  By age five, when we first got the TowWhee, he had gotten really good at downhills and flats, but still struggled on the uphills with his single-speed 16″ bikes.

At age 7, he uses the TowWhee less frequently but we still bring it along on nearly every ride. It’s good insurance in case he tires out, and lets us do bigger climbs that we would be able to do otherwise.

The TowWhee performs incredibly well on singletrack.  There is no big turning radius so you can easily make uphill switchbacks and other tight spots.  

On technical sections, it helps “pull” your child up and over obstacles but doesn’t do the steering for them — they are still able to learn how to maneuver challenging trail and pick their own line.

I’ve directed my son to yell “stopping” if he ends up dabbing or otherwise can’t make it over an obstacle.

Ability to use with any seatpost

One of the things we were most excited about with the TowWhee is our ability to use it with any of our bicycles.  So many kid-haulers (trailer-cycles, bike seats, bicycle trailers, etc) are not compatible with a carbon seatpost or dropper post — which precludes almost all of our bikes.

When we first got the TowWhee, I was concerned that it could eventually damage our saddles (since it connects to the adult’s saddle). After several years of LOTS of use, however, I can confirm that this is not an issue.

Riding Downhill

For riders just learning to ride steep or long downhills, the TowWhee can actually be used in reverse. Simply, attach the bungee to the parent’s handlebar and the child’s saddle to help control their speed on big descents.

Multi-Sport Applications

We haven’t tried it for anything other than bicycling yet, but I’ve seen plenty of other families use the TowWhee for multi-spot applications.  The TowWhee also works for downhill skiing or cross country skiing.  Compared to rigid leashes we’ve used in the past with our son, I can see the TowWhee performing incredibly well.


Compared to a trailer-cycle, the TowWhee is a killer deal.  You can’t even find a trailer-cycle on Craigslist for $40.  

As I’ll mention again in the next section, there are a couple of other comparable products on the market, but few are as affordable as the Tow-Whee.


TowWhee Versus The Competition

The closest competitors to the TowWhee are the Kids Ride Shotgun tow rope and the Trax MTB Flex tow rope. Both are a flexible cloth-covered tow ropes like the TowWhee.

tow whee krs and trax compared

The Kids Ride Shotgun (KRS) tow rope is the most similar. Both ropes have a similar feel when towing and can haul up to 500 lbs. We do prefer that the KRS rope is flatter which makes it easier to roll and store, but the fact that it’s $20 more expensive is a turnoff.

The Trax MTB Flex tow rope is a smaller option. It’s much easier to carry on a ride and is less expensive, but doesn’t haul as much weight (only 265 lbs) and isn’t as stretchy.

Bottom-Line: A Vital Accessory For Bike Families

For families who taking cycling seriously, the TowWhee is a vital accessory.  It makes long rides and big hills possible with minimal whining and minimal frustration.  

Unlike a trailer-cycle, the TowWhee gives kids the opportunity to practice their bike handling skills and improve their endurance.  Due to its affordable price, featherlight weight, and ease of use, the TowWhee becomes the clear winner in the category for most families.   

If I had an extra thumb, I’d give the TowWhee three big thumbs up.

More Options For Towing Kids

Like to do your research? So do we. Here are a couple of other guides and reviews you should check out.

About The Reviewers

rascal rides family

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

8 thoughts on “TowWhee (Bike Towing Rope) Review”

  1. Hi There! I’m really interested in the idea of the Tow-Wee. We are new to family cycling (bike path cycling – not mountain biking). We have a co-pilot trailer bike and its exhausting to pull our nearly 60 lb 6.5 year old around because he doesn’t think he needs to pedal all the time and he’s heavy. Unfortunately, due to the configuration of our bikes, we can’t swap the trailer either so only one of us can pull the kiddo. Do you think this would work well to help lengthen the distance we can go on a trail ride? What about if the kid’s bike still has training wheels on it (as ours currently does. We, unfortunately, don’t live in a place where it’s easy to learn to ride without training wheels and we’ve missed the window of opportunity, for a balance bike, it seems.)

    • Hi Elissa,
      I haven’t tried the Tow-Whee with a child on training wheels, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work–so long as you are staying on paved, even ground. I for one, much prefer the Tow-Whee to a trailer bike. I’d give it a go and see what happens! Let us know how it works with training wheels if you try it.

  2. I love this idea but thought 15 feet was longer than I want for my kids on a balance bike/first pedal bike. I found the Ruffwear Roamer leash works great (it has the same bungee cord inside of tubular webbing construction) and is made to clip around your waist (or the seat post/seat rails). And right now it’s only $20 on for last year’s color. I also use it to pull my older son on his balance bike when I go for a run while pushing the youngest in a jogging stroller!

  3. Another new player in the market, this time from NZ….the “Big Little Tow”, an elastic towing saddle mounted option like the towhee but with an integrated storage solution. Seems to solve the big issue of the towhee while maintaining the other benefits over rigid lines/post mounted options….I’m waiting for mine to arrive to try sent via NZ family. Getting hold of one for those outside NZ is the slight hiccup though as no international postage offered yet, but that may change soon if the word gets out and there’s enough demand 😊

  4. Hi!
    Does this work well on primarily flat paved road? I have a 5 yr old that I’d like to have bike to school with their older siblings but it’s a 5km trip (one way) and I think they’ll need some assistance after a bit. Would you recommend the Tow Whee?

    • Absolutely. We use our TowWhee on paved road all the time. The only thing to be aware of is that it does require a bit more distance between the adults bike and the child’s bike than you might usually prefer when riding in traffic. If you’re riding on low traffic roads this won’t matter so much, but if you’re riding in higher traffic areas you might prefer something like the FollowMeTandem that keeps the kiddo closer. This is just a comfort thing….in terms of towing performance, the TowWhee will work great.


Leave a Comment