Comparing kids bike seats for MTB

Comparing kids bike seats for MTB

Kids bike seats

We've recently expanded our range of seats designed to help get your little ones into MTB and bikes before they're likely to be able to shred on their own. As the range expands, it's a fair question to ask how they all these kids bike seats compare and which child's bike seat is most suitable for you and your family.

So we hit the trails with our little ones to test out the three seats we carry and let you know the pros, cons and differences. We tried them out on two bikes, a small frame set up for me (Jen - 5ft tall) and a large bike set up for Michael (6ft tall). We gave them a go with our two daughters, now age 3 and 5.

Read on for a detailed rundown of each seat, or skip to the bottom to see a feature comparison table.

You'll notice these are all low-profile front-mounted seats, and we don't carry any rear-mounted options. Check out our blog here to find out why.

MacRide

MacRide

We've been stocking MacRide for quite a while now - it was the first in our range of kids bike seats. It's the one we've used most with our kids and probably still my personal favourite.

This seat is incredibly well made and does everything you could want from an MTB-specific kids bike seat. It excels if you have kids of different ages or heights and want to be able to quickly adjust the seat to suit, or you intend to swap it between bikes or take it on and off frequently.

The saddle can be moved back and forward 100mm, and the flat platforms that the kids put their feet on can be moved up and down 130mm, forward and back 60° very easily. This means you can optimise with a 5mm Allen key in seconds exactly where your child sits in relation to you and your size, your child's size, your bike frame, your bars and your wheel.

The footrests also include adjustable silicone rubber straps. These do a great job of keeping your child's feet in place and out of the way of the wheel, or from coming off during riding - a fantastic safety feature.

Foot straps

From my testing, it's the best option if you are on the shorter side, especially as your kids get older, as I was able to get it lower/closer to the top tube than any of the other seats I tested. This meant I was able to better see the trail and also brought the weight down, making me feel more stable and in control.

MacRide 2

The MacRide installs using a custom 10mm spacer under your stem, so you do need to make sure your bike has the space for this. Once this is in place, it's all tool-less and about a 15-second job to put it on each time! It doesn't touch your frame at all, only attaching at the spacer and on your seatpost using a quick-release. It even comes with a spare spacer so that you can switch it between your partner's bike, or other rides in your quiver.

MacRide 3

Overall, the MacRide is hard to beat. It is the heaviest option of all three seats, but at 1.65kg it's still a fairly stealthy piece of equipment.

MacRide in action

Shop MacRide here »

Shotgun Kids Seat

Shotgun Seat

Designed in NZ, where they've got plenty of sweet MTB trails to test on, the Shotgun seat definitely impressed me. On the plus side, it can be positioned in a variety of ways so you can dial in exactly where your child sits in relation to you and the bars. The padding prevents it from damaging your frame when installed. The saddle looks like a typical kids saddle, and my daughter rated it for comfort!

Shotgun Seat in action

It took a little bit of playing around to get it installed, and if you are intending to take it on and off frequently or swap it between bikes, this may mean you're better suited to the MacRide. I also found that the length of the supports for the footpegs suited my youngest daughter (3), but were a bit too high for my eldest (5) and couldn't be adjusted.

Shotgun Seat 2

Despite not being able to get it as low to the frame as I could the MacRide, I was still able to use the Shotgun comfortably, found it didn't interfere with my bike control and I was able to see the trail just fine.

The Shotgun kids seat is well made, nifty piece of kit at a great price!

Shotgun seat 3

Shop the Shotgun seat here »

Feva Star Seat

Feva seat

The Feva Star Seat is a super lightweight option (at just 730g!) and once you know where all the straps go, it's nice and quick to install.

Feva seat 2

Due to the length of the straps, I found that it sat quite far forward (close to the bars), which was not a problem for my youngest child (3) but just took a little getting used to on my part as a rider. It did mean she was well out of the way and there was no issue with bumping my knees on her or the seat, which was great! The positioning on the Feva is also useful if you can't/don't want to sacrifice any standover height.

Feva seat in action

We did find that for my (somewhat lanky!) 5 year old, unfortunately, the Feva Star couldn't be positioned far enough back from the bars to ensure she didn't hit her knees when turning.

Feva seat 3

However to be fair, this seat is not really designed for older children. The sweet spot for the Feva is kids from around 18 months (depending on their core strength and ability to follow instructions), through to around 3. For these younger children in particular, you might want to utilise some of the safety straps (which include one around each leg to keep their feet in place, and one for across their waist).

As my kids are a bit older and used to standing over obstacles, I chose not to use the straps and found them easy to pop out of the way when not in use. However for younger children, the straps will be useful to keep their feet in place and prevent them being thrown forward if things get a bit rough.

Feva seat 4

The seat is made from a firm, but soft, foam, which does make it relatively comfortable for the kids.

Overall, the Feva Star is a light, very well priced option that is perfect for getting out amongst it with your little one!

Shop the FEVA foam seat here »

So which one do I choose?

MacRide Shotgun Feva
Construction Anodised aircraft Aluminium Steel frame, rubber padding High-density foam
Mounting

Does not touch frame.
Mounts via QR on seat post and 10mm
spacer under stem

Clamps to frame using rubber padding
to prevent damage - suits alloy or carbon frames
Straps to hold in place -
easy tool-free installation
Age range 2-6 2-5+

18months-4 (height dependent)

Key features

* Scooped saddle for kids to nestle into
* Highly adjustable for passenger size range
* Very quick toolless installation/removal
* Straps to keep feet in place
* Can be made to sit low against top tube for better
weight distribution and suitable for shorter adult riders.
* Foldable

* Adjustable to suit almost any bike
* Comfortable saddle
* Relatively lightweight
* Nothing to bump knees on

* Very lightweight
* Tool-free install
* Safety straps for feet
* Safety strap across waist

Weight 1650g 1420g 730g

To view our full range of kids seats - click here

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