By Nigel Fox
Apparently, mountain biking has an ageing demographic. We're getting older, hairier and fonder of craft brews (I am anyway), and we're also more likely to be breeding. The immediate impact of this on our riding life is twofold. Firstly, there's less money in the piggy bank for shiny new parts; secondly, there's less time to go riding.
As riding becomes rarer and more precious, you'll need to work out a schedule with your partner so you both get your fair share of trail time, avoiding the inevitable "but you went riding yesterday..." chat again. Or you can take the little ones with you.
Not so long ago, the only solutions were rear-mounted seats which don't play nicely with full suspension, or those trailers which are great for leaving your kid outside the pub in, but terrible for braaap. Thankfully, the crew at Shotgun didn't let parenthood get in the way of their riding.
The Shotgun is a regular looking saddle that clamps to your frame between your seat and your handlebar. There's rubber padding to protect your pride and joy, and riders of carbon frames can relax, knowing the vanity project they've already spent their kids inheritance on won't be damaged, as the force require to the fix the rig in place is minimal.
It's really quick to set up and tool-free to remove and reinstall once you've got everything dialled; simply unscrew the footrests and open the quick release.
Your grommet can now sit comfortable straddling the top tube and hold onto your handlebars. This means their weight sits in the middle of the bike, so you don't suffer the flip-flop effect on the steering you get from rear-mounted seats and panniers. You can't say that handling isn't affected, and your kid's helmet is pretty close to your face, but it's easy to get used to and you'll quickly find yourself comfortable tackling trails you probably shouldn't when you have your progeny along for the ride.
Shotgun say the seat is recommended for children between two and five. It's a nicely made product and the only option we've seen that will play well with your carbon dream machine. It's simple to install and remove, and the design should allow it to fit most frames (yours AND your partner's). Shotgun claim they've yet to find a bike they couldn't fit it to. Just in case, they offer a 100% money back guarantee, so you can order with confidence. Mount it up, strap on the grommet's helmet, and send it!