Bay News Feature
In case you missed it, here's a copy of the newspaper article from the Bay News, a Bay of Plenty Times publication – transcribed below.
Shotgun seat helps take kids biking
By Michele Hunter
Tauranga mountain biker Dan Necklen's three-year-old son couldn't be happier with his new front row seat through the forest.
Isaac has recently been getting amongst the action on his Shotgun seat – developed by his dad and designed by fellow rider Tom Hayward.
Dan and his wife Alicia, who also have two older sons, wanted to take the whole family mountain biking but couldn't find a suitable seat option for Isaac.
"We tried having him on the rear of Alicia's bike, but the weight was all wrong, and he was just looking at our back rather than enjoying the ride" he says.
"Now he can ride upfront, but behind the handlebars which means the bike is well balanced, we can talk easily and he feels part of the action – even holding onto the handlebars."
Whilst not the only seat of its kind on the market, Dan says the Shotgun was easily adjustable to fit the width of different bike frames. It also tilts to sit level on a sloping frame.
"The Shotgun seat is designed for full suspension mountain bikes which often have a sloped top tube. It is also adjustable width to accommodate the huge range of mountain bike frame sizes and shapes now on the market"
The Necklen family mostly ride in the Redwood Forest in Rotorua.
"We've taken it on grade three trails and it's all good" he says.
Owner of Cycle Obsession bike shop and avid mountain biker, Kris Snow, says the Shotgun seat addressed some of the limitations of current products on the market. He would be happy to stock the product and gave the budding entrepreneurs some tips for improvement.
"Overall they've got a really good, well though-out design" he says.
Kris says a lot of bike frames were getting wider.
"That's probably the key difference, you can make the bracket going onto the frame significantly narrower or wider," he says.
Dan and Tom put a request on Facebook for 10 local families to trial one of the seats, attracting an overwhelming response.
"It went crazy, like semi-viral" Dan says.
"From the trial, we hope to learn how users find setting up and using the seat, and we'll incorporate that feedback into the final version which will be available for sale in the next month or two."
The seat can be viewed and ordered online via www.kidsrideshotgun.com.