About Us

Our purpose

Based in the North Island of New Zealand, we’re a close-knit team of mountain bike parents with a global vision – to raise the next generation of mountain bikers.

We believe:

  • In getting kids off devices and onto mountain bike trails
  • In parents spending quality time with their kids
  • In fostering a love of nature and the outdoors

When you buy our products, you’re not only buying special time with your little one, you’re also buying into the future of the sport we all love. Learn more about our business below.

Our business

Founded by Tom Hayward and Dan Necklen in May 2017, we are a privately owned company based in Tauranga, New Zealand.

We design, manufacture, supply and sell a range of quality mountain bike products designed for families with children up to 5 years of age. Our range of products are available globally through bicycle retailers and also online via our Kids Ride Shotgun website.

We see our business as a vehicle for raising the next generation of mountain bikers. Since launching in 2017, we have re-invested all profits, with a particular focus on funding product development. When you spend your hard-earned cash on one of our products, you’re not only buying into raising a mountain bike kid, you’re also funding the development of products for future mountain bike parents – and new riders are being born everyday!

In recent times, a number of low-quality counterfeit Shotgun products have emerged. We only sell via bicycle retailers, and our website. Please contact us to report a counterfeit listing.

For more company news, follow Kids Ride Shotgun on Linkedin.

Our team

We have an amazing New Zealand based team, however most of our customers are in the Northern Hemisphere. For this reason, we’re excited to be growing our international team, with key team members currently based in the USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

We are often recruiting, and communicate all available roles and vacancies via our Kids Ride Shotgun Linkedin page. Furthermore, as a fast growing company, we’re keen to connect with individuals who see themselves in senior positions within our business, and align with our mission. If this sounds like you, please contact us.

Kids Ride Shotgun Team April 2021

Our beginnings

Our journey began in the New Zealand summer of 2017, when mountain biking was splitting up the family for Kids Ride Shotgun co-founder Dan Necklen.

“Our kids were 3, 7 and 9 years old, and we’d literally have to split up to go riding. We would head to the trails in nearby Rotorua, and I’d ride the longer trails with our older boys, whilst my wife would stay near the carpark with our youngest son on his balance bike. We all loved mountain biking, but we hated having to split up to do it – we had to find a better way.”

Dan knew that a rear mounted seat wouldn’t work on his full suspension bike, so he started looking at front mounted child seats – and he found two options suitable for mountain biking. But unfortunately, the first wouldn’t fit his bike, and the second was a permanent attachment which also risked scratching his pride and joy.

And that’s when co-founder, product designer and MTB Dad Tom Hayward stepped in. The brief was simple. To design a child bike seat for parents who have high end full-suspension bikes, and want to take their kids mountain biking with them.

Testing the first shotgun seat

    Pictured above: Early production and testing of the first generation shotgun seat.

    “After several prototypes, and plenty of feedback from MTB families and bike retailers, we had a design that was working really well – and most importantly, parents and kids were loving it”

    Fast forward a few months, and the first version of the shotgun seat was born, and a pre-order campaign helped launch the brand in New Zealand. In March 2018, the shotgun handlebar accessory was released, before investment was raised in February 2019, and focus shifted to North America and Europe, and USA and UK distribution was secured.

    In 2020, covid-19 fuelled a global bike boom, and the tow rope and ‘shred til bed’ kids book products launched. This was supported by strong growth in Europe, with distribution secured in a number of key markets. We also picked up the design and innovation award, and grew our team from 4 to 14 staff, including a number of off-shore team members.

    From our origins as a single-product business, we’re now stoked to be a leading brand in the emerging mountain biking with kids category, and we’re excited about raising the next generation of mountain bikers.

    For more about the company and our milestones, check out our blog.