Overview: Bike with a Full Suspension MTB Frame
Squashed Triangle Frames with Rear Suspension:
This type of bike frame with front and rear (full) suspension is used on mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are really popular in New Zealand and if you do any regular type of mountain bike riding chances are that you have a full suspension bike. These frames can be challenging to use with kids but towing is a really good option and the Tow Rope is a great match.
Type of Riding: this frame design is used for mountain bikes that are used on challenging off road trails. Best match to mountain bike riding.
Bike Tow Rope – Tow Whee
The bike tow rope connects your MTB frame to your child’s bike in a dynamic way, meaning the connection is not rigid but controlled by an elastic bungy. The tow rope is best used in off road settings for assistance with hills, distance or weather (wind, rain). Your child is fully in control of their own riding and must stay behind the lead rider.
The tow rope loops around the adults saddle and loops around the frame of the childs bike at the front fork steering tube. It will be immediately under tension when placed on the two bikes but is not the best option for urban riding. It should never be used when descending on hills.
Find out more about bike tow rope: Using a Bike Tow Rope
Bike Tow Frame – Follow Me Tandem
The bike tow frame connects your MTB frame to your child’s bike. This is a great way to tow a child who needs assistance or help on easy trails, through traffic or on multi day tours. It is an amazingly stable connection that effectively creates a tandem bike. Your rear suspension will need to be locked when using the tow frame.
The tow frame attaches at the rear wheel axel and you will find that if you have a modern bike, built in the past 4-5 years you may have what is called a Through Axel. This type of axel is compatible but will will need to purchase the axel adaptor separately, please check your axel type and check availability of alternative axels.
Find out more about bike tow frame attachment: Will a Bike Tow Frame fit my bike?
Bike Tow Bar – Trailgator
The bike tow bar connects your MTB frame to your child’s bike at the seat post. The shape of these frames means you need your saddle to be set high to create space on the seat post for the bar to attach. The tow bar is a great way to assist for short periods of time. This frame style can have problems with the tow bar especially if your frame is a size small. You will need to lock your rear suspension when using the tow bar.
The tow bar attaches from the adults seat post to the frame of the childs bike.
Find out more about bike tow bar attachment: Will a Bike Tow Bar fit my bike?
Design features that cause issues: MTB Frames
Full Suspension MTB frames can be used in a number of settings so are a versatile family riding bike, they are a great match to off road & trail riding. But like all bikes some features can cause issues…
X-SMALL & SMALL FRAMES – if you are considering a tow bar then pay particular attention to whether you will have enough clearance over your rear wheel or any space to attach the bar.
29 INCH WHEELS – If your bike has 29 inch wheels then a bike tow bar is not a suitable option.
CARBON SEAT POST – If your bike has a carbon seat post then a bike tow bar is not a suitable option.
ELECTRIC BIKE BATTERY – Battery placement can be an issue with Tow Bars. E-bikes that have a battery placed over the rear wheel may have problems. This battery position can effect your ability to attach a tow bar.
REAR WHEEL HUB – Modern trail or mountain bikes often have different rear wheel hubs to standard bikes. If your bike is new/high spec you will probably need to purchase a different type of rear axel for attachment of a bike trailer or bike tow frame to your bike. Please check they are available before purchasing. This includes bikes with internal gear hubs.