Taking family rides has never been easier than with the use of tow ropes. Think about it; this device is the solution to all the problems that hinder complete family adventures!
For starters, most families are usually forced to leave the youngest members at home when they go on riding excursions simply because kids (by nature) tire much faster than adults. They also have less pedal power and endurance, meaning they don’t have the energy required to ride uphill or long distances.
Secondly, we acknowledge various solutions to this problem, including a simple rope, a car tow rope, kids’ bike trailers, or other bicycle tow bar. However, each of these solutions has a disadvantage of its own. For instance, with a rope, you run the risk of yanking your kids off their bikes, especially when taking corners. As for car tow ropes and bike tow bars, they are usually cumbersome, and more often than not, they cost an arm and a leg.
On the other hand, bike towing ropes are light and sturdy enough, making them the best tools for towing kids on bikes during those notorious uphill battles. Here’s a list of our favorite towing devices and their accessories.
1 Tow Whee Bungee Tow Rope for kids
This bungee tow rope is the perfect way to give your child an extra boost when they tire out on those steep climbs.
Developed with the perfect length, stretch, and weight, this tow rope is compatible with any bike.
At rest, it is 4.6’ long and stretches to 15’. Our favorite feature is that its elasticity is great yet firm enough to keep it from dangling on the ground or getting jammed into the wheels mid-ride. As a result, we can bet that you will experience none of the inconvenience or danger of loose ropes.
To connect it, you simply have to set the towhee below the rear bike’s stem and pull it through its loop, then connect it to the nose of the seat of the lead bike. Just like that, and you are ready to hit the trails!
You will enjoy how smooth it feels when riding; there’s no harsh jerking for the second rider.
Weight will be the least of your worries when it comes to towing your child because despite weighing a mere 5oz, which makes it extremely light for both riders, the Towhee is still able to tow up to 500 pounds!
Not to mention, it can also be used for kayaking, skiing, and stand-up paddleboards.
But that isn’t all this tow rope has to offer in terms of versatility. While this tow rope is best used in warmer temperatures, there’s also a winter/ all-season option which is much stiffer, meaning that the stretch is much less. If you use this one in cooler temperatures, the chances are that it will stretch too far, stiffen up and break.
All in all, whether the temperatures are warm or cool, there’s no reason to leave your little one behind.
2 Towhee Quick Release
While the Towhee can operate independently, certain accessories have been developed to make its connection faster and easier. One such accessory is the Towhee Quick-release.
Specially built as an accessory for TowWhee Tow bungees, the TowWhee Quick Release has the advantage of easing the detachment and attachment of the tow rope.
It’s a friction-based instant detachment system that comes to life when one is in a hurry.
Because it works as an extension to the TowWhee, you need to loop it through the TowWhee loop on one end and then, with the other end, loop it around the stem or handlebar of the tot’s bike.
The advantage to this system is that if the second rider gets scared, they can simply loosen their grip and release themselves from the lead bike. As such, the fundamental feature of the Quick Release is that it adds a whole new level of safety for both the lead and rear bike riders.
Of course, you want the rider under the recommended 8mph, but if there’s a need to release the rope fast, this will come in handy.
Ultimately, suppose you are keen on safety and also want to avoid the frustration of looping towing devices when limited with time. In that case, this Quick Release device (available in green, red, and blue colors) is just what you need to ease all the tension.
3 Tow Whee Quick Loop
Available in red, blue, and green colors, the Towhee Quick Loop is another great way to hasten the setting up of the Towhee.
This tool makes attachment and removal of the towhee much easier and faster!
If you have one, you simply need to attach it to the stem of the child’s bike then add it to your Towhee. Alternatively, you can set the other one to the seat rail of the lead bike if you have two.
The great thing about the Towhee Quick loop is that it gives you the choice of leaving it on the child’s bike so that the next time you are ready to hit the trails, it’ll take the shortest time.
Another great thing about it is how versatile it is. Not just meant for bike use, these loops can double as loops for ski packs, so you can extend their use beyond riding on a bike.
But back to bike use, the only advice we’d give is that the parent should gauge the turns with caution, so they don’t end up whipping the kid around when they take corners.
With caution in mind, this tool is built to last, ready to go, and has enough elasticity so you won’t feel any drag with each pedal stroke. One thing’s for sure; users report that they were able to make a lot of the trails they weren’t able to make before.
4 Tow Whee Fast Stem Hook
There’s a lot to love about the Towhee Fast Stem Hook.
For starters, the fast stem hook is all about speed. It instantly connects and disconnects the towhee. Next, you need to loop it through the Towhee loop then through itself. Next, ensure that it is tied tightly, then loop it over the rear bike’s stem. That’s it!
Secondly, because of how easy it is to attach, even the kid can do the attachment on their own. Within seconds, the connection goes over handlebars and onto the stem of the second rider. Easy-peasy!
Thirdly, the 8-inch cord has a thickness that makes it slip off the handlebar or stem very hard.
Fourthly, if for any reason they need to stop abruptly, the child can detach it on their own. Of course, some people argue that this might prove dangerous in some instances, but we trust that you are responsible enough to have a talk with your child about the pros and cons of its use.
Additionally, we would hope that you are riding under the advised 8mph, so no one’s life is put at risk.
Lastly, we love that it retains its shape well even after use.
Ultimately, based on the fact that children can easily attach and detach themselves, we believe that the fast stem hook holds an edge over other towhee accessories.
5 ShotGun Kids’ MTB Tow Rope
With origins from New Zealand, the Shotgun’s MTB tow rope is dedicated to making hill climbs easier for families that wish to extend the length of their rides but are deterred by the low energy levels of their youngest members.
Like the Towhee, the Shotgun tow rope has a load rate of up to 500 pounds, making it fit for kids of all sizes.
It is 5.5 feet long when unstretched and stretches up to 10.8 feet in its full length. The two outstanding features about the Shotgun’s stretch are that when rolled out, it is firm such that it doesn’t get caught up in the wheel or spokes, and when not in use, the recoil is long enough for it to stay put.
Another great thing about it is that its attachment and detachment is super-easy!
To attach it, slip the tow rope over the lead saddle, then use either the carabineer to attach it over the stem of the rear bike or the stem-loops to attach it around the stem. The choice of attachment style is yours to make.
We appreciate the fact that this tow rope has two attachment options as you can easily tie it over the stem for quick rides and opt to tie it around the stem for longer ones. Plus, the attachment is compatible with all mountain bikes!
We also love that it is also shock-absorbing for ultimate comfort on steep hills and rugged terrains; and that it also fits into kids' hip packs with ease as it is both compact and light enough for them to carry.
In our opinion, the price could have been fairer, but its strength, stretch, and shock absorption make it one of the best ways to enjoy bigger family rides, so the child doesn’t stay homebound when the rest of the family enjoys the thrill of mountain biking.
6 Shotgun Tow Rope/ Hip Pack Combo
For a slightly higher price, you can also get the Shotgun tow rope and hip pack combo which is handier for a number of reasons. First, the pack is compact for kids.
As aforementioned, the hip pack is a great way to store the rope when not in use, and it can also be used to carry other essentials or favorite riding companions such as small toys and snacks.
The best thing about having the kid carry their own tow rope is that it gives them a sense of responsibility for their own needs. They can bring it out when the need arises and store it safely after use. If you ask me, there are lots of benefits wrapped in this small package.
7 Cibi Tow Rope
The Cibi tow rope is another device that eases the worry of tired little legs when parents go out to ride with their kids.
The strap itself is made of heavy-duty 3-ply construction consisting of a thick 3/8” bungee cord with rigid latex core, polypropylene braiding, and polyester sleeve. On the other hand, the loops are 6 inches long and extremely sturdy, thanks to a super-strong nylon webbing; you can count on its support.
Cibi’s strongest point is that, unlike most tow ropes which support up to 500 pounds, it has a break resistance of 4000 pounds. This means that it has the strength of a tow bar, can hold weight just as much, and comes at a more affordable price!
The great thing about this fact is that it makes the Cibi eligible to tow both parents and other adults if they get tuckered out.
Of course, on the flip side, the sturdiness comes at the cost of the weight. Keep in mind that this strap weighs 12 ounces which is quite a stretch from the 5 to 7-ounce tow straps that are the standard for towing kids. However, if you can deal with the weight, then you shouldn’t have any other reservations.
When it comes to length, it measures 3.6 feet when un-stretched and goes all the way up to 15 feet. With such a lengthy give, you can be sure that that the child will have no problems taking corners along with you.
But at the same time, the strap doesn’t run the risk of getting jammed in wheels, so neither parent nor child is in danger with it.
The convenience of its use is another great selling factor in our books as this bike towing strap is equipped with loops on its ends. When in use, one end attaches to the parent’s saddle while the other attaches under the child’s bike handlebars. As for detachment, one simply slips the loops off in a matter of seconds.
If you want to accelerate those long treks with your kiddo, this is it!
For the compactness, stretch and sturdiness, the Cibi tow rope will take your uphill climbs to a whole new level. Just be sure to communicate with your child, so they stay directly behind you, and you’ll have no qualms with it.
8 Biking Buddy MTB Tow Rope
Like we’ve said before, the joy of riding is in experiencing both uphill climbs and descents. And that is exactly what the Biking Buddy MTB tow rope offers.
The internal bungee cord is constructed of 100% Malaysian natural latex, which is then wrapped in an ultra-strong webbing. The latex material can stretch up to 600% of its normal size, which measures 4 feet when relaxed and stretches up to 15 feet.
We like that the change strap and carabineer are included with no additional costs and that its connection and disconnection can be made in an instant.
Weighing only 5 oz. the Biking Buddy tow rope is exceptionally light; you won’t feel its weight pulling you down with each pedal stroke. And while the weight is minimal, it doesn’t sacrifice the durability and quality of its use.
As such, with a load rate of 500 pounds, this tow rope can be used by both kids and adults so that rides that were previously impossible can now be tackled.
Lightweight, easy to attach and detach, durable, and highly affordable, you can bet that you won’t find anything better in the market for its price.
We all know that kids need a little hand up the hills, which is why towing devices are an essential kit for big riding families. Another valuable set of hauling kids around is either a bike trailer or tow bars.
We believe that towing ropes add the fun factor for both parent and child. Parents no longer need to deal with those heavy bike trailers, and there is definitely no need for the little ones to get left behind.
In addition, it is also a learning tool for the little ones. With just the right amount of resistance, the child can still work hard on their own, going up against some rough hills.
Moreover, by helping them up the most challenging climbs, you also help them conserve their energy for the descents.
Be sure to keep moderate speeds when using any of these towing devices; use them only during inclines. Remember that communication is vital.
With that in mind, is there any reason why your junior cyclist should have to stay at home while the rest of the family enjoys their excursion?
Happy family riding!