Do Little Child Bike Seat – An Award Winning Design Put To The Test

 

kids-bike-gear
By Vaughn

Put your child in the driver’s seat! The Do Little mid mount child bike seat’s a clever design from New Zealand. Developed and refined over the last 20 years, it rests on your bikes frame just behind the handlebars opening up a world of fun for family biking adventure from the pathways to mountain biking.

I recently had the opportunity to spend time with the Do Little, I tested it out on and off-road and it’s been a hit with my daughter, we had been using an iBert seat for general riding but I was keen to try out some mountain biking with her.

The Do Little seats aimed at kids from 18 months right up to 7 years or 1.4m tall.  It’s a multi-fit design adapting to most bikes on the market.

I found the Do Little puts your child in a natural seating position giving comfort for longer rides keeping pressure off their arms. Also with practice, the enclosed foot stirrups allow kids to hover over the saddle and using their legs as suspension over rough ground, that’s a good skill which will transfer over to their own bike eventually.

After setup, I let her get comfortable on the saddle before heading out to the forest, she got the hang of holding the bars, and being up front I could direct her with instructions about upcoming bumps and stuff to look at. Being a sit on top style seat, it’s important to give your child the time to be comfortable and confident, small steps first.

 

do little child bike seat

 

Do Little Child Bike Seat Details

  • ‘Best of Outdoor Retailer’ winner of the Editors Choice Award 2018

  • A do-it-all seat from cruising the paths to mountain biking
  • The strongest independently tested child bike seat on the worldwide market
  • For kids 18 months to 7 years and up to 28 kg (60 lbs)
  • Super tough, steel construction with a durable powder coated finish
  • Minimal pedaling interference
  • Large, comfortable seat for your kiddie
  • Multi-fit adaptors to fit almost any bike, cruisers, full-suspension mountain bikes, step through’s and city bikes
  • An interactive and fun riding position
  • 20 Years refinement, designed and tested in New Zealand
  • 2018 Bicycling.com Editors Choice award for Best Child Bike Seat
  • Price : $160 NZD, or $105 USD with $40  NZD shipping ($26 USD)
  • Where to Buy: DoLittle.co.nz

Pro’s

  • Strong but Lightweight Construction
  • Interactive Riding Position
  • Great For Mountain Biking
  • Long Timeframe of Use

Con’s

  • Slightly Longer Initial Setup
  • Not Super Quick To Remove

 

What’s In The Box?

The Do Little ships in a funky cardboard box, when it arrived I straight away gave it to my daughter to unpack she knew it was something for a bike with the pictures on the outside and we ended up fitting it together, she held the tools anyway!

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat
1. The Main Seat Frame Assembly, 2. The Long and Short Bolt Set, 3.The Short and Tall Mounting Brackets, 4. The Velcro Bracket Straps, 5. Top Tube Cable Bracket Spacer and Clamp, 6. A Cool Carry bag to keep all the bits together

 

Everything you need to get going is inside. The screws use a 6mm hex, and there one included to save you from rummaging around the garage. As the seat’s weight is mainly carried by the bikes top tube you might be wondering about gear and brake cables running along the top tube and interfering with the installation. Do Little’s got that covered, there are some thick rubber spacers (number 5 in the picture) which stick to the brackets underside to space up and clear them, a nice touch.

 

Construction and Features

The Do Little seat is made out of steel, while being super strong it’s actually quite light weighing in a 1.17 kg (2.6 lbs) One piece, the seat frame has pressed in ribs in the footrest area for extra strength while the seat as a whole has no moving parts to wear out come loose.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat

 

The footrest loops keep your child’s feet from jumping around or suddenly sliding off, also because they are a smaller diameter they lock into shoe treads easier and the powder coated finish is extremely tough helping it to stand up to knocks and scratches, it’s also good looking with the logo cut into the frame.

The seats secured by three bolt’s further adding to strength and security and inside there’s rubber padding to keep your frames paintwork looking good.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-mounting

Safety Testing and Certification

The Do Little has been put through the wringer in testing, and it made for an interesting read looking at the testing report, photos and procedures. I won’t get too technical but the main points are:

  • The ONLY mid-mounted child bike seat to have passed the EU Standards, being ISO8098 and ISO4210.
  • Tests covered the saddle fatigue, saddle security, static saddle load, and saddle and seat post testing.

Trust me, you’re not going to break it!

 

Bike Compatibility

The Do Little is a versatile seat that will fit almost any bike, the universal, short and tall adaptors help you find just the right setup. As I experienced with mounting it to one of my bikes, tubing diameter, odd angles and shapes, and even materials don’t matter too much.

I tried the seat on three different bikes, a full suspension, a pathway style bike, and a carbon framed hardtail. I ended up using the tall mount to get the right position on my full suspension bike as the top tube slopes down at more of an angle.

  • The Do Little seats designed for double tubed bikes, eg. a top and down tube traditional layout with a top tube width no more than 50mm in diameter. This covers most bikes except single tubed or folding bikes.
  • The Do Little can also fit E-Bikes with batteries mounted on the carrier or in the seat-tube, some E-Bikes carry the battery in the down tube, but if your unsure just contact Do Little with the make and model of your bike and they will sort you out.

Carbon Frame Compatibility

Yes, you can bolt it to a carbon frame, I fitted to mine and it worked a treat, even on a low front-end cross country style bike.

Carbon frames are a lot stronger than you think and provided you don’t overtighten the mounting bolt’s you should be fine. The rubber pads inside the seat frame grip the paintwork and stop the seat sliding around, the mounting bolt’s don’t need to be overly tight for the seat to grip, well under anything that would damage your frame.

If you’re unsure, I would recommend doing up until you feel the bolts starting to bite, then tighten just enough for the seat to hold and check by grabbing and trying to move it.

Fitting and Installation of the Do Little

The process of setup and installation of the Do Little is nice and easy, it’s just a matter of picking the right top tube bracket depending on your frame type to get the right height and seating position.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-brackets

 

Do Little recommend setting the bracket around 18 – 22cm or 7 – 8″ away from the headtube junction of your bike. The mounting bracket clamps to the frame with the included velcro strap. Slide the seat over your bike and pick the suitable hole which allows the seat to sit roughly level.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-mounting-brackets
The short and tall brackets next to the top seat mounting holes

 

On my alloy Scott, the down tube is massive, it measures over 60mm (2.4″) wide. I thought it might be tricky to set up the Do Little on the super wide tubing but I just used the long bolt’s supplied and it fits great. A neat thing about the design is the flexibility to adapt to varying widths of frame, the seat body allows it to flex to the desired width before tightening up and allowing a firm grip to the bigger frame tubes which are more common on mountain bikes.

 

dolittle-seat-fitted-to-bike

 

Total install time was around 10 mins, that’s taking the time to have a look at the mounting instructions and testing out the different bracket heights on the bike. Removal time is a couple of minutes so its not a quick-release seat but if you want to chuck it on your mountain bike for a weekend or take it off to ride solo it’s not a huge job.

Do Little Child Comfort

It’s nice to see a decent padded seat comes standard on the Do Little, it helps a lot with the bumps until your child learns to raise themselves out of the saddle while riding.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-saddle

 

I noticed my daughter was very comfortable with supporting her weight while riding and easily sitting upright when stationary while I hung onto her.  Most of her body weight was on the saddle with her hands taking a minimal amount, this kept her energy levels up not getting tired or wanting to stop from getting sore arms, even when mountain biking.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-in-use

 

Having your child right there in front of you means you can really keep an eye on them and give instructions when riding over bumps, telling them to hold on tight or help steer keeps them involved and they get a real kick from it.

The transition from bucket style seat to a sit-on-top version was straightforward for my kiddy, also I could see she was able to grip and steady herself by holding her legs tight against the seat frame.

Overall a very positive experience and she’s always excited when the bikes rolled out with it on, it shows she feels comfortable and safe.

 

front-mount-child-bike-seat

Ride Impression

I have ridden quite a few different front mounted child seats now and have a good feel for their behavior and quirks. Reduced knee clearance is a big one especially if you’re going mountain biking needing to pedal for two uphill!

With other seats, usually, there’s a wide plastic body to deal, as there nothing but your kiddie with the Do Little, the pedaling impact is next to none.

Riding around the streets is very comfortable but the real test was going to be riding in the forest.

I have been mountain biking out at our local park now for going on 20 years, and taking my daughter out for the first time was awesome. Climbing up the steep access track and leading into an undulating descent was easy as having the riding weight central kept stability and control very predictable.

 

dolittle-child-bike-seat-side-view

 

There’s plenty of rider room as your kiddie sits lower than other seats, also your riding view isn’t affected so no tilting your head to see around their helmet.

If you have thought about using a child bike seat to run your kiddy to pre-school or even school, doing it on the bike could be a fun thing for both of you, plus the seats minimal enough to leave on for general solo riding.

 

dolittle-child-seat-fitted-to-bike

Pricing

The Do Little seats priced at $160 NZD this works out to be around $105 USD, Its competitively priced compared to other seats on the market, also when you consider the age range and weight limit and what you can do with it, it’s actually very good value.

Also, it’s a heck of a lot easier than towing a trailer around.

 

U.S. and Worldwide Shipping

Do Little ship their seats from Tauranga in New Zealand. You can purchase directly from the Do Little website. Shipping will cost you $40 NZD which is roughly $26 USD. Times are around 6 to 14 working days and further info is on the Do Little shipping FAQ page.

 

Order Your Do Little Seat Here

Final Thoughts

Overall I’ve had a great experience with the Do Little, it’s obviously well thought out and with the ever-changing shapes and sizes of bikes I’m pretty sure it will fit almost anything.

First-time installation takes slightly longer picking the right bracket and screws, but it is not complicated and once you’re familiar with it, it’s on and off with minimal fuss.

If you’re currently riding with a kids seat or maybe you want to give mountain biking a go, the enclosed footrests and comfy seat make a nice perch for your young one while being confidence inspiring.

The riding position is very engaging and lets your kiddy take everything in while getting the feel for steering movements and learning to use their legs as a form of suspension, so further building skills.

Head on over to the Do Little website for more info and to make sure it will fit your bike.

kids-bike-gear
Vaughn

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Do Little Child Bike Seat – An Award Winning Design Put To The Test

  • September 21, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    Permalink

    This is very cool!

    I haven’t seen a seat mounted in this position before but it looks like the perfect spot. Not sure I would put an 18 month old there (at least not my oldest when he was 18 months – he’d be liable to want to just jump off!) but certainly for him now (3 years) or for a more sensible younger child, this looks ideal.

    I’ve also looked at seats in other positions (or the strollers that you tow) and they look a little cumbersome. This looks like it puts the weight in a really natural place on the bike.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2018 at 12:10 am
      Permalink

      Hi Nathan

      For sure all kids are different and 18 months would be way to early for some but ok for others. Using a seat like this is best if your child can follow instructions and focus on the task at hand, we have had a great time so-far once she got the hang of using the bike seat.

      Reply

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