Video: Trond Hansen's Kidreel Lets you Tow your Kids on a Leash

Jun 25, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Views: 5,694    Faves: 5    Comments: 3

Most of us know Trond Hansen best as a Norwegian freerider who plied his trade with Specialized in the noughties. Now, in his retirement, Trond has toned down his riding a bit and instead enjoys taking his kid out on his local trails. There's just one problem though, the uphills.

Trond hitting the skatepark in 2006.

To help his little one up the ascents, Trond has begun crowdfunding for his new invention - Kidreel. It's a 1.9 metre long, 2mm polyester line that attaches to the child's bike and allows them to be pulled up the hills. At the top, the cable will return to its spool and allow the child to carry on riding as normal. There's a handle on the other end for the adult to grab while towing and a stretch goal will include a seat post loop to dock the handle in for longer climbs.

The reel is mounted on the frame, not the handlebar, which Kidreel claims allows adults to gently steer the bike if needed but it also doesn't completely take control away from the child allowing them to develop balancing skills.

The retail price for Kidreel is expected to be 399NOK or $40 however early birds on the Kickstarter can get one early for 250NOK ($25). More info, here.


  • 44 0
 He's just trying to convince his wife the new e-bike was for their son...
  • 10 2
 Copy that... currently working on the same maneuver!
  • 6 3
 I'm sorry how is this different from a dog leash? Looks like it could perform the same function for a fraction of the cost... Interesting idea though.
  • 3 8
flag likeittacky (Jun 25, 2020 at 16:04) (Below Threshold)
 @landscapeben: Dog leash is just a strap it won't work. Unless its a retractable leash; but someone has to actuate the retract switch which would be attached to the lead bike opposite of Kidreel. Not in favor of the kid being pulled for sure because slack would occur in the line entangling the wheel. The lead bike needs to close the gap slowly between bikes before releasing the line completely.

Its basic physics Man
  • 2 0
 I was referring to a retractable dog leash, but I guess the spring rate in a retractable dog leash would have be increased to make it useful for this purpose. Still probably easily doable.
  • 3 7
flag likeittacky (Jun 26, 2020 at 8:49) (Below Threshold)
 @landscapeben: Please, you and the others that down voted, before concluding the application of a dog leash will render success, experiment yourselves and prove the physics wrong with video.

  • 2 1
 @likeittacky: I didn't down vote you mate...
  • 1 0
 @landscapeben: It's different for the obvious reasons that you point's not for a dog, spring rate, perhaps other reasons. Seems like that's exactly what he did...innovate. Took a product that wasn't ideal and had limitations, and then removed those for this application.

I support the inventor for providing a product that some might need (and if you don't, you don't have to buy!), rather than be cynical. I'd love to see your 'easily doable' solution for consideration as I look for a product like this.
  • 2 0
 I use a retired climbing rope (has good elasticity) and a YT Decoy. I prefer to tie it through the seatpost rails and back to his stem. I use a bowline on both ends. We have a ball.
  • 25 1
 I've love my TowWhee ( My youngest is 6 and it lets him ride with the rest of us. I just loop it over my shoulder and then hook it on his bike for the big climbs. It doesn't tangle in the wheels and bottoms out gently.
  • 11 0
 Seriously. The TowWhee is basically perfect, and I can't imagine this could be better. I've towed 6-10 year olds up some pretty serious singletrack climbs. The bungee-action is basically perfectly calibrated to provide enough tension, but not too much snap. I know several other parents who have gotten it and are equally happy. This seems more complex, and more difficult to use with no benefit.
  • 1 0
  • 4 0
 The towwhee is $39.99usd. They want and additional $47usd for shipping. More than what the product is worth.

Like what. No thanks.
  • 2 0
 @inverted180: Looks like this Canadian dealer has it in stock:

And this one is expecting more in August:
  • 1 0
 @inverted180: Buy this, you can cut in 2 and have a spare.

a href="">Kinetic Rope/a>
  • 3 0
 @inverted180: On the Kicstarter page it says 20USD for a Super Early bird Kidreel and 6USD in shipping to the US and everywhere else outside EU.
  • 4 0
 I pull my nine year old up galby with towee, and what it got right that this is missing is the bungee action. Need to pick up slack and not snap when taught. This reel could be better for smaller kids due to the handpull option though.
  • 1 0
 I agree. We've been using the towwhee for a couple of years. Carabiner hooked to both ends. I clip to my seat rails when not in use. When needed, unwrap and girth hitch onto my son's steerer tube. It can get a little sketchy when the towwhee rebounds but otherwise it has been great.
  • 2 0
 Another double thumbs up for the TowWhee. It's transformed where I can take my 7 year old and make for good resistance training to boot!
  • 2 0
 @atourgates: I agree. The spring rate in the Towhee is key! I tried to make one, but the spring rate wrong. When I went to start, I pulled my 7y/o over because it didn't stretch.
  • 2 0
 The tow-whee is awesome. It does get caught in the wheels if you don't teach your kids that they have to stay behind you. Just yesterday I had mine get tangled in my brake rotor many times as my 6 y/o wants to prove he doesn't need a tow. (he doesn't "need" a tow but with a tow we can do 8-10 laps at Santa's village vs 3-4).

I feel like it's been key for helping my 6 and 9 y/o children progress as it opens up so many more trails we can do now. When towing on a good old regular bike it turns your "kid rides" into a real adult workout. And when/if you use an E-bike it's amazing what you can do. My 6 y/o is doing 18 mile 3000' rides with me. And if you're going up wider roads I have towed both my kids at the same time (on Ebike) on a 13 mile 2200' ride. Can't recommend this product enough.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree - can't imagine this works better than a towwhee, as the towwhee is just perfect in its simplicity. Recently, we used an inner tube as we had forgotten one of our towwhees, which reminded me how good the towwhee actually is.
  • 14 0
 Will this work with 2 adults? Asking for a friend.
  • 2 0
 I know it works for at least one adult! One of our high school training tactics is to make the teens tow us coaches up hills! One of my favorite workouts! It's so satisfying in a sinister way.... of course it does make the kids stronger and about midway thru the season we can't keep up with them... so there's a flip side.
  • 13 2
 So what happens when you let go of the handle? It whips the kid in the face?
  • 15 0
 Yeah Harry, what happens if they shot me in the face??
  • 8 0
 @Svinyard: that’s a risk we are willing to take!
  • 5 0
 Basically towing a bike is nothing new, and there are several good products and it is also possible to make own by rope, bike hoses etc. But using the prototypes I am really impressed by the simplicity. Where I live there there is a combination of small uphills and downhills. Very often my youngest daughter (3 years) only need help for 20-30 meters up a small hill, and then she wants to ride the bike for her self again in the flats and downhills. She is also trying to get as far as possible in the uphills. With other products I'd had to stop to engage and disengage the towing device. This is were the spring loaded reel works so well. It takes literally a couple of seconds to grab the handle and start towing. When she wants to ride again I simply let go of the handle without her stopping.. This gives a very good flow to the rides and she loves it. So now we are biking everyday ~1 mile to the kindergarten, only helping her in a few places without loosing the flow.
  • 5 0
 Pretty sweet product! On my last ride w/kid I ended up using a belt looped to the stem to pull her along. I’d buy one.
  • 3 0
 I did pledge, too smart not too. Especially if you have young children.
  • 3 0
 They have my pledge as well. I've been needing something like this for about a year now. Kid gets so demotivated on the uphills, and I can't just yell at him to build up his climbing legs.
  • 2 0
 I think the TraxMTB ( is probably still a better design but interesting having the base unit on the kids bike rather than yours.. I really like the retractable ones as you can just grab it and use for short climbs.
  • 1 0
 I have been using a TraxMTB for about three weeks and it has worked well. It takes just a few seconds to hook on, my seven-year-old does it himself with no help from me. I am not sure about the ruggedness factor, it is already slow to retract at times. BUT it is much better than the other home-made solutions I used such as dog leashes and belts.
  • 1 0
 I made a version of this I use for my four year old. I used tubular nylon webbing with a 3\16" shock cord passes through the middle. I put swivel capture hooks on each and and I attach it to my seat rail and to a piece of Dyneema string I have around her stem. Works really well for pulling her up hill and gives a progressive assistance, which is nice. She loves it.
  • 4 0
 I've got a wireless version of this for my kids, it's called "get your ass moving you little maggot!"
  • 1 0
 Used a Trailgator for my two. It did the job nicely in lieu of something small and lighter like the Kidreel, i like it. Forgot my daughter was attached one day on my local trails. I'd hit 20+mph before i remembered she was behind me! She was still attached and giggling, luckily... /BadDad
  • 1 0
 Cool but a surfboard leash works really well,cost about 25 to 30$ and is super light and easy to pack.
I am all for it if it works well and give more access to the grommets to ride. My kids still don't like the uphill.
  • 5 0
 That's reel clever.
  • 2 3
 Yay for ingenuity, but...

You can do this very simply with a bit of rope and a bit of bungee (to take the shocks out) - no need to awkwardly hold on to the handle while pedaling uphill with your kid in tow.

Or, if you insist on the retractable form factor, one of those Flexi dog leashes with a loop will do the job just fine.
  • 2 0
 I saw a dad using two inner tubes, tied together (had a loop around his waist). Seemed to provide the correct amount of stretch for the task, and he probably just wraps it around a frame tube at the top.
  • 2 0
 The right answer to this is...shuttle Smile XC skiing kind of sucks for 6yro. So does biking.
  • 2 0
 Completely depends on the area. My nearest mountain (5 minutes away) is lousy with tot-toting dads on weekends and afternoons, since the fire road is wide and mellow. Short 10 minute laps for the 4-7 year olds. Why shuttle when the whole fam can get some extra excercise?
  • 5 2
 It's a rope. He's trying to kickstart a rope.
  • 1 0
 When verbally pressuring your seven year old to shred harder doesn't work, now you can force them to live up to their potential of being the next youtube star!
  • 1 0
 Not a single snowboarder was consulted. Burton Riglet Reel?
  • 1 0
 I've been doing this for years!! but i just zip tied a retractable dog leash to my Seat stay or seat post. We used this in adventure racing to keep the team together.
  • 2 0
 I've love my TowWhee (
  • 2 0
 I like it! Kinda reminds me of Retractable dog lead though ..
  • 13 0
 That’s what I’ve been using for years, and it has a clip that goes onto my daughters collar.
  • 1 0
 I don´t have kids but I can imagine there are existing products out there to tow a kid on a bike up a hill . . .
  • 2 0
 Brilliant... why am I not that smart?
  • 1 0
 I too am not very smart but you don't really want an answer to this question.
  • 2 0
 Who wants to climb one handed?
  • 1 0
 Doesn't work for 3 kids........
  • 3 0
 Buy three. Make a train.
  • 6 7
 Pinkbike you are starting to suck with your content. I wanna see ride footage, not hear about a fucking dollarama pull cord...
  • 3 0
 That video was more pleasant to watch than that shakey Semeneuk video I saw earlier.
  • 2 0
 Couple old tubes. done.
  • 1 0 This is what you all need, toes upto 100kg Done
  • 1 0
 One way or another kid, you are riding A-Line today!

Copyright © 2000 - 2022. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.012171
Mobile Version of Website