Running and cycling with dogs is becoming very popular. Now as the weather improves, more dog parents are leaving houses on their bicycles and love taking their dogs with them. Opting for the best dog bike leash for cycling with your pet is one of the most fun and effective way to exercise outdoors together.
Staying fit is important, but as most of us know, it's not always easy to do. Fortunately, dogs can help us with that. Studies show how dogs help their owners keep in shape, mostly through running and biking with us. Some owners are fans of running with dogs and using hands free leashes to optimize the run. Others are more into cycling, and love biking with dog as a way to stay in shape.
Owners often use regular dog leashes when cycling with dogs, but these leashes are rarely comfortable for you or your dog, and more importantly, they're not safe. A special bike leash for dogs is designed to keep your hands free to stir the bicycle, and ensure the dog is safely by yourself at all times. In this article, we'll briefly discuss the benefits of cycling with dogs, how to pick the best bike leash for dogs and what matters, and review some of the best dog bike leashes that are most ergonomic and dog-friendly:
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Safety of Bike Riding with Dogs and How to Do It
If you have never used a bike leash to cycle with your dog, it’s important to know that teaching your dog to use a bike leash is a process. Your dog does not instinctively know how to run on a bike leash and it’s important for your safety and the safety of your dog that you take the time to train your dog to use a bike leash.
More and more dog owners are buying bicycles, get their dogs onto the leash and go for rides, thinking it's good for everybody. But many do it wrong, risking everyone's safety. Never hold your dog on a leash in one hand, like you see in the photo on the right.
Using a dog bike leash for cycling is the easiest way to ride with dogs that are medium to large size. However, if your dog is a toy breed, it's not recommended.
For small dogs, you can try using one of the dog baskets for bicycles to have your dog placed in front of your, or in the back. Another way to take your dog on bike rides is using doggy bike trailers – these are great for any sized dog, but they don't get the exercise.
Safety and training are key to successful bike rides with dogs. Keep this in mind:
- Introduce your dog to a standing bike before you begin riding;
- Start riding slow, and let your dog walk beside the bike to get used to it;
- Train your dog basic commands: “slow,” “turn,” “stop,” and “attention”;
- Increase the length and intensity of your bike rides gradually;
- Pay attention to your dog's exhaustion levels.
Many dogs will run alongside the bike for hours, even if their heart is about to give out. How long the dog can run depends on many factors, including the dog's breed, size, age, fitness level, weather conditions, surface and more. Pay close attention to the details.
Inspect your dog's paws, before and after the bike ride. The longer you two ride, the more wear and tear the paws of your dog will go through. You can protect paws in several ways, depending on the surface: dog booties, doggy socks or paw wax protectors.
What Makes a Good Dog Bike Leash?
1. A bike attachment
A bike attachment is a necessity for safe bike riding with your dog. An attachment ensures that your dog is not positioned too closely to your bike while riding and it helps to keep their mass close to your own center of gravity to make bike riding safer.
2. Harness compatible
While some cyclists do use their dog bike leashes with collars, a harness is a much safer solution that allows you full control over your dog and not the other way around. So it’s important to us that a good bike leash is easily paired with a harness.
3. Easily installed
It’s not a necessity that a good dog bike leash would be easy to install, but it definitely makes us much happier when it is. Granted, it’s worth the time it takes to install a good quality bike leash, but we also don’t want to have to break down our bike into individual pieces to install it.
If you’re like us – not professional cyclists – then you’re not looking for the most state of the art best dog bike leash, but instead you're looking for a reliable, decent quality one that fits your budget. For that reason, we made sure to consider budget when selecting our favorite products to share with you today.
How to Pick the Best Dog Bike Leash for Cycling?
What makes the best dog lead for biking will depend on many individual factors. Some bike leads for dogs are more or less all-around, like the first one on our list, while others are designed for more specific terrains, environment and types of bike rides.
Never ride a bicycle while holding a regular dog leash in one hand; this is dangerous for both you and your dog, because your canine can easily pull you off the bike, get under the bike's wheels, or worse.
When trying to pick the best dog bike leash that fits your canine and your bicycle, take into consideration how each device works (some of them are different). The most important thing to consider is how what the dog bike leash allows your canine to move from you and the bike. It cannot be too short and it cannot be too long.
Every dog bike lead will come with instructions, telling you specifically where the lead must be attached. It's important to follow those instructions, because dog bike leashes can be a safety hazard if not installed properly. It's best to use a no-pull dog harness with these bike leashes, although some of them already come with a dog harness.
Below, we're taking a more thorough look at some of the best dog bike leashes for the average cyclist dog owner and what features each leash has.
The Best Dog Bike Leash Brands for Cycling with Dogs
1 Bike Tow Leash
by 1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash
The Bike Tow Leash uses a low mounting point while keeping your dog far enough away from wheels and pedals to keep you both safe during a ride. This device fits to your bike with a clamp that hooks onto the frame of your bike without needing any tools for installation. The Bike Tow Leash is our pick for medium to large breed dogs although it is rated for use with dogs from 10lbs to 185lbs.
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Something that really made the Bike Tow Leash stand out from some of the other options we looked at is that it can be fitted to bikes, trikes, scooters, and wheelchairs – although you should make sure that it’s compatible with your device before buying one!
The biggest complaint we have with this bike leash option is that it’s so expensive! A handful of pet parents have complained that their Bike Tow Leash has broken when their large dog pulled against it. We did not have this problem, but for the price, we wouldn’t expect anyone to have their leash break!
- Compatibility with numerous devices, not just bicycles.
- Ease of turning.
- Very stable.
- You don’t feel your dog tugging or pulling if they’re not as experienced at biking with you.
- Easy to stow away without detaching if you want to ride without taking your dog along.
- The leash allows enough freedom for your dog to walk or run comfortably.
- While it can be installed on both sides of your bike, it requires an additional adapter to attach it to the right side.
- The harness connection is a clip style attachment rather than a more secure metal bolt snap.
- The harness connection seems to be weak on some models causing breakage after a year or so of use.
- The leash allows a little too much backward motion and can allow your dog to step behind your bicycle wheel if not fit perfectly.
- The instructions for the leash are actually printed on the leash which can make installation difficult.
2 Dog Exerciser
The Springer Dog Exerciser is made from heavy-duty steel and has a spring low on the extending arm that absorbs up to 90% of force should your dog pull. It fits easily under the seat stem or frame of your bike using a clamp and a pull pin and takes no time at all to fit in place. The Springer Dog Exerciser has no weight recommendation for use but one user actually attached two 70lb. dogs to the exerciser at once with no trouble, although we’re not sure we’d trust two pups on one Springer.
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Something that made the Springer Dog Exerciser stand out for us is the quick emergency release which allows your dog to come free of the attachment in an emergency – for example, when they go on one side of a mailbox and you are riding past the other side…
The biggest complaint we have with this bike leash option is that the swiveling of the Springer can be distracting for some dogs, so we don’t recommend it for dogs that are nervous by nature (although we’re not sure you should be riding your bike with a nervous dog attached to it in the first place!)
- Strong shock absorption.
- Easy to install and remove.
- Sturdy construction provides a sense of full control.
- Can be fitted to your bike via the seat post and via the frame.
- Quick release mechanism provides emergency release if needed.
- Provides a smooth ride even with a dog prone to distraction.
- Swivel motion can be distracting to some dogs.
- It doesn’t fit on every bicycle type.
- Some users complain of the bolts coming loose over time.
3 Hands-Free Dog Bicycle Exerciser Leash
by Walky Dog
The Walky Dog Plus Hands-Free Dog Bicycle Exerciser Leash is made with high carbon stainless steel and military grade paracord. The jaw mounting bracket fits on the seat post of your bike in just a few minutes and the extension arm can even be lengthened to accommodate larger dogs.
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The Walky Dog Plus uses a paracord that is rated for 550lb. pull strength and you can also install the low-rider attachment to the leash to accommodate our shorter legged friends. Something that made the Walky Dog Plus Hands Free Dog Bicycle Exerciser Leash stand out for us is that it has multiple adjustment options, so it really is one of the more versatile bike leash options out there.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is that it forces you to alter how you mount and dismount your bike since it prohibits you from swinging your leg over the back of the bike. This isn’t a huge problem, but it does take some getting used to.
- Fair price.
- Solid construction.
- Adjustable length.
- Can be mounted on the left and right side of your bike.
- Allows you complete control of your bicycle when your dog pulls.
- The leash is easily removed.
- Requires you to step over the center bar of your bike to mount and dismount.
- Since the bar is solid metal it does not have any “give” to it which makes the prospect of falling slightly daunting.
- You do feel your dog pulling even though you are able to maintain control of your bike.
- If you have a shorter legged dog the leash may fit awkwardly.
4 Bike Trotter (Premium)
by Woof Cycle
The Woof Cycle Bike Trotter (Premium) is made from high-quality plastic and uses a low mounted extender that can be quickly flipped upward for storage when not in use. The Woof Cycle Bike Trotter is quickly installed by removing the bolt from your bike’s back axle and tightening the bolt to hold it in place.
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The Woof Cycle Bike Trotter (Premium) is rated for dogs from 10lbs to 100lbs, although we don’t recommend it for your more muscular breeds or dogs who have a tendency to pull because it is made from plastic.
Something that made the Woof Cycle Bike Trotter (Premium) stand out for us is a much more affordable bike leash option, although this affordable price is reflected in the plastic construction versus a steel foundation.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is actually the same thing that makes this option so affordable – it’s made from plastic. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the plastic used on this leash but it just makes us a little too nervous to be able to relax while riding especially since a few pet parents have had theirs snap!
- You still feel as though you have complete control of your bike even when your dog pulls.
- The flexibility of the plastic allows your dog more freedom of movement while still leaving you in control.
- A low mounting point is a great option for more natural positioning for your dog while running.
- Plastic construction is not sturdy enough to support larger or stronger dogs.
- Although the leash allows you full control of your bike, the plastic can leave you riding on edge because you’re worrying that the plastic could snap at some point if you have a larger dog.
- Customer service can be difficult to get hold of if you do have a problem with the leash attachment arm breaking.
- Not compatible with all bikes.
5Cycleash Universal Dog Bike Leash
Fourth best dog bike leash for owners wanting to get out there with their bicycles and dogs running close is made by a known dog brand, Petego (known for their dog bike trailers). This bike dog leash is made of lightweight alloy, aid its light construction does not hamper the performance of bicycles or add to the weight.
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PetEgo Cycleash Universal Dog Bike Leash is designed to fit round bicycle seat posts. The double-connection zinc alloy clamp can hold two leash poles at a time; it’s also convenient for switching sides without disturbing the installed clamp. Using TPR technology, this bike tow leash absorbs shock efficiently and guarantees a smooth bike ride. EVA grips and clip holder allow for secure control when walking or guiding the dog.
After browsing through this dog bike leash reviews, it seems that this fourth best dog bike leash was offered at such a bargain that many bike-riding pet owners couldn’t resist it. Installing it was easy, according to majority of dog owners, and the parts were exactly how they were advertised.
Customers found that they could attach PetEgo Cycleash universal leash and remove the bike tow leash bar without difficulty and liked the idea of portability. The leash provided just the right strength and elasticity to control the dog and absorb shocks at the same time.
After several months of regular use, most buyers observed that the clamp was the first to give – it needed tightening at first, then some more tightening, until it finally snapped. The sadder part was unresponsive manufacturer that did not even bother to reply to emails. This bike dog leash performs as intended and has a great design concept.
In fact, it has initially delighted most customers. This bicycle dog leash is simply not built for longer or more rigorous use. A stronger metal, instead of the brittle alloy that it’s made of, would make this a very functional product.
- Very easy to install
- Ultra light construction
- Double clamp for two dogs
- Safety with TPR soft ride
- Lower quality build
- Not for long trips
- Requires regular tightening
6 Hands-Free Dog Bike Leash
The Pawise Dog Bike Leash is made from metal alloy and attaches to the seat post of your bicycle with two hex screws and a clamp mechanism. Although the Pawise advertises that it can be used in two different ways, we just couldn’t figure out what they were referring to and the instructions are non-existent so that was slightly irritating.
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The Pawise Dog Bike Leash is rated for use with dogs who weigh up to 100lbs, although if we’re being honest, we wouldn’t recommend it for dogs over 25lbs to 35lbs because we don’t trust the pot metal with dogs much larger.
Something that made the Pawise Dog Bike Leash stand out for us is the affordability and the control that it offers over smaller medium sized dogs.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is that it doesn’t extend out from your bike quite as far as the other bike leash options we tried which can be quite tricky if you have a wider dog or a dog who likes to “hug” your bike as you ride.
- Does not allow your dog to cross in front or behind your bike.
- The metal alloy does not feel strong enough to support larger dogs.
- The metal components on the mount seem to come loose over time as you are riding.
- The bike leash is short making riding with larger dogs difficult.
- The use of a Velcro strap means that dogs that tug can cause the leash to become loose.
- The leash can rotate from one side of your bike to another if the mount is not tightened properly.
7Dog Jogger Kit
by Bike Balance
Last one on the list, our fifth best dog bike leash for cycling with dogs is made by Bike Balance, a lesser known company for pet owners. The aluminum and stainless construction of this bike tow leash inspires confidence on its strength and longevity.
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Bike Balance Dog Jogger Kit is designed for rear-wheel installation, and fits bikes of various sizes. Purchase of this product includes both standard and heavy duty doggy leashes for small or large dogs, making this suitable for most breeds and sizes of dogs. This is not applicable for bikes with disk brakes or rear suspension because the buddy system mounts in the rear of the bike.
After browsing through bike dog leash reviews to see what others have thought of this product, it seems that the features that obviously took the safety of both pet and cyclist into consideration, Bike Balance dog jogger kit has been rated positively by pet owners.
They noted the flexible attachments of this fifth best dog bike leash which allowed sideways movements by the dog running behind, compared to rigid attachments that could hurt dogs. The dogs are safer because they can’t get ahead of the bike. The bungee also provides the right balance of slack and tension, and this is helpful especially when dogs get excited and sprint after critters and squirrels.
For the most part, instructions and assembly really had the customers gasping for air when trying to install this dog bike leash. It appears that directions and diagrams were very confusing. Once they got it figured out, though, they realized how secure the bike leash system for dogs they had on their bike was. It didn’t take long for the dogs to get used to this bike tow leash; in fact, they love the fast-paced exercise they get with this bike, and most owners can’t be happier.
- Aircraft strength build
- Very secure and safe for dogs
- Fits most dogs, small and large
- Comes with two leashes
- Difficult to install
- Not strong enough
- Can't be used on many bikes
8 Hands-Free Bicycle Dog Exerciser Leash
The Sunnyglade Purple Hands-Free Bicycle Dog Exerciser Leash is made from stainless steel and silicone. The mount fits under the seat post of your bike in a couple of minutes with a simple clamp and two screws making this a higher mounted bike leash option.
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The Sunnyglade Exerciser Leash did not come with a weight recommendation for use, but it seems sturdy enough to use to withstand your larger breeds without any issues. Although the manufacturer states that you can use this as a “walking wand” when you’re not using it on your bike, we’re not about to walk around holding a walking wand, but you certainly can if you like.
Something that made the Sunnyglade Exerciser Leash stand out for us is that despite the affordable price, this felt like a very sturdy bike leash and didn’t leave us with any reservations even when using it with a larger dog.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is that it only comes in the one color which is actually more of a pink than “purple” and that’s a fairly big deterrent for anyone who doesn’t want a pink attachment on their bike.
- Sturdy construction.
- The adjustable fix-seat lock allows it to be fitted to a range of bike models.
- Length of the leash pole provides plenty of space for safe running.
- Fast attachment and removal.
- The leash has an integrated handle for easy control in higher traffic areas when stopped.
- While flexible, the leash attachment points could use a little more reinforcement.
- Some users complain of the mount becoming lose over time.
- The 15” guide pole does not telescope so it cannot be adjusted if needed.
9 Bicycle Dogs Leash
by T Tocas
The T Tocas Bicycle Dogs Leash is made from carbon stainless steel with a nylon elastic leash. The mount for the leash fits on the seat post of your bike and takes a few minutes to get it set up. If you do want to remove the leash mount, you can just unscrew the pole attachment without having to remove the whole mount which cuts removal time down to a few seconds.
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The T Tocas Bicycle Dogs Leash doesn’t come with a weight recommendation for use but it is one of the most sturdy devices we tested so you should have no problems using it with larger breed pups.
Something that made the T Tocas Bicycle Dogs Leash stand out for us is that it has a surprisingly sturdy construction despite being so affordable and that you don’t have to remove the whole leash mount to take the pole extension off.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is less to do with the leash and more to do with the marketing material – they depict their bike leash being used with a dog collar which is a BIG no-no! Always use your bike leash with a harness.
- Leash pole can be removed without taking off the entire mount.
- Adjustable leash length.
- Easy installation.
- High-quality construction materials.
- The harness attachment point could use some reinforcing.
- Can be difficult to use if you have a lower set bicycle seat.
10 Pet Dog Bicycle Leash
The Scastoe Pet Dog Bicycle Leash is made from steel with a nylon leash attached. The leash pole attaches to the seat post of your bike and is simple to install in just a few minutes. The seat lock mount is also adjustable which makes it easy to fit onto any bike model.
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The Scastoe Bicycle Leash doesn’t have a weight recommendation for use and while the pole itself looks quite sturdy, the plastic clip on the leash and the nylon leash itself don’t give us enough confidence to recommend it’s use with larger breeds.
Something that made the Scastoe Bicycle Leash stand out for us is that the leash pole telescopes so that it can be adjusted to your dog’s exact height, so they have a safer run and the seat lock also adjusts to accommodate any make or model of bike.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is the fact that so much attention was given to the mount and pole section of the leash, but the leash and leash attachment point seem to have been given no consideration to reinforcement at all.
- An adjustable seat lock mount so it can be used on multiple bike models.
- Adjustable leash pole allows customization of the least attachment point.
- Leash has a built-in expand-and-retract mechanism that makes walking more comfortable for your dog.
- Plastic leash clip could break if put under too much pressure.
- The leash can be too long for some dogs allowing them to move in front of or behind the wheels of your bike.
- The attachment mount can slip and loosen over time if you don’t purchase a rubber grip to place between the seat mount and the attachment mount.
11 Doggy-Do! Leash
The Doggy-Do! Bicycle leash is made from stainless steel with an elastic leash. The leash pole attaches to the seat post or the frame of your bike with a clamp mount and two screws making it fast to install and just as easy to take off when you’re riding alone.
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The Doggy-Do! Bicycle leash is marketed as being able to handle any size dog and while this is true in our experience, we don’t ever recommend taking your miniature dogs out on your bike rides! Something that made the Doggy-Do! Bicycle leash stand out for us is the use of an elastic leash which has more give to it than some of the other nylon leashes used by other bicycle leashes on our list.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is that it just lacks…something. The whole thing looks as though it was thrown together in someone’s basement workshop and to be honest, we expected something a little more finished from a final market product.
- Easy and fast to install and remove.
- Sturdy enough to handle dogs of various sizes.
- High visibility decal makes the leash easy to see at night.
- The extending section of the leash allows for some “give” when making unexpected stops.
- The leash and cord seem to be less able to support a large breed dog than the actual mount and rod.
- The seat screws are quite long which takes away from the cosmetics and can cause “catching” of clothing items.
- The shock cord leash cannot be adjusted to fit your dog.
- The attachment is heavy and the clamp may cause damage to your bike seat post if tightened too tightly.
12 Spring Lead Universal Bicycle Leash for Dogs
The Petego Spring Lead Universal bicycle leash is made with a stainless steel pipe and a nylon leash. The leash pole attaches to the seat post of your bicycle, however, this isn’t the easy to attach mount that every other bicycle leash on our list has. It’s going to take some time and tools to get the whole thing set up which means that it’s not that simple to detach either.
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The Petego Spring Lead leash doesn’t come with a weight recommendation for use, but in our experience, it’s a very sturdy setup which will stand up to even your largest breeds.
Something that made the Petego bicycle leash stand out for us is that it’s the sturdiest feeling of all of the bicycle mounts on our list. While the attachment of the mount does require some extra time, it does give you that additional peace of mind which is HUGE if you have a big dog.
The biggest complaint that we have with this bike leash is that a number of people who have recently purchased this bicycle leash have received a newer model which differs from the original in a number of ways. The biggest difference is that the newer model appears to use aluminum rather than stainless steel. While we didn’t receive this alternate model, it does make us wary of buying a replacement in the future if it’s ever needed.
- Sturdy construction.
- Handle built into the leash clip for safer control of your dog while stopped.
- Capable of standing up to large breed dogs.
- Makes you feel in control of your bike even when your dog pulls or jerks.
- Time-consuming to attach and remove.
- The possibility of getting an alternate model made with less sturdy materials when ordering.
- The leash section is not long enough for some breeds causing the dog to be too close to the bike.
- Many people did not receive instructions with their leash so it made the initial attachment and use of the leash a little more challenging.
Our Top Dog Leash for Bicycles Pick
Of all of the bike leashes for dogs we've recommended above, our top pick is split between the “1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash” and the “Springer Dog Exerciser“. Both of them have a very similar concept, and while they are by far the costliest options, they are also the safest, most durable, and most versatile dog bike leashes on the market today.
The latter is slightly cheaper and comes with a heavy duty spring, which can be either an advantage or a disadvantage – this will depend on your biking needs and your pooch. I recommend reading more dog bike leash reviews from other owners to understand whether this is something you need or not. The former, more expensive dog leash for bikes is more expensive but also more popular and better reviewed. If you have a budget that allows for it, either the “1-Running-Dog Bike Tow Leash” or “Springer Dog Exerciser” are the type of investment that will protect both you and your dog while still providing your pooch with freedom enough to keep rides enjoyable.
If both of these bike leashes for dogs are out of your price range, look into the “Walky Dog Bicycle Leash“, another fantastic choice for a much more affordable price. It came in as our third rated best dog bike leash choice due to just how sturdy it is and the fact that it’s cheaper; the only advantage is that it's not as sturdy or durable as the first two. If you pick up our third rated option, please don’t use this dog leash with an ordinary dog collar; instead, pick out a well-fitting harness for your dog and use that instead.