Product Review: The TugNTow Mushing Rig

Kevin Roberts
by Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts couldn’t wait to hit the trail with the TugNTow Mushing Rig. And if you’re into bikejoring, this is one review you’ve got to read.

Let me start off by telling you a little story:

Back in the day, I was bikejoring down a trail with River-Dog and Old School, they were giving it everything they had. I was on my mountain bike, pedaling hard! We were flying! With the dogs in harness, attached to the bike by a line, we were a well-oiled machine!

Up ahead, a moose stepped on the trail. If you know anything about moose, you know they don’t move unless they want to. And they hate dogs.

Old School balked, the line dipped down from my handlebar and touched the wheel of my mountain bike. All it took was that one split second, and the line wrapped around and around the wheel. This suddenly stopped us dead, and that’s when physics became a problem.

I kept moving. Without the bike. I was catapulted off the front of the bike. From my now upside-down view, I saw the bike flipping up, and slamming down on Old School, while River-Dog lunged at the moose. I was slammed to the ground, wind knocked out of me, and didn’t mush again until my broken collar bone mended.

Long story short… when you run a dog on a bike, a slack line is dangerous!

That’s why I was happy to test out the TugNTow. Put simply, the TugNTow is a retractable line that attaches to your bike, or scooter frame. It is designed to keep the line tight, and minimize flips and spills from a slack line.

First Impressions

The TugNTow is sturdy! It’s made of tough plastic and holds to your bike with serious bolts. It also comes with 54 inches of retracting line, a 10 inch bungee, two 20-inch leads, an instruction manual and two extra bolts for the bike attachment.

When you order it, be sure to talk to the company about your bike, as you want to ensure that they send bolts of the right length to fit on your bike. I wasn’t sure which bike I was going to use with it, so they sent me a variety of bolts to use. Even if you switched bikes down the road, you can easily replace the bolts from your local hardware store.

When you pull the line out of the TugNTow, it vibrates and makes a noise. It’s designed to let you know there has been a change in your line. I wasn’t sure about the noise at first, since some of our dogs are noise sensitive.

Bolting it to the bike was easy. You are simply bolting it to your bike frame. If you care about scratches to your bike’s frame, you may want to reconsider biking with your dogs. Bikejoring is dangerous, and it’s not the bike frame you need to worry about scratching!

Testing It Out

We wanted to test this product out over a period of time, and with different dogs.

Belle and River are our two with noise sensitivity. Surprisingly, River didn’t even notice the noise and was just happy to be out running. Belle was a little hesitant on the first few runs, like she is with anything new, but then it just clicked in her mind, and she was back to pulling like a monster.

Belle and Penny are our smallest dogs. They work as an awesome team, and both really dig in. Our dogs are trained to “Line Out,” which means: walk to the end of the line and await our signal to go. Belle and Penny had trouble lining out with the TugNTow. They are used to a line that is slack, and they walk to the end and take up the slack. When they were running, they were able to pull the line all the way tight in the mechanism. They were able to dig in and hold the line out when we were stationary, but they did have to work at it.

Burger and River are monster pullers, and have the weight to back it up! They have no trouble pulling the line out from a walk, and keeping it tight.

We took the TugNTow out on all sorts of trails, and transported it attached to the bike, on top of the truck. Like I said earlier – it really is sturdy and has held up well.

What would I change?

Bolting it your bike is a simple matter, and so is unbolting it. But the TugNTow, will over time, scratch the paint on your bike. A piece of rubber or a plastic collar would be great to save some scratches on the bike.

It took 10 minutes to attach and detach from the bike. Not a big deal, but you need to think about your biking habits. Do you mind having this attached to your bike, even when you aren’t headed out with the dogs? Or do you bike only with your dogs, so it’s not a big deal?

The Verdict

Who would I recommend this for?

If you are biking or scootering with larger dogs, this is an awesome product for you!

We are very happy with the quality and design of this product. It has been designed by someone who knows about mushing dogs and that knowledge shows. It’s simple, tough and practical. Starting at $69, the TugNTow is a smart investment for people biking with larger dogs. You can check it out on the TugNTow website.

Note: was NOT compensated for this review. We received a TugNTow to review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: "Get outside and play with your dogs!

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