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How Does The Bike Tow Leash Work?

Q: Where can I purchase a Bike Tow Leash locally? 

Follow this link for a list of Bike Tow Leash stores: to buy BTLs by region 7-7-17.doc

Q: Do you ship internationally?
          A: Yes, we ship internatinallyFor internatinal sales, PayPal works best for payment or check out as a Guest on PayPal using your credit card.  
Q: Why is the BTL usually shown using a dog collar? 
A: We don’t typically use a harness with the BTL as you have better communication and control with a Martingale collar for Biking and Walking; The BTL has more dampening of forces and pulls to the side of the neck and on the outside shoulder vs up against the throat. Therefore, fewer throat area concerns than other products that pull up on the throat area. If you want to use a harness, biking with your dog, we recommend attaching forward on the side of the dog.  This keeps the dog from being too far forward and the BTL mast as a barrier and communication tool between dog and bike. 
Q: What makes the 1-Running-Dog BTL safer than other products?
A: With dogs that pull, lunge, have a strong prey drive or react to horns or diesels, you are much safer. The BTL design takes into account both the laws of Physics and dog behavior. Simply put, with a regular leash and other products, when the dog pulls sideways, you tip over. With the BTL the dog's ability to pull to the side is reduced and the tipping forces are virtually eliminated.  With weight on the bike, a single finger can keep the bike upright when the dog pulls sideways. Additionally, the BTL, like no other product, automatically communicates direction commands to the dog. For off road use, The BTL's flexibility makes rough terrain riding safe and fun.   The BTL allows the dog to get fully behind the bike to avoide obstacles, lets the dog trot along above or below you as the terrain changes without bumping into a ridged bar above him or choke as he runs lower than your bike wheels.  So you can check out those single track trails together!
Q: Are there any more instructions than those printed on the Bike Tow Leash itself?  
          A:  Yes,  there is a 4 page pamplet that comes with each BTL.  The first is about use, second about installation on bikes.  The third and forth pages               have to do with installing on trikes and mobility scooters. Here is the link to those Bike Tow Leash  instructions;  
 10-5-15.pdf  There are also video instructions on this site.  

Q: Can I use the BTL with a Mobility Scooter. Wheelchair or Tricycle?
A: Yes, Bike Tow leash works great with electric mobility scooters , manual wheelchairs, powerchairs and trikes. Just attach the clamp to seat, armrest or similar bar near your seat and tighten accordingly. If you require a wheelchair mobility scooter rental anywhere in North America, visit  The BTL, primarily for bicycles, also will attach and work great on mobility scooters, chairs, trikes and other personal mobility devices. The BTL will prevent toe pinches from the wheels while providing the same control and communication benefits as when biking.  For these special needs applications, please contact us prior to purchase for specific installation instructions for your mobility device. Emailing photos and links to the equipment is a great help and time saver.
Q: Can I install the Bike Tow Leash on the right side of my bike?
A: Yes, Bike Tow Leash easily installs on all single rear sprocket bikes such a beach cruisers with the standard clamp. 
As in this photo.    The clamp must be adjusted to point the clip end forward, with the black coupling down, using the height adjustment procedure.   

On the RHS for bikes with rear derailleurs (multiple rear sprockets), the standard clamp can interfere with the two smallest sprockets.  We have two other mounting options on our accessories page that will work for your bike. If your  bike looks like the top photos with a quick release handle on one side and a nut on other side, or bottom photos with a solid axle and hex nut with 5 mm extra length. 
The Quick Mount will work.                             

For bikes with multiple rear sprockets, having either no flat area around the axle to mount the Quick Mount, insufficient axle length or no axle nut, there is an additional solution.  FYI, these are typically the newer bike designs.  See the Chain Stay Clamp photos below, and in accessories;

Q: Does the 1-Running Dog BTL only attach to the left side of the bike?
A: No, the BTLs universal clamp will fit either side of most bikes, trikes, scooters and wheel chairs.  You will have to adjust the BTL to make it point forward when you place it on the RHS.  This procedure is covered with instruction #4 for bicycles.  When moving your dog to RHS from an normally trained heel, use caution as they can become confused and try to go around to the other side.  This can  happen  particullarly when your dog is getting tired or may anticipate a turn toward home.  If you have a particular need for right side use, it can be attached to most bikes with the standard clamp.  We also have a Quick Mount bracket, and Chain Stay Clamp find what accessory fits your bike with previous question above.  The correct accessory will prevent chain rubbing and any shifting interference.   
Q: How do I select the spot to attach the BTL?
A: The inner clamp needs to clamp flat rear wheel drop out or clamp across two rounded frame members low and against the rear axle is best. Other locations are possible as well.  Reference the instructions page 2, videos, photos tab and accessories. 
Q: Can I buy the Bike Tow Leash pre-adjusted for use on the right side of my bike?
A:  Yes you can or you can adjust it yourself.   The Bike Tow Leash comes adjusted for left side use unless otherwise specified.  Once you've got your BTL in your shopping cart, go to accessories and add the Right Side adjustment option.  
Q: How do I know when I have mounted the BTL properly?
A: The clip end points forward.  When you can hold the bike vertical at the seat using a single finger, pull the Bike Tow Leash to the side and the bike doesn't tip and the clamp remains tight.
Q: How do I determine if the BTL is tightened enough?
A: Typically, tighten the knobs as much as you can by hand. Test tightness by rotating the mast back behind the bike repeatedly. If the clamp remains stationary, it is tight enough. If it moves, it may need to be repositioned to a flatter surface for better clamping. Check knob security between rides as the clamps intentionally conform to the bike frame over time making a custom fit.   


Q: Where can I purchase or at least look at a BTL locally? 

Follow this link for a list of Bike Tow Leash stores: to buy BTLs by region 7-7-17.doc
Q: Does setting up the Bike Tow Leash require tools?
A: Setting up the Bike Tow Leash on your bicycle requires NO TOOLS! Set up the Bike Tow Leash in just minutes.
Q: Where can I ride my bike with my dog using the BTL?
A: Start in a familiar area and your dog will spend less time trying to stop and sniff. The Bike Tow Leash is for off road use. You should limit the amount of pavement your dog runs on and drivers pay too little attention to both bicycles and dogs. Sidewalks, rail trails, dirt roads, bike trails, beaches and parks are great fun and you are obeying leash laws!
Q: Where do I apply the alcohol to adjust mast height?
A: Pour 1/2 ounce of 70% rubbing alcohol into the  coupling where it meets the outer clamp. Rotate the BTL all around to completely soak the inside of the black coupling.  Let it sit for 7 minutes. Then twist the metal outer clamp hard while holding the black coupling.  A garage door roller track, vice or plumber's strap wrench will help for leverage.  Once dry, the mast will stick back in the new position.  So make sure the black coupling is pushed fully to the clamp bend and positioned where you want it before it dries.
Q: Are there things I should avoid when using the BTL?
A: Hot pavement, slippery surfaces, grates, glass, sandspurs, erratic turns and traffic.
Q: Is it possible for the dog, when startled, to move inward toward the bike?
A: Yes, the mast is a resilient barrier that gently nudges the dog away from you. When the dog is startled in too close, you have these options:
• It is best to keep moving. If there is room, steer and pedal away from her and the threat.
• Stop pedaling and nudge the dog away with the side of your leg. Resume pedaling away from the threat and tell her to "settle, leave it, let's go or watch me," which ever she responds best to.
• If you know where she may become spooked, try and ride in the direction that places the bike between her and the threat. She will then pull away from you.
• Of course if you do stop and she manages to get her head behind the front wheel, have her back out before proceeding.
Riding will make your dog more accustomed to the other dogs barking, etc.


Collar Recommendations:  

We recommend using a Martingale type collar, having the secondary tightening loop and 3 rings.  Use the center ring for walking on a regular leash and biking in high distraction and risk areas as the dog cannot back out of this type collar.  Use one of the outer rings for normal riding so that you differentiate between loose leash walking and allowing your dog to propel the bike.  The outer rings provide a looser collar and since the BTL pulls from the side the force goes to the side of the neck and shoulder not up against the dog's throat.  


Bicycle Recommendations:

Q: I am going out to buy a bike to use with my BTL, what type of bicycle is best?
A: The BTL is recommended with mountain and beach bicycles with fat knobby rear tires. This type bicycle, along with your dog, can readily negotiate trails, side walks and curbs. The wide wheels of these bicycles hold up to well to 1000's of safe miles of this type of riding. BTLs mount directly on tadpole type recumbent tricycles, two front wheels one rear, and electric mobility scooters.  With an adapter, BTLs are also used on wheel chairs, Segways and electric shopping carts for the disabled.  If you have a special needs application please contact us with equipment photos, make and model.
Q: What type of bike brakes are best for using with the BTL?
A: Regular, well functioning caliper, hand brakes are best for controlling bike and dog's speed regardless of pedal or foot positions. Rear disc brakes also work for mounting the BTL.  The only trick is to push out the upper bolt from the inner clamp.  Then simply pass it thru an opening in the disc to capture the frame.
Q: What do I do if I have a bike with rear disc brakes?
A: Disc brakes can offer challenges to available mounting space, but I've not found a bike we can't fit.   There are several ways to orient the clamp for secure mounting. To slip the inner clamp between the frame and the disc, you may remove the upper bolt and pass it through disc a opening back through the inner clamp.  The inner clamp can also be oriented with the long end up or down to accomplish clamping. The flexible coupling is then rotated on the outer clamp bracket to adjust to dogs shoulder height.  



The Following Numbered Photos Provide Installation Guidance on Left Side of Bike

1. Hybrid cruiser bike is shown with BTL installed, left side, close the rear axle. The outer clamp is close to vertical with the flexible coupling on the bottom. Note the mast is directed up and forward. Rotate the clamp on the bike frame so the clip end of the mast is at the dog's shoulder height with the bike vertical.

2. Shown is the most common placement of inner clamp clamping across 2 rounded frame members. Note; the  inner clamp bolts are above and below the 2 frame members. If these members are too far apart, put the long bent end of the inner clamp up to capture the upper frame member. 

3. Clamping across the axle mount with bolts above and below is the second most common mounting arrangement. Note: On thin frames the bolt ends must not protrude beyond the end of either knob. Add washers under the knobs to cover all the bolt threads. Also, the inner and outer clamps are covered to preventing slipping and to protect the bike's finish.

4. Thick frame member mounting shown with the supplied washers (black) on both bolts between the inner and outer clamps This is done for the bolts to reach across the thick red frame into the knobs.


5. Disc Brake Bike Installation:  The simple trick with disc brakes is to first slip one bolt out of the inner clamp.  Then slip inner clamp up between the disc and frame just ahead of the axle.  with this bike frame type, the inner clamp is slipped with long end up to clamp the seat stay part of the frame. Note; during tightening, lift the clamping unit for securely clamping the upper cross member.

6. BTL fully installed on rear disc brake bike. Note: once clamped, make sure there is clearance between the inner clamp and the disc brake.

7. The BTL comes set for left side use with medium size dogs with the outer clamp vertical. The outer clamp can be rotated before tightening to adjust height. If the outer clamp cannot be rotated far enough, release the coupling by adding regular 70% rubbing alcohol all the way around inside the coupling as shown. Let stand at least 6 minutes, grip the clamp in one hand and coupling in the other, then twist hard, with knobs removed, to release the outer clampfrom the coupling.    Adjust  so mast meets the dog's shoulder height with the bike standing vertical. Allow the alcohol to evaporate before use to lock coupling in place. See video instruction.

8. The BTL comes defaulted to left side.  For right side installation see the Accessories tab for pre-adjustment and right side mounts.  
9. The BTL, primarily for bicycles, also will attach and work great on mobility scooters, chairs and other personal mobility devices.  For these special needs applications, please contact us prior to purchase for specific instructions for your device.  Emailing photos and links to the equipment is a great help and saves time.  Go to the photos tab to view some of these special needs application and installations.

Trouble Shooting Tips:  


Where can I purchase a Bike Tow Leash Locally? to buy BTLs by region 7-7-17.doc Service Dog providing organization with many volunteer opportunities. - Scooter and wheelchair rentals across North America.  Dog Walker Search Site for care givers in your area  For non-toxic flea and tick control for you and your pets.   For Bike Tow Leash Showcase ad.   Wonderful resource for traveling happily with your dog(s)!  Find dog friendly hotels, resturants, trails, parks and services wherever you plan to go!