Couples that play (ride) together – stay together!
Tandem bikes have a delightful old-world charm to them. There’s something irresistible about trundling along on one of these two-man bicycles in the arms of the woman you love while the cool breeze blows.
They are romantic, sophisticated and timeless and every self-respecting cyclist or bike collector simply has to have one. If you’ve always wanted to give tandem cycling a try, but weren’t sure how to choose an appropriate bicycle, this article is for you.
A quick note: when folks are searching for tandem bikes in Google they often type in misspelled words, such as tandem bicycles, tandem bicicles, tandem biycles and tandem bicyles…
Tandem Bikes – A Brief Overview
Did you know...?
Did you know that some tandem bikes allow for double steering?
These bicycles come with two sets of handlebars. Use them in tandem bicycle races for added precision, but be warned that they require a great deal of communication and coordination between the two riders.
The first bicycles designed for more than one person appeared in the late 1890s. Several tandem bikes intended for more than two riders: some can host three, four, or even five riders. The term "tandem" refers to the arrangement of riders behind one another rather than the number of riders.
The front rider who is responsible for steering a tandem bicycle is known in tandem cycling-speak as the pilot, while the rear rider, who need only pedals, is known as the stoker. Use these terms when cycling with your friends, and you're sure to impress them with your tandem cycling expertise!
Why Buy A Tandem?
A good tandem made by a reputable manufacturer such as Co-Motion and Santana will easily cost upwards of a thousand dollars. It's thus perfectly understandable that you'd want to make sure a tandem bike is a worthwhile investment before taking the plunge.
Speed demons will have a blast once they master the finer points of tandem cycling. With two riders, you can generate twice as much power, and when both riders' legs are pedaling away in the same rhythm, tandem bikes can hit speeds you never dreamed of!
As mentioned above, tandem cyclists can cover a lot of ground in short amounts of time if their technique is sound, making them more efficient than traditional bikes. Tandem bikes are also a convenient way to get around unfamiliar destinations when you are traveling.
When you're traveling on single-rider bikes, there is a danger that you might get separated by large crowds or traffic congestions, and finding each other can be difficult if you're not familiar with the lay of the land. With a tandem bicycle, you couldn't get separated from your traveling partner even if you tried!
Tandem cycling might look easy, but in reality, it demands a great deal of coordination and cooperation from both riders. It's a well-established fact that undertaking cooperative challenges as a couple will help strengthen the bonds between the two of you. Cycling on a tandem bicycle is a fun and effective couple activity for relationship-building!
Did you know...?
Did you know that tandem bikes can be ridden by more than two people?
Though they're a lot less common, tandem bikes designed for up to five riders do exist. Check with your local bike dealer for availability. These gigantic tandems are fun for the whole family!
What To Look For When Buying Tandem Bikes?
Tandem cycling is seeing a resurgence in popularity as bike-shoppers are increasingly on the lookout for vintage-style bikes. The market is becoming increasingly saturated and this quick guide will teach you which factors to look out for.
Frame Material - Carbon or Aluminium?
The selection of tandem bikes on the market is just as versatile as the selection of regular single-rider bicycles. You'll find bike frames made of materials ranging from carbon fiber to aluminum. By common consensus, carbon fiber frames make for the most durable tandems around, especially considering the added weight tandem bikes have to support. However, these are expensive, so if you don't intend to use your bike that often, steel is a perfectly viable and trendy alternative.
Some tandem bikes conveniently fold up for portability's sake so you can take them on holiday with your special someone. Tandem bikes tend to be quite heavy, so if you don't want to have to lug them around, pick those that come with small wheels.
Mountain or Road Tandem Bike?
One odd misconception is that tandem bikes are reserved strictly for road cycling. The truth is that tandem bikes are perfectly capable of delivering a quality off-road cycling experience provided you use the right wheels. Bikes with knobbly or studded 26-inch wheels are ideal for rough terrain while 700C wheels are suited for paved road cycling.
Cheaper tandem bikes tend to have a front suspension which is really not ideal for off-road tandem cycling. On these tandem bikes, the rear rider will be jolted around a lot more than the front rider. To ensure that both the stoker and pilot enjoy a comfortable ride, purchase tandem bikes with a full suspension for maximum shock-absorption if you intend to use your tandem on uneven terrain.
Buying Tandem Bikes Online
Last Word About Tandem Bikes
In short, no bicycle collection could ever be complete without a tandem. If you've already got decent cycling skills, you should be able to ride a tandem without much difficulty, so you should go ahead and start shopping for one. You're in for a real treat!