But before we can get to that part, do you know how tandem bikes came to be? They date to the 1890s, when a Danish inventor, Mikael Pederson, thought of a romantic way for couples to cycle.
After careful deliberation, he arrived at the two-person cycle, what we now know as the tandem bike. Originally, Pederson’s goal was to create a courting bicycle, but the tandem bike is much more nowadays.
You don’t have to ride with someone you are courting. You can be two friends, siblings, or even a parent and a child.
Today, so many tandem bike brands exist, and so the options can get confusing. But since you are reading this post, I’ll provide you with a simple guide to find your perfect tandem bike.
Even better, I’ll review the five best tandem bikes for your immediate consideration. But before that, let’s first understand why it makes sense to buy the two-person bike.
In a hurry? Then check out the best tandem bikes on the market below.
5 Best Tandem Bikes
Schwinn Twin Classic Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser – Best Overall
Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike – Best for Bumpy Roads
Kulana Lua Tandem Cruiser Bike – Best Single Speed Tandem Bike
Burley Design Piccolo – Best for Riding With a Kid
700c Giordano Duetto Tandem Road Bike – Best for Paved Surfaces
Why A Tandem Bike?
Generally, it’s more fun to ride a bike with someone than doing it solo. That’s because you don’t have to be the only one pedaling. Well, that’s what you get from a tandem bike.
Whether you ride with a spouse, a child, a colleague, or a sibling, the partnership is just a lot of fun.
Tandem bikes are also an excellent choice for the disabled who would love to cycle but cannot.
Overall, tandem bikes are faster and more stable to ride than one-seat bicycles. Since you pedal as a pair, the cycle moves speedily and firmly.
Remember, cheap tandem bikes do exist on the market. So, you have no reason not to get one.
Tandem Bikes Reviews – The Buying Guide
Not sure about the things to look for in a tandem bike? Start with the following:
- Bike Size
Both the captain and the stroker must fit nicely on the tandem bike. If you and the other rider are not of the same height, find a bike that can accommodate both heights.
And if you are planning to ride with your kid, the stroker seat should allow that. Most bikes, luckily, have adjustable seat posts to save you from stress.
- Frame Style
Tandem bikes mostly come with a cruiser-style or traditional frame. In a cruiser-style frame, the tube running from the handlebar to the set posts is curvy, and the frame typically comes in bright colors.
Such tandem bikes are fun to ride and very relaxed, thus great for casual cycling.
In contrast, the traditional frame has a more formal look, associated with pro bikers. Such frames are sturdier than their cruiser counterparts, and so are the best for conquering hills and many other challenging terrains.
- Wheel Size
Most bikes for two people come with 26-inch wheels, while others feature 700c options. 700c wheels are a few inches bigger than 26-inch wheels.
Overall, 26-inch wheels are an excellent choice for leisure riding in your neighborhood and light off-roading. So, they are a perfect choice for beginner riders who plan to ride short-distance.
However, if you plan to do a tour or race with other couples, then the 700c wheels are the right choice.
More Buying Considerations – Tandem Bike Reviews
- Gearing Speed
Though low-gear and single-speed tandem bikes do exist, they are rare. It doesn’t mean, however, that low-gear and single-speed tandem bikes are inferior.
On the contrary, they are easy to pedal. Their major downside is that they are slower.
So, you may have to choose between the ease of riding and speed when it comes to the tandem bike’s gear.
- Brake Type
You can go for disc brakes or linear-pull brakes as both options have incredible stopping power. You’re, however, more likely to find disc brakes on most tandem bikes that linear-pull brakes.
- Stand-Over Height
When standing on a tandem bike, you should be able to place both feet on the ground. That means you have to consider the distance between the bike’s top tube and the floor, what we call the stand-over height.
Ideally, the inside of your leg (the inseam) should be longer than the stand-over height. That’s the only way you can stand comfortably over the bike and pedal easily.
- Handlebar Type
The handlebar is pivotal when it comes to controlling a tandem bike. So, it has to feel firm and comfortable if you are hoping to have a fun ride.
Most tandem bikes come with either riser bars or drop bars. Riser bars are flatter with a minor curve and are generally best for beginners and casual riders.
Drop bars, in contrast, curl towards the ground and are generally best for pro riders. They allow multi-hand positions, making them great for long-distance rides.
Tandem Bikes Reviews – 5 Best Tandem Bicycles
Here are my recommended tandem bicycles:
1. Schwinn Twin Classic Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike – Best Overall
The Schwinn Twin Classic Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike is the perfect definition of a classic cruiser bike.
This double-seater bike comes in a low-step steel frame that you can get into and out of seamlessly. It has an integrated rugged fork that gives you extra comfort.
The recommendable rider’s height for this tandem bike is 5’6” for the captain and 5’0”-5’9” for the stroker.
The bike boasts of a powerful 7-speed Shimano derailleur with twist shifters that guarantee smooth gear shifts.
And to ensure that you have sufficient stopping power, the bike comes with excellent mechanical disc brakes.
It enjoys dual-density grips, and together with the classic-style saddle, you get the most comfortable biking experience.
And more, the bicycle for two people comes with rugged 640 X 45c fast-rolling tires and 26-inch wheels.
- Low-steep steel frame
- Rugged fork
- Classic saddles
- 7-speed Shimano derailleur
- Mechanical disc brakes
- 26-inch wheels and 640 X 45c fast-rolling tires
Related: Schwinn Ranger Mountain Bike Review
2. Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike – Best Tandem Bike for Bumpy Roads
Are you looking to conquer the bumpy outdoors as a couple? There is no better way to do it than to ride the Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike.
Thanks to its 26-inch wheels and 2.1-inch wide tires, this comfort bike easily rolls over bumps.
Its ability to roll over bumps is also attributed to the bike’s 21-speed Shimano drivetrain. Of course, the gear shifts are possible with its accompanying Revo twist shifters.
Kent Dual Drive Tandem has a cruiser-style steel frame that’s easily accessible by both riders. The stand-over height for the captain and stroker is 29 and 20 inches, respectively.
It comes with spring-gel saddles that are tremendously comfortable and dual water cages for holding your water bottles. Plus, it comes with a heavy-duty kickstand.
Thanks to its linear-pull v-brakes, you enjoy incredible stopping power.
- Cruiser-style steel frame
- Spring-gel saddles
- Linear-pull v-brakes
- Dual water cages
- 26-inch wheels and 2.1 wide tires
- 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and Revo twist shifters
3. Kulana Lua Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike – Best Single Speed Tandem Bike
Single-speed tandem bikes are rare, as I mentioned, and the best among the few that exist is the Kulana Lua Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike.
This tandem bike by giant tandem bike manufacturer Kulana comes with a Hi-Ten steel frame and 26-inch wheels. The two give it on-road stability and a solid build.
The Kulana tandem bike is generally perfect for 5’4”-6’2” tall riders. With this bike, you can even ride off-road and count on its oversized fork to absorb the bumps.
Its single-speed drivetrain makes it easy to ride and even maintain. The bike for two comes with easy-reach cruiser-style handlebars that put you in an upright riding position.
Plus, it features extra-large spring saddles for your comfort and dual fenders to protect you from mud splashes.
- Hi-Ten steel frame
- 26-inch wheels
- Oversize fork
- Single-speed drivetrain
- Cruiser-style handlebars
- Extra-large spring saddles
- Dual fenders
4. Burley Design Piccolo – Best Tandem Bike for Riding with a Kid
In case you are looking for the best tandem to ride with your child, nothing beats the Burley Design Piccolo.
This tandem bike by Burley Design comes in a lightweight frame that gives it durability and solidity.
The tandem bike only weighs 18 pounds, but it can accommodate a child who weighs up to 85 pounds and an adult double the weight.
Burley Design Piccolo boasts of a powerful 7-speed gearing that guarantees smooth gear shift.
Both its seat post and handlebar are adjustable to suit your personal preference.
A frontal splash guard protects you from mud splash, and a rear rack connects the primary cycle to the towed one.
Additionally, it comes with a safety flag to keep you safe on the roads.
- Lightweight frame
- 7-speed gearing
- Adjustable seat post and handlebar
- Frontal splash guard
- Rear rack
- Safety flag
5. 700c Giordano Duetto Tandem Road Bike – Best for Paved Surfaces
Lastly, if all you want is to ride around the streets, you cannot go wrong with the 700c Giordano Duetto Tandem Road Bike.
The tandem road bike comes in a lightweight aluminum frame and features an aluminum fork for absorbing bumps.
This bike is a high-performer, mostly thanks to its 16-speed Shimano drivetrain. It features robust 700c tires that give it a professional look.
Plus, its double-wall alloy rims give it maximum stability and a solid build.
The bike relishes incredible stopping power, owing to its dual mechanical disc brakes.
The captain seat is larger than the stroker seat, making this bike an excellent choice for riders of varying body sizes. It’s generally easy to ride, and it’s even decent off-road.
- Aluminum frame
- Aluminum fork
- Double alloy rims
- 700c tires
- Mechanical disc brakes
Related: Vilano Road Bikes Review
FAQs on Tandem Bicycle Reviews
1. Should I Buy A Tandem Bicycle?
Would you love to cycle with your spouse, sibling, or child? How about someone in the family with a disability?
If yes, then sure, you should buy a tandem bicycle.
2. What’s The Best Tandem Bike?
The best tandem bike is more comfortable and funnier to ride, has a powerful drivetrain and brakes, and comes in a perfect size.
That, without a doubt, describes these five tandem bikes:
- Schwinn Twin Classic Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike – Best Overall
- Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike – Best for Bumpy Roads
- Kulana Lua Tandem Adult Beach Cruiser Bike – Best Single Speed Tandem Bike
- Burley Design Piccolo – Best for Riding With a Kid
- 700c Giordano Duetto Tandem Road Bike – Best for Paved Surfaces
3. Is A Tandem Bike Difficult To Ride?
A tandem bike can be challenging to ride initially, more so when you have no prior cycling experience. But once you get used to it, it becomes more comfortable, and you get to have a lot of fun doing it.
4. Can One Person Ride A Tandem Bicycle?
Yes, one person can ride a tandem bicycle. However, it is never easier and can be tiring given that the bike is designed for two people.
5. How Much Weight Can A Tandem Bicycle Hold?
While the average one-seat hybrid bike can hold up to 300 pounds, most tandem bikes can bear up to 550 pounds.
Tandem Bikes Reviews Closing Thought:
Generally, there is no funnier way to cycle with someone than tiding a tandem bike. It provides couples, siblings, friends, and even the disabled with an opportunity to enjoy cycling.
So, if that’s what you have always wanted, then consider the tandem bikes reviews above.
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