The Kent Northwoods Dual Drive Tandem Bike is our best tandem bike in which the drive train uses Shimano Tourney 21-speed technology as well as Revo twist shifters. In addition, the frame has a cruiser-style design that is very durable and makes it a high quality tandem bike and the tires are very wide at 2.1 inches in thickness. The tandem bike also uses V brakes to stop safely which are reliable and made from alloy using a linear pull mechanism.
Our step-up pick is the Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike and it is currently available in two designs – white pearl and blue. The frame is made from 7005 aluminum and has been custom-designed to your needs and the rear derailleur is a Shimano RD TX51D. What’s more, the size of the frame at the rear part is 16 inches and 20 inches at the front and its free wheel part is an 8-speed Shimano 11-30 CS HD30.
The budget pick is the Kulana Lua Single Speed Tandem Yellow and the spring seat has a cruiser design and it is quite large. Also, the cruiser handlebars are easy to reach as well as the cruiser designed rise stem while the tandem frame is a Hi Ten steel kulana that has been hand-built. In addition, the frame also has an oversized front fork and weather is not a problem because of its included fenders to give you convenience come rain or shine. Overall, the drive train has a single speed coupled with the brake that is operated easily by the foot.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Hi-Ten Frame Tandem Bike
- Ideal Tandem Bike for the Beach
- 21-Speed Tandem Bike
- Centipede Designed Tandem Bike
- Best Mountain Tandem Bike
- Best Classic Designed Tandem Bike
- Tandem Bike with Rear Hub
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
Tandem bikes are the ultimate test of a bond between two people. A tandem bike is like a regular bicycle but with two seats – one on the front and one on the rear. The front driver is the one who controls the steering and the stopping of the bike as well as the speed. The rear driver acts like a support for the driver and is much like a spare tire but generates manpower when it is needed. Complete coordination, unison, synchronization and harmony should be observed for a tandem bike to work properly during any cruise or trail riding.
Generally speaking, riding a tandem bike is literally and figuratively not a walk in the park. You have to be in perfect timing with the other rider for the tandem bike to work perfectly. Since there are two riders and only one gear chain to peddle, you cannot peddle just like so without being in perfect unison with the other rider. The front captain should always assess the rear stoker so that everything will be fine and the tandem bike riding will go on smoothly.
Because only a few people ride tandem bikes, they are quite expensive and are hard to find. Tandem bikes are a classic hobby much like owning classic cars and this is what makes them more of a vintage item rather than something useful for the masses. Generally speaking, tandem bikes are high-budgeted bicycles that only a few people, such as bike enthusiasts, could get their hands on with enough budget and bike eagerness.
Tandem bikes are only usually made for casual riding and cruising since they are not built for high speeds. Contrary to popular belief, tandem bikes are just casual bikes. You won’t really see tandem bikes on Tour de France and similar sporting events, right? This is because a tandem bike is just meant to be a unison activity for bonding with your special someone, your best friend or someone very close to you. It is a fun activity that is meant for a great bonding time, especially during the summer season.
Of course, not everyone can afford them and this is why you rarely see tandem bikes around. Tandem bikes are twice as pricey as regular bikes in which some span over a thousand dollars in its price range. This is because tandem bikes are made from solid material that can accommodate large weights, since it will have to house two riders at the same time with double the steering power. Tandem bikes are all about durability rather than speed and this is why they are usually pricey.
But if you would really love to get a tandem bike, you are up for a lot of benefits. A tandem bike will not only test your coordination skills with another person, but will also exercise you and your partner as well. Just riding your tandem bicycle will get your fats away if you do it regularly instead of riding motorized vehicles. Manpower is still the best exercise when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Tandem bikes are also an eco-friendly solution to double transport and logistics as you can carry two people at the same time without having to use two separate bikes. In fact, some tandem bikes even have room for baskets and carrying rear parts for extra luggage. Many people around the world still use tandem bikes for getting into their morning job or destination such as the market, especially for those people who often go in two’s.
How We Picked
A good tandem bike must be made from solid material that can last for many years. Generally speaking, the reason why a tandem bike should be of high quality is because it will carry two riders at the same time so it should be as sturdy as possible. You should be able to get exactly what you pay for and have a high quality material tandem bike at your hands.
Always take note that tandem bikes are never cheap and are quite hard to find. Even displays on Amazon are quite a few when it comes to tandem bike models because of the fact that their price range is not just high, their availability is quite rare and for the bike enthusiast only. Most general public won’t really invest in leisure such as a tandem bike and would rather go for a cheaper single bike instead. Typical tandem bikes range from $200 to $2,000 depending on the brand and the specs.
High adjustability is a must for any tandem bike. Since you will have various riders, the adjustability of the seat saddles should be accounted for. The seat heights should also be known beforehand so that you will know if kids can ride on the tandem bike as well. A tandem bike in which children can ride on is a good thing and a great bonding activity for parents and their youngsters.
Because tandem bikes are made for cruising and trailing, you should pick a tandem bike with style. Most tandem bikes are stylish and have beautiful colors. Some have accents and other neat features and all that, but of course, style is not the only thing that makes a tandem bike awesome.
Tire and frame durability should be thought of when it comes to choosing the best tandem bike. The tires should be highly durable and can be used for a wide variety of surfaces. It would be good if you could have a tandem bike that is for off-road adventures but that would be too hard to find, unless you are a bike enthusiast and know where to get bike wheels for tandems good and suitable for off-road.
Of course, the tandem bike should be safe with an efficient brake mechanism. Most tandem bike systems have brakes that are similar to conventional bikes but some are a bit different and it depends on what you buy. Nonetheless, safety is a must in every tandem bike, especially if you look forward to riding with someone with fewer experiences on bikes.
The seats should be highly adjustable and highly accessible to make it easy to get on and off the bike for both the two riders. A custom height seat for any tandem bike is a good plus point because this allows it to accommodate to the rider regardless of height, weight and age.
The tandem bike should also be easy to assemble right off the bat. Most tandem bikes online only require you to attach the seats once they have been shipped to your doorstep and you are ready to rumble on the streets and on biking trails.
Kent Northwoods Dual Drive Tandem Bike
Our best tandem bike is the Kent Northwoods Dual Drive Tandem Bike which uses V brakes to stop safely which are reliable and made from alloy using a linear pull mechanism. In addition to that, the frame has a cruiser-style design that is very durable and makes it a high quality tandem bike. Moreover, the drive train uses Shimano Tourney 21-speed technology as well as Revo twist shifters. Adding to that, the tires are very wide at 2.1 inches in thickness.
The Kent Northwoods Tandem Bike has stand over heights which are very accessible at 20 inches in the rear and 29 inches at the front. In addition, the saddles have a spring gel mechanism. The tandem bike also comes with convenient water bottle holders for the long journey ahead.
It has been given a green and black finish and has a very stylish design and it is very easy to get on and get off for both riders due to the good stand-over heights. Moreover, the kickstand is very durable and the bike is ideal for use at the beach. What’s more, the Kent Northwoods bike is also applicable for kids if they can reach the paddles. Its assembly is very easy even for those who aren’t too knowledgeable with bikes and the assembly time can take as little as 30 minutes only. Being very ideal for vacations, this is a perfect tandem bike to spend with your spouse, best friend or someone close to you.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
As it is a fairly inexpensive tandem bike, the Kent Northwoods Dual Drive Tandem Bike has wheels that might run not so smooth compared to expensive tandem bikes, but a few adjustments can be done, especially if you want to take this tandem bike for off-road riding.
Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike
The Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike is our step-up pick and its free wheel part is an 8-speed Shimano 11-30 CS HD30. It is currently available in two designs – white pearl and blue while the rear derailleur is a Shimano RD TX51D. In addition, the frame is made from 7005 aluminum and has been custom-designed to your needs and the size of the frame at the rear part is 16 inches and 20 inches at the front.
The tandem bike is quite accessible as the the stand over height is 50.8 cm and the brake style is a rim brake system, much like traditional bikes. Moreover, in terms of durability, the frame material is made from sturdy aluminum. The bike also comes with basic component manuals and is an entry-level tandem bike that will be worth your time.
The Giordano Viaggio is indeed very lightweight as a tandem bike. On the other hand, the only concern is that it is not a tandem bike to choose if you’d like disc brakes. However, this is not a major concern, since it is hard to find a tandem bike that is compatible with disc brakes.
Kulana Lua Single Speed Tandem Yellow
Our budget pick is the Kulana Lua Single Speed Tandem Yellow in which the frame also has an oversized front fork. Moreover, weather is not a problem because of its included fenders to give you convenience come rain or shine. Also, the spring seat has a cruiser design and it is quite large and the drive train has a single speed coupled with the brake that is operated easily by the foot. In addition, the cruiser handlebars are easy to reach as well as the cruiser designed rise stem and the tandem frame is a Hi Ten steel kulana that has been hand-built.
The tandem bike’s total weight is 62 lbs and its stand over height is 25 inches. In terms of durability and finish, its paint material does not crack or fade easily, making it a high quality tandem bike when it comes to build and finish eminence. The Kulana Lua Yellow Tandem is also very easy to steer due to its riser stem and handle bars that are easy to reach and it comes to your doorstep semi-assembled and all you need to do is to put in the seats and it ships in a large flat box. It has a very solid construction all in all.
Best Hi-Ten Frame Tandem Bike
Pacific Cycle 26″ Tandem Bike Yellow
The Pacific Cycle 26″ Tandem Bike Yellow is a tandem bike that will surely impress you with its yellow finish and unique design and it uses a Hi Ten frame for a sturdy build. It also has an oversized fork for better convenience while riding and it has 26 inch wheels. It is the perfect vacation buddy when it comes to going to the beach or trail riding with your partner or family member or friend.
Ideal Tandem Bike for the Beach
Micargi Island Tandem Bicycle
The Micargi Island Tandem Bicycle is a great tandem bike for the beach in which the derailleur used is a Shimano Tourney TX31.The Shimano Grip Shift Index of RS-35-3L/7R is used for shifters. What’s more, the free wheel is a Shimano TZ-21-7SP as the bike is currently available in red, blue and black color designs.
The tandem bike has 26 inch sized wheels and is a tandem bike with class and style in various colors. It is also perfect for those beach cruising moments and this bike has a total of 18 speeds to give you comfort, speed and flexibility. It is very easy to handle and you will definitely enjoy riding it and accommodates all skill levels of bike riding. With the Tandem Bicycle by Micargi Island, the seating positions are not too small at 26 inches and can be comfortable even for tall riders.
21-Speed Tandem Bike
Pacific Dualie Tandem Bicycle 26″ Wheels
With the Pacific Dualie Tandem Bicycle 26″ Wheels, a wider gear range is given due to its alloy crank. It is a great tandem bike for all your vacation and outdoor activity needs and a comfortable ride is assured due to its steel mountain frame with high durability. Moreover, it uses linear pull brakes for its safety system and is made from alloy and the wheel rims are made from alloy and are very strong and lightweight.
Going in the technology, the Shimano rear derailleur has 21 speeds while the shifting is accompanied by a twist shifter also with 21 speeds. It is also given a blue finish with 16 inches one-size measurements and it has 26 inch wheels. All in all, the bike weighs 59 lbs in total and it is great for use around the neighborhood or even on bike trails.
Centipede Designed Tandem Bike
Foot Powered Adult Cycle with Centipede
The Foot Powered Adult Cycle with Centipede is great for use on both youngsters and adults as kids who can reach the pedals can ride along with their parents, guardians, elders or elder siblings. It is also detachable mechanism makes it easier to store due to the fact that it can easily connect and disconnect.
True enough, it is a great outdoor activity during the summer for the family which is very easy to operate and use due to its low gear ratio. Being a more expensive tandem bike with superior quality, the Adult Cycle with Centipede comes with baskets at the back for storage and can fit 2 adults or 1 adult + 1 child. It can also be used for the elderly or mentally-challenged people.
All in all, this tandem bike is super ideal for people with balance problems and it is worth noting that the tandem bike is ideal for handicapped people. It can be used for outdoor therapy as well. The total weight of the tandem bike is 135 lbs and the tandem bike has 24 inch wheels. Generally, it can withstand weights of 400 lbs for the rear and above 400 lbs for the front.
Best Mountain Tandem Bike
2015 Viking Saratoga Mountain Bike Tandem
The 2015 Viking Saratoga Mountain Bike Tandem has been made from alloy frame that is super lightweight and the tires have high resistance to puncture to give you a smooth and worry-free ride. The STI gears have 24 speeds and uses Shimano Acera.
Going into the technical specs, its measurements are 17/15 inches. It is ideal for mountain cycling and the tubing is oversized and made from aluminum. On the design, the forks are also oversized to meet the requirements and demands of trail riding and the wheels measure 26 inches and are extra large with stability. What’s more, the bottom bracket has an eccentric design to help adjust the chain tension easier as the tandem bike also uses Shimano indexed gears with 21 speeds to make shifting a lot easier.
The bike uses a rear V type brake system and precision is never compromised due to its oversized steel fork on the front. Likewise, the center of gravity is kept low with its wheel design. The weight of the tandem bike is around 46 lbs and the tandem bike spans at a width of 98 inches. The 2015 Viking Saratoga has been given a classic style and paintwork and is very lightweight and suitable for beginners (especially at tandem bikes) and easygoing bike riders.
Best Classic Designed Tandem Bike
Kingston Silverdale 21-Speed Classic Tandem Bike
If you want a tandem bike that is made from classic designs, you should get the Kingston Silverdale 21-Speed Classic Tandem Bike which has been made with 26 inch wheels. The Shimano gears have 21 speeds that keep the tandem bike strong throughout riding and it also uses Shimano Revo shifters to add to its durability.
Having been made with extra lightweight aluminum hubs, the Kingston Silverdale Tandem Bike uses legitimate and high quality mountain bike parts. It also uses V brakes for its brake system which are also made from alloy. It has a classic design for a tandem bike. In fact, your ride will definitely be relaxing with this bike as the tandem frame is made from heavy duty steel and the tires are white walled in design while the handle bars are designed with a retro style.
When it comes to durability and flexibility, the derailleur and 21-speed gears give you more quality. Adding to that, a double wall construction is given on the wheels. Also, the braking surface has been machined to give you a smoother braking performance and the rotational shifters use Shimano Revoshifter to give you convenience in shifting.
For those who are beginners to tandem bikes, this is a good buy. The bike weighs about 44 lbs and the leg range of the rear part is 24 to 29 inches while the front side has a leg range of 29 to 34 inches. The frame measurement at the front is 18 inches while 15 inches in the rear and the front part, when equipped with a rear stem clamp, can measure 20 inches. The Kingston Silverdale is an ideal classic tandem bike.
Tandem Bike with Rear Hub
Indigo Turismo 2 Tandem Bike Grey
If you need a tandem bike with luggage compartment then you should definitely check out the Indigo Turismo 2 Tandem Bike Grey which has a measurement of 18/15 inches. Its aluminum frame is oversized for durability and balance and it gives you quality fun time with your best friend, loved one, or someone close to you. Like we said, it has a Shimano cassette rear hub for storing anything you like. What’s more, it has a Shimano free wheel as well.
Going into the specs of the tandem bike, the rear mech is a Shimano Deore while the 700C fork is rigid and of cromoly design. Also, the shifters are EZ fire Shimano at 24 speeds and the classy tandem bike is given a grey finish. The bike overall weighs 59 lbs and the leg range at the front is 30 to 35 inches while the rear leg range is from 28 to 33 inches. Also, the wide bars measure 620 mm and are made from alloy and added with a rise that measures 50 mm to give you a relaxing ride due to its slight back sweep mechanism while the front hub has a quick release skewer.
All in all, the Indigo Turismo 2 Grey Tandem Bike comes with full length mudguards to keep you mud-free during cycling. In addition, the rear carrier has been anodized for carrying anything you like. The tandem bike has been coated with an over lacquer to keep the paint, decals, forks and frame from harsh elements and make the tandem bike last longer than it should.
There aren’t many tandem bikes out there in the market, as we mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, these were the best of the best in terms of durability, flexibility, comfort and safety in the long run.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are some of the benefits of using a tandem bike?
A: According to Off-Beat Home , you can save more time and effort because it allows you to carry two passengers at the same time, which is very useful as compared to a single bicycle. Efficiency is a game-changer when it comes to tandem bikes. You also get a good workout and exercise as a tandem when it comes to these bikes and your unison, communication and bonding will be improved and your synchronization and coordination with the other person will also be enhanced and this makes a tandem bike a great bond building activity for any couple, sibling, family or friend.
Also worth noting, tandem bikes are also great travel buddies as tandem bikes are also a talk of the crowd and you will stand out among the rest. You get two people across a far distance without wasting fuel costs.
Q: Any advice for those who are new to riding tandem bikes?
A: According to Sheldon Brown , in tandem riding, there are two roles: the captain at the front and the stoker at the rear. The captain’s job is to control the bike in terms of stopping; balancing, braking, shifting and steering and the captain must also motivate the stoker and not boss around but should inform the stoker of anything ahead such as bumps and other obstacles. Also, a captain must be responsible and lead the way and give courage to the stoker.
On the other hand, the stoker is more like a tail gunner or someone to generate power for the tandem bike. Since the stoker cannot steer unlike a captain, the stoker must depend upon the captain to brace for impact on the upcoming obstacles and other twists and turns. Stokers at the rear are freer than captains and act like a reserve power source for the tandem bike.
Overall, it is important that the team is in unison when it comes to tandem bike. In fact, a tandem bike is the ultimate test of a bond between two people if they can peddle in unison perfectly.
Wrapping It Up
To sum it all up, the Kent Northwoods Dual Drive Tandem Bike is our best tandem bike if you really want to hang around with your best friend, your special someone, your family member or anyone you’d like while cruising along the beach or along a bike trail in unison and perfect harmony.