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How To Buy A Tandem Bicycle

Choosing Your Tandem Bike ...

Who Is Going To Be The Captain?

First thing you need to determine when choosing a tandem bicycle is who is going to be the Captain.

Most often the bigger person will ride up front ... but it really is up to you, as a couple (or team), to decide.

The chances of a tandem bike being a perfect fit for both riders is pretty unlikely so when in doubt make sure it fits the Captain ...

This is why you need to FIRST decide who the Captain is going to be.

Why? Because ...

It is the Captain's job to hold the bike steady as the Stoker mounts.

Therefore the Captain needs to be able to spread his/her legs widely for balance and still have a decent space between the bicycle and his/her groin. Trust me, you don't want to muck this up!Cycles Jussy Tandem Bicycle Poster

If you want to have a smaller bike frame so you can BOTH reach the pedals then a longer handlebar stem can be use to compensate the larger rider.

It is NOT essential for the Stoker to be able to straddle the bicycle. Thus if you buy a larger framed tandem to fit the Captain then a shorter Stoker can be accomodated - again - simply by adjusting the handlebar stem.

Handle Bar Positions

Rans Screamer Recumbent Tandem Bicycles

If you are going into tandem bike riding for pleasure and not pace, then it is best to position your handlebars higher.

For the Stoker it means you are actually - believe it or not - MORE aerodynamic ... AND you get a much nicer vista.

And for the Captain - who has the somewhat intense job of managing a long and weighty bike - higher handlebars will mean you won't get so tired in your upper torso.

Questions To Ask And Answer
BEFORE - You Purchase Your Tandem Bike

Type Of Use

  • How much money do you want to spend? If you ride your bicycles regularly then it is certainly worth investing in a more expensive bike.
  • Which type tandem bike will suit your needs - diamond-frame or recumbent?
  • What will you be using the bike for - recreation, touring or racing?
  • How long are your journeys going to be?
  • Do you need specialty bike racks for transporting your tandem bicycles?
  • What accessories might you need?
  • Are you and your partner compatible in stressful situations?

Quality of Construction

  • Will you need the bike to be sturdy and constructed with materials of a high quality?
  • Have you test-run any models to find which one appeals to you?
  • Have you reviewed what REAL people are saying about the different types of models? What is the reputation of those tandem bicycles like on the online forums?
  • Are they renowned for weakness or breaking parts? Find out.

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