Tandem bikes are bicycles built for two. They are also called “twins” since their very specialty is the fact that these bikes are designed to be ridden and enjoyed by two persons. A tandem bike will bring you closer to your loved ones, allowing both of you to share exciting journeys and beautiful sceneries together. With a tandem bike, there will no longer be a need to constantly look back to see if the other is still following you. And in the case that your companion is your child, even better! You will feel an incredible sense of calm and comfort knowing that they are right behind you.
8 Best Tandem Bikes
If you want to know more about tandem bikes, you can read our article on “What is a tandem bike?”. However, if you are already familiar with the concept and are convinced that you absolutely need one, then continue reading this article to find out which are the best tandem bikes and which fits your needs and that of your adventure companion.
Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle
This tandem tricycle is appropriate for flat areas, especially for those adults who enjoy outdoor activities. It has plenty of cargo space as the basket on the back is quite big. Apart from these qualities, this bike guarantees more stability than other bikes, among other things, because of its three-wheeled construction.
- Linear pull brake
- Adjustable handlebars
- Wide rear wheel position that ensures greater stability than a normal bike
- Chain guard that keeps your clothes and shoelaces clear
- Equipped with a padded seat comfortable for long rides
- Enables an upright riding position
- Made of an aluminum frame
- Cargo basket perfect for grocery shopping, but not so suitable for children, pets, or similar
- Greater stability in the bike
- Comfortable seat for long rides
- Adjustable handlebars
- Multiple colors choice
- Hard to find one!
Pacific Dualie Adult Tandem Bike
You will find this Pacific Dualie Tandem Bike perfect for riding around town, alongside the beach, or in parks. Please note that this bike is only recommended for adults and perfectly supports the weight of two. Most importantly, this is perhaps one of the best tandem bikes for the money.
- 21-speed micro shifters that provide for quick and precise change of gears
- Durable and lightweight alloy wheels
- Alloy linear-pull brakes
- A beautiful street mountain style frame that gives you and your partner a comfortable ride
- 59 pounds (around 26.7 kg)
- Great bargain for a tandem bike
- Lightweight and strong wheels
- Limited choice of colors and patterns
Burley Trailer Bike
This tandem bike trailer allows you to travel with your child using your own bicycle, should you already have one. It is recommended for children aged 4 to 10 years old and with a maximum weight of 85 pounds with an adult of a recommended 2-1 adult weight-to-child ratio.
- 7-speed thumb shifter
- Lightweight aluminum frame for durability and high performance
- Innovative Burley trailer cycle hitch with ball-bearing guided pivots for superior stability
- Equipped with a front splash guard to protect you and your partner from splashes in damp weather conditions
- Adjustable handlebar and seats for different heights
- Five-year warranty valid for frame and one year warranty for hitch and rack. The warranty starts from the day of purchase.
- Weighs 18 pounds (or 8 kg).
- Quite lightweight
- Multiple speeds
- Great stability for your little one
- Adjustable to the growing height of the child
- Warranty included
- A bit expensive
Schwinn Twinn Classic
Recommended for duo trips of adults only. Its 26-inch wheel supports riders 64-74 inches tall. Further, you will find this tandem most suitable for flat areas around your neighborhood, around the lake, or on a boardwalk.
- Urban tires that are rugged and roll fast
- Front and rear alloy breaks for safe stopping power and control of the bike’s speed
- Dual density grips and quite stylish and comfortable saddles
- Possesses alloy caliper brakes that allow for great stopping power
- Classic comfortable seats
- Step-thru frames
- 7-speed twist shifter for a quick and easy gear change
- Caliper breaks
- Constructed for an upright position during riding which is gentle to your low back
- Plush fitness seats that offer a great comfort
- Lightweight and durable wheels, suitable for a long-term use
- Comes with a limited lifelong warranty that is valid for as long as you own the bike
- Comes in a classic blue-colored design
- Weighs around 20.41 kilograms
- Lifelong warranty
- Multiple speeds
- Relatively lightweight
- A bit pocket unfriendly.
Salsa Powderkeg Tandem 29er Bike – 2017
Suitable for adventurous spirits that love riding on rough terrains, such as mountain or gravel, mostly owing to its massive top tube and downtube, which deliver precise tracking even when under power needed in the above-mentioned terrains.
- Made of steel frame material
- Free adjustments of the bike for one year after the purchase and for as many times as needed
- Powder keg fork included
- Serviceable or replaceable hardware if needed
- Adjustable to the rider’s/stoker’s height
- Stable in rough terrains
- Serviceable and replaceable parts
- A bit costly if you are on a short budget
Tandem Bike by Giordano, Viaggio
In Giordano Viaggio you will find a strong, yet lightweight bike, which is recommended for a wide range of cycling couples but mainly designed for a large captain and a small/medium stoker. Furthermore, you will find in it an ultra-lightweight bike with a 16 Shimano speed drivetrain. All these features at a reasonable price.
- Shimano 8 speed-shifters with a super performance
- Long-lasting 700 x 32 c tires that facilitate the rider’s journey
- Very affordable price for a tandem bike that is usually quite costly
- Great and lightweight aluminum frame
- Very comfy seats
- Easy assemble of the bike, of course, following the necessary instructions
- Very budget friendly for a tandem bike
- Ultra lightweight
- Available in a single frame size
- No disc brakes, only rim brakes
Kent “synergy”, as its very name tells, would be a perfect choice for you and your partner for a fun and comfortable ride. It brags for high-quality and long-lasting use components as well as for its well-planned design of the frame, which is low in the front and around 20 inches in the back and allows both riders to easily hop on.
- 21 speeds
- Strong 6067 aluminum frame
- Alloy linear pull V brakes
- 26 inches 32 holes aluminum double-wall rims
- 1-year warranty on components and a limited lifetime warranty on the frame
- Soft spring gel saddles for extra comfort
- Heavy-duty kickstand
- Two water bottle holders
- Extra wide tires
- Supports a weight limit of 400 lbs (or 181 kg for both riders)
- Requires assembly
- Comes in a multicolor design
- Nice design
- Many speeds
- Warranty included
- None, really
PFIFF Tandem Bicycle
This tandem bicycle is designed for a duo ride of you and your child aged between 9 and 12 years old. The child can help you with pedaling but does not necessarily have to when they are tired, you can then use the freewheel mode. Thus it is possible for them to simply rest and enjoy the view. In general, the bike is best suited for daily commuting and transportation.
- 24 inches
- Made of sturdy aluminum
- Equipped with a front light and a bell
- Double leg kickstand
- Weighs 24 kg
- Multiple speeds
- Increased safety with the light and bell included
- Greater stability offered by the double leg kickstand
- A bit costly
What to Look For When Buying Tandem Bikes
Size and fit
Since a tandem bike is designed to be used by two people, finding a size that fits both requires some effort. It is always best if you can try it before purchasing; however, if you are purchasing online, we recommend that you measure the captain’s height and their inside leg measurement in advance, and the same with the stoker. You must then check the description of the tandem and see if their sizing fits your measurements.
As a final note, please bear in mind that it is recommended that the taller person take the captain’s role while the shorter is more suitable for a stoker.
A proper choice of brakes is very critical when it comes to purchasing a tandem bike since you need to consider the fact that a tandem bike will carry at least twice the weight of a solo bike. In this sense, you have to decide whether to go for the rim or disc brakes, and for the sake of greater safety, we recommend you to choose the latter (disc brakes), since rim brakes may be good enough for a solo bike, but they are not that suitable for longer slides often needed in a tandem bike.
Apart from that, it may happen that such brakes heat the rim to the point where the tire blows off it. As such, the best option is disc brakes with 8” rotors, mostly due to their ability to cool down faster and stop quicker.
A tandem bike is ridden by two, the captain and the stoker. While the captain should be heavier and stronger, the stoker does not necessarily have to be skilled. That is not to say that the latter is a passenger, but “a partner.” Further, a captain needs to have excellent riding skills, be responsible, and possess great reflexes, while a stoker also needs to have enough strength and durability to ensure consistent pedaling power.
The role of the captain is quite crucial, as they need to be alert to try to avoid unexpected occurrences and inform the stoker in advance to take the necessary action. In this regard, the stoker should not leave 100% control of the bike on the captain, but also be able to do their part, even if that consists of simply motivating, entertaining, or taking pictures.
If you want to learn more about riding a tandem bike, read Tandem Riding the Right Way: How to Ride a Tandem Bike?
These are also an important part of a tandem bike. You may be in between the choice of flat pedals or clipless ones. In order to make the right choice, please consider that if you are a new cyclist, it is better that you choose flat pedals as they are way easier to maneuver. However, if you are already quite professional in cycling, then you might go for clipless pedals as they are considered more efficient and offer a greater connection to the bike.
Purchasing the best tandem bike in such a growing market is far from easy. However, having one is very rewarding: it will enable you to share the most incredible riding adventures with your most loved ones. Hopefully, this guide has given you all the information needed to compare and contrast the tandem bikes given, it will make your decision-making process an easy one.