WHAT IS A TANDEM BICYCLE?
A tandem bike is a bicycle that has two or more seats and pairs of pedals. These bicycles are the typical movie image in which the happy couple pedals together on the horizon line. However, these bicycles are much more than a curiosity. Although the most common are two seats, there are three, four, five or more cyclists. So far the record has a tandem of 40 seats.
The tandem move with the force exerted by the pedaling of several cyclists at the same time, which gives it a particular way of handling. Besides this type of bicycles you can find them in different styles: hybrid, mountain, route, cruisers and even recumbent.
Originally they had an elementary construction since they were the product of the simple welding of two bicycle frames together, but time was in charge of transforming this idea best bike us into a concept in itself, which is why they now handle a particular design and characteristics.
General characteristics of tandem bicycles
The shape of the handle depends on the type of tandem. Tandem bicycles have a handlebar for each seat; however, the only one that has the function of steering the bicycle is the front. The other handlebars only have the support function for the subsequent places. These are usually attached to the seat post of the front seat.
At first, the tandem was manufactured by modifying and joining conventional bicycles. Over time they have been refined, which has led to the tandem have specialized designs. The preferred materials for the manufacture of these frames are hi-ten steel and comply and aluminum.
The geometry depends on the type of bicycle and the performance that is sought. As we already mentioned, these bikes are not mere curiosity, you can find recreational and other high-performance versions. The forks of these bicycles need to be calculated taking into account the extreme forces, especially during braking.
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It could be thought that a two-seat tandem weighs twice as much as a normal bike, with similar characteristics, but this is not the case. Generally, this type of bike weighs less than twice its counterpart of a seat and its aerodynamics is practically the same. Considering this and that the force is applied by two or more people make these bicycles more efficient.
A tandem holds more weight so they require reinforced wheels, the most commonly used spoke/spoke count is 36 to 40 radios. Medium- or high-end bicycles use a drum or disc brakes. We must consider that these bikes need better performance when braking than conventional bicycles.
There are exceptions such as cruisers but, generally, these bicycles usually use multiple speeds. The speed range depends on the performance that is sought. The tandem of the route have ranges that tend to high speeds, the mountain or hybrid have wider ranges and with a tendency to lower speeds and those of a walk may have 6 speeds with a not so wide range, enough for a Sunday walk.
In tandem bicycles, the effort to pedal is divided by the number of seats, so these bicycles have a chain of time, to synchronize the pedaling and another to transmit the power. In a two-seat tandem, the timing chain is on the left side and the power chain on the right side.
Advantages and disadvantages of tandem bicycles
- The effort when pedaling is divided by the number of places
- They are the perfect excuse to share the pleasure of shooting, even with someone with different abilities
- Tandem bikes are more efficient than conventional bikes
- Some coordination between cyclists is required
- They take up more space than a normal bike
- You will need a little more skill when driving in traffic
For whom tandem bicycles are ideal
These bicycles are ideal for those who want to share a walk, a race or a trip around the world with their partner, family or friends.
These bikes can also be an excellent alternative to share the experience with those who cannot pedal on their own due to their different abilities.