How To Buy a Tandem Bicycle

If you are looking for new ways to enjoy time with your partner, consider tandem biking. This is a good way to test whether you and your partner can actually work together and make a tandem bike move forward so you can enjoy some time together while getting some exercise at the same time. Here is a brief guide to buying a tandem bike:

  • Decide how much you are willing to spend for a tandem bicycle. The price of a tandem bike starts at around $600. You can buy a good quality bike for $1200. Those with more features, including the big models, can cost you as much as $6,000. As a general rule, a tandem bike will cost three times the comparable single seater. If you’re on a budget, consider buying a secondhand tandem bike. Here are some sites where you can buy pre-loved tandems:
  • Test as many tandems as you can. With you tandem partner, head to the nearest bicycle shops and test as many tandem bicycles as you can. The owners of these shops know that only by riding a tandem can you gauge whether a specific bike is the right kind for you and your partner. Find out if they are willing to let you test the bike for a longer period of time or distance. You can even rent tandems so you won’t have to feel guilty about riding a test bike for too long. Just ask bicycle shop keepers if you can rent the bike or if they know any place that rents tandem bikes. Ride until to your hearts’ content.
  • Stick with known brands. There are many manufacturers of tandem bikes. The more popular ones are Santana, Burley, Cannondale, and Co-Motion. Among these, Santana is the oldest and most successful commercially. Newer manufacturers that produce good tandem bicycles are Calfee, Meridian, and daVinci. If you are in the market for custom tandem bikes, then you should go with Bilenky and Erickson.

Buying your first tandem bike takes a lot of patience because you have to spend a lot of time testing different models from different manufacturers. However, it will be a good investment if you actually use the bike. Make sure that you also take good care of your tandem bike so you would be able to sell it for a good price in case you decide to upgrade to a bigger bike or abandon the hobby altogether.
Useful Links:

  • The Blayley.s John & Pamela Blayley will answer most of your questions about tandem biking, including what tandem to buy and how to operate it.
  • Tandem Magazine. You'll get tips on how to shop for a tandem, tricks on riding one, as well as information on other tandem bikers.
  • The Tandem Link. - If you want to learn the science of tandem biking, then this is the place to be.
  • The Unofficial Used Tandem Price Estimating Tool, V2.3.  If you are planning to buy a used tandem bike, this tool will help you determine whether the seller is being fair in his asking price.


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