Tandem bicycle refers to a special design of bicycles for two or more riders together front to backwards. These are also termed as tricycles and the term tandem refers to the variations in seating arrangements in the cycle. In many sports events and public activities, these bicycles are seen. Riding a tandem bicycle is a unique experience. Some bike-lovers often choose these as their occasional family rides. Several cycle manufacturing companies are bringing varieties of designs and features of tandems. Explore more about the features, advantages and uses of tandem bicycle.
Tandem Bicycle: Definition, Terminology And Basic Information
Basic difference of a tandem bicycle with a regular bicycle is in the seating arrangements. Tandems also have two wheels and allow two riders at a time. Tandems must have a captain and at least one stoker. The captain maintains and changes the directions in addition to paddling whereas the stoker only needs to pedal. Steersman, Pilot – these terms are also used instead of captain. Stokers are also termed as RA (rear admiral), Tailgunner and navigator. These tandems can be designed for two riders, three, four, five or even ten riders.
Quads are for four cyclists, Quints are made for five at a time. A standard tandem usually has two sets of cranks connected together with a timing chain. This mechanism helps to synchronize the pedaling action of the captain and the stokers. Today, a front rider can be the captain or a stoker and vice versa. That’s why the standard front to back arrangement doesn’t define the captain seats anymore. Tandems are used in several international sports events like Paralympics.
In Paralympics, the captain guides his stokers and takes part in the cycling race.
Price of these tandems may vary within a wide range. The price depends on the features, limited designs and accessories installed in a tandem. You should research to find out the best tandem bicycle for you from the stores around.
Features And Advantages Of A Tandem Bicycle
- Tandems closely resemble the aesthetic designs of regular bicycles.
- The weight of these cycles is almost double the regular ones.
- The speed is often 3 or 4 times due to advanced time chains, metering systems and gearing mechanisms. Speed is one of the major advantages of these cycles over the conventional bicycles.
- The mechanism ensures great synchronization and better use of energy resources.
These bicycles have some specific and mandatory components; namely drive train, crank sets, wheels, brakes, pedals. While buying, you should closely observe these components for better performances and longevity. As an example, you should rely on high quality items like Shimano 105 pedals. At the same time, you should be very careful about maintaining your tandem.
The parts and accessories installed in these bicycles are sophisticated and require expert handling. Learn the basic things from the manual carefully and follow the instructions precisely.
Riding a tandem bicycle is a lifetime experience. This is possibly the only way to arrange a family-cycling event. It is great fun, enjoyable activity and an effective way to maintain family health.