What are tandem bicycles?
Bicycles-tandems - quite unusualmeans of transportation for domestic latitudes. The greatest demand for such models are used in developed European countries and are used primarily for country family walks.
Bicycle-tandems contain a monolithic frame with two wheels. However, each rider here has a separate steering wheel, pedals and a saddle, taking a direct part in running the bike.
A short digression into the history
The first bicycle-tandem made by myself inlate 19th century Danish inventor Michael Pedersen. The author of the idea received the patent for development in 1894 after moving to England, where he launched an unusual line of two-wheeled vehicles into batch production.
A trial model presented in the Britishmarket, weighed about 24 pounds, which is about 10 kg. Later, tandem bicycles of this type were actively used by the British military during the Second World War as a mobile, easy means of transportation.
Full-scale release of tandems, designed forgeneral consumer audience, was organized by the French company Lejeune and Gitane at the end of the last century. Since 1976, advanced models developed by Santana Cycles have begun to appear in the US market.
In contrast to the tandem, common in the 80s of the last century, modern models are characterized by increased stability, high strength and thoughtful design.
Today buyers of such vehiclesdo not have to think about the design features of the frame, since absolutely all solutions presented on the market are fully consistent with the purpose.
To determine the convenient frame, it is worththink about which routes will be moving. For this reason it is recommended to make a small test run on several separate models, which will allow to stay at the most comfortable solution.
One of the most important parameters when buyingtandem, which should be given special attention, is the size of the wheels. Most comfortable urban models are equipped with standard 26 inch diameter rims. On highway bicycles more often are established wheels in the size of 28 inches.
For standard wheels, availablethe widest choice of tires. Thick 26-inch rubber perfectly attenuates vibration, which is an extremely important quality when traveling on tandem. Among other things, such tires are harder to pierce.
If the tandem is planned to be used forspeedy driving or organizing long distance trips, you should take a closer look, first of all, to wheels measuring 28 inches. It is this diameter tires that are in demand among professional racers.
How fast are tandem bicycles? It would seem that such vehicles are extremely cumbersome. However, as practice shows, several non-professional cyclists, who simultaneously create traction on a two-seater model, are able to overtake a trained rider, both on flat parts of the road and downhill.
Even a children's bicycle-tandem can bypasssports road bike on the downhill. The increased weight of riders and the effect of single resistance to the air flow make it possible for the dual vehicle to rush from the hill on all pairs.
Tandems are an example of exclusivity. Therefore, such models are in demand among consumers who are chasing after uncommon, original solutions.
How much will the bicycle tandem cost (Moscow)? In the domestic market, the cost of bicycles, designed for several riders, starts at about 300 y. e. If a tandem is required for ordinary walks in the park, if desired, you can find a cheaper, budget model. As for high-strength and lightweight sports models intended for the realization of serious tasks, their price is more than 1000 y. e.
What are the advantages of a bicycle-tandem? Feedback from owners of such vehicles allows us to distinguish the following:
- no problem with the lag of one of the riders, which is one of the main disadvantages when organizing joint trips on individual bicycles;
- development of impressive speed both on flat sections and on descents with preservation of high stability of the bike;
- reduced risk of breaking the wheels and damaging the discs;
- for communication cyclists do not have to shout;
- if desired, one of the riders can rest, enjoying the trip in a relaxed state;
- in the course of travel on tandem, a stronger rider can be placed in front, which will pull the weak;
- The effect of the same air resistance as on an ordinary bicycle;
- if necessary, the pilot and the rider sitting behind can exchange seats, which will allow the more experienced cyclist to confidently manage the bike on difficult sections of the route.
If we talk about the shortcomings of tandems, here it is worthnote reduced maneuverability, which is explained by the increased length of the frame. With a sharp stop, these models go through a longer braking distance compared to single-seat models. Among other things, riders may experience certain difficulties when traveling on rough terrain.