The Tandem Club



Discussion of anything related to Tandems. Opinions expressed on this discussion board are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Tandem Club. Postings or extracts may be published in the Tandem Club Journal.
To add a response or post a new message you need to have an account and be logged in. You can get emails sent to you by enabling the Send Forum Emails tick box in your user preferences. Note you need to login to the website to add replies. See our help information here for more information.
You can add to this discussion topic using the entry box at the bottom of this page, when logged in. Login

Why so few tandems?

Mark Silver2018-06-01 11:26:32
I’ve pondered for a long time why tandems seem so rare, so out of fashion. This last weekend, we took out old faithful for a morning spin, perhaps 35 -40 miles. We must have seen perhaps 100 cyclists, and unusually, we did actually see another tandem. Normally on such runs, we see none.
Yet so many of these other cyclists are pairs, with the stronger rider (usually the man) cruising up ahead, and the weaker rider (usually the woman) trailing behind. Occasionally we engage such folk in conversation about this, and suggest that on a tandem together they would probably go the speed on the faster rider. But rarely does ‘the penny drop’: it seems that most couples are determined to remain wed to their solos .
I gain the impression that in earlier days (before my time), tandems were relatively more common.
Certainly the machines from the pre and post war period that I’m especially fond of, remain in greater abundance relative to solos than I see on the road these days, though I’d be sure other factors are also involved in this.
 I wonder why our machines are now so uncommon?
2018-06-16 10:44:31

I am having trouble finding someone to share a tandem with me, a Hase Pino Steps. i have seen the same problems, once in France seeing a pair of riders, the faster complaining over coffee that the slower one was holding him back while the slower one, once he arrived, complained that the faster one would not wait - he had the luggage trailer! A tandem seems the perfect solution, particularly on the wide, well-surfaced bike trails of Europe. Peter West

2019-03-11 08:17:54

We see lots of tandems here in Suffolk. They are well suited to our gentle terrain but for 'real cylistts' they struggle with big hills. Whereabouts are you based? We are always encouraging people to get a tandem!

February 20202019-03-16 15:12:20

Most of our tandem riding is done on dedicated cycle paths in Germany or France (Alsace), and we, almost without exception pass tandems arriving in the opposite direction. So we are meeting them head-on and often it is only in the last second or 2 that the captain realises its a tandem before they whizz by at a combined speed of 50 kph. We see on average about 1 tandem per day on popular cycling routes. We have never caught up another tandem nor have we been overtaken by another. We have met a few tandem crews at rest. 

Before the 1960's and certainly before the WW2 most people could not afford to own a car, so the only way for a couple to do a trip together apart from public transport was on a tandem or solo bikes.