Trikes For Adults

Tandem Adult Tricycles

tandem adult tricycle
Written by Mad Triker

Tricycles are interesting but tandem adult tricycles are much more fascinating. The word tandem is usually used to refer to the sitting arrangement where two people ride a bike front to back. Tandem tricycles are a fun way to share a trike with a loved one; more so for couples.

If you find that you can’t keep up with the pace of your partner on a trike, getting a tandem could be the solution. It requires teamwork, and that’s one of the ways that couples grow stronger.


Tandem tricycles have two people pedaling. This means double pedaling power but it does not necessarily double the speed. A high-performance tandem trike can weigh lesser than two conventional tricycles. But they have nearly the same wind resistance as a standard tricycle.

Double pedaling produces high power to overcome wind resistance. By overcoming wind resistance, tandem tricycles gain more speed than a single rider. They are great on descent paths because of the high speed.

Great Usage

tandem trike for adults

Tandem adult tricycles come in different designs. Most of them are styled where both riders can steer the trike. Children can have some fun when riding with their parents. For parents, if you have a child with special needs, you can monitor them closely. Tandems also allow the parent to disengage the front steering so that they can control the trike from the rear.

They help children to grow their pedaling skills while still enjoying the perks of cycling. The tandem tricycle is carefully balanced to make pedaling and steering as easy as possible no matter the skills of the rider.

Specific Components of Tandem Tricycles

  • Drive Train

A drive train is responsible for transferring the power from all pedals to the rear wheels. They can have a configuration known as crossover rear drive where the crankset connects via a left side timing chain to the back cranksets. The rear cranksets are connected by a right side chain to the rear wheels. The left-side cranks have to be tandem for the pedals to work reliably.

Tandem tricycles can also have two-wheel drive designs.

  • Fork

A tandem-specific fork is designed to distribute the weight of the riders on the frame and wheels. The fork is responsible for safe braking. If you are using tandem disc brakes, heat transfer becomes of high importance to facilitate control and efficient braking.

  • Sturdy Wheels

Tandem wheels come with a high number of robust spokes. They also have strong rims to ensure that both riders are well supported. You will notice manufacturers can use asymmetric wheels, sturdy freewheels, high-pressure tires or dishless spoke configuration. These features are important for the rear wheels because that’s where most of the weight is supported.

  • Brakes

Tandems produce twice the kinetic energy produced on regular tricycles traveling at similar forward speed. This energy is high and cannot be handled by the same type of brakes on single trikes. You’ll, therefore, see tandems using disc brakes more than rim brakes. Disc brakes have more stopping power which makes it easier to control the tandem downhill. Rim brakes are great on tandems that stick to the pavement and roads. This is because they may heat up on long descents which can cause a tire blow.

  • Handlebars

Tandem adult tricycles have two sets of handlebars. The front handlebars control the trike’s movement which is usually the work of the pilot. Tandems can have either road handlebars or flat handlebars. Road handlebars can take different positions while flat handlebars increase the steering leverage because most of them are wide. This makes it easier to handle the load and the different shifts of position by the stoker.

Unique Gearing

tandem trike

Photo courtesy Jody McIntyre on Flickr

Tandem adult tricycles are fast and they require many top end gears. They also require low-end gears. Tandem trikes rarely come with independent gears. They require that the cranks move at equal speed to avoid collision of the feet. The gears shift the same for both users such that both riders will pedal or coast at the same time.

Benefits of Tandem Tricycles

  • A relaxed way of having Fun

Adult trikes are great recreational devices. But when you get to share the trike, they become a bonding time on family outings. The seniors, parents, people with disabilities, and anyone with stamina and balancing challenges can relax on a tandem and have some quality fun.

  • A great way to learn good communication

When one of you is riding at the front, it means you can’t see what’s ahead. You learn to trust when they tell you what’s coming ahead on the road like potholes. You also learn to understand what their body language is telling you. This way, you become better at communicating.

  • Excellent on Downhill Paths and Flat Terrain

Tandem tricycles are good at resisting wind. The power output of two riders means that the strength is pulled together, making it better for flat terrain and downhill roads. For outdoor enthusiasts, tandems offer an excellent way of taking in the scenery especially in the morning and during sunset.

  • Builds Cycling Confidence

For people who fear going out alone on the road, using a tandem means you don’t have to depend on yourself. It allows the user to familiarize themselves with the road so that they can take on a normal tricycle and even a bicycle with more power and confidence. People with differing riding ability get to balance their riding speed for both riders to be comfortable.

  • You’ll get noticed

Tandem tricycles are a rare scene. When you see one, you instantly notice it. You can expect the same attention to be given to you. Other motorists will also be more conscious of you such that you will even have more room to overtake.

Drawbacks of Tandem Tricycles

tandem trike setup

Photo courtesy Jody McIntyre on Flickr

  • Hard to Ride Uphill

When cycling uphill, the riders have to cycle at the same cadence and rate. This means going at the rate of the stronger rider. It makes one of the riders struggle with the ride especially if the hill is too steep. And when the trike rocks from side to side, it rarely matches both riders so it feels like a drag.

Conclusion About Tandem Adult Tricycles

Tandem adult tricycles are versatile and fun to ride. They provide a fulfilling riding experience especially for persons with balance and stamina difficulties. One or both riders can participate in the pedaling and steering. Thus, they allow riders of different abilities to ride together. Parents, couples, the seniors, and persons with special needs can all have some incredible time on the tandem tricycle.


About the author

Mad Triker