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Which Is The Best Cheap Tandem Bicycle for Sale? | A Buyer's Guide

Updated on September 8, 2014

Tracking Down the Top Inexpensive Tandem Bikes on Sale Today

Cycling is a fun activity, and it's made even more fun when you do it with someone else. Luckily for you, there are many good, cheap tandem bicycles that are built for exactly that purpose. The traditional mainstay of many bicycle rental stores, they allow two people to ride and share the work, one steering, the other helping to pedal. Luckily, you don't have to rent, you can buy one! Finding cheap tandem bicycles for sale isn't too difficult anymore, and there are many budget friendly models available.

Even the best tandem bicycles are still pretty simple in concept. You essentially take a regular bike and stretch it, adding another seat, set of bars and pedals into the mix. The person in the front has the control over shifting gears and steering, while the person in the rear gets to enjoy the ride a bit more, helping to power the bike when necessary. The technology is simple in theory, but manufacturers sometimes charge a premium for these models, whether fairly or not.

This lens will talk about cheap tandem bicycles for sale, and it's intended to serve as a buying guide for anyone interested in buying a bike for two people on a lower budget. We'll talk about how they work and things to watch out for, and of course we'll offer a few examples of great models for sale online (buying this way is a sure fire way to save a bit of money). Hopefully this will help you make a smart purchase and get on the road more quickly.

How Two-Person Bikes Actually Work:

"A bicycle built for two"

Tandem bicycles always present a rather interesting technical problem of how to direct the energy from two pedalers into a single drivetrain. This makes them fairly complicated and a bit trickier to build than a conventional bike. Most (even cheap) tandem bikes include a double chain setup, meaning there is a front and back chain, connecting in the middle (usually at the crankset of the second rider).

Some tandems cycles will allow the rear passenger to steer or to help steer, using a rack and pinion type setup. However, the vast majority of them will require a front driver to handle all of the steering duties as well as shifting gears and braking where necessary. This leaves the back passenger to enjoy the ride a bit more.

The frame on a good, cheap tandem bike will be a conventional frame that's stretched (literally, chopped and re-welded). The longer the frame is the stronger it needs to be, so finding a reputable brand with positive reviews is pretty vital.

Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike, 700c, White Pearl
Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike, 700c, White Pearl

7005 aluminum frame, Shimano ST2300 gears and shifters, curved race bars. This is a great and inexpensive road tandem bicycle for sale on Amazon.


Giordano Viaggio Tandem Road Bike for Adults

A road / race tandem bicycle for two people

The Giordano Viaggio is a lighter tandem bicycle for sale that is a lot easier to handle than some of the heavier alternatives out there. Light and lithe for its size, this bike has an aluminum frame, 700c wheels, a Shimano drivetrain (ST2300 shifters), alloy side pull brakes, and curved road handlebars, all in a very neat and attractive package.

Considering that you're getting an awful lot of good quality components and a very fun to ride frame, this is a very reasonably priced bicycle. For anyone seeking a sleek and fun yet affordable tandem bicycle, this is one of the best options you'll find.

Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike, 26-Inch, Silver
Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike, 26-Inch, Silver

All steel frame, large 2.1 inch tires, a Shimano drivetrain and gears, alloy wheels. One of the best tandem bicycles for sale today.


Kent Dual Drive Tandem Bicycle

An inexpensive and popular tandem cycle for sale

The Kent Dual Drive Tandem is one of the absolute best adult tandem bike for two people, and it has garnered some excellent reviews from bloggers and customers alike for its great combination of features, rideability, and budget friendly price tag.

As far as price goes, you just can't find anything cheaper. The cruiser style frame and gel padded seats make this a really comfortable ride. The Shimano Tourney drivetrain is basic but certainly more than you'll need for a fun casual ride in the park or along the seawall. An all-steel frame, and aluminum alloy wheels ensure that you'll ride safely, and that the bike will last you a long while.

This is a tried and true bike, and you're sure to get lots of look as you cruise the boardwalk. Check it out!

Pacific Dualie: A Mountain Style Tandem Adult Bicycle for Sale

This bike is perfect for two riders who enjoy light trails

Since we've looked at a road and a cruiser style tandem bicycle, I wanted to review one of the best, cheap tandem bikes for sale in a mountain style.

The word 'mountain' is used loosely. In real terms, this is simply a bike with a nice, upright riding position (for both riders) that has a strong steel frame and thicker tires with heavy tread. It's best if you intend to ride on a mixture of terrains, including pavement, grass and light trails, particularly gravel.

It comes with strong, linear pull brakes and a 21 speed SRAM shifter system that should handle any hills nicely. The wheels and cranks are all aluminum alloy. The price tag is unreal and it's one of the most affordable bicycles for two people on the market these days.

Pedego Tandem Cruiser Electric Bicycle for Two Riders

A great, high-quality electric tandem bike

If you're worried about the strength required to pedal around a big two person bicycle, then the Pedego Tandem Cruiser might be the right bicycle for you.

This bike comes with a built-in, wheel mounted electric motor that's whisper quiet, as well as batteries and everything else. With a turn of the throttle, you get a boost of help when climbing hills or long stretches.

It's important to note that the electric motor augments rather than takes over your bicycling experience. You can ride on straight electric power, you can simply pedal with no assistance, or you can do both at the same time. It's very attractive in its cruiser styled simplicity, and you'll just love the extra 'kick' you get when you twist that throttle.

Notes and Things to Watch For: - Good, Cheap Tandem Bicycles for Sale

When looking for tandem bicycles for sale, there are a few things you should know. I've listed them here.

  1. Tandem bicycles are larger than a conventional bike, meaning they are both heavier and longer. That will affect how you store it, the overall bicycle maneuverability, and transportation. Even the box it will come in will be pretty large. You should be prepared for this and make sure to have a good place to store it.
  2. Cheaper tandem bicycles for sale will be fairly basic. They'll have a few gears and a steel frame. Since tandems are generally used primarily for recreation, this suits most people. However, if you're interested in riding a bit faster or doing some road racing, you might want to look into higher end bikes that are lighter, more maneuverable and built for speed.
  3. I recommend avoiding the DIY 'home-built' tandem bike. A lot of people with novice welding skills will attempt to build their own in a garage. While some are successful, they rarely have the technical sophistication required to set up a dual drivetrain and make sure the frame has the proper integrity. If you're serious about it, you should buy a purpose built tandem bicycle. Sales are common online so you'll save money in the long run.

More Options:

Here are some more good tandem bikes for sale on Amazon. Feel free to take a look and see what you think.

Tandem Bike Accessories

If you're going to buy a tandem bicycle, it's worth checking out some tandem specific accessories. In particular I recommend taking a look at the tandem bike rack for your car; it will make getting around a lot easier.

What do you think about tandem cycling?

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