KidzTandem Review

Pro Reviews Video

Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and Pastajet


For anyone who has younger kids and bikes themselves regularly, you are always going to hear “When are you going to take me riding?” They don’t quite grasp the logistics and difficulty of getting them out riding, especially when it comes to mountain biking. Most of us have used kid trailers, which of course feel like you is pulling around a heavily laden sled. They are very functional, but are cumbersome and hard to maneuver, and worst of all, the kids are not getting to participate, so boredom can set in fast. Heck, how many times have you turned around, and they are soundly sleeping?

At the Outdoor portion of Interbike 2008, I bumped into the Browns Cycles booth where they had on display a tandem bike that can be used with younger children, aptly named the KidzTandem. I had a nice conversation with the owner Chris Brown of Grand Junction Colorado about the system, and I knew immediately it was a wonderful, functional and participatory bike that allows you, and your child to truly ride together. On the KidzTandem, the adult acts as the Pilot on the rear seat, doing the steering, braking, and drivetrain management, while the child on the front seat acts as the Copilot, pedaling and enjoying the views. This arrangement not only allows free conversation with the child, but makes them feel that they are part of the team. It is amazing to feel the laughter and empowerment that the child feels from this set up. To use tandem terms, the rear person is the Captain while the front is the Stoker, which is the opposite of most tandems.

NOTE: this was a 30 second empty parking lot test, and no helmets were available, please always wear a helmet

The bike comes in a normal , road and mountain version, and fits kids from 2-4 in a toddler seat or 4-7 on a traditional saddle, and it has a conservative weight limit of 100 lbs. In addition to the optional quick-change toddler seat, you can also install a large basket for groceries or a dog, and a recent addition to the lineup is the triplet version.

The frame is made from 4130 Cro-Moly steel, and comes standard with 24 speed Shimano Deore parts package in either Sunshine Yellow or Red.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • gregg says:

    Hey Brian,

    Thank you very much for the informative review! I didn’t even know such a bicycle existed. It seems like a novel idea, I will be checking into this more, myself.

    One thing though, about that first riding picture…I am definitely not one of them, but I can already hear the helmet fanatics gettin’ ready to fire one off.


  • Brian Mullin says:

    I will take the flack for the lack of helmets in the picture, but it was an empty parking lot and no helmets were available at the time. I only had 1 picture that was taken of us riding the bike together, if you look at all the other photos and the video, helmets are always being worn. Normal biking attire does not include no helmets, crocks and my daughter wearing a skirt!

  • Chris says:

    Thanks for the reveiw of the KidzTandem. It really is a unique product, and it comes from a local bike shop here in Grand Junction that really supports family riding. The weaknesses you mention (heavy, vague steering, hard to stop) are common for most off-road tandems, and the front wheel wash-out can be helped by feeding your child lots of milkshakes to increase their weight ;) Kids really do like the “up-front position” and the sense of riding they get.

  • Wish I Were Riding says:

    That is really interesting. I would be scared to death to give the steering up to my daughter though.

  • Wish I Were Riding says:

    Ha! Woops… Just watched the video. Cleared up that issue.

  • John says:

    Got one and love it!!! First off road ride was with my four year old son Koda on the Slick Rock trail in Moab. The bike is amazingly easy to ride on any terrain. He loves it and now has a love for the sport as well.

  • Chris says:

    I have had one of these for over a year now. I take my daughter 2.5 everday to school with it. She loves going on the “bike” and I get a good ride in every morning before heading to work.

    I installed saddle bags and use it to run errands on the weekends. Love this bike!

  • Shawn says:

    Could an adult ride it up front, say a woman 5’4″ 135 lbs ?

  • pastajet says:

    Ping Browns Cycles, they are best to answer that question.

  • Floyd says:

    We’ve had a KidzTandem for about 6 months now and we love it. We do everything from road riding to some fairly technical single track and enjoy every minute of it.

    We also purchased the optional child seat that works for kids that are too small to pedal. The child seat works great, but since I’m tall (6’3″) I added a longer stem and can’t turn the bars all the way without hitting the seat.

    We also use a trail-a-bike quite often to carry more than one child.

    We like the bike so much we are thinking of buying another one (the mountain bike version) next spring.

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