Reviewed by Brian Mullin aka Gram and MTBR.com 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.
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.