KidzTandem Review

Pro Reviews Video

RIDE IMPRESSIONS (continued)

It was a real trudge going up the steeper hills, I figure with my daughters weight, and the heavier tandem frame I was pushing an extra 90 lbs. uphill. Ugh, my thighs felt it, but I figured it was good training! This is a traditional tandem with a timing chain, which means your child must pedal at the same rate as you. My daughter liked pedaling, but her input was only mildly effective on the steep sections of the trail. It was also easy for her to lose the rhythm of the pedaling, and her feet would slip off, and she would have to re-sync them back on. I had swapped out the default flat pedals for my clipless ones, which did aid on those steep hills.

It’s a bit odd sitting way behind the front wheel doing steering, and it’s doubly tough with the Copilot partially blocking the trail view, but you get used to it. It does not turn on a time like my normal bike, as it has a very long turning radius and wheelbase, so it’s sort of like trying to maneuver a big truck in a parking lot. It occasionally gave me problems negotiating turns and sharp corners, but with time you learn to compensate and give yourself more time and space to maneuver. Due to the way the steering system works combined with the rear seating, the steering input is a bit vague and not very neutral feeling. The simple and innovative steering system worked fine, and I didn’t notice any binding nor loss of control with the long bar and socket system . In deeper gravel and sand the front end tended to wash out just a bit, but it was not overwhelming and was easy to control. The additional weight and the rearward weight positioning keeps the bike very stable, and the bike did carve well, which was a pleasant surprise.

Steering System

The bike did pretty well on the bumpy terrain, and the small suspension fork did decently through the roots and rocks. I wouldn’t be taking this bike into any serious technical terrain, but it does just fine in the mild terrain that you would be riding with your child in anyway. This is a big long and heavy bike, so it does not stop on a dime, and it takes some good hand strength and distance to slow it down. Again, it was much like driving my pickup truck, which was also handy to have to haul around a very long bike like the KidzTandem.

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme 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 and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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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.

    -gregg

  • 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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