Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Multi-Seat Tandems

Short Attention Span Edition (Humor)

 

1. How Come You Don't See Many Triplets, Quads or Quints?

They're expensive and they require a close-knit family that enjoys being together and having fun.

2. Why Not Buy A Second Tandem?

Undermines the whole idea behind the tandem; many riding together as one.

3. What Are Some of the Logistical Issues?

They're long, heavy and take up a lot of space in the home, they're awkward to haul around on top of a small car and they cost a fortune to ship via air freight.

4. Who Builds Tandems With 3 or More Seats?

Far more builders than you suspect.

5. Do I Need To Go Through A Tandem Dealer?

Not if you can afford to make some mistakes.

6. How Do You Determine The Right Number of Seats?

Count how many people sit around the dinner table each night.

7. What's the Best Material For A Multi-Seat Tandem Frame?

The one you can afford.

8. How Do You Size The Rider Compartments?

You don't, the builder will do it for you.

9. How Does The Captain Control The Bike?

He pays attention to what his tandem dealer tells him and then follows those instructions religiously.

10. Do They Require A Special Fork?

Yes, and if you're lucky yours will just happen to come with one.

11. Do They Require Special Wheels?

Yes, but since no one makes special wheels you do the next best thing; you use the strongest 700c or 26" wheels available.

12. Do Triplets, Quads and Quints Require Special Brakes?

Yes, but they don't make those either so once again you do the next best thing; you use the strongest rim brakes you can find and fit an Arai drum brake to the bike configured for use as a drag brake.

13. What About Gearing & Crank Phase?

What about it? Ask you dealer.

14. What About Frame Couplers & Convertible Tandems?

If you got the moolah, get the couplers. It will make life a lot easier and in some cases $2,300 for couplers is a lot less than $35,000 for a Suburban.

15. Any Special Recommendations Regarding Paint & Finish?

Yes, be tasteful. Nobody likes an ugly tandem.

16. Are There Any Special Accessories That Are Unique To Multi-Seat Tandems?

Intercoms, gear position indicators, diaper bags, and more handlebar attachments than you can believe.

17. How Much Money Are We Talking About And What About Re-Sale?

$2k can get you into an entry level "family tandem", but expect to shell out at least $5k for a premium triplet. As for resale value, never enough.

18. Are Multi-Seat Tandems More Difficult or Expensive To Maintain?

Yes.

19. Do You Find That You Attract A Lot Of Attention On A Multi-Seater?

Yes, but we're not talking babe magnet here.

20. How Do We Know If A Multi-Seater Will Be Right For Us?

If you've read this far you've probably got a hook in your mouth and your dealer or builder is poised to reel you in.

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