What has two wheels, four pedals, two seats, and one set of gears? The tandem bike, a two person bicycle, can be spotted on beachside boardwalks and other novelty bike shops. it's not a common sight, but it can be a great experience if you're looking to share a bike with someone. Well, it's great if you're both coordinated.
The hardest part about riding a tandem bike is getting up a hill. With two riders, the weight of this beast is going to be pretty unruly. It's going to take some effort to ride a tandem bike anywhere other than long stretches of flat boardwalk paths.
What better way to achieve that boost of power than an electric bike conversion kit? Adaptable to almost any bike, only a few modifications are needed to turn a standard tandem bike into an electric tandem bicycle. How difficult is this installation? By simply replacing one of the wheels with a motor wheel, installing a mount for the battery, and placing a controller on the handlebars, an electric bike conversion can be done in a few hours with some basic tools. We'll go through an overview of the installation, in case you're wondering if your tandem bike is a good fit for an electric bike motor kit.
The best electric bike motor kit on the market is the BionX electric bike kit. This uses a rear wheel motor, and can be adaptable from 20" wheels up to 700c wheels. The electric motor is also available in different speed ratings, from 250 watts to 500 watts. Since the motor comes pre-installed in a rim, you simply need to swap your existing wheel for this motor wheel.
Wondering about your gears? Luckily, a BionX motor wheel is compatible with six, seven, eight, and nine speed freewheels. These are available to order separately from the kit, so examine your cassette before purchasing the system. Though the motor wheel comes completely assembled, it may need to be trued by a bicycle shop or an experienced mechanic before installation. Shipping trucks can occasionally be rough on your package, so check with your local bike shop to make sure everything looks okay.
On an electric tandem bike, there are many suitable locations to install a battery. The BionX electric kit has the option to install the battery inside a rear rack, and this is convenient for riders who want to keep their frame open for water bottles or other accessories.
For a good weight distribution, a battery mount that screws into the water bottle mount is a great option. This keeps the battery and the motor on opposite sides of the bike, so all the weight isn't concentrated in one area. On a big electric tandem bike, this might be a safer option.
Using a BionX electric bike motor, the percentage of motor assistance is actually measured by the riders' pedal power. Depending on how much pressure is applied to the pedals, the motor will register varying levels of assistance, from 25% to 200%. It's a smooth acceleration, and it prevents the bike from jolting forward unnaturally. With two riders using the same bike, it's very helpful and easy to use.
If you're one of the lucky people that shares a tandem bike, you may want to look into turning it into an electric tandem bike. The prospect of an electric-assist motor can really help to take the strain off of a long ride, for you and your bike partner.
Check out some electric conversion kits that are available for electric tandem bikes!