Tandem bicycles can carry anywhere from two riders to 10. There are several styles, such as mountain, touring, recumbent, hand-and-foot and three-wheeled.
Tandem bicycles are used for recreational purposes or in special events such as the Paralympics, in which visually impaired and full-sight partners guide each other as a team through competition.
Tandem parts are generally the same as any other pedal bike, expect for: a stoker stem to attach to the post of the captain's seat; a double set of handle bars, with one set wider if one person only rides in front of the driver; longer bike cables; off-road rear derailleurs to handle all of the gears, and double or more seats and pedals.
Generally, two or more cyclists pedal together, with the rider in the front responsible for steering. Some bikes, such as the tandem recumbent, allow the person in the front to refrain from pedaling but steer the bike while the other rider pedals. The person in the front has control over braking.
The front rider is often called a steersman, captain or pilot. The rear or successive rider is generally referred to as the rear admiral or stoker.
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Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.