Vintage tandem bicycles are some of the most sought after vintage bicycles on the market. Tandem bikes are already associated with romance and nostalgia, so finding a vintage version only makes these feelings just that much sweeter.
Tandem bicycles could be considered the first customized bicycle. The first tandem bicycle was created when an inventor desired a bicycle built for two, so he welded two bicycles together to create one. By the early 1800's the tandem bicycle design was very popular and marketed as "romantic" bicycles and "bicycles for couples."
Vintage and classic tandem bicycles on the market today include the bicycle tandem, which has two wheels, two sets of handlebars, two seats, two sets of cranks, and one timing chain.
The second type of vintage tandem bicycle available today is often called the tricycle version because it has three wheels with a single wheel in front and two rear wheels.
The final type of tandem bicycles available is the recumbent tandem bicycle. This type of tandem bicycle sits the riders in reclined positions instead of upright. Vintage recumbent tandem bicycles are definitely the most rare and difficult to find, and they are usually side-by-side instead of one in front of the other.
Did you know...?
Did you know that by definition, a bicycle that holds two riders side by side is not a tandem bicycle, but a sociable?
These two types of bicycles are often confused. Sociables were also used in olden times, but as they were considerably rarer, your chances of getting your hands on a vintage tandem bicycle are much higher.
Purchasing Vintage Tandem Bicycles
Vintage and classic tandem bicycles can be quite rare, depending upon the maker. There are companies, like Schwinn and Columbia, that made many tandem bicycles, so they are easier to get, and therefore, not as valuable. Then, there are companies, like Rixe who produced fewer bicycles, so they are much more difficult to find, and therefore more valuable.
The Schwinn Company was founded in the late 1800's by a German engineer. It became the dominant bicycle manufacturer in the United States throughout most of the 20th century. Bicycles built by the Schwinn Company are definitely the most commonly sought after brand of bicycles by collectors, particularly for those collecting tandem bicycles.
Schwinn is so popular because it's considered by many an American icon. Although Schwinn vintage tandem bicycles are more available today, they can fetch up to $1000.00 for mint condition.
If you are interested to learn more about this famous maker, you are invited to visit my page about vintage Schwinn bicycles.
Columbia was founded in the 1870's by Albert Pope, but began as the Pope Manufacturing Company. By the early 1900's Pope Manufacturing joined a host of other bicycle companies to form the American Bicycle Company. This company eventually became known as the Westfield Manufacturing Company in 1933, and by 1961, it became known as the Columbia Manufacturing Company. This company is still popular today, and it's credited with many breakthroughs in the biking industry.
If you want to know more about this maker, you are invited to visit my page about Columbia bicycles.
Rixe is a German Company that imported some of their bicycles to the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. Rixe produced a decent amount of tandem bicycles, but not many were imported to the U.S., and therefore, they are difficult to find today. If you can get your hands on a mint condition Rixe vintage tandem bicycle, you have found a very rare find. You will pay a price for that rarity though. These bicycles go from around $800.00 to around $1500.00.
If you love vintage bicycles, and you're into tandem bicycles as well, don't get discouraged about the availability of vintage tandem bicycles on the market. When you finally find the perfect bicycle, knowing it is one-of-a-kind will only make it that much sweeter!