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Tandem bicycle rental | Hire a tandem bike in Tenerife

Hi Leslie

I’m really a tandem rider but my new wife is not a cyclist. However I’d like to try taking her on a tandem along the sea front one day while we’re in Tenerife. Are tandems available for hire in Playa do you know, or for hire in Tenerife generally? When I’ve been over in Tenerife with my late wife we took our folding Tandem Two’sDay with us but I no longer have this tandem and in any event it wouldn’t be worth it just for one day!

We are coming to Tenerife for a couple of months – possible Jan / Feb and I would like to hire a tandem (non – racing). I am aware from your web site that this may not be part of your stock but could you advise us on this. My partner is quite small in stature and she has not learnt to cycle – hence the tandem.


Hello tandemers!

Well I’ve now had three enquiries regarding Tandems in the last month or so, so I’m starting to sit up & take notice!

I don’t have any tandems for rent, and I’m almost certain that no one else on the island does either. I’m not even aware of any shops on Tenerife that sell tandems. You might find it to pretty darn tough going with all the hills about. Although going downhill would certainly be a blast an a half!!! If I get more enquires I’ll look into it for late 2009, but at this stage I’m still augmenting the normal road bike fleet.

Tandem rentals were never something I would have thought of previously, but I think it could be a definite future possibility. I’ve noticed that I get a lot of couples enquiring about two bikes who obviously want to ride together… often very mis-matched sizes (latest example: man needs 60cm frame, women goes with 49cm). I suppose it’s not something they might have thought of ever trying out. And I’d certainly like to have a go with my fiancé who is a bit on the clumsy side. hahaha

Folks, I don’t want to get your hopes up for summer 2009, but I’d like to get your feedback on a few things regarding tandems:

1) What sort of price would you be willing to pay for a day’s rental of a quality tandem? I have to ask that, because a ~$3000 tandem eventually has to pay for itself, otherwise it isn’t economical. I can say that it would be at least double the price of an individual bike, because it would be a specialist item, probably around 50-80€/day.

2) With that sort of premium, do you think people would prefer to rent two seperate bikes, or is it really all about being together?

3) Can anyone explain to me how hard it is to ride a tandem uphill for extended periods of time? Would any of you use it to tackle the 35km 2000m Mt Teide climb + descent?! Most of the gradients here are between 3.something & up to about 10%. Or would you just intend to use it for a cruise around the local resorts…

I checked out a few production tandem websites including cannondale, trek, co-motion and Mrazek, and I like the looks of the latter two best…

Really, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before we grow even more, and I can afford to invest more money in the business. Our bike rental service is not quite 2.5 years old. I started with two road rental bikes in late 2006 and now we have about 25 quality bikes to rent out, with 2 or 3 more on the way.

I think the tandem idea is very cool, but I’d like your experience and opinions about tandeming in mountainous terrain first, then I can evaluate the plan and only then think about getting one in future when I can afford to add one to my fleet of rental bikes.

Thanks & hope to hear your opinions.

3 Responses to “Tandem bicycle rental | Hire a tandem bike in Tenerife”

  1. As you can see, I’m very interested to see what sort of tandem people would want to hire in Tenerife. Please check out this interactive poll.

    At this stage, I’d be more incluined to purchase a top of the range tandem, one that’s capable of tackling the hills, so that commands a premium. I suppose the rental price really depends on whether it’s going to gather dust or get used every day. One of the other enquiries was just a guy wanting a day’s rental who wanted to cruise by the Las Americas shore with his wife. He responded saying that you can rent tandems in the UK for £8/day. While that’s nice, I suppose this is not really what is all about. It’s primarily about fitness, but also about getting out to see the real Tenerife, taking advantage of the great weather & great climbing.

    Can you tell me one more thing – when climbing uphill on a tandem, it’s normally done seated, right? Is it possible for two experienced riders to climb in the standing position, and does that require much practise on a tandem first? I suppose it would also depend on the stiffness of the frame, right?

    We’re the official dealer for Mrazek Bicycles, and I actually forgot that they offer a tandem in their lineup (although that’s not commonly known).
    I bet you that’s one tandem you may not have seen before! Actually the price is quite reasonable…

    It would be good to make that a part of my fleet one day! Although I’d probably choose 26″ slicks, 8″ disc brakes, a rigid fork, more of a road set-up…

  2. Hello Leslie

    Thanks for the reply. i don’t know just what that chap would get for £8 a day in the UK!

    Normally you wouldn’t ‘honk’ on a tandem going up a hill. As you say it does depend on the stiffness of the frame and the riders have to be experienced. The pilot does feel every twitch of his stoker so they have got to get used to acting together – this is something new tandemists find difficulty with at first. The two chaps I mentioned often both got out of the saddle on steep bits. I have very occasionally done the same but my wife would still remain seated.

    Another thing about riding uphill on a tandem – several tandem pairs ride with their pedals out of sync, by anything from a few degrees up to 90°. I’ve not really tried this myself but they say that as it avoids the dead spot when both pedals are vertical it’s an advantage when riding uphill, and can also make it easier to start off. Experienced tandemists will start with the stoker up on the saddle with her feet secured in the pedals and the pilot then pushes off . It can help if the stoker’s pedals are a bit behind the pilot’s so she can continue to push down while the pilot gets up on the saddle. The one thing I would be concerned about though would be one set of pedals hitting the ground on a tight corner if the offset was too great! There’s been quite a bit of discussion about this on our website.

    That’s interesting about Mrazek having a tandem – I haven’t come across them before. i did have a look at their solo models

    You mention disk brakes. There’s been quite a bit of discussion about whether these are suitable for the front of road tandems – apparently there have been several cases of the front wheel jumping out of the frame because of the torque and where the wheel was secured by quick release skewers.

    I will be in touch with you again shortly about that bike hire.


  3. Hello,

    Thanks for answering my queries in such detail! You’re obviously quite experienced with tandems…

    That’s an interesting point about the front wheel coming out!! Is there a way of bolting the axle onto the front dropout then?
    I did do a few searches on the bulletin board regarding this issue you mention, but couldn’t locate the thread in question… would you be able to point me in the right direction?

    The thing is, I’m quite impressed with the stopping power of my hayes HFX 8″ disc brakes on my FS “all mountain” bike. This bike can descend 1000m vertically on ~15% slopes, with zero brake fade. It’s amazing. If you do that shortcut on a normal bike (basically straight down the mountain), the rims are too hot to touch; the risk of tyre blowouts is too much.

    Also, disc brakes are reasonably priced these days. But the main reason it that the roads on this island is either UP or DOWN. I just don’t think a traditional caliper brake would cut it on some of the descents on this island… there’s the main 2300m descent, which isn’t that steep, and wind resitance slows you down enough (maybe not for a tandem though, I don’t know). But it’s the 1000m descents in Anaga that worry me. Brakes are the most important piece of kit on your bike here… and safety is paramount. to give you some idea, on a normal road bike, good quality pads can wear out in under a year! In the wet for example, cheapy road caliper / V-brake pads will just eat away in a few weeks of riding. On a MTB, standard resin pads won’t even last 3 or 4 months, so they have to be sintered. They’re essential.

    If honking uphill isn’t really an option for inexperienced cyclists, the other thing I’m going to have to get right would be the gearing. I’d like for fit cyclists to be able to get up a 10% grade without absolutely torturing themselves. The standard gearing (for a single road bike) is to have a 30/39/53 crankset coupled with a 12-25 casette. I suspect I’d need to get a much wider gearing range than that.

    It think I’ll have to equip a MTB tandem with road bars + slicks to discourage offroad use. I just can’t see a tandem going on offroad downhill trails. A recipe for disaster. With shiftlevers, this means that the disc brakes will have to be mechanical…

    * Perhaps you’d know: is there a rear internally-geared hub out there that is disc brake compatible?
    * Any advice regarding wheel spoke counts? Once again, the main thing I look for in my bikes is not lightweight, but reliability.

    It will still be a while before I can purchase the tandem, but I think it would be great fun.
    Thanks a million for all your tips so far.


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