1980 Buddy Bike Side-by-Side Sociable Tandem

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The side-by-side tandem is one of the most interesting bicycle frame variations, introduced originally (and patented) by Punnett Cycle Mfg Co in America in 1896 (see illustration below). A similar machine was designed and sold by Wolff-American the following year. Rudge-Whitworth made a similar machine in England, though very few were sold.

This was the heyday of the ‘courting tandem’ when, for the first time, young men and women were able to go off together socially, leaving their chaperone behind. Other tandems of the era required the woman to sit at the front, with the steering controlled by the man seated behind; so the side-by-side concept was seen as a very practical novelty.

The idea died out after the turn of the century, as passenger trailers, and then sidecars, were introduced, for the motorcycles (‘motor-bicycles’) that came onto the market. But the idea was resurrected in Australia in the 1930s by the innovative cycle builder Bruce Small, of Malvern Star. And a few builders since have made a similar side-by-side style of tandem as a tricycle, with two wheels behind for added stability.

The idea was reintroduced with the ‘Buddy Bike’ in 1980, but it was only in production for a few years.

SOCIABLE TANDEM

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1980 Buddy Bike Side-by-Side Sociable Tandem

26″ Wheels

Five-speed Gears

(Now sold)

This side by side tandem did not sell enough to be in production for long. These days they are just as likely to be display pieces, such as the one hanging at the Portland Art Museum. This one is in excellent unrestored original condition and ready to display or ride.

 

 

 

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PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

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