Diamondback Wildwood Tandem Bike

DESCRIPTION

  • Spinner Edge-4 80mm Suspension Fork
  • Shimano EF-35 Easy Fire Shifters
  • Alex Double Wall Wheels
  • Tektro Linear Brakes
  • Avenir DLX 2-Density Comfort Saddle

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-1 of 1  
[Mar 15, 2008]
Recreational Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Flat-foot design allows easy stopping because feet can easily reach the ground while still sitting on the saddle. The forward position of the front spockets allows full leg extension for efficient pedaling. Seems to have a trouble-free nature with sturdy components and thoughtful design. Looks very nice, almost too stylish. The shifter allows smooth gear changes at any time, even while climbing hills or while standing still. Effective kickstand works much better than any I have had on other bikes. It is a really long one. Seats are extremely comfortable and the big tires give a luxurious ride and handle curb drops well.

Weakness:

The front & rear drum brakes look nice, but they lack power. Squeezing the brake levers to the maximum with considerable hand pressure does not lead to skidding while 450 lbs of riders are on board. Got a little nervous while descending steep DC-area hills on this bike and made sure to brake early and not build up too much speed. Brakes are fine if you are not doing a lot of hills but I would like to find a way to improve the brakes (add disk brakes perhaps). With skinnier riders the brakes might be okay. Electra.com says the Hell Betty has coaster brakes but it does not. We can pedal backwards and that does not cause braking. It has hand brakes for the front seat only. This is not a high performance road racing bike. The tires only take 50 psi so there is the rolling resistance you would expect from a beach cruiser style retro bike. Only three speeds are available. Three are about enough but a few more would be nice to have in our hilly neighborhood. With any tandem, you must expect reduced maneuverability as compared to a normal bike, especially at low speeds.

Could not resist a model year closout deal on an Electra Hell Betty Tandem. It is a modern design with quality components so I was very surprised to get it at such a low price from a full-service bike shop. Emphasis is on comfort and beach cruiser retro style. Like most Electra bikes, it places the pedals a few inches further forward than the seat post, giving some of the comfort benefits of a recumbent bike. It allows the seats to be lower. I also have a 2006 K2 Seaside bike which has that same feature. I enjoyed the feel of the Seaside, so that influenced me to try the Hell Betty. The design makes the bike extra comfortable, safe, and easy to control. That is extra important to me because I am sharing the tandem with my autistic son and want to keep the risks to a minimum. He rides well on a standard bike (he stole my Seaside so I took over his old hybrid bike, a Specialized Crossroads). I got the tandem thinking he would be willing to ride more often if we also had the tandem option. We had a nice 8 mile ride today and found the bike very pleasant but not quite as easy to control as our non-tandem bikes. That should improve as we get used to tandem riding. My son likes the bike and he took off without me while I was in the house looking for our helmets. Lost him for a while but he came home happy after ten minutes alone in the neighborhood with the tandem. Was concerned that the very wide 3 inch rear tire would be a speed-reducing fashion statement. Did not seem all that slow, however, and smoothed out the ride when we left the road and pedeled over some grass, dirt, and tree roots. We passed some bike path traffic by leaving the trail and going around on the grass and the big tires worked well for that.

Similar Products Used:

Rented a more traditional tandem bike last year. I think it was a low-end Burley tandem, about 8 years old. Handling and speed were about the same but the Electra has the advantage for style and comfort. My K2 Seaside also has beach cruiser styling and forward positioned pedals. It is not a tandem so it is easier to ride and it has stronger brakes and 21 speeds.

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