Xtracycle and Tandem…about the same length

I think most people would automatically assume that a Tandem is way longer than any bike out there. But I recently took some pictures to compare the two, and find out which is longer.

Here’s the KHS Tandemania Alite.

The Xtracycle.

Side by side the tandem is about the same length…give or take a couple of inches.


  1. Mindy

    Wow – I never would have guessed they were the same length! Out of curiosity, do they feel very different from one another when riding (for the pilot of course!)?

    Keep up the great work! I love your blogs.
    Brookings, OR

  2. RL Policar (Post author)

    Handling is a world of a difference. If you notice the Xtracycle seat position is further back, my center of gravity is …well in the center. The tandem sits me up further towards the front tire.

    The tandem does feel longer than the xtracycle.

  3. Nate

    Okay, so I work for the company, but I noticed this posting and felt the need to weigh in. The wheelbase for the smaller Tandemania according to KHS’s spec sheet ( is 67.5 inches. The wheelbase of an 18″ Marin Novato paired with an Xtracycle Freeradical is 55.5 inches, or about 12 inches shorter than a tandem. The reason why “the tandem does feel longer than the xtracycle” is no mystery. The tandem IS longer. Let’s be a little more scientific here. I’d appreiciate it if this posting were removed only because of its innaccuracy.

  4. RL Policar

    I got out my handy dandy measuring tape and found your posting to be true. However, I was talking about “length” not wheelbase.

    The Ibex/Xtracycle combo I have has a wheelbase of 57″. My tandem, just like you mentioned is 67.5″. But what I was trying to show on the pictures is that the two bikes have almost similar lengths….not wheel base.

    Thanks for weighing in.


  5. Ghost Rider

    Nate, I find it a bit odd that you cry “unscientific” and then quote the lengths of two different bikes from the ones mentioned in the original post…that’s pretty unscientific, too, if you ask me!

  6. Moe

    I think that the point of the post is being missed, yes the Xtracycle Freeradical is shorter than the Tandem, but nobody is trying to undermine it. We were just trying to show how long a bike can be with an Xtracycle Freeradical attached to it using a Tandem as a visual reference.

  7. Nate

    Assuming both your bikes have 26″ wheels, the difference in wheelbase should be the same as the difference in overall length, minus 3 inches that the freerad frame extends beyond the rear tire.

    My concern here is that often folks who haven’t ridden an Xtracycle have a perception that the Xtracycle is too long for them, and I think that this posting lends to that perception based on very loose figures.

    I did try my best to estimate the wheelbase of the tandem mentioned in the post, and I chose an average size bike on hand given that I could not accurately speak to the dimensions of the mountain bike, but it sounds from Policar’s response that the Marin I was referencing was a bit longer even than his Ibex.

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