TerraTrikes entry-level Rover has been an unmitigated success. It’s sold in huge numbers and has brought a lot of new riders into the recumbent trike segment. It’s also proven to be a very adaptable design that has spawned several rather major modifications. The most major of these is TerraTrike’s $899 tandem attachement. I got a chance to try one of these out with my son recently. We didn’t ride it long enough for a full on review, but I thought I’d share what we learned here.
At first glance, the Rover tandem looks like… well… a Rover tandem. The tandem kit retains the same square tube, industrial look of the single. I don’t think that anyone will ever call it pretty but it works. I didn’t have a scale handy but when we moved the Tandem around I found that it didn’t feel nearly as heavy as I expected it to be.
My stoker was my 12 year old son. He’s about 5’2” and around 90 pounds. I’m 5’11” and about 200 lbs. We both fit on the Rover Tandem just fine with plenty of room for adjustment either way.
Once we got suited up and rolling, my son and I both quickly realized that this is not a very fast trike. That said, I can honestly say that I’ve never really been on a tandem trike that I would qualify as “fast”. On the upside, we did notice that the handling was very good and the turning circle is phenomenally tight. The Rover Tandem can easily do a u-turn in spaces tighter than most single trikes can.
The stock 8-speed drivetrain is fine on a single Rover but you’ll be looking for a lot more gears if you plan on horsing a heavy tandem up and down any real hills. That said, Parker and I did get the Rover Tandem up to the top of a rather large one. Going back down was the highlight of our Rover Tandem test ride.
The GPS read a max speed of 42.1 mph. I can say that the Rover Tandem handled just fine at that speed. It wasn’t as rock solid as a Greenspeed GTT but it was more than adequate. However, when it came time to stop at the bottom one glaring fault became apparent. The Rover’s stock brakes are simply not up to this sort of abuse. They work great on the single but they barely got the Rover stopped in time. We survived but larger rotors would be a very good choice for this trike.
And of course the biggest selling point of the Rover Tandem other than its price is that it can be added to an existing Rover and that same trike can be converted back into a single. This isn’t a quick process but it can easily be done in an afternoon.
Despite the flaws, it’s pretty hard not to give the Rover Tandem a thumbs up with a few caveats. If you’re looking for a cheaper tandem to ride on flatter bike paths on a Sunday afternoon, it’s impossible not to recommend the Rover Tandem. Ditto if you have a special needs rider in mind. The Rover’s square tubing makes it very easy to modify for that purpose. Just know that if you have any serious riding in mind, you’ll want to upgrade the drivetrain and brakes. Which is fine really… You can sink a grand into upgrades and still have a tandem trike that costs $1600 less than the next least expensive option. And by the way… That $4600 tandem is also a TerraTrike.