Looking for a way to ride safely in traffic with your child on their own bicycle? Or, to haul your kiddo once they tire out?
Consider the FollowMe Tandem. This coupler is a great alternative to a traditional trailer-cycle as it allows your child to ride their own bicycle and still attach to your bicycle when they need it.
Review In A Nutshell
- Allows child to ride their own bike until they tire out
- Better stability than a traditional trailer-cycle
- Keeps child tucked safely behind you when riding in traffic
- Durable and well-constructed
- Requires semi-permanent installation of hardware on both the child’s bike and the parent’s bike
- Heavier and more complex than a tow rope
Price: $ 39999 CAD ($282.61 USD as of this writing)
FollowMe Tandem Detailed Review
How It Works
The FollowMe Tandem is a coupler that attaches an adult bike to a child’s bike, and allows you to haul the bike–and the child on it. The kiddo is able to pedal along, or simply rest.
The coupler installs to the adult’s bike via the quick-release skewer on the rear wheel. (If you don’t have a rear quick-release, there are adapters available). It then attaches to your child’s bike via both their front wheel and a bracket installed to their down-tube.
The really cool thing about the FollowMe is that it folds up out of the way (via a strap to your saddle or rear rack) when not in use. This allows your child to ride their bike solo, and only hook up when they are tired or when you’re riding in traffic.
Ideal Solution For Urban Riding With Kids
The FollowMe Tandem is perfectly designed for families who do most of their riding in an urban environment. It keeps kids tucked in tight behind mom or dad so that they can’t swerve out into traffic.
It’s also compatible with bikes with rear child seats and/or a rear rack, including long-tail cargo bikes, which makes it a good option for parents who want to have a child on the rear deck of their bike and an older kiddo getting towed behind.
Allows Kids To Ride Their Own Bike Independently
We love that the FollowMe Tandem, unlike a trailer-cycle, allows your child to ride their own bike for much of your outing. Kids can start out on their own bicycle and then hook up when they get tired or when you get to a higher traffic area.
Because it folds forward when not in use, it’s also easier to ride with solo than a trailer-cycle. This makes it good for hauling a kiddo to school, and then riding home alone. And vice versa at the end of the day.
Better Stability Than Traditional Trailer-Cycles
The biggest bummer about trailer-cycles is that they are usually pretty wobbly. Depending on the design (seatpost mounted vs rack mounted), this can either be mildly annoying or seriously challenging to keep it upright.
The FollowMe Tandem is significantly more stable than any other trailer-cycle I’ve tested out. While I still feel some sway if my son is goofing off or leaning significantly to one side, the weight feels much more manageable to me.
Attaching and Detaching From Your Child Is Quick
The FollowMe Tandem is relatively quick to use while out and about. The company advertises it as taking under 30 seconds to attach or detach from your child, and I’d say that’s probably true especially once you have a bit of practice.
The one thing to be aware of, however, is that the adult’s bike needs to stay upright while attaching or detaching the child’s bike. This can be a challenge.
If your kiddo is old enough to hold up your bike for you, then that’s one option. Otherwise, you’ll need to find something to prop it up on (not always easy), or use a good sturdy kickstand on your bike. The latter option probably makes the most sense if you’re going to be attaching/detaching on the go.
Not As Easy Or Flexible To Use As A Tow Rope System
A tow rope system, like the TowWhee or TraxMTB, is an alternative to a trailer-cycle that I often recommend. Compared to the FollowMe tandem, a tow rope offers a lot more ease of use and flexibility. They weigh virtually nothing, require little or no installation, can be swapped between parents and kids, and can be used for off-road riding.
That said, there are still reasons why someone would want to choose the FollowMe over a tow rope. With a tow rope, your child is free to swerve side to side, so it doesn’t provide the same protection in traffic that the FollowMe does.
A tow rope also requires your child to pay attention, steer their own bike, maintain the distance between their front wheel and yours, and brake at the right times. On the FollowMe tandem, none of this is an issue.
Initial Installation Is Somewhat Time-Consuming And It’s Not Compatible With All Bikes
The initial installation and set-up of the FollowMe took me upward of an hour. The instruction booklet was confusing at times (at least for me). It also requires the use of tools that are not included, including the required cutting of a metal strip. (I made my husband take over that part of the assembly; he used a hacksaw but you could also use metal sheers).
If you’re mechanically inclined, I’m sure you’ll have no problem. If you struggle to assemble Ikea furniture, for example, you might struggle with this is as well. Taking it to a local bike shop for installation is always an option.
Your bike (or your child’s bike) may require special adapters. Here are a couple of notes on bike compatibility:
- Works with kids bikes with wheels between 12″ and 20″.
- Kids bikes with a quick-release skewer on their front wheel require an adapter.
- Works with adult bicycle wheels between 26″ to 29″ and a maximum tire width of 2″.
- Adult bikes require a quick-release skewer on the rear wheel. If the rear wheel is bolt-on or has a thru-axle, you will require an adapter.
For more specific compatibility questions, I recommend reaching out to the N. American distributor, Trucavelo, before ordering.
Finally, know that there is hardware that remains semi-permanently installed on both your bike and your child’s bike (the most noticeable of which will be a bracket on your kiddo’s down-tube as well as pegs that extend from your child’s front axle).
This hardware will be left on the child’s bike even when not in use with the FollowMe.
Not Simple To Switch Between Bikes
Aside from the installation, the only other con I could forsee with the FollowMeTandem is that it’s not easy to switch between bikes. If you want to use with two different children, you can always order extra hardware for the second child’s bike, but you will still have to adjust the tray on the FollowMe to properly fit the bike if they have different wheel sizes.
Additionally, it’s not quick to swap between adult bikes (though it’s doable). If you and your spouse trade off school pick up and drop off, for instance, there are probably easier options.
The last thing I should note is that the FollowMe Tandem is well built. The frame is made of Chromoly steel which is both lightweight and durable. You should be able to use the bike with multiple children, and then still sell it on Craiglist (or similar) for a decent price).
All that said, we have heard from several parents that have the FollowMe Tandem, that it has suffered from rust (cosmetic only) especially in rainy climates like Seattle.
Fits On 12″ to 20″ Kids Bikes
The coupler works on kids bikes with wheels sized between 12″ and 20″. It will NOT work on kids 24 inch bikes.
Additionally, there is a 45 kg (99 lb) weight limit, including both your child and their bike. My son is 50 pounds and rode the 20-inch 19 lb Batch Bicycle with the FollowMe for a total of 69 pounds.
Even if your child weighs a bit more, or has a slightly heavier bike, there should be plenty of room within that weight limit.
Sold by Trucavelo In North America
FollowMe Tandem is a Swiss company, but is distributed in North America by Trucavelo. They are also your point of contact if you have any questions about bike compatibility or other customer service issues.
Bottom-Line: A Great Option For Families Riding In An Urban Environment
If you do a lot of bike commuting in an urban environment, the FollowMe Tandem is an excellent solution for biking with kids. It keeps them safe in traffic, and gets them home once they’ve tired of riding their own bike.
The quality of construction on the FollowMe is high and should get you through years of biking with your child.
FTC Disclosure: Trucavelo provided a FollowMe Tandem to us to facilitate this review. We did not receive any monetary compensation, and all opinions are our own.