The World’s First Folding Tandem Bicycle



Why did Bike Friday make a tandem that folds?

The Original Tandem Two’sDay in 1994 came with drop bars as it was designed for fast rides!
The Tandem Two’sday: the world’s first folding Travel Tandem!
When folded, the Tandem Two’sDay fits in a small car trunk, hall closet, back of your minivan, or disassembles to pack in 2 airline suitcases. 

Bike Friday Genealogy Part 4

(see Genealogy Part 1-3 at bottom of this story)

World’s first folding tandem was the Bike Friday Two’sDay

It started with fast bike rides and two brothers who wanted to travel. In 1994, the Tandem Two’sDay was born, care of Hanz Scholz design skills.

Alan and Hanz knew the joys of riding together for racing and touring. They had been tandem riding since 1970 in Fargo ND and built the first tandems for Burley Design in the 1980’s.

“It was a natural step, once we made the first Bike Friday fit into a suitcase and ‘rides as good as your best bike’ to see if we could make a tandem do that too.”
-Hanz Scholz

Ambitious dreams, energetic youth, passion for cycling, lots of persistence and late nights, plus financial help from good friend Irv Housinger (a tandem owner from the Burley Tandem days) made it happen.

World’s first folding tandem and also fits into 2 suitcases

Everyone keeping up is the best!
Hanz (left) and Alan (right) racing a custom tandem they built


Next came the Family Tandem to bring the kids along in 1996

It was a necessity and an uncompromising passion for cycling that gave birth to the Burley Trailer. With no other alternatives available, Bike Friday co-founder (and Burley co-founder), Alan Scholz developed the trailer to carry his two young daughters by bicycle.


Hanna (now Bike Friday President) & Fraeda (now in the Bike Friday Production Team) as test dummies.

After his successful trailer design, Alan envisioned the next step as a bicycle that he could ride with his daughters as stokers, not just precious cargo. Independent spirits that they were, both girls quickly took to their own bikes and Alan shelved that dream for a while. Then 15 years later came Sarah, Alan’s third daughter.

Alan’s vision when for his first prototype adult/child bicycle for himself and Sarah was a family bike that could grow with his daughter. A bike that could adjust to fit the whole family, allowing a child or adult of short stature to pilot or co-pilot. The design of Hanz’s incredible performance tandem, the Tandem Two’sDay, greatly informed the design of the Family Tandem. “The low step-over height of our bikes was critical, there’s no way a child could reach the pedals without it,” says Alan.

After a few design tweaks, the bike was ready for little Sarah; she couldn’t have been more excited to discover it under the Christmas tree. She knew it was for her and climbed into the saddle. When it came time to pack the tandem into the TravelCases though, it didn’t fit!

Next came the hacksaw – a bike designer’s friend

Alan went into the garage and cut the first Family Tandem into pieces to fit into a suitcase. Then came the tooling to build the Family Tandem Traveler – that packs into 2 suitcases, or your car trunk…
Alan and his youngest daughter Sarah on the first Family Tandem
Alan and daughter Hanna (now Bike Friday President)
Hanz and his first daughter Gretta out for a ride on the Family Tandem

Two bicycles, for FIVE people in ONE trunk?!?

The Scholz family of five packs up for vacation with their Family Tandem and Triple, but will it all fit? Surely, this is madness!
The lawn made for the perfect workstation. With the pieces all apart, they could be carefully puzzled into the trunk. But there were no guarantees of success. 
Mission accomplished! Two bikes for five people in one trunk, and with enough room to spare for the rest of the gear.
The Family Tandem, as it became known, was a huge hit with Alan’s friends and neighbors. The first families to test it out couldn’t wait to get their hands on one, and Alan knew he had hit the mark. Finally, a bike that could be easily shared amongst all family members, great and small. In fact, the rapid success of the Family Tandem inspired Alan to extend the frame further to include a third rider.
Alan’s daughter Fraeda, Bike Friday expert Walter Lapchynski, and Hanna crew the Family Triple Traveler.

But what about the fold?

The Family Tandem was a slight departure from the traditional Bike Fridays, in that it disassembled as opposed to folding. Of course, the Family Tandem still packed into the standard TravelCases. A brand new innovation, the stacker, was designed to allow the two cases to stack together as a trailer! The stacker carried on the tradition of the incredible, fully self-contained, travel system that Bike Friday had come to be known for. In fact, by this time in Bike Friday’s history our bikes had traveled to more than 50 countries! 
Here is the full tandem travel system ready for adventure
The Bike Friday Tandemonium band playing at the Eugene Celebration
(We won the best picture of the parade)

Stay tuned for our next installment all about

our family cargo bike, the Haul-a-Day

Transportation Options Coordinator for the City of Eugene, Lindsay Selser, with her two kiddos on the Haul-a-Day

Did you miss the first installments of the Bike Friday Genealogy?

Bike Friday Genealogy Part 1: How the First Bike Friday was Born
Bike Friday Genealogy Part 2: Bike Friday Riders Continue to Blow us Away
Bike Friday Genealogy Part 3: Inventing the Pocket Rocket

6 Responses

    1. Michael, we’ve got a folding tandem, so we’ve got you covered! Get in touch with us with what you’re thinking about doing and how you’d like it configured and we can work up a quote for you. Thanks!

    1. Sorry, Jan, but we do not build quads. I do know that the number one resource for tandems in America, our dealer in New Jersey, Tandems East, has been doing e-assist stuff and can probably at least make some good suggestions. Find them here: Good luck!

  1. interested in a quote for a folding tandem, my wife and I ride trails we are in our 70’s so nothing rad thanks John

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