Customer Reviews: Kent Dual Drive Tandem Comfort Bike, 26-Inch, Silver
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on August 22, 2007
I ordered the Kent Tandem and it took about 5 days to arrive. I expected this to be a "BICYCLE KIT" and it met my expectations 100%. I removed every component from the frame one by one and inspected/lubed/re-assembled back on the frame and adjusted. The ONLY thing that had even a trace of grease on it was one of the bolts for the stoker handlebar clamp(Seriously). Every bearing was dry. The rear wheel was missing 5 balls on the gear side.I mic'ed the balls on all the bearings and all were within .0001 in. or less difference. Both tires had maybe 10 pounds of air in them. I let what little air out and pulled the tires to inspect the wheels and spokes. The spoke strip on the rear wheel was pushed over and not covering the spokes in two spots so there was a sure flat if I would have just put air in it without checking. The front tire was OK. The front wheel was within .080 in. of true both horizontal and vertical. The rear wheel was out approx .600 in. horizontal and .080 in. vertical. It wouldn't even roll without the tire hitting the frame. I trued both wheels to +/- .020 in.("close enough" for a bicycle) along with setting a little backlash on the spokes in the process. As with everything else on the bike, The brakes and both derailers weren't even close to being adjusted correctly. The return springs on the rear brakes were in different holes. When adjusting the derailers I noticed the rear derailer was bent. I called the toll free # for Kent customer service and told the lady the problem. With no questions asked, she took my name and address and said she would get another derailer in the mail that day and I didn't need to send the bad one back. A close look at the frame and no cracks,bends or dents were found. The welds are not as pretty as they could be but they didn't look bad at all and showed signs of good penetration at the weld edges. While waiting for the new derailer I peeled off about 10 pounds of stickers and installed some aftermarket fenders,a rear cargo rack, two bells (The stoker has to have fun too),rear view mirrors and naturally some streamers on the handlebars. The replacement rear derailer arrived in three days. I'm VERY happy with their customer service. After assembling the tandem "KIT" and adjusting the seats and handlebars we took it out for a "Maiden Voyage" of 31 miles. The bike rode really well. The frame was MUCH STIFFER than our old Columbia tandem. Shifts were smooth, quick, precise and quiet. No "Auto shift" from frame flex on take off or climbs. The brakes worked nicely and took very little finger pressure to stop on the small hills we encountered. I think the supplied Velo seat will have to be replaced for me but my Wife seemed to like her seat OK so far. We managed to hit our fair share of bumps and pot holes along with going down some rough gravel roads so I was wondering how things were holding up. After we got home I looked everything over and all was as it should be. I didn't use the dial indicator again but "eyeballed" the wheels judging with the brake pads and spinning the wheels and they seemed to hold true. We really like the bike. It does just what it was designed for (cruising around the neighborhoods) and does it well. It's just what we hoped for and expected and we think it's well worth the $248.00 shipped. We had a BLAST riding "twogether" through the neighborhoods of three small towns Sunday. If someone is looking for a cruiser tandem and can assemble the "KIT" themselves then I would recommend the Kent. If you are not comfortable doing the work then I suggest talking with a local bike shop, Give them the list I posted here in this review of the things I HAD TO DO to assemble the bike for an example and get a estimate. It might cost more than it's worth if you have to go that route. Even with the missing ball bearings, I give it 4 stars for the style and price. Heck,you can't expect "top of the line" quality on a $248 tandem.
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Update - due to an accident (no injuries!) the wheel and frame ended up being badly bent so we took the bike in for repair at a local bike store...they wanted a small fortune and responded with, "it's still less than buying a new bike". Well, the repair store also sells new bikes and the lowest USED version they had available was over $600 with new going into the thousands. When we told them what we spent on this one, they didn't believe us...we had to have them look it up. Needless to say, we took the old bike home and purchased a replacement while keeping the old one for parts. It's been a half dozen years and we still enjoy this bike immensely - great deal for the money!

I missed a gold box sale on this bike for $199 but picked it up for $219 a week or so later (with free shipping) which is a bargain either way you look at it. Shipping was fast and delivered right to the door. It's a large box so be prepared.

Assembly was relatively easy - can't comment on the instructions because never even needed to read them. Basically had to install one tire, handle bars, both seats, brakes, pedals, and bottle racks. The shifting mechanism and back tires came pre-assembled which took most of the real work out of the assembly.

The look of the bike is actually very attractive especially compared to most tandem bikes which tend to be very linear and bulky looking. This is much smoother with great lines. The silver fades into a gun-metal grey with a few red accents and black grips, seats, tires, bottles etc... Overall a very pleasing appearance albeit a bit retro.

Shifters are in the handle and smooth enough. One handle does the big shifting and the other handle fine tunes the shifting. The brakes are sufficient but NOT disc brakes but rather those little "v" brakes. Tires are large enough to give a smooth ride and in fact, was surprisingly easy to handle and navigate. You won't be taking quick turns with this as the bike is loooooong but then again, it's not really designed with racing in mind.

Negatives: first, the hand grips. The rubberized hand grips have wedges that tend to become uncomfortable on long rides but that is a minor issue. The seats - this is really a personal preference. I find the seats to be one of the most uncomfortable bike seats I've ever encountered - absolutely intolerable. Spouse finds them great and one of the most comfortable ever. It seems to be how your personal backside is built but for sure - you will love or hate the seats. There doesn't seem to be much in-between. Finally, the front seat and rail tend to be a bit tall for women or those on the short side.

Positives. Smooth ride - much smoother than expected. Both spouse and self have tried other tandems in the past that were hard to get started, difficult to navigate, bumpy and lacked speeds. All of those were non-issues. This tandem was very easy to get started. One false start out of the drive way and then no further issues. Easy steering, very nice ride. We took it out Xmas eve when the streets were quiet and empty to give it a good first ride with the intent to just go around the block. Ended up taking it for a couple mile ride to see the Xmas lights as it was so easy to drive. Great cruiser. Can actually reach a decent speed but be sure to have plenty of braking space and don't take tight corners at the high speeds. All in all, a lot of fun for a couple with a terrific price.

Update: We have now owned this bike for over a 18 months and continue to enjoy it immensely. Have experienced zero problems. It is stored in the garage and still works just like new. Very smooth ride, no irritating rattles, no rust, no problem of any type. Just a great bike at a great price. The bike remains very attractive and constantly gets a lot of response when out and about riding - people want to know where to find one and of course, kids want to try it any chance they get! As a comparison, about six months ago picked up a single person bike at Walmart that is also stored in the garage but creaks and moans like I've owned it for a decade or more. While this is not a professional quality or expensive is much better quality than most entry level bikes being sold out there today and holds up well over time. Still extremely pleased with this purchase. Smooth ride, great look, holds up well over time.
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on October 10, 2007
I agree with many of the other positive reviews...:
1) The style is unique and interesting. Silver & Black w/splashes of Red is eye-catching.
2) The large tires give a comfortable ride. White-walls give it a "retro" look, too.
3) Operation is smooth and quiet. I thought the extra chain/cranks and bulk would make it creak or rattle.
4) It has great shock-absorbing La-Z-Boy, no less!
5) The drive train components are good quality. Shifting is accurate.
6) Most important, the brakes in conjunction with the larger tires have excellent stopping power.

...And some of the negative comments...:
1) Welds are complete and adequate, though sloppy. A minor detraction you have to look closely to see.
2) It's not meant to race despite 21-gears: the weight, tires and posture are designed for leisurely cruising.
3) It's LONG! I couldn't fit it in my SUV without the rear hatch ajar. It needs quick release hubs!
4) Curved frame makes mounting a pump awkward.
5) Many have mentioned shipping damage and mine was no exception. This is probably due to its cumbersome size.
6) Customer service has been mentioned by others to be great. I haven't gotten a response after a week and a half...and the receptionist has changed to an answering machine. This could be either from faltering service or bike popularity overwhelming their service capacity.

...But for the price, beginners like myself could not find a better deal, not even second-hand! I wanted to kindle my joy of bicycling in my wife, who has very little time for exercise. I don't think she ever felt completely confident in her ability to control the bike. Now she can get the exercise, the freedom and exhilaration of the outdoors and forget about shifting, steering, braking and, to some extent, balancing. I can have help peddling (sometimes!?) and we both get to share the experience.

So if your interested in all the benefits of tandem biking and need a bike to start you off, you can't go wrong with this one. I've given it 5 stars, not for its being the epitome of the tandem genre, but for its outstanding value.
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on May 23, 2011
If you are considering buying the Kent Dual Drive Tandem, I would recommend it conditionally based upon your skills and capabilities. It is just what it is advertised as - a very inexpensive low end bicycle. That said, after properly assembled, it can provide years of fun.

I should preface this review by saying I am a bicycle mechanic and run a small bicycle restoration business out of my home. So, I have assess to the necessary tools and materials needed to properly assemble the bicycle. The bicycle comes boxed up as you would expect from the manufacturer. The front wheel, pedals, handle bars and stems, seat posts and saddles all need to be installed. That in and of itself is not very difficult and any "normal" intelligent and handy person can accomplish it in an hour or so. However, there is a lot more to it than just that.

The Kent is mass-produced in China and is not inspected before shipping. Also, all new bicycles, whether they cost $100.000 or $10,000.00 need to be set up. The Kent is no exception. As already pointed out by other reviewers, there is NO lubrication on the bicycle. Also, the hub cones are tightened so tight that the wheels barely turn. You must loosen the lock nut and adjust the cones. But, before you do that, I would seriously recommend removing the cones completely and applying the proper amount of grease before tightening them up again. Chances are you could lose some bearings so make sure you have extra. The same is true of the headset - no grease.

You must also grease all posts and peddles before inserting them into the frame. And the biggest issue for people not equipped to do so, is to true both wheels. The wheels are not very round and must be properly trued before riding. In my case the front wheel had to be put into a truing stand a worked on for a while (after I had rebuilt the hub).

At the end of the day, when I was completely finished, the bicycle is great. The shape of the frame is such that my eight-year-old daughter can reach the pedals with the saddle all the way down. Also, both the front and the rear saddle height is adjusted by loosening the clamps with user supplied hex wrenches. I would recommend buying a quick- release seat post clamp. You need a 28.6mm diameter model. I would also recommend replacing the very low end 45lbs max 26 x 2.0 tires with some narrower and higher capacity ones.

It took me about two and a half hours with all the proper tools to completely assemble the bicycle. For most people, I would seriously recommend talking the bicycle to a local shop and paying them the $100.00 - $150.00 for assembling it. When you are done you will have a great bicycle. Most half-way descent tandems start around $1000.00. No, the Kent is not the equivalent of a $6,000.00 Santana road tandem - and it wasn't meant to compete with bicycles like that. It is a low end department store bicycle. But, if assembled correctly, it is perfect for many people, my self included. It tips the scales at about 55 lbs. and is made of hi-tensile steel and cromoly steel. I added fenders and a rear rack, plus extra water bottle holders, mirrors and a few other accessories. It's about 65 lbs now, so I won't be doing any cross-county trips. However for riding around the neighborhood, or even a 50 mile weekend ride, it's perfect.
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on September 4, 2007
We have put around 100 miles on the bike in a few weeks. The only concerns I have are shifting issues. The shifter doesn't always like to change gears smoothly (maybe due the fact that the front derailer sprocket is warped). I have adjusted the derailers per the instructions 2 times now, when we first got the bike it wouldn't even shift into the highest gear, adjustments were way off. The front shifter cable rubbed on the rear cranks and broke the end off the cable. A pedal started popping pretty bad. Customer service sent me out a new pedal and shifter cable that does not match my other side now. Guess I will have to order the other side so they match and get another front derailer sprocket. Other than the crappy shifting issues the bike is good for what you pay.

Update, it is now mid November, still have shifting issues. Customer service is the biggest joke. Yes they sent out the parts, sent me a used front derailer sprocket. The shifters they finally sent out ended up being the wrong ones, I guess they were from a non tandem bike. Finally got the shifter cable yesterday, it is a universal cable that I had to completely disassemble the revo shifter and make it work, the cable was about 3 feet to long. The rear hub is starting to make a grinding noise when under a heavy load, sounds like the ball bearings are out of grease. Would not recommend this product, if you must buy it buy it locally so you can take it back..
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on August 15, 2009
I did not need to read the instructions. Assembly was not hard. For some this may be oversimplified... sorry. Just trying to help others. Go purchase a small $10.00 bike tire pump while you are waiting for delivery. The kind that attaches to your bike. Schwinn makes a good model (see picture).

1) If the box is not damaged on arrival, there is no reason to suspect that any of the contents are damaged because the sides of the box are double walled with cardboard. (If the box is damaged, it is prudent to make a note of it on the freight slip before you sign, and make a claim).
2) The box is marked "This side up" on one of the long thin sides. There are large staples which I easily pried off with a flat screwdriver. Open the long thin lid of the box so you can see the contents for the next step.
3) Do not try and pull the bike out of the open box on top or you'll risk damaging the wheels. I took a utility knife and cut down the corners of the box at both ends.
4) Gently lay the down on it's side now and open the box fully. Note, this also provides your floor/carpet with a large cardboard surface to work and assemble the bike on. Its also better on the knees while working.
5) The bike contents are bound together with plastic ties. You can use wire cutters or scissors to cut them and remove free all the parts one by one. Some parts come in boxes, such as the pedals. Remove everything and lay it out on the floor. (DON'T BE TOO METICULOUS AND REMOVE THE STICKERS OFF THE PEDALS YET because they tell you which is right and left side.) Fenders do not come with this bike. You must purchase them separately if you want them.
6)Only one of the front wheels has a nut. The other one is stuck inside the large black round plate that protected the bike wheel from protruding through the box. This explains a previous comment by another customer who thought the nut was not included.
7)Put the front wheel on and tighten in place. You will have to disconnect the front brake assembly to fit the tire in place. (NO TOOLS ARE REQUIRED to disconnect the front brake assembly. Just look at it carefully... You will see how it comes apart.(The back wheel is already installed.)
8)The kick stand (installed) must be loosened adjusted forward to fit in its proper position (mine was not).

---- now the bike is standing on its own ---- leave the wheels flat (airless) for now.

9) Put on the FRONT handlebar and tighten. (The back handlebar must be attached to the front seat)
10) Put on the both seats and tighten.
11) Now you can put on the back handlebar.
12) Put on the pedals. The right pedals screw in clockwise (right). The left pedals screw in counterclockwise (left); (The reason for this is so that the pedals will never unscrew and fall off while you are riding).
13) With a hexagonal Allen wrench, adjust the brake pads where they will line up with the rim. Notice they are slightly curved to go with the curve of the tire rim. (One of the brake lines may have fallen out of the handlebar hand clamp. If you have trouble getting the brake lines hooked up, go get the kid next door... they'll know how to do it. Otherwise, if you just stare at the brake system long enough, you'll see how it goes together.
14) Release ALL the remaining air from the tires by pressing the little pin; then, manipulate the tubes to where the tube stem is perfectly centered in hole in the rim. Pump up the tires now with the little pump you purchased beforehand.
15) Double check all the important bolts for tightness (tires, handlebars, seats, etc). You are ready for a trial run.

Our Kent bike came with the gear system installed and working well. I hope this helps some people assemble their kent. After doing the above, we rode two miles to a nearby park, went swimming, and returned safely home. We look forward to adding all the accessories and doing lots of riding in the neighborhood!
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on April 19, 2008
I bought this tandem bike for my 10 year old son who has autism. We haven't taught him how to ride a two wheeler, because he doesn't understand things like stop signs or how to cross an intersection safely. He had out grown this trailer bike, and I was looking for something he could move up to. I found this tandem bike on your website and noticed that the top tube for the rider in back was unusually low. This low height allows my boy to straddle the bike with his feet on the ground with no issues.

I haven't had any of the problems described in the other reviews. It came with all it's parts, wasn't damaged, and was easy to assembly. It's a long, comfortable, slightly heavy bike that is perfect for what it's designed for: cruising around the neighborhood. We love it!
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on June 4, 2008
note to buyer: GET A METRIC ALLEN WRENCH. Nice idea, one size tool adjusts SEATS, HANDLE BARS and BRAKES. They don't provide one and you are going to need one.

CONS?:inner tube had an air leak BEFORE I rode it ($2 patch), all reflectors broken (packaged from the factory broken)and instructions are worthless. I wish it had grease fittings to lube sprockets but maybe they don't ever need it??? Delivered in good condition. Forget any support from invisible Kent Bike company.

PROS?: Seems pretty stable and well made. Spouse and I have ridden 3 or 4 times, and 50 miles or so, with no problems, though I believe I am doing most of the peddling! It's definitely fun.

Would I buy it again?? YES YES YES. Oh, and don't forget to bring along that ALLEN WRENCH for on the trail adjustments. You're welcome!

jcg, tampa
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on January 10, 2013
Summary: This is a low quality bike, We have had this bike since January 2013 and have not been able to ride it for half that time because it was broken or in the shop. 2 bent Rear axles, 3 repacking of the wheel bearings, and finally a replacement back wheel (cassette hub now with a real tandem rated wheel). We try to commute to work twice a week when it is not broken (10 miles round trip). We think it will work now, but are concerned about this purchase long term. If I had it to do all over again I would spend the money to get another tandem.

Feel free to read the play by play alone

Update 7/8/2013
First of all the back wheel on this bike is not rated for a tandem (2 shops told me this). We kept having to repack the bearings on the back wheel. We under the suggestion of 2 shops replaced the back wheel ( an additional $150(with labor)) and discovered that the second axle was bent too (2 bent axles now, and our combined weight is 350). I removed another star because of all the extra work and money we had to put into this. I am starting to think that by the end of the year we will discover we could have just bought a quality Tandem with the money spent.

Update 5/10/2013.
We ride this bike once a week to work for the past 4 weeks. In total we have probably put 60 miles on it. Well the real wheel kept rubbing on the breaks and then the frame. I took apart the real wheel and found that the real axle was bent. Upon researching the issue I discovered this is a common problem with cheap bikes. I will just replace it with a much stronger axle at the bike shop. It just needs to be made of stronger metal. Frustrating. I keep looking at it thinking what will break next. I guess this was a cheap bike, you get what you pay for.

Update to the original review below 2/8/2013:
I added a star and changed the title of my review. I contacted the company and told them about the teeth on the cassette teeth breaking. They sent a new shimano cassette to replace the one with the broken teeth. I just had to send them an e-mail explaining what was wrong with a copy of my receipt and 4 business days later I received a shimano replacement part. This is great service.
I will still have to pay for it to be put on, but I am taking it in for a tuneup anyway and will only cost me 10 extra dollars. You just can't beat the price on this thing, especially when it is backed by quick and nice customer service.

_Original review posted January 10 2013____________________________________________________________________
The three stars are basically for how cheap the bike was, that it looks good and we are keeping it. The main issue I have is the Cassette on the back wheel has 2 broken teeth after only 2 trips (less than 6 miles total). Upon closer inspection the cassette is not shimano, it is DnP... Perhaps this is why it broke, or perhaps it is because of the bolt that should be removed near the back wheel that interferes with the back chain going into 7th gear.
We are taking it into a bike shop to have a tuneup and see what a replacement cassette would cost. We can ride it using the other gears though.
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on July 27, 2009
We ordered the Kent Tandem on a Friday, and had it in our hands by Tuesday. Unlike other reviewers -- few in number -- we found no problems in shipping. In fact, having read the (very few) negative reviews, I had my eyes wide open when unpacking the bike to see if I could understand what had happened to those who say the bike was delivered damaged.

The front wheel comes strapped to the front fork, and I believe that if you were not careful removing the bike from the box (it's best, by the way, to just take a carpet knife and cut the box away at the edges, not trying to lift the bike out of an open box), you could very likely bend or even break a spoke. I couldn't understand the (again, very few) negative reviews that said the bike had come with a bent WHEEL. I believe FedEx would have to drop the box down a flight of stairs to do that kind of damage!

Neither the front nor rear tire comes inflated. It is important, before inflating, to make sure the tire valve is center in the rim's valve hole, and that the tube and tire's rim are securely inside the wheel rim. I could see how you could easily cause a blowout if you were not careful taking these steps.

It's also important to fill the tires to the prescribed pressure. You should have a pump that has a pressure gauge built into it. The prescribed range is between 30-50 psi. I filled our tires to about 48 psi, and it is a very comfortable ride.

There is one slight (and I emphasize the word slight) engineering problem: the bike has a "U" shaped guard to protect the rear shifting mechanism, and you must take care to put this guard on. But the bolts that were supplied are about 1/8 inch too long for the chassis, and this originally caused some shifting issues. I took care of this by just putting a couple of penny washers on the outside of the guard. If anyone from Kent is reading this, take a look at this very minor problem.

All in all, my wife and I have already enjoyed some very comfortable and relaxing rides, and plan on spending the rest of the summer, and well into the fall, biking places to which we would previously have driven. We're going out to dinner this week on our Kent Tandem.

This product is a GREAT buy.
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