25 June 2020

The story of one small bike trip Format 5352 from the words of Vasil Bulatov and Dmitry Labutin.


“This time, our task was to effectively break out of quarantine. Format bikes kindly provided us for testing the Format 5352 tandem bike, on which we decided to spend a weekend going on a short trip to a village 160 km from the city.


As for the bike, this is a fairly standard mountain bike set up with an extended reinforced frame and an additional saddle, handlebar and system. The front system is fixed by a chain with the rear system. As expected, the bike has a lockable suspension fork and disc brakes with large diameter rotors. Thanks to the 27.5x2.25 wheelset, the ride is comfortable both on asphalt and off-road. In stock, the tandem weighs adequately, it is possible to lift it alone.


We started late at noon, apparently, the tradition from the Norwegian trip still hasn't left us. The tandem was loaded with bike-packing, the entire volume was filled with food, a minimum set of things, a first aid kit, a repair kit and bottles with water.

Do the 2 dudes race in the stream catch the eye on this miracle? 100%! Endless likes and smiles, but even more bewilderment in the flying faces. When both riders screw in properly, this barge just takes off.


Riding a tandem bike has its characteristics:

  •          Drives, brakes and shifts the front rider;
  •          Rear rider only pedalling or pretends to pedaling;
  •          It will not work to pedal or not pedal separately from each other, the front and rear systems are fixedly connected by a chain;
  •          Difficulty catching a balance at the start, but you can get used to it over time;
  •          On the rise, pedalling while standing will not work, and if you get used to it, it looks very erotic


The fit is quite comfortable, but for a normal bike fit we didn't have enough seat post length. Since the rear rider only pedalling and goes without hands endlessly, he can perform additional functions, such as taking a photo/video or controlling a quadcopter. And if you specifically prepare, then this steward can offer you coffee with a croissant and a blanket if you are cold. Beware, fantasy can play out here.


Last year, we appreciated this route for the openness of the route and beautiful landscapes. But this time it was even more fun to race, as the track is practically empty due to quarantine. That would always be so! An empty road, birdsong and uplifting country music from a portable speaker - thrill!

Over the past trip, we can already draw some conclusions about riding a tandem bike and for whom it is suitable. Tandem bike is a lot of fun! Absolutely! Riding on it gives a lot of emotions, both for riders and passers-by. But he is capable of more than one might imagine. Travelling on a tandem bike is comfortable, fun and unforgettable! However, before flying on this fighter, one must be prepared for psychological stress and teamwork.


The bike tandem is perfect for fun rides with friends, for walking or travelling, for conquering segments in Strava. By the way, if riders have different physical fitness, then the more capable one may well drag two, squeezing out additional watts.

Format bikes are great for creating such an unusual bike. Now almost no one produces them due to low demand. Bicycle tandem is underestimated and we were lucky to be convinced of this. We hope that such bicycles will start appearing at least in bike rentals so that people get these unforgettable emotions. "


On Instagram, we were asked: "What maximum speed did you pull out?"

This rocket flies unexpectedly dynamically! If the pilots synchronize and turn on the "hammer legs" mode, then the townsfolk simply do not have time to make out what it flew.
In a straight line, the speed is slightly above average, and downhill, without really straining, we managed to accelerate to 75.6 km/h.
By the way, there are enough mechanical disc brakes and we did not notice overheating.
The lifts are no more difficult than usual if the riders are both honestly pedalling. However, it is not so convenient to pedal it while standing here, and we refused it for ethical reasons.