Dunkin’ Donuts has dropped their lineup of donut-themed holiday gifts, and in addition to the more reasonable offerings—like a logo-strewn apron, a dog leash, and some t-shirts—there were some strange ones. Lovers of the coffee and doughnut brand could snap up bedsheets, a mini-fridge, and perhaps weirdest of all, a $500 tandem bike adorned with the iconic Dunkin’ logo. America may run on Dunkin’, but should it ride on Dunkin’? Probably not.
At a glance, the bike seems almost appealing: A multi-speed tandem adorned with the pink and orange Dunkin’ print. But a closer look leads to a lot of questions, and the website is short on information.
“Just like the iconic coffee and donut duo, everything is better with a buddy!” the product description reads. “Grab your pal and turn your next Dunkin’ Run into a Dunkin’ RIDE with this insanely fun, limited edition, easy-riding tandem bicycle.”
That is the entirety of the details provided about this bike—no materials, components, sizes, or weight listed. So we took a closer look at the photo of the bike, and there are a few things we can ascertain and speculate on:
The geometry is pretty darn strange. The rake on the fork is extreme, and combined with the two saddles’ positions, it seems like riders may struggle to keep from tipping the bike backwards as they climb on. The rear saddle is set so far back that it is actually behind the rear wheel, and the front saddle is set equally far back, with the front bottom bracket positioned far in front of it.
Pedaling this bike will take some serious forward pelvic tilt (not great for avoiding saddle sores!) and a bent-forward torso in order to keep it upright. It also appears that the reach for the captain (front seat) of the bike will be extremely long, while the stoker (back seat) will be crammed into a nearly-upright position to grip the handlebars. Opting for a one-size-fits-all model with a road frame style and no standover measurements is another strange choice: Most one-size tandems are step-through frames for easier access.
Component-wise, we can merely speculate. There are Schrader valves on big cruiser-style tires boasting a mild tread, and cantilever brakes on the front and rear wheels. At a glance, the quick-release wheels appear to be 26-inch, but without any measurements, it’s impossible to tell. For gearing, the bike shows three chainrings in the front and several in the back leading this reporter to speculate that it’s a 21-speed setup. (Clearly, no one told the marketing department that bikes should always be shown with the chain on the big ring.)
For a bit of context, while the $500 price sounds too cheap to be true, there are 26” cruiser-style tandems available on Amazon in that price range with decent reviews. Schwinn offers a $570 seven-speed with 650c wheels and alloy components with a 4.5 star rating and 278 reviews.
Shipping on the Dunkin’ tandem is (shockingly) free, so if you’re looking for a gift for a hard-to-shop-for, coffee-loving cyclist in your life, this might be a ridiculous surprise to put under the Christmas tree this year. After all, what’s a bit more weirdness in 2020?