Rover Tandem vs Tandem Pro

Looking for advice/input on deciding between Rover Tandem vs Tandem Pro. I will be the captain, and my 18 year old developmentally disabled son will be the stoker. He can pedal pretty well, but we will definitely need the IPS. We are large guys, but will fit within the weight limit of either bike. My goals in getting a recumbent trike are exercise for him, enjoyment of cycling (he loves to go fast), and just having an activity that we can do together that is active and outdoors. I anticipate short rides (an hour) up to some long ones (4-6 hours).

We live in Cheyenne WY, near the front range of CO, which has a fair amount of hills around our neighborhood. I am concerned that I may need the extra gears of the Pro, but it's not something I can wisely afford. If the Rover wasn't geared low enough, I would probably try some of the modifications discussed in the forum.

I have tested out the Pro and we loved it;it worked really well for us. There are no dealers I can find that have a Rover Tandem that I can test out to compare.

1) The crank axles of the Pro are a lot higher relative to the seat, compared to the Rover. Does having lower pedals (less hip flexion) give you less of an advantage when riding the Rover?
2) How does gear range (1-8) of the Rover compare to the Pro? About in the middle?

Appreciate any experience, advice, input anyone has. If money were not an issue, I think I would get the Pro. If I knew the Rover would suffice, even with some mods, then I would be happy.


  • rover tandem comes with a 20-62 gear-inch nexus hub. a $300 patterson crankset would change that to 17-85 g.i. while tandem pro is posted at 18-90 g.i. this translates to the modified rover doing 15.3 mph in 16th gear, the tandem pro doing 16.2 mph in 30th gear with both trikes churning the pedals at 60 rpm.

    whether first is low enough for happy hill riding is another matter. if you can arrange it, try taking the pro up some decent hills and see how much of a climbing challenge you face - gearing is easily modified if needed.

    other than stock gearing differences, the pro is posted as having a 36-foot turning circle, the rover tandem a 16-foot circle. i suspect doing a u-turn on a narrow 2-lane road with the pro could be a bit awkward.
  • JamesR thanks very much, that is super helpful. Am I correct that the patterson crankset would only change the g.i. for the captain, but not the stoker?

    I had forgotten about the turn radius; that is a good selling point for the Rover Tandem, for my purposes.

    thank you
  • the timing chain couples front and rear rider effort - whatever gear the pilot selects the copilot shares.
  • I have a TerraTrike Rover tandem and the tandem is not a very good hill climber. The tandem is not very fast and both myself and stroker (wife) are in good shape. Average speed for a ride is about 12 MPH over a 10 to 20 mile course. I do not have the Patterson transmission. I also have a Catrike recumbent which is considerably faster, but also lighter and not a tandem. I researched both the Pro and Rover, and could not justify the price of the Pro. The Pro is just about as heavy as the Rover! I like the Rover tandem, but it is merrily a cruiser. Of note - there are used ones and Facebook has a recumbent classified page where you might find a value.

    Rover traits - frame requires frequent tightening; front handlebar grips are worthless, I bought a set of ergo grips which make the ride much better; the i8 hub is relative maintenance free with periodic adjustments; the tandem is difficult to transport (10 feet long). Bottom line - the Rover tandem could be more refined, yet it is the better value of the two choices.
  • Thanks eric1963 for your input. I'm leaning toward the Rover because of the value. Thanks.
  • JamesR wrote: »
    rover tandem comes with a 20-62 gear-inch nexus hub. a $300 patterson crankset would change that to 17-85 g.i.

    JamesR- there's a store in CO which sells their Rover Tandems with Nuvinci hubs, and they advertise a 20-72 gear inch. If adding a Patterson drops the low end by about 15% and raises the high end by about 37% (just extrapolating from the numbers you gave me), then would it be logical that a Nuvinci with a Patterson crank would achieve 17-98 gear inches? That seems like a decent range, but I may assuming something in error.

  • edited June 11
    close enough (16-95 g.i.) with a 16-tooth sprocket.

    good place to plug in numbers for gearing combos and speeds at various rpm:

    nuvinci is no longer made so dunno about warranty coverage.
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