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Two people enjoying a sociable
Malvern Star sociable from the 1930s

The Sociable or Buddy Bike[1] or Side By Side Bicycle is a bicycle that supports two riders who sit side by side.

This type of bicycle should not be confused with a tandem bicycle, where the riders sit fore and aft rather than beside each other.


The sociable is said by some to have been invented by Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman,[2] although in its basic form it has been around for longer, since the end of the 19th century. It was originally marketed by the Punnett Cycle Company. Historically it has been used as a courting bike; gentlemen would be able to spend time with young ladies in an activity that allowed proximity.[3]

There are currently no commercially available sociable two-wheelers, although there are plans in circulation by which a person with welding and metal fabrication skills could make one. There are some sociable three- and four-wheeled machines on the market, however.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Weird Bike Stuff - The Buddy Bike". Charlie Kelly. Retrieved 2012-07-17. All the disadvantages of a tandem and none of the advantages! 
  2. ^ "Australians Ride Side by Side on a "Bicycle Built For Two"". Modern Mechanix. August 1934. Retrieved 2012-07-15. In Australia an odd “two-seater” bicycle has been invented by Hubert Opperman, famous distance cyclist. 
  3. ^ "The History of Side-By-Cycle". August 2007. 

External links[edit]


  • US4,178,008Side by side bicycle— Robert C. Barrett