The Symbiosis Full Suspension Tandem MTB May Result in a Tandem Ambulatory Experience

Symbiosis Full Suspension Tandem 8 photos
Photo: da Vinci Designs
Symbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis Full Suspension TandemSymbiosis With Shimano Steps E8000
Everyone knows the beauty of riding alongside other people enjoying the fresh air, the sound of tires on asphalt, and the feel of a cool breeze running through your hair; oh, the beauty of riding a bicycle. However, another way to cycle is available to riders, tandem cycling. Let's take the full suspension Symbiosis as the perfect example of a different kind of joy.
Yes, folks, this beauty here is nothing more than a tandem bicycle that features a full suspension frame, helping take this sport even that much further. If you're unaware of what a tandem bike may be, it's a single bicycle frame with multiple seats and cranksets to give everyone involved the age-old feeling of a bike. I tried riding one once, and my partner and I just couldn't synchronize to get things moving.

But that was over 20 years ago, and today, tandem bikes are a tad different than what we grew up with, not much. But I never could have dreamed that a full suspension machine is possible. Well, it is, and the minds behind the Symbiosis, da Vinci Designs Tandems, have unlocked the secrets to this sort of frame.

Yet, those secrets aren't cheap. With a price tag of around $8,300 (€82,150 at current exchange rates) for the standard machine, it's the sort of bicycle that isn't made for your average Joe. Instead, da Vinci describes the Symbiosis as the sort of tandem machine made to accommodate a "cruise down your favorite fire road" or to be "a bump-eating downhill racer." Honestly, those statements scare me a little because if you're hauling downhill with a partner on the rear, and either one of you makes a mistake, there may be a need for a tandem ambulance too.

Symbiosis Full Suspension Tandem
Photo: da Vinci Designs
Again, it's a serious machine and meant to be taken very seriously. After all, it's not easy building a bicycle frame meant for two riders simultaneously while ensuring it performs like the ones you grew up with in the process.

Since this frame must support the weight of two riders, one way to distribute the weight so that both suspension systems are affected as equally as possible is to place the front rider a tad more towards the front wheel while the rear rider sits right over a DVO Topaz shock. The front fork is an MRP Stoke made specifically for tandem bikes, with your choice of 80 millimeters (3.2 inches) to 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of travel.

I've never tested any of these two suspension systems before, but if this sucker is built to fly down trails with two people on it, even catching some airtime in the process, it has to be one heck of an experience. That alone makes me want to figure out a way to test one of these with a buddy of mine.

Symbiosis With Shimano Steps E8000
Photo: da Vinci Designs
Completing the drivetrain on this bugger will be a Shimano XT drivetrain with 3x11 speeds. But here's the ultimate catch, da Vinci offers the option to add a Di2 setup, allowing you to eliminate some of the wires running along the frame.

And still, this isn't the end of what the Symbiosis can achieve for lovers of cycling. While exploring the work this manufacturer puts into the world, I ran across an options page, and there, as plain as black letters on a white background, the words "Electric Assist with Shimano Steps E8000 motor" jumped out at me. This was all it took to get my wheels turning, and I even discovered an image with this setup. I simply have no words.

Listen, I'm not a tandem rider, but if a random someone came up to me with a Symbiosis and said hop on, I'd inspect the bike for a minute, lock eyes with the stranger, and simply do as I'm told. After all, who would try and kidnap somebody with a tandem bike? Better wear a helmet and hang on for one very interesting experience.
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Editor's note: Images in the gallery showcase a number of custom Symbiosis tandem bikes and e-bikes.

About the author: Cristian Curmei
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A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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