I'm looking for an add-on sidecar / pillion to add on to an existing bike.

This is so that I can transport someone around who doesn't want to walk too far as well as helping me keep fit.


What I need is a sidecar for an adult, that will attach securely and safely to the side like a pillion / side car.

Thank you.

  • Electric assist might be a useful thing to consider. You can then focus on a bike that is 'right sized' for the task rather than worry about the power and speed requirements. An electric cargo bike would likely be the best overall starting point for finding something suitable. – mattnz Jul 29 at 3:27

AFAIK sidecars for bicycles do not exist, pretty much because there needs to be space for the crank, pedal and riders lower leg and foot to revolve in. A sidecar would get in the way. Additionally the center of mass would be shifted to one side, and that will cause a huge problem when braking - the sidecar wheel would have to have a brake linked to the bicycle brakes.

There are bicycle passenger trailers and you may be able to find one that is rated for an adult.

Bear in mind that towing the weight of adult in a trailer will require lower gearing than normally fitted to regular bicycles, and possibly more powerful brakes. Look at cargo bikes intended to carry two children or >100kg or cargo for what I mean.

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Sidecars are going to be expensive because they are so unusual, and aren't produced in volumes that would permit economies of scale. They also dramatically change your bike's handling, of course.

The closest thing to what you're discussing that I can think of is the Xtracycle conversion kit. Still not cheap.

There might be a trailer that would work, but I am not aware of any bike trailers designed to accommodate full-grown adults.

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  • +1 upvote thank you @Adam Rice for your answer, I'll have a think, read your link about Xtracycle and see who else answers before accepting an answer. Most appreciated though - useful information. – therobyouknow Jul 28 at 14:18

I've ridden with one of the larger weight-limit child rear seats over the back wheel. The effect on stability is enough that I certainly wouldn't want an adult there.

A tandem puts the rear rider ("stoker") between the wheels so handling is a lot better. The stoker could pedal with no real effort, or you could remove the pedals or even the cranks (you may need to cut off the cranks because of the need for something to support the rear chainrings. I know of this being done in practice for a disabled teenager. Tandems are fairly common and come up second hand. The stoker generally has to be able to step over the frame.

There are tandem trikes which could be treated the same only they're more stable. Some are step-through for one or even both riders. They'd be expensive though, like a rickshaw, and too wide for a lot of bike infrastructure.

In many jurisdictions, trailers and seats for (non-pedalling) adults are outside the scope of legislation, which may make them effectively illegal.

In all cases even gentle hills will be much harder when one adult is propelling the weight of two. An electric motor may help, but it should be chosen with care for low-speed use, for example those used on electric cargo bikes.

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  • To get an idea of the expensive options, have a look at Van Raam. You could get something perfect, but it would be over €3000 – Chris H Jul 28 at 16:35
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    Tandem is a good suggestion, and I would add that there are some models where the passenger/stoker is in a recumbent seat in front of the driver. This one also has a separate freewheel so the passenger can choose whether to pedal: hasebikesusa.com/tandem-pino-steps.html Perhaps out of your price range though. – Andrew Jul 28 at 16:47
  • +1 thank you so much @Chris H for your input. I'll read through further and digest - really great! :) – therobyouknow Jul 28 at 18:54

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