Tandem Cycling - Carrying that Tandem
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Okay, I read the post on transporting Tandems, and the great options available. Unfortunately, they seemed a little (er, um) expensive. Has anyone here built something to transport a tandem? I don't have a new, expensive model (bought an old Fiore of E-Bay) that I would be EXTREMELY careful of, so maybe there are other options?
Anyway - I have a no-name roof-rack for my car, and it accepts Thule load bars. I was thinking about just using a long piece of wood and the fork bars (whatever they're called) you use in a pickup truck bed for the front wheel, would have to figure out the rest. That might be kind of a goober thing to do, though.
I also have a trunk rack for 3 bicycles, but a tandem would probably stick out pretty far on the sides of a Toyota Corolla. It might also be a little heavy for a trunk rack, too. Any do-it-yourself people come up with a solution? I'll borrow a pickup truck when I pick it up from the station, but need to figure out some way to get it back and forth to the local rails-to-trails parks.
01-21-04, 08:06 AM
...Anyway - I have a no-name roof-rack for my car, and it accepts Thule load bars. I was thinking about just using a long piece of wood and the fork bars (whatever they're called) you use in a pickup truck bed for the front wheel, would have to figure out the rest. That might be kind of a goober thing to do, though...
I'm not sure I would feel comfortable following you with this "wood" constructed rail on top of your car with a tandem attached.
My Rocky mount is a pretty simple affair (I wonder why it's so expensive :( )
Basically it looks like it could be "Homebuilt" with not too much trouble. It is made up of what looks like 1" to 1 1/2" square tubing (Steel), which is connected to my Thule rack with Squared-off clamps and nuts, and a little bit of inginuity. Simple? Examine the picture closely and you shuld be able to come up with a clamp solution. The fork end would appear to be a bit more of a challenge because there is some welding involved and a little more work to get a skewer affair in place. Of course this attachment is critical to say the least. But the actual attachment to the Thule rack is an easy thing. You would also need to devise a way to secure the back wheel to the rail. That shouldn't be too difficult.
With all that said, I found it easier to go out and buy it. $199.95 through: http://www.rockymounts.com/tandem.asp?nav=flash&page=tandem and $189.99 through Colorado Cyclist at :http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=13277&CGRFNBR=18&CRPCGNBR=18&CI=1,156,18&TextMode=0
That looks like a good choice, and a better fit for my checkbook. I'll give 'em a call!
01-21-04, 11:55 AM
I was thinking about just using a long piece of wood and the fork bars (whatever they're called).
Not a good idea. However, if you wanted to do something on the cheap you could certainly have a machine shop weld a 9mm fork mount like the Xsport house-brand model sold by Performance Bike to a piece of steel 1.5" square stock, along with four 1.5" square U-bolts & two U-bolt trailer plates, and make a "wheel tray" out of a scrap section of the square stock [just cut off one side and weld it back-to-back to the 6' section of square stock]. Just prime, paint, cap the ends and use a toe strap to hold your rear wheel tight to the wheel tray. So long as the welder did a good job, it would work just fine and be fairly inexpensive -- especially if you did the welding yourself. Even having it done by a shop shouldn't cost too much.
I also have a trunk rack for 3 bicycles, but a tandem would probably stick out pretty far on the sides of a Toyota Corolla. It might also be a little heavy for a trunk rack, too.
Lots of folks tote tandems around on trunk or receiver mounts designed for single seat bikes. Although I've seen folks do otherwise, you'll want to remove the wheels which should cut down the width substantially to where the bike doesn't stick out much beyond the width of the mirrors. Moreover, it will keep the bike out of the airflow. The weight of a tandem without it's wheels is well within the carrying capacity of most any, first quality trunk or receive bike carrier.
The Rocky Mounts is also a good product, but still not inexpensive. You'll want to price compare it to all the different models available with an eye towards the different features. You may be able to find a used ATOC, Yakima or perhaps even one of TandemsEast's house models up for sale for a similar amount of $$.
Last comment would be, if you think you'll be tandeming for a very long time think long-term investment. Any of the really good tandem mounts (I like the ATOC models and the older Yakima mount) will last a lifetime with just a little bit of care and feeding, e.g., clean and wax now and again and a touch of lube too any moving parts, and they have some nice features that make them a bit easier to use. I still have Yakima hardware from 1984 that, despite the patina, is as functional as it ever was. So, you may want to "go cheap" and use your rear trunk mount as you find out if tandeming is "just a phase" or something you'll want to become committed to for a long time.
If you decide that tandem is going to be "your thing", with a little patience and perseverance you can often times find used models up for sale by perusing the classifieds at www.tandemmag.com/classified or by using a "wanted to buy" ad .
01-21-04, 04:46 PM
I too have read all the threads and studied them. I currently have no racks. I always carry my half bike in the back seat of my extended cab Pickup. (It has a Fiberglass Tonneau making the bed impractical at times) The wife drives the extended version of the Chevy Trailblazer. We bought a Cannondale R3000 last season and carried it in the truck.
Anyway, I am torn on what to get. The threads have a lot of good info, much of it provided by Mark. (Thanks Mark, your posts have helped me greatly on numerous topics!)
I have my Eye on a rack Made and sold directly by 1UPUSA. Since they do not distribute through retailers, they don't seem to be as widely known. The link to their Rack is http://www.1upusa.com/1upusarackhome.htm The page has numerous follow on pages discussing the rack. The rack has also recieved praise on a review board. Please see http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/Bike_Rack/product_122521.shtml for reviews, including one from a tandem owner. (I coresponded with the tandem owner, recieved prase for the rack as well as a good photo)
I have the trainer sold by these folks (1UPUSA) and simply adore it.
It is worthy of note that the company who sells these has been accused on the review site of inflating the products reviews by making false revies on the product. (I have no idea if there is any truth in this) My experience with the trainer has been awesome.
My questions are:
Does anyone have experience with this rack. (Single or tandem)?
Any knowlede of ?
Any Opinions on?
In all the threads I have read on racks I have seen virtually every rack discussed with the exception of this one. Hmmmmm.
Sweating on the trainer in Upstate NY, hoping the snow melts.
01-28-04, 09:38 PM
When you say "no-name roof rack", do you mean you have a rack made for hauling bikes? Does it have wheel trays?
I have a Saris rack with two fork mounts and two full-upright mounts. I came up with a way to "frankenstein" them together, a coupla different ways, to hold the tandem. They both involve creating one long wheel tray from two single-bike wheel trays, overlapping them a foot or so and strapping them together with zip-ties. Then I either:
1) Use one upright mount and one fork mount. Then I swing the upright support up to grab the frame somewhere. This is similar to Gus's photo, except that the fork mount is directly on the load bar, and not on a "riser". The geometry is such that the pilot's bottom bracket shell sits in the wheel tray just as the fork drops into the fork mount. YMMV.
2) Use both upright mounts (one from each load bar) and keep the front wheel on. This requires an esp. long wheel tray created as described above.
You might get away with just using the fork mount and one long wheel tray, but I'm guessing the bike wouldn't be very stable laterally. You'd wanna be dang sure that fork mount is tight.
Nice thing is, this uses all single-bike equipment; no special tandem gadgets needed.
01-29-04, 05:51 PM
Howdy from Tucson!
Read the other posts and have actually carried a tandem on a front bumper rack of a VW Squareback in the 70s!
A real inexpensive way to carry tandem: Check website TandemLink.com home page and clic on to the Belgian flag (second flag: it is red, yellow,black). That will get you to the Flanders Tandem Club. Check out FAQ list (they're written in Dutch) but clic the one that says Tandemtransport. There are several ways shown how to haul a tandem. The last 3 photos show how to carry a tandem on the roof of a car by putting a large inflated truck innertube UNDER the tandem and then use tie-downs. They claim to have driven it that way over some of Flanders worst roads. (Yes, I'm fluent in Dutch ). Good luck!
Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
Thanks for all the good info. The tandem fits on my Yakima trunk rack - with a bit sticking out the side when I have the wheels on. I'll either bring a socket wrench or two, or go with a quick-release hub to remove the wheels when travelling. I'll also keep my eyes open for a used Tandem roof-rack - I don't want too much weight on the trunk when carrying the tandem and another bike or two for the kids.
03-26-04, 05:23 AM
I had my tandem rack custom made by a friend. Length is about the same as single bike rack so that you don't get accident when u you open the boot.
The rack is built in such a way where you only need one person to mount the tandem on the roof rack. I am barely 5ft 1in, so this system comes in very handy.
While driving up to the Hostel Shoppe in Wisconsin we saw this transportation scheme. While it is only being used for a single, but I think it would work equally well for a tandem (maybe even two). :)
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