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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 11-02-05, 11:23 PM   #1
R900
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Any thoughts on the Yakima Sidewinder Tandem Roof Rack

Sorry for all the questions lately, just trying to get everything taken care of before the holidays. I have enough Thule racks to afford a nice bike, I can haul 3 up top, and 4 on the back of our Toyota Sienna. I've hauled the Fuji Tandem on the hitch rack for shorter distances, but with the wheels on, it really overhangs the van. I would have liked to stay with Thule, but the Thule tandem rack is a traditional rear wheel clamp and would over hang the van so we couldn't open the back. I usually leave the roof rack on May to November. The Yakima has a short lenght and could be left in place and not conflict with the door, but I'm not sure I love how it secures the bike. Anyone use one, comments, other ideas?

Thanks again - John

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Old 11-03-05, 07:27 AM   #2
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While I'm not a fan of the design, the engineering and quality is excellent.

My very subjective critique: I find the overall look to be a bit of an eye-sore; massive with a high profile especially when the tandem is not on the mount. I much preferred their previous, non-pivoting 9mm tandem mount. For pivoting and non-pivoting mounts, the Thule / ATOC models are more my cup of tea with respect to aesthetics and some other design features, e.g., removable rear wheel tray extension which eliminates rear hatch conflict when the bike's not on the roof. Some folks find the slight but normal side-to-side movement of their tandems on the Thule / ATOC pivot models a bit disconcerting, but that's about the only negative that I've heard mentioned with any consistency. As for dealing with hatch conflict with the wheel tray when the tandems on the roof, pivot style or not, most folks just seem to deal with it and put a rubber bumper on the end of the tray to rest the door against or they mount the tandem facing backwards.

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Old 11-03-05, 07:54 AM   #3
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yea... take the wheels off and put them in teh trunk! I'm not a big fan of roof racks for a single, let alone a tandem. If you think they're slick and cool, well OK. SOunds to me like you should invest in a trailer for the bikes alone. Like a 15 footer....
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Old 11-03-05, 08:59 AM   #4
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You could always turn the Thule rack the opposite way -- meaning the rear wheel is over the windshield. This way you'll still be able to open the hatch.
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Old 11-03-05, 09:08 AM   #5
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We've got a Sidewinder on our Subaru Forester and have toted the bike all over Texas with it. Have carried tandems on a rack w/o the pivoting fork mount, and it is a 2-person job to get them up there. The Sidewinder is not the prettiest rack, but it makes the car easier to spot in a parking lot! When another car parks too close to us while we are out riding, sometimes we have to move the Subaru to get clearance to get the bike back on top.
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Old 11-03-05, 12:18 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, glad to hear from someone that uses a Sidewinder. I guess we could flip the Thule, but it would overhang the fairing by a couple feet

As for hitch vs roof, I have both. I feel the roof is safer and more secure. The bikes are up out of the way and firmly held in place. We have a hitch rack that swings out to allow access to the hatch, but I still think the bikes bang around too much. It's great to haul the bikes accross town, but for long distances I like the roof rack better.

The roof rack we have now mounts to the factory rack and is nice and low even with the bike trays. The Sidewinder wil really stand out, bur out 2000 Sienna is all utility - haul the family, tow the trailer, transport the bikes, lumber, anything else I can fit in or on top.

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Old 11-03-05, 01:29 PM   #7
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I'll add my name to the Sidewinder supporters. I had a Yakima rack when we bought our tandem, so I had brand loyalty working. As with all the other Yakima products I've owned, it's been trouble free. Very easy to load the bike, and the design is very secure and solid.

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Old 12-15-05, 08:26 PM   #8
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I have a Yakima Sidewinder rack which I carry a Fuji Absolute on top of a Volkswagen GTI. Now that may appear weird and the looks we get on the highway are priceless. Even with a small car the pivot makes all the difference to get the bike on the rack. And the rack sits secure on the roof.

I was originally troubled with what felt like bike movement and over torgue on the front forks while travelling at high speeds, so I added an additional arm from another Yakima rack that grabs the frame holding it a triangular grip. Works like a charm.
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Old 12-16-05, 02:11 AM   #9
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We recently bought the sidewinder for our tandem and have been very happy with it. It's easy to load and unload the bike, and it seems quite secure. Haven't used any other racks for the tandems so I don't know how it compares to other racks/systems.
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Old 04-12-07, 11:38 AM   #10
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has anyone tried to use the sidewinder with a conventional bike?
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Old 04-12-07, 12:23 PM   #11
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I also use the sidewinder and am very happy with it.
Cant really use it with a single bike because of how it used the bottom tube in a cradle of a tandem but I'm sure something could be rigged up.
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Old 04-12-07, 12:24 PM   #12
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i thought maybe the rear wheel of a conventional bike might fit in the cradle for the boom tube.
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Old 04-12-07, 01:13 PM   #13
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We have used the Yakima Sidewinder, and found that it was easy to use and worked just fine. The downside is that it costs a fortune and leaves the tandem on top of your car. We are now carrying our tandem on a Saris Bones trunk mounted rack. We don't have to worry about garages and overhanging limbs, the rack comes off the car when not in use, it's simple to use and works fine, and it costs a small fraction of a Yakima rack system with Sidewinder.
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Old 04-12-07, 02:32 PM   #14
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We also use the sidewinder and it works really well IMO, with the pivot, even with the size of the tandem, it takes only a short amount of time to set the bike up on the rack.
With a small car (civic sedan) there is not a lot of options to carry a tandem.
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Old 04-12-07, 02:41 PM   #15
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We use the Thule for the tandem. We've only used it on our Civic sedan without any problems, max drive being about 5 hours each way.

Personally I try and avoid clamping anything frame-tubing related - whether it's in a bike stand, bike rack, whatever (applies to all bikes). So we have fork mounts for single bikes (RV-Inno) and the Thule tandem mount for the tandem.

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Old 04-12-07, 06:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElRey
yea... take the wheels off and put them in teh trunk! I'm not a big fan of roof racks for a single, let alone a tandem. If you think they're slick and cool, well OK. SOunds to me like you should invest in a trailer for the bikes alone. Like a 15 footer....
Why doesn't anybody use trailers? I can haul 5 singles, or 3 tandems or a combination of the above on mine. I don't have a tandem yet, but am seriously considering it, and my trailer will work admirably for hauling one
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Old 04-12-07, 07:57 PM   #17
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I guess I should post a little follow-up. I did get the Yakima, it works great, holds the bike nice ance secure. The only negative is I need to remove the rack to pull in the garage, on our van there isn't enough clearance for the tandem carrier to fit under the door. The best part is the rear hatch can completely open with the bike loaded. The glass just kisses the rear tire. The bike will also fit inside the van, but I need to remove at least one seat, and unless the weather is bad, it's just a lot easier to put the bike up top and keep the van configured as normal for hauling the kids, etc... The Sidewinder has worked great for us.
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Old 04-12-07, 08:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyb
Why doesn't anybody use trailers? I can haul 5 singles, or 3 tandems or a combination of the above on mine. I don't have a tandem yet, but am seriously considering it, and my trailer will work admirably for hauling one
How much did you spend for your trailer? Might be an option for me, except I don't have a vehicle that can tow, no hitch. So that would be an additional expense.
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Old 04-13-07, 02:49 AM   #19
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How much did you spend for your trailer? Might be an option for me, except I don't have a vehicle that can tow, no hitch. So that would be an additional expense.

The trailer was $500.00, and a 1 1/4 receiver hitch for my car was $150.00. The fork mounts are about 20 bucks each.
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Old 04-13-07, 07:51 AM   #20
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Trailers are great in many respects. I'd like to use a trailer in some instances but for the most part they are not worth for us. Cons: Storage (especially on smaller lots and in some HOA's), much more difficult to maneuver in parking lots, harder to find parking spaces.

However trailers are overall much more useful than the other hauling methods. Having a trailer is almost as good as having a pickup truck.
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Old 04-13-07, 02:39 PM   #21
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I have a 5x10 trailer myself, I think it would be fine for shorter trips, but with a light load it might be a little bouncy for the bikes. May need to fasten the rear wheel as well.
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Old 04-13-07, 05:05 PM   #22
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I have a 5x10 trailer myself, I think it would be fine for shorter trips, but with a light load it might be a little bouncy for the bikes. May need to fasten the rear wheel as well.
My trailer has a steel mesh floor and all I do is fasten the rear wheels with a bungee cord. Works great; the bikes don't move at all.
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