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  1. #1
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    20MM Solid Axle - Tandem Fork Stand

    Someone on my off-road tandem enthusiasts list, Double Forte, asked the following question:

    Quote Originally Posted by kb11troy
    So I'm learning how to negotiate the removal of the front wheel with a 20mm through axle. I'm wondering if there are any tricks to ease this? I'd also like to come up with some type of stand to attach the fork to when the wheel is off. I have a stand for the road tandem that uses a quick-release mount, but of course, this won't work for the El Conq. What do you folks use?
    Rather than standing up a Web page or cluttering YahooGroups & a bunch of Email accounts with photos and what not, I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone by answering his question and "archiving" my solution for the ages here at BF. So, here tis'....

    Yes, like a lot of folks, toting an 8' long tandem around with both wheels attached can be a bit of a pain and, well, so is the removal and reinstallation of a front wheel when you need to use a fork with a 20mm solid axle that bolts in place. I tried the Ultimate workstand but that was overly complex and went the other way buy simply flipping the tandem upside down and balancing it on the saddle tops and handlebars. It worked OK, but was a bit rickety and made a mess of things when the trailhead / parking lot was wet.

    Reference the photos below the text in this post, you'll note that I cut a 2" x 4" into three pieces and combined it with a fork mount in such a way that it doubles as both an upright and inverted stand for our off-road tandem. The height of the bar-end holders (the uprights, if you will) was established based on how much rise I needed to get the tandem to rest on the stoker's saddle vs. mine, noting that it provided the more stable configuration vs teetering on my saddle. To prevent the stoker's saddle cover from getting torn up when the tandem is inverted I protect it with some padding held in place by velcro: this was part of a forearm pad from some aero bars that I didn't use. The only trick other than learning how to "flip" your tandem on its rear wheel (note: remove rear fenders before attempting) is putting your foot on the stand as you lower the bars onto it so that it doesn't get knocked over.

    The following link will take you to a short video clip that shows how the thing works, going from having the Hurricane QR adapter locked into the fork mount into the inverted position.

    Using The Stand

    You'll notice that I put my 6mm T-Wrench down on the floor perpendicular to the stoker's saddle before I "flip" the bike. This wrench serves as my "target" for where the stoker's saddle needs to sit so that that tandem's handlebars will fall right into the stand. If you don't do this then you'll find yourself sliding the full weight of the tandem around on the stoker's saddle cover on whatever surface it happens to be sitting and you jockey the bars into the stand. This can be a bad thing in a gravel parking lot.

    Note: While I don't use this to hold the tandem upright in the back of the truck during transit, it would probably work just fine for that too so long as the tandem can go straight in and doesn't need to sit caddy-corner with the bars turned... as it does in the back of our Toyota pick-up.

    As far as getting the 20mm axle in and out of the fork, that can be a bit of a pain too. To make that a bit easier I took a cut up a plastic squeege (5th photo) into two "wedges" that can be pressed into the fork ends once: 1st - the 20MM axle has been loosened and, 2nd - the two 6M fixing bolts have been removed to relieve some of the tension on the axle without buggering up the aluminum fork ends. The other "trick" is only partially unscrewing the 20MM axles bolt and then pushing on the extended end of the bolt get the axle moving through the drop-outs.

    The following link will take you to a short video clip that shows me inserting the wedges into my fork to remove the Hurricane QR adapter. Note that I've already unscrewed the big bolt in the end of the 20MM axle about 90% of the way and also removed the two 6M bolts from each fork leg...

    Using The Wedges

    Hope this helps....
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    Last edited by TandemGeek; 01-29-07 at 07:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Neat way of making an awkward job easier. One observation I have found over the years is that when a wheel on an MTB needs to be removed- It is always turned upside down. Wheras roadies mainly kept the bike the right way up when a wheel has to come out.

    That digression over with- the 20mm axle on the front is a problem to refix. I am not as high tech as you but I have Bar ends fitted on the pilots bars and as these are scuffed in any case- I do not worry about them. My problem is that with the bike inverted-it rests on the pilots saddle and the bar ends. Not a stable situation so I have a block handy in the workshop to fit under the Stokers saddle. This lifts the pilots saddle off the ground so making it stable.

    Obviously, I do not carry the block on rides, but I normally manage to set it so that the stokers saddle is the saddle that is resting on the uneven ground and put the pilots gloves under the stokers saddle to protect it. (I am the stoker).

    Now if you can invent an aid to make the Disc slip in between the pads whilst trying to fit the wheel between the forks- Then you will really have something.

    My Method of a block under the stokers saddle and resting on the Bar ends works- but is not a good solution. Thanks for the tip but what bracket do you have on your stand for when the bike is the right way up? It seems that if I build one a bit higher- it will give me a Tandem stand that is usable and a lot more stable than my system of a front bike stand and a pulley and rope system for the rear end. Thanks for giving me a worthwhile project to occupy the long evenings till the light comes back and I have to get out in the garden.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Now if you can invent an aid to make the Disc slip in between the pads whilst trying to fit the wheel between the forks- Then you will really have something.
    Even with our first Ventana's rear-facing drop-outs, it has never been a problem... front, rear, or even on our road bike's rear disc. Perhaps I'm just lucky...

    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    ... what bracket do you have on your stand for when the bike is the right way up?
    It's a Hurricane Product's "Fork Up". I thought they had at one time gone belly-up; however, perhaps someone has acquired the brand and product line. Regardless, I suspect others are offering a similar device and anyone with rudimentary metal fabrication skills could make one from metal stock for not a lot of do-ray-me.
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