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  1. #1
    GO Floyd Landis, Go! Linda & Lew's Avatar
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    storing our tandem

    We store our Tandem in one of our spare bedrooms. Is this normal? Where do you store yours?
    R 300 Cannondale
    Early 70's Free Spirit Tandem
    2006 Cannondale Tandem

  2. #2
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    More details here: 30 miles and $240.00 later
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    Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-27-07 at 06:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Garage works fine for us!
    Bedroom works for you!

  4. #4
    GO Floyd Landis, Go! Linda & Lew's Avatar
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    I think I'll try the garage....have not done it there yet (the more room the better)!
    R 300 Cannondale
    Early 70's Free Spirit Tandem
    2006 Cannondale Tandem

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Ours hangs by the back wheel from a hook screwed into a ceiling joist in our garage. Should I rotate back to front to back wheel?

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM
    Should I rotate back to front to back wheel?
    No. A wheel's spoke network distributes the bike's weight evenly around the wheel when it's hanging from a hook in much the same way as it does when its sitting on the ground with the full weight of the bike plus the riders. I'm sure if you left a bike hanging long enough -- as in several decades -- the wheel might go out of round.

  7. #7
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    if you live in a colder humid climate.. especially where temps vary a lot during the winter...moisture will build up in the frame... if the bike is hanging from the rear wheel... this moisture will all run to your headset. Depending on what a bike has for drain holes.. IMHO it is better to hang it from the front wheel or horizontally upright.

    glenn

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    I've got five singles in my spare bedroom. The tandem is too long to get around all the corners though, so I keep it in the dining room instead.

  9. #9
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenlason
    if you live in a colder humid climate.. especially where temps vary a lot during the winter...moisture will build up in the frame... if the bike is hanging from the rear wheel... this moisture will all run to your headset. Depending on what a bike has for drain holes.. IMHO it is better to hang it from the front wheel or horizontally upright.
    I can see how this would happen with a lugged frame, but I have a hard time invisioning that much condensation pooling around frame joints in TIG welded and fillet-brazed frames to the point where it would spill over through the small vent holes into the head tube. Moreover, regardless of how you hang the bike or when stored upright on its wheels, condensation will always collect at the bottom brackets.

    I guess my underlying premise here would be that, unless you live in a dry and arid climate and never ride in the rain, your frame will most likely end up with moisture and perhaps even pools of water sitting in the frame and gravity will draw it down to the lowest possible point. Therefore, moisture from the rear of the tandem will have to flow past the vent holes at the stoker's seat tube and bottom bracket, and if your tandem doesn't used piereced seat tubes (e.g., Santana), moisture in the mid-tubes will need to pass through the vent holes in the captain's seat tube and bottom bracket, before migrating to to the joints at the head tube.

    As to how you deal with that can come down to how much it concerns you and your ability / desire to work on your own bikes. About twice a year I disassemble the bikes in our fleet that get ridden in the rain to clean all the crud that collects in the head & seat tubes as well as the bottom brackets. For the two road tandems, if we get caught out riding in the rain I'll almost always pull the bottom brackets and fork once I'm back home as I know there will be water in the frames, particularly in the S&S tandem's boom tube. If we rode in very heavy or prolonged rain conditions I can usually hear water sloshing around in the wheels so I'll also take the tires off the wheels to get the water that's collected in the rims to drain through the valve stem hole.

    Bottom Line: No matter how you store your tandem -- short of hanging it upside down with the stoker's seat post removed and the mast hole sitting as the lowest point of the frame, moisture is going to collect around and perhaps in your bottom brackets and perhaps even your head tube if you hang it upside down. I guess my only real take-away here is, even bikes with sealed bearings in the headsets and bottom brackets demand some level of maintenance if only because they conceal the places where moisture and even small pools of water can collect in a bicycle or tandem frame.

  10. #10
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    TG.. I guess I can't differentiate between what has been rain water... and condensation.... but I do not have to invision the scenario.. I have seen it first hand. Here in Maine our weather is very variable. We can go from quite cold.. below zero... to 40 and lots of humity and rain. Picture a very cold piece of metal... in a very humid place... you would be surprise how wet it will get. Right now on a daily basis we are going from the single numbers or colder at night..to upper thirties and fourties in the daytime.

    While It is not good to have water anywhere in the frame.. I would rather have it collect in the bb ... than the head tube. Often there is a drain there... and it does have to build up a bit to get at the bearings. Again most people do not do as you and clean out their bikes after riding in the rain.

    In more extreme situations..and granted I am sure it was not likely just from condensation... but up here it is not rare to see a frame tube burst open because of water freezing in it. [Most often of course they want it replaced under warranty ]

    glenn

  11. #11
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    I have mine on the back porch, under a roof but otherwise covered only with a nylon bike bag. The single bikes and trailer bikes are hanging from hooks on the east end of the porch, and I have a bike lift to install to get the tandem up out of the way. We also have been able to ride the tandem about every other week, so I haven't let the air out of the tires or taken the seats inside, etc.

    No garage here, but we live in an alpine desert climate, so moisture is not a big concern. We do have high winds in March and April, so I will take all the bikes down from their hooks and lay them down on the porch in a couple of weeks so we don't have blow-downs.

    Catherine

  12. #12
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    "Should I rotate back to front to back wheel?" Gotta confess I was kidding in asking that.......................Anybody want to volunteer their tandem to hang untouched for several decades to see if the wheel goes out of round?
    The moisture/temp discussion is interesting. Glad I don't live where tubes burst from water collecting and freezing. Amazing. I'd always thought the biggest problem with hanging by the rear wheel was that the blood would all run to the head tube. And the bike would get a head[tube]ache.

  13. #13
    Senior Member djembob02's Avatar
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    Instead of "storage," I prefer to say that our triplet lives in our living room. We have no garage at our townhouse, therefor, its either bring it inside or leave outside (NO WAY). So I bring it in the back door, through the small kitchen and it lives in the living room until its next use. If cold, or rainy, we leave it in the same spot and put the rear wheel on the trainer and ride in front of the TV. When warm, no more than 2 days later, we take it out the front door and ride away. On the rare occassion that we have a social gathering at our house (eg. family for Christmas), I put the rear wheel in the corner and hook the front end up to the ceiling as shown below.
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    Bobby

  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    djembo: not too many folks can claim to have such an interesting piece of metal sculpture in their living room. No doubt, a real conversation piece!

  15. #15
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    Re. water in frames, typically water gets into the frame from the seat tube clamp area I think. In a rainy classic race the seat post cutout will be sprayed with water for 7 hours, so no matter how much grease is on the seat post, some water will get through. Thus having an outlet will avoid a 1kg frame weighing 2kg by the end of the race. You occasionally see pictures of pro race bike bottom bracket shells with a single badly drilled hole in the bottom of the bottom bracket shell. Better steel frames often used to have cutout b/b shells which served the same purpose. Mavic and Shimano rims also have small holes to let the water out.

    I'm surprised by TG's strategy - that's certainly what was needed in the bad old days of cup and cone bottom brackets, but in my view it's not necessary to take the bike to bits every time it gets wet. I personally don't bother as it's far too time consuming - in the UK in winter it rains (or seems to at the moment) on about 30-50% of my rides, so I would be spannering as much as I ride. Secondly taking apart a perfectly well functioning b/b both increases the chance of the crank working loose or the whole thing unscrewing when miles away from home so I don't touch it. My strategy is to buy low maintenance components with cartridge bearings so that I can leave them until the bearings get rough and then just swap the bearings.

  16. #16
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    Re. storage we used to live in a one-bedroom flat. We had 3 bikes on hooks in the bedroom. It worked well - no strange stares either as we had a pine screen to cover it up.

    If considering this, I highly recommend laminate wood flooring though as any oil or mucky bike droppings can easily be wiped of with a scoosh of GT85 or similar aerosol lube. Carpet is not a good idea IMO.

  17. #17
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrfish
    I'm surprised by TG's strategy - that's certainly what was needed in the bad old days of cup and cone bottom brackets, but in my view it's not necessary to take the bike to bits every time it gets wet. I personally don't bother as it's far too time consuming...
    - Bear in mind, our road tandems are somewhat expensive, one-of-a-kind custom steel-framed tandems.

    - Getting "wet" doesn't qualify: it's after the hours-long, soaked-to-the-bone rides where experience tells me that special attention is required. If someone has never bothered to pull their bottom brackets or headset then they're just assuming everything's OK. Having checked those nether-regions on all of my bikes, I know now that when ridden in the rain for prolonged periods of time, water will collect in the rear bottom brackets of our tandem's frames. I also know that there will be a large pool of water in the boom tube of our S&S tandem, which necessitates its disassembly. The eccentrics used on all of our tandems have openings and cavities that allow water to pool so it's actually the eccentric that gets pulled and not the bottom bracket from the eccentric. Chris King headset bearings are sealed, but the headsets themselves aren't... so while our carbon steerers don't rust, it doesn't bode well to have water sitting inside of a steel headtube.

    - As for the time required, pulling the chains (done by hand), three cranks (with self-extracting bolts), the rear bottom bracket, the eccentric, and fork takes a little under 10 minutes, with reinstallation after air-drying for a day taking another 10 minutes: YRMV. Breaking the travel tandem down does take an extra few minutes since three couplers must be unscrewed. If we rode our tandems in the rain on a regular basis I would do what I've done to address the water and grime issue with my single bikes: I'd build up a non-coupled titanium "mud bike" for use on cruddy days.

    Sorry if I wasn't clear and, yes, this may still seem like a bit of excessive maintenance to a lot of folks. However, I guess it's like many things with bicycling... to each their own. I have no plans to replace our two road tandems for the forseeable future so an ounce of prevention... don't you know.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-27-07 at 11:18 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Remember living/riding a 100 miler in Michigan and battling rain . . . worms hanging from the cables that were guided under the boob tube . . . along with mudstreaked clothes and water in the tubes.
    Another good reason why we live in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and ride a cabon fiber 'no rust' tandem!

  19. #19
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    Tandem Storage

    In the off-season, we keep our tandem on a rack in the basement, rest of the year it's on a rack mounted to the wall in the garage.

  20. #20
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    Let's see, cost of tandem ($) + cost of new van to carry the tandem ($$) + cost of a house WITH garage to store tandem AND new van ($$$)

    Gee, I thought I was introducing my kids to a AFFORDABLE passtime. LOL

    Catherine

  21. #21
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine+2
    Let's see, cost of tandem ($) + cost of new van to carry the tandem ($$) + cost of a house WITH garage to store tandem AND new van ($$$)

    Gee, I thought I was introducing my kids to a AFFORDABLE passtime. LOL

    Catherine
    Yep -- just like the $30,000 chain saw and $500,000 horse. In our case, however, the hay barn provides more than enough storage for our bikes including the tandem.

  22. #22
    GO Floyd Landis, Go! Linda & Lew's Avatar
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    Ok

    Thanks for all the info on storage of our Tandem....
    I just picked my single up yesterday from a friend at work that suggested that I not be storing my bike with the chain on for long periods.......(who is a perfectionist I might add). The first thing I thought about was our tandem......should we have taken the chain off for winter? I just want to do this right.
    R 300 Cannondale
    Early 70's Free Spirit Tandem
    2006 Cannondale Tandem

  23. #23
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Linda and Lew:
    Don't mess with the chains . . . leave 'em on the bike!

  24. #24
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    All clear TG - I am sure you will be riding the same bikes in 30 years, whereas I probably won't be. Kudos for taking the time to do it properly.

    a friend at work that suggested that I not be storing my bike with the chain on for long periods
    That is a new one. Did your friends come up with a convincing science-based reason why, or was it just something a 'guru' mentioned to them?

    Some other myths for your amusement:
    My triathlete friend advised me to park my bike in the smallest sprocket and cogs. Why? To avoid the derailleur springs stretching.
    Bike shops used to say that steel frames 'go soft' or 'lose their spring' after a few years.
    By buying a frame made from Steel / Aluminum alloy X you get a much stiffer frame than Steel / Aluminum alloy Y
    Airline staff who say you need to deflate your tyres to avoid them exploding in an airliner hold

  25. #25
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda & Lew
    ... a friend at work that suggested that I not be storing my bike with the chain on for long periods.
    This probably goes back to the same rationale behind Fenlason's commentary on storing bikes in cold / high humidity locales where condensation can develop on bikes stored in unheated spaces due to rapid changes in temperature.

    If you did in fact live in such a location and stored you bikes in an unheated garage, shed, or basement, removing the chains "could" mitigate the potential formation of rust or corrosion any where that moisture becomes suspended between the chains and sprockets.

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