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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 08-15-07, 09:15 PM   #1
AndyH
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Transporting a tandem - my options?

I'm considering purchasing my first tandem (and first bike since I was a kid) and realized I have a problem: I do not believe I currently have a way to transport it.

I have a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback (not wagon) with a factory sunroof, no roof rack, and no hitch.

What are my options? I don't know if I can get a roof rack since I have the sunroof, although having the option to load a bike and/or a luggage carrier is appealing.

Maybe I could fold down the seat and load it inside with one of the wheels off? Any thoughts would be most appreciated.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:23 PM   #2
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Flip backseat down.
Open hatch.
Pop off one (or both wheels) and load frame & wheels into vehicle. Close the hatch.
Can't close the hatch?
Put some padding on tandem (piece of old carpeting works fine), and bungee down the hatch.
Cheap and efficient!
Pedal on TWOgether!
RUdy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-15-07, 09:54 PM   #3
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If you want a roof rack it would be the Thule 400xt Aero Foot | LB50 Load Bars | 101 Fit Kit this fits your car, then you can add any one of the tandem racks for your bike to it.
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Old 08-16-07, 06:52 AM   #4
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I have a subaru forester and a KHS alite that I've been transporting inside (just bought the tandem so no money to get a rack yet -- Plus there's always that I'm afraid I'll forget and scrape it off on my house). Anyway, If my stoker isn't in the car and I can move the seat up I can fit the whole thing inside which is nice, but when she's with me (which is the usual case) we bungee the hatch closed with padding, the only thing you may run into is increased exhaust in the cabin because of this, which is what we've run into. We're going to try more padding / blanket all the way around the hatch to try and minimize this but it was bad the first time so if you're extra sensitive to that be aware.
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Old 08-16-07, 06:59 AM   #5
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Reular hitch mounted bike racks work well also. You may need to remove tires if the tandem hangs out on the side too far. I have used this on our tandem to travel hundreds of miles with no problems. I do use a cable lock to secure the bike to the carrier if we will be away from the bike for any lenth of time (eating etc) but it is quite stable, you don't run the risk of smashing into your garage when you pull in. It is also fairly easy on gas mileage.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:24 AM   #6
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Another option is to buy an S&S coupled tandem. I think people said it took ~20 minutes to break down and about the same to put back together.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:55 AM   #7
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Our Comotion with S&S connections breaks apart in front of the bottom bracket (unlike some other makes) allowing the front third to be removed without messing with the timing chain. Takes less than 5 min to take off or put back on the front third of the bike. With the front third off and the rear wheel still on, it fits in our Toyota Matrix with the back seats down. Another idea for transport in a hatch back...http://www.blayleys.com/articles/cars/index.htm
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Old 08-16-07, 04:57 PM   #8
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Check with a rack dealer to see if you can get a roof rack- that is by far the easiest and best solution IMHO. The Yakima Sidewinder allows one-person loading of your tandem and will make non-local rides simple.
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Old 08-16-07, 05:30 PM   #9
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Co-Mos S&S design does make more sense than some others!
We've actually had non-S&S tandem all the way, or part way, inside a VW Squareback, Jeep Wagoneer, Honda Accord Hatchback and now Honda Accord Station Wagon. We prefer not to have our tandem exposed to the elements.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-16-07, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTGraphics View Post
If you want a roof rack it would be the Thule 400xt Aero Foot | LB50 Load Bars | 101 Fit Kit this fits your car, then you can add any one of the tandem racks for your bike to it.
I've got an old style Thule tandem mount that I'd let go for a real good price. Actually, I've got a complete roof rack system including wind fairing and short roof adapter. You'd still have to buy the appropriate foot pack. PM me if you're interested.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:44 PM   #11
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A standard, two-arm trunk mount or rear receiver bike rack is all that's really necessary. I always suggest that for anything other than a very short trip at least the front wheel be removed to reduce the width and/or increase stability. For longer trips, the back wheel should logically be removed as well. The upside of the rear bike mount is that they make wheel removal quite easy since the tandem is held by the rack with both front and rear wheels off the ground.

The rear receiver mounts are a bit easier to work with, but if you don't already have a receiver hitch on your car the added expense defeats a good deal of the savings vs a roof mounted system. But, as an example of how far down the food chain you can go, REI used to offer a trunk mount that costs $39 and had a 105lb capacity. That gem is now gone, but there are some $70 & $85 trunk mounts like this one from Yakima that will accomplish the same thing. I doubt your tandem will exceed the rated capacity of any of these wider truck racks, with or without the wheels attached and if you check around you can find these things for under $50.

Bottom Line: There is no NEED to spend a lot on bike racks: the simple ones work just fine but take a little more time and care to use than the more expensive rack systems.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 08-16-07 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:47 PM   #12
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I just did 600km of driving to and from a camping trip with our tandem and my wife's hybrid on the trunk rack. I removed the wheels to reduce weight and width. Put the tandem closer to the car. Bungied the heck out of them so they weren't swaying about back there. No problems.

I'll admit to stopping periodically to check on everything.

Only issue I had? I had cleaned and lubed all the chains before leaving, and 300km of driving got a fair amount of grit on the forward facing side of the drive chain which was out in the breeze.
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Old 08-18-07, 12:25 AM   #13
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There are some interesting pictures on the Dutch, or is it Danish, tandem club site (I forget the link).

I particularly liked the solution which starts with two automotive inner tubes, inflated, on the top of the car. Next comes the tandem, and then the ropes, bungees and tie-downs to secure the bike flat on top. Clever.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:19 PM   #14
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The inflated innertube setup is posted on the Dutch tandem website and claims they've hauled tandem thusly over some of those rough cobble roads that Flanders and Holland's famous for.
We're ready to pack up and leave on a 2,000 mile sojourn with our tandem and racing single packed inside our '97 Accord station wagon, plus all our 'stuff' that we needed for a 3 month getaway.
Perfectly do-able if you pack things just right.
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
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Old 08-19-07, 10:05 AM   #15
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A minivan works for us: Right down the middle between the seats. Front fork tips in a cheap holder screwed to a 1x4. Before that, we used a Thule tandem rack on top of a Mitsu Expo.
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Old 08-28-07, 05:56 PM   #16
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transporting a tandem_Honda Element

Hiya,

our tandem goes right down the middle of the Honda box from dash to tailgate, nothing removed. Or, when transporting more stuff, on the yakima rack on top with 2-3 half bikes.
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Old 08-29-07, 06:14 AM   #17
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I agree with JanMM- a minivan is the ultimate tandem accessory. Just shove it in and go. I wouldn't drive a van otherwise, but since tandemming is such a big part of our lives, it makes sense.

There are other advantages to using the van- the bike is out of the weather and secure. You have much less worry of it getting stolen compared to an outside mount.

Rick
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Old 09-03-07, 06:46 AM   #18
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Why hasn't anyone mentioned Atoc's Tandem Topper. I believe the swivel mount which allows a one man operation is Atoc's patent.
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Old 09-03-07, 09:16 AM   #19
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We are just getting ready to leave the Midwest Tandem Rally and mini-vans are obviously the hauling vehicle of choice. The parking deck looked like a mini-van storage facility.
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Old 09-03-07, 11:22 AM   #20
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Just for Fun..



This photo is from my old and really tall tandem that I sold to get a smaller version.

So far I carry my new Ibis the same way all ensemble, except for the "Timing chain" taken off with out any troubles, obviously my partner fits on the motorbike too..

More photos when I replace my broken camara.

ps: I'm making a more "on center" version of a rack so I can carry the tandem in a more comfortable manner plus other two single bikes, so we can go to BC in Canada next summer.

Last edited by ricardo kuhn; 09-04-07 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:38 AM   #21
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That bimmer should be a subject of another post
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Old 09-21-07, 01:13 AM   #22
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I have a small car- a 94 Honda Civic- and I have a basic Yakima system and use the Yakima Sidewinder. I find it very, very easy to use. It is one man operation. It is quite expensive, but I bought the whole system in two parts through www.craigslist.com for half the store price.

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