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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 10-09-07, 01:12 PM   #1
lkeaveney
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Newbie Needs Advice

Good morning! I have spent days searching the web in an effort to find alternatives to the expensive tandem bicycle racks and/or even more expensive retro-fit available by S&S. Here is the deal-e-o - I want to buy my daughter and her new husband a tandem bike for a wedding/christmas gift. That part seems to be no big deal - we don't need anything fancy, they aren't bicycling nuts (and I mean that in the most admirable way). So Walmart, Target and whomever offer bikes under $250. The problem arises with the rack..........OH MY GOSH! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING??? Almost $500 for a roof rack?? I need to keep it at $200 if I am going to make this work out (and my heart is set on this gift that will blow their socks off)...so I am asking those of you who have more experience with this than I. I live in No. Calif and they live in San Diego. They will need to get the bike home at the very least (by the way, I am so opposed to sticking a picture in a box - wheres the fun for Christmas morning???) and it would be nice if there was a way for them to take the bike to the beach once they got it home. The alternative doesn't have to be fancy or convenient (for instance, can we put a regular roof rack on top of their Dodge Neon, take a couple of peddles off and tie it down tight?? PLEASE HELP - I AM DETERMINED TO FIND A WAY!!

PS - I first posting was not in the "Tandem" forum but still a very nice person sent a response and suggested I repost my question. What a nice response! I will absolutely tell my daughter and her new husband to join (after they get their gift - obviously in an effort not to give up the surprise) - What a nice group of people.
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Old 10-09-07, 01:44 PM   #2
masiman
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Here are a few threads that discuss the options:

Transport options
Car/Truck Racks

Your basic options are roof, rear, trailer or inside. Inside is probably not an option if they have Neon. You could also consider shipping the bike after the holidays but they may still need a way to transport it once they are home. The cheapest route is probably the rear/trunk mount. You can very likely find a good used rack on craigslist.
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Old 10-09-07, 02:03 PM   #3
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Roof racks for tandems are expensive. I guess you found that out. In addition a Wal-Mart (Do they sell tandems?) is likely to be so heavy that just getting it on the roof rack would be enough of a workout for the day. This might not be such a great present for a couple of reasons.

1. Riding a tandem is a step harder than riding a single bike.
2. Cheap tandems don't get much use and if they do, they break.
3. It's hard to say whether two people will work out ok on a tandem. There is a lot of verbal and non-verbal communication.

If your really convinced look for a used better quality tandem. Tandems from the 80's can be had for around $300 and several are in very good condition.

Frank
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Old 10-09-07, 02:29 PM   #4
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Does the Neon already have a roof rack? If so, the Yakima sidewinder is about $300 new. Earlier this summer, I found one online for $280. If you get lucky, you might find a used one which should be sub-$200. Thule's tandem rack is comparable in price.

Or...what better way to spend a honeymoon than tandeming down the pacific coast highway? If they make it to San Diego and they're still married, they will surely live long happy lives together. Of course, having Mom or Dad following behind in the Neon is less than romantic.
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Old 10-09-07, 03:16 PM   #5
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Rear trunk mount with the front & rear wheels removed: simple, cheap (under $100) and easy.

Bottom Line: Any trunk or a somewhat more expensive receiver-hitch-mounted bike rack that can securely hold two regular bikes should be able to securely hold a tandem. Removing the wheels simply reduces the width to something about as wide as most cars so that the wheels don't stick out in the airflow. Removal of the wheels is actually made quite easy by the rear mount racks since they suspend the bike with both wheels off the ground.
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Old 10-09-07, 07:24 PM   #6
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I Love You

Quote:
Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
Rear trunk mount with the front & rear wheels removed: simple, cheap (under $100) and easy.

Bottom Line: Any trunk or a somewhat more expensive receiver-hitch-mounted bike rack that can securely hold two regular bikes should be able to securely hold a tandem. Removing the wheels simply reduces the width to something about as wide as most cars so that the wheels don't stick out in the airflow. Removal of the wheels is actually made quite easy by the rear mount racks since they suspend the bike with both wheels off the ground.
Are you serious!!! Why was it so difficult for me to figure this out?? This is perfect and I bow to you. Thank you - this may be the greatest Christmas gift I will receive this year!
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Old 10-09-07, 07:26 PM   #7
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You are awesome

Thank you so much for your reply - I was beginning to lose hope but still determined - I know my daughter and her husband are going to love this unexpected gift!
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Old 10-10-07, 12:13 AM   #8
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My mother wrote this post for my sisters gift

you are a tandem snob! Sorry that everyone doesn't live up to your expectations of "tandemery" but my mother is asking for help and you,....you offer a completely snide remark that only shows what a jerk you are. Help was what she asked for and you returned a broke, well wishing, mother and woman's plea for solutions, into an opportunity to talk about how regal your "ideas" are. Sorry that 500 for a rack is out of range and that Walmart does not fit into your 'idea' of 'quality' but thanks for showing the world that you actually can be a snob about absolutely anything.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:01 AM   #9
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WOW.... somoeone deleted a post or what is wrong with Ikeaveney??
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Old 10-10-07, 11:53 AM   #10
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I don't know what it going on with this thread, but it's being stopped now.
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