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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 02-02-09, 08:26 PM   #1
johnandtammera
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Options to Transport a Triplet

We are considering a triplet but depends in part on transportation options. I am aware of Mark and Paul's excellent article on triplets, quads, and quints at http://thetandemlink.com.hosting.dom.../Triplets.html

Based on a few searches it seems a popular method is to transport a triplet inside a minivan. We don't currently own a minivan and am wondering if there are other vehicles long enough to fit a triplet inside?

Is there an easy way to determine which cars will support a triplet with a roof rack such as ATOC? I am guessing a larger car or SUV is needed. ATOC requires 35 inches load bar spread for the triplet version of their Tandem Topper. I am sure there is a way to determine if a Thule or Yakima system would meet that requirement but I didn't find it on their website. Any pointers?

Finally, does anyone have pointers to experience or would like to offer their own experience with a micro trailer such as http://sportsrig.com/ I didn't find a lot with a few searches.

I enjoyed the Lets see your car/truck racks thread at Lets see your car/truck racks very informative

Alternative recommendations are encouraged! Thanks.
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Old 02-02-09, 08:35 PM   #2
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I have some personal friends who own a Santana take apart triplet.

For short trips he takes off the front wheel and transports it cross wise on an ordinary receiver hitch bike carrier. For longer trips he disassembles it into two parts which go onto the same receiver hitch carrier.
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Old 02-03-09, 06:47 AM   #3
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I use this trailer from Harbor Freight. Cost $239 (plus cost of wood, spare tire and fork holders) I put 4 bikes on there.

Went together easily.

Towes perfectly. Doesn't bounce. I see no need for a suspension system.

Folds up nicely for storage.


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=90154

Looks like they raised the price. I would definitely go for the 12" wheels.

Last edited by All American 6; 02-03-09 at 06:49 AM. Reason: add
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Old 02-03-09, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnandtammera View Post

Is there an easy way to determine which cars will support a triplet with a roof rack such as ATOC? I am guessing a larger car or SUV is needed. ATOC requires 35 inches load bar spread for the triplet version of their Tandem Topper. I am sure there is a way to determine if a Thule or Yakima system would meet that requirement but I didn't find it on their website. Any pointers?
I'm pretty familiar with Yakima roof systems; I assume you can get the same info from Thule:

Go to yakima.com and configure a roof top system for your car. You will be given basic set up dimensions (as well as a pdf manual, if you're really interested). I just ran my car, a PT Cruiser (which is not the longest thing on the road).

M1: 38 5/8, M2: 6, M3: 36 1/4, M4: 30
M1 Max: 38 5/8, M2 Max: 6, M3 Max: 35 3/4, M4 Max: 38

(In case the picture isn't clear, M4 is the distance between the bars. 38 inches would cover your minimum easily. I cannot speak to anything else about putting a triplet on the roof of your car; also, I've only used Yakima's tandem mount, not ATOC's.
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Old 02-03-09, 08:49 AM   #5
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I own a mini-van, and our Co-Motion double fits nicely, just drive it in between the seats. Though the height is now a problem with my wife's raised cowhorns for wrist problems. Based on that experience, I don't think a triple would fit easily, though maybe with both wheels off and some rig to hold up the rear dropouts, and pushing it all the way to the dashboard.
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Old 02-03-09, 10:03 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure you can set up a draft master rack to take a triplet
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Old 02-03-09, 06:21 PM   #7
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I looked into the Draftmaster. I love the design.

I think a good fabricator could make a triplet work on a Draftmaster. Add an extension and some additional bracing.


Here is what Draftmaster told me:

The longest Specialty Rail we make for the Draftmaster fits wheelbases up to
84 inches. We don't make a Draftmaster attachment for triplet tandems
because we feel the triplet would stick up to high and cause too many
clearance and loading issues. However, we do make a stock model of our
Tandem Topper roof mounts for triplets. It's the TT-321, so named because it
can carry a triple, double, or single bike.

Charlie Bxxxxxxx
Atoc Inc.
www.Atoc.com
www.TopperRacks.com
www.Draftmaster.com
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Old 02-03-09, 06:52 PM   #8
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We trasport our SS triplet in the back of a short bed pickup. It fits diagonally, we reomove the front tire and the rear tire rests on the open tail gate. We tie it down from the mid soker seat post.

I would be leary of the roof mount... my triplet weighs more than 70 lbs. I know that roof racks can handle that but I do can not lift the kind of mass over my shoulders.
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Old 02-03-09, 11:21 PM   #9
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small car triple transport

I don't think you need an SUV. I transported my triple for more than 10 years on an '88 Honda Civic. I had Yakima rails and a rack that clamped the front fork and the rear bottom bracket. The rack adjusted fore and aft so I was able to center the load over the rails. It did hang out over the front hood and rear trunk. Since the Honda was pretty low, it was much nicer putting it up on that roof than an SUV or a mini van. I see Tandem's East(http://www.tandemseast.com/parts/bags.html) has a triple rack, but I can't tell if you can center it on the roof rails from the picture which seems like a nice feature if you have a small car.
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Old 02-04-09, 10:59 AM   #10
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I would be leary of the roof mount... my triplet weighs more than 70 lbs. I know that roof racks can handle that but I do can not lift the kind of mass over my shoulders.

Valid point cornucopia, it is easy to modify a Yakima rack for a swivel front, or go with the ATOC solution. This allows lifting only half the weight at a time, which is pretty simple. Our triplet is pretty easy to load even on top of a tall Suburban, however, the tandem is too short for me to load this way because the rear wheels don't touch the ground when the fork is on the mount. A shorter vehicle would be okay. The triplet is much easier. Must watch for overhead clearance issues obviously!

Brian
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Old 02-04-09, 02:34 PM   #11
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http://www.snowbear.com/page/Utility...Style_Trailers
is another approach - sold at Costco and other similar retail outlets for about $600-750ish, and can be used for more hauling jobs than the Sportrig unit, and for 1/3 the price, more or less.
You can bolt some fork clamps (on sale at Nashbar every few months for $10, or $15 when not on sale) to the floor at the front.
If storage space is short, it's pretty easy to disconnect the tongue of the trailer and slide it under the bed, reducing the overall length by 6 feet or so.
Or, take all the pedals off of one side of the triplet, buy 3 inner tubes, put them on the roof, lay triplet on the flat, and lash everything down ...
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Old 02-04-09, 02:40 PM   #12
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Tandem toper

I use a Tandem Topper with my recumbent tandem (about the same length as a triple) and it seems to me the best way to handle it unless you have a maxi van. The topper that is made for a triple comes with a diagonal brace that stops the wobble that you see on many fork mount bike racks. Also comes with a strap to hold the handle bars straight. You lift the front and lock it in place then lift the rear and put the wheel in the track and velcro it down.
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Old 02-05-09, 12:11 AM   #13
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Based on your original post, I assume you have seen my triplet on the top of our CRV. I have also seen long bikes on the tops of smaller cars, on trailers (like the one above), and inside vehicles. The way I look at it, if the top of the car is attached to the body of the car (ie. its not a convertible), one can probably put almost anything on the top as long as it is completely secure. I know that Yakima and Thule make products to put roof rack cross beams on cars that do not typically have a roof rack. It think that these would usually work.

A good way to assess if this would work on your car is to call one of the above companies and ask if they have anything that would work on your car, whatever that is. I can be pretty sure, there is something to accomodate.

The other obvious option is to just ride it to your destination. This was our plan until we decided to do some bike touring 500 miles away from us. Good luck
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Old 02-05-09, 08:30 AM   #14
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Thanks all for your informative replies! We have a utility trailer very similar to All American 6 so that would be straightforward for us. I may need to call on a friend to weld a mount bracket that keeps the fork up but looks like a good way to go.

Thanks to Captain Mike, I can now interpret Yakima's numbers. Unfortunately our Camry won't meet the 35" minimum.

Out of curiosity does anyone have any experience with transporting a triplet in a minivan? It seems like a nice option for longer trips relative to security and keeping the bike out of the weather.
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Old 02-05-09, 11:11 AM   #15
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The raised forker for the triplet was necessary.



The raised forker for a single is not needed. The forker can be bolted right to the floor of the trailer and the chain rings will not touch the floor.

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Old 03-02-09, 01:53 PM   #16
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I have been thinking about Retro Grouch's comments. Using a standard receiver hitch bike carrier could be a cost efficient method to transport triplets. Are there any concerns?

Not sure if it is a concern but wondered if the tubes that are uncoupled would need to be supported? I took a Co-Motion Trident picture and added some red circles where it would be supported on the carrier.
front half.jpg

Are there any concerns with the two tubes that are not supported? I don't believe so as the tubes are larger diameter and there is no load on them.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-04-09, 07:38 AM   #17
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If concerned, one could always craft a quick on/off spacer from plastic pipe or wood. And use something (plastic bags?) to protect the couplers from precipitation and road grime.
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