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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 06-04-04, 08:55 AM   #1
John Catlin
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Tandem on a Trunk Rack?

I have searched this forum and found a few mentions of people using trunk racks to transport their tandems.

Is this a reasonable and safe thing to do? Or are there horror stories I should know about before doing this on a long trip?

I have a Saris Guardian 3 trunk rack and have used it three times now to transport my tandem short distances of less than 40 miles without incidence. My tandem is a 2003 Burley Samba. By removing the wheels, which is very easy to do, I find that my tandem only sticks out about four inches on either side of my Chrysler Town and Country minivan and about six inches on my Stratus. In other words, the tandem sticks out about as much as my mirrors do. It does not shift or move about in any way and appears to be very secure. It is easy to mount and dismount the tandem on the trunk rack. And the nicest thing about this method is that it is cheap in comparison to some of the other roof rack and trailer alternatives.

Please warn me though if I am being penny wise and pound foolish. After investing so much in a bike my wife and I have become attached to, I would hate to have it ripped off the trunk rack and smashed on the highway. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated. We plan on taking the tandem to Michigan's Copper Country, about 600 miles away, in a few weeks, hence the reason I am asking now.
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Old 06-04-04, 10:44 AM   #2
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I'm not crazy about strap-on racks because I've heard too many horror stories from people who have had their rack come separated from their car on the highway. If you notice other people's strap-on racks during your daily travels, you will be surprised at the percentage that are held on by a thread and a prayer. I know several people who routinely transport their tandems this way, but it's certainly not for me.

I think that your Town & Country would make an ideal tandem hauler if you'd take out a seat or two.
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Old 06-05-04, 07:02 PM   #3
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Here is a link to a prior reply to a similar question....
Carrying that Tandem
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Old 07-13-04, 09:56 PM   #4
BikingWithKids
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I've transported my 2 tandems, or a tandem, a single and a trailerbike on an Allen rear rack for two years now without any mishaps. My biggest complaint if that I have to take the wheels off, because by law here in Massachusetts is that bikes cannot extend beyond the sides of the mirrors on the car, and the tandem with its wheels on is about a foot wider than the car. Besides, its too cumbersome to have an 8 foot tandem mounted on a 7 foot wide car. That being said, I'm in the process of building a trailer that can hold the tandems more solidly.

Mark Stoughton



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Originally Posted by John Catlin
I have searched this forum and found a few mentions of people using trunk racks to transport their tandems.

Is this a reasonable and safe thing to do? Or are there horror stories I should know about before doing this on a long trip?

I have a Saris Guardian 3 trunk rack and have used it three times now to transport my tandem short distances of less than 40 miles without incidence. My tandem is a 2003 Burley Samba. By removing the wheels, which is very easy to do, I find that my tandem only sticks out about four inches on either side of my Chrysler Town and Country minivan and about six inches on my Stratus. In other words, the tandem sticks out about as much as my mirrors do. It does not shift or move about in any way and appears to be very secure. It is easy to mount and dismount the tandem on the trunk rack. And the nicest thing about this method is that it is cheap in comparison to some of the other roof rack and trailer alternatives.

Please warn me though if I am being penny wise and pound foolish. After investing so much in a bike my wife and I have become attached to, I would hate to have it ripped off the trunk rack and smashed on the highway. Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated. We plan on taking the tandem to Michigan's Copper Country, about 600 miles away, in a few weeks, hence the reason I am asking now.
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Old 07-14-04, 03:08 PM   #5
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Yup, your rack works fine, do it!
But to keep tandem out of the elements (it does rain in Michigan, used to live there!) suggest loading it INSIDE your van.
We have hauled a tandem on a front bumper mounted rack on an old VW Squareback. Now we use an Accord Station Wagon for a tandem hauler.
Out of sight out of mind (less chance of theft/damage) and out of the elements too!
Enjoy the Copper Country!

Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
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Old 07-14-04, 06:04 PM   #6
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Hi,

We have a new Burley Rumba that we put on a Saris Guardian 2 trunk rack mounted on the back of my Acura TSX. Yes, it does stick out a bit but I take off the front wheel which helps. If we are going more than 20 miles I'll take off the rear too. No problems with the police or interference with obstacles. It's pretty steady back there even at 80 mph.

joe and Kathy
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Old 07-19-04, 09:56 AM   #7
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John

See my reply mail a few posts down. I have travelled many thousands of Km with my rear mounted bike carrier carrying my tandem as well as half bikes. Some of the trips was even down to Cape Town and back for the Cape ARGUS Cycle Tour (moe than 3000km in total). Go and read about the tour at http://www.cycletour.co.za/ . The tandem does stick out on both sides of my Corolla but nothing more than a caravan. What is important though is to not obscure the licence plates and rear lights. I have a seperate set that clamps to the carrier once the tandem is loaded. The lights work form a 7 pin caravan plug. The carrier MUST be hitch mounted, and not the strap on type. The momentum of a swaying tandem will not work here. Also use shock corded rubber bands or old tubes to secure the tandem. This works better than rigid straps.
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Old 07-26-04, 11:29 AM   #8
John Catlin
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We chickened out and put our tandem inside the Chrysler Town and Country minivan. Once we removed the back seat, which was a lot easier than I thought it would be, we had enough room for the tandem if we popped off the front weel. It was simply more relaxing and reassuring knowing the tandem was in the minivan with us rather than hanging off a trunk rack.

We still use the the trunk rack on my Dodge Stratus for short runs up to local parks. However, for long runs over 50 miles, I think we will stick with putting the tandem inside the minivan and just pay the extra gas cost. In fact, we never put the back seat back in and just might not do so for some time.

By the way, we had a wonderful time cycling around the Copper Country, but it did rain all day long when we planned to go between Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor, so we have something to do on our next trip up north.

Thanks everyone for your advice.
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