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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 06-14-09, 07:07 PM   #1
andydreisch
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Roof rack + tandem + oops = near-disaster

My poor stoker forgot the tandem was racked on the roof of our car when she pulled into the garage. She had thought about it just a second or two beforehand but--bash!!--the tandem smacked right into the house.

Though it looked quite horrifying (I was right behind her when it happened), and I thought the frame would be bent, it turned out that the rack mounting slipped, taking up much of the force. The Ultegra STI shifters "ate" a bunch of stucco and our rack, though bent, is OK. The Murano has a gouge or two and the house has two nicely-formed holes that have the shape and contours of STI shifters and brake hoods.

But the bike is OK!!! The stoker's psyche is a tad damaged but we had a terrific ride this weekend in preparation for a multi-day tour this summer.
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Old 06-14-09, 07:25 PM   #2
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Sounds like *you* screwed up.

How'd she get the garage door open? The remote is supposed to be in the saddle bag when the bike is on the roof of the car.
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Old 06-14-09, 07:27 PM   #3
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Although we don't park in our garage I'm tempted to reverse our topper rack so the overhang is in front of the windshield. Would make something like this less likely and improve access to our hatch.
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Old 06-14-09, 08:01 PM   #4
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Not to be a nervous nellie and at the risk of sounding overly presumptuous....

Be sure to really give the fork and head tube area a very thorough looking over, even if you're still using the stock alloy fork that came on your C'dale. You'll also want to give the handlebars a very good looking over, particularly at the clamp area. If in doubt about the bars, consider replacing them just to be on the safe side.

Beyond the immediate area of impact with the garage, pay particular attention to the lower weld joint at the head and down tube junction and to the fork's crown and lower legs since force of the impact with the garage meets the rack system and car at the rack's fork skewer and drop-outs. In most cases, if there's any damage beyond the shifters and handlebars it will be at the fork crown. Tubes like the ones on your C'dale used for the top, internal and down are pretty robust which is what makes checking the weld areas so important since that can sometimes be the weakest link in a robust frameset.
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Old 06-14-09, 08:09 PM   #5
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I only wish I could do that [I got too much stuff in the garage to park a car let alone a car with a tandem on top]. Don't fret, I have heard it happens to many people. The idea of the remote in the saddle pack is a good idea.
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Old 06-14-09, 08:33 PM   #6
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Ah, but the remote is integrated in the car. And when we take the tandem from home we have a yellow sign that hangs down when the door is opened. The problem is when we pick up the tandem from somewhere else ... here we use a bright orange ankle bracelet we place in a conspicuous spot in the car. Alas, not this time.

TandemGeek, yes indeed. I'm going to ask my LBS to give it a thorough looking over. I looked it over really good and it handled perfectly this weekend but I'm a fanatic and I will check.
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Old 06-14-09, 08:53 PM   #7
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There are only two kinds of people who carry bikes on the roofs of their cars: those who have driven into the garage with one on the roof....and those who haven't yet but will someday. I'm one of the former. I feel your pain, AndyD.
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Old 06-14-09, 10:45 PM   #8
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I've done this several times with my bikes. But, no more. Internal storage in a Honda Odyssey is sooooo nice.
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Old 06-14-09, 11:03 PM   #9
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Another one?!?
Could have been worse.
Agree that if you have a roof rack, eventualy it will happen.
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Old 06-14-09, 11:35 PM   #10
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It isn't just the garage you have to worry about!

When I was living in Japan I stopped by my LBS one afternoon. The LBS owner had just helped two very unhappy gentlemen clean the remains of their Colnago and De Rosa off the road. Apparently these guys had just picked up their bikes from the LBS; new Colnago C50 and serviced De Rosa King. Put the bikes on the roof of the car, drove Ĺ a block before driving into a small train tunnel underpass. Both bikes were sheered off at the forks, and ripped out of the rear wheel drops. Frames and wheels were a total write off. This is how you turn $12 K of high end cycling equipment into a pile of scrap. I was quite impressed that the roof rack didnít even come loose, and all the wheels (totally trashed) were still strapped on to the rack.
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Old 06-15-09, 08:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andydreisch View Post
My poor stoker forgot the tandem was racked on the roof of our car when she pulled into the garage. She had thought about it just a second or two beforehand but--bash!!--the tandem smacked right into the house.

Though it looked quite horrifying (I was right behind her when it happened), and I thought the frame would be bent, it turned out that the rack mounting slipped, taking up much of the force. The Ultegra STI shifters "ate" a bunch of stucco and our rack, though bent, is OK. The Murano has a gouge or two and the house has two nicely-formed holes that have the shape and contours of STI shifters and brake hoods.

But the bike is OK!!! The stoker's psyche is a tad damaged but we had a terrific ride this weekend in preparation for a multi-day tour this summer.
I avoided this type of wreck when the house was built, I had higher doors built. You can drive in with a load on the roof with lots of clearance. Your luck you did not smash your head from fainting!
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Old 06-15-09, 05:57 PM   #12
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Another Garage mishap aviodance technique

I always put something in the middle garage floor the prevents me from entering the garage. A mower, gas can anything will do. I feel your pain......
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Old 06-16-09, 01:05 AM   #13
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My plan was to park on surface parking outside the commercial deck at my work, fully realizing bike & car would not fit in the parking deck. I didn't take into account the clearance warning sign that happened to be located at the entrance to surface parking. Wham! Bike & rack ripped off & on the ground. Oh a hate that felling....... I think it happens to all cyclist at least once.
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Old 06-16-09, 05:31 AM   #14
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You can park your car in the garage?!?! My garage hasn't seen a car inside in years.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:17 AM   #15
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I did this with my mountain bike and I don't even have a garage! Stupid ATM kiosks...
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Old 06-16-09, 06:13 PM   #16
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I once loaned a mountain bike to a friend, who drove her car into the overhang a a hotel. Knocked the rack off the roof of her car. Bike was okay. She really felt bad. I can't imagine doing it to someone else's bike.
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Old 06-16-09, 06:18 PM   #17
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This thread is making me way too nervous. Had to get out of my car at a MacDonald's drive-thru to make sure I would clear the overhand. And that was before this thread. I may have to go out this evening and buy a van
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Old 06-17-09, 09:11 PM   #18
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My garage has too much sh@# in it to ever let that happen. I guess it's the only good thing about having a messy garage.
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