Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

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!

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-06-09, 06:08 AM   #1
Senior Member
Thread Starter
DCwom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central New Jersey
Bikes: Burley Tandem
Posts: 344
Locking the tandem

We've been going "lockless" since we got our tandem, but now we're considering doing some touring where we might leave the bike unattended. I can't imagine that locking a tandem is any different from a single, but I figured I'd ask before we go lock shopping.
DCwom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-09, 06:46 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 103
I lock ours just like a single using a non-coiling cable lock from masterlock. I've thought about purchasing a second so I could capture the front and rear wheel. It's probably overkill. If someone decides to steal a tandem there's not much that's going to stop them. Locks are more about keeping honest people honest or making the thieves move to an easier target.

Last edited by Murf524; 07-06-09 at 06:53 AM.
Murf524 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-09, 07:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: London, UK
Bikes: Trek T200 plus enough others to fill a large shed
Posts: 562
Depends where you are touring. The only time I had any problems was in the countryside where youths with nothing to do attempted to steal my sister's bike which I'd parked outside a shop in full sight leaning against the window. (Learning #2 - don't borrow your sister's bike when you have a puncture).

- when we eat lunch we leave the bike in sight with the brakes adjusted so that you can't ride it off immediately. No problems so far. Alternatively the chain can be derailed, but I don't like doing that.
- Otherwise we don't leave the bike unattended unless it goes in someone's garage or locked room. Most places we've visited are happy to help if you ask in advance. If they can't help we go somewhere else.

If I had to leave the bike unattended I would remove the front wheel and lock that plus the frame and rear wheel to an immovable object. I have a motorbike chain and Abus Disklock for that sort of thing, but it's so heavy I wouldn't want to carry it around unless travelling by car.

To simplify things you could use splined bolts to fix seat posts and wheels, then you would only need a small D-lock for the frame. That would be 90% secure, but would not protect against vandalism, hacksawing the frame to get it out of the D-lock for the components or allen key wielding thieves stealing the stoker bars etc.
mrfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-09, 08:36 AM   #4
Senior Member
swc7916's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Machias, WA
Bikes: Rodriguez Toucan tandem, Rodriguez Rainer Lite sport/touring
Posts: 718
We carry two 5' lightweight cables and a small padlock. I loop one cable through the front wheel and frame, the other through the rear wheel and frame, and lock the ends around anything convenient.

I assume two theft scenarios: One is the theft-of-opportunity where someone just jumps on and rides off with it and the other in which someone throws the bike into the back of a pick-up truck and drives off with it. (I admit that I made the second one up and have never heard of it actually happening, but it's one reason that it makes me feel better to lock the bike to something heavy or immobile.) Actually, I worry more about the accessories - lights, bags, computers, etc. - being stolen off of the bike rather than the whole tandem being taken.
swc7916 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-09, 03:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
zonatandem's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,783
We carry/use a short cable with tiny titanium combo lock and lock it to something through back wheel/frame. Could someone steal it? Sure, but not so far in 34+ years of tandeming all over the place.
Locks/cables are a deterrent but there is no guarantee.
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-09, 05:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago Area
Bikes: Co-Motion Macchiato, LightSpeed Road Bike
Posts: 56
Has anyone actually had a tandem stolen? It would seem to be a fairly dumb thief to steal anything of such very limited appeal (but maybe they don't know that? Our bike does look exceptionally cool.)
We now live in the Midwest, but I was scarred as a child growing up in NY City by having my first new, red "racer" (read that 3-speed in the '50s) stolen while I made a quick stop at a store. Been locking up the tandem with a lightweight cable and an aluminum combination lock - rear wheel and frame to post - more to make me feel better than to actually deter a pro.
barry.cohen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-09, 05:45 PM   #7
Senior Member
rdtompki's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hollister, CA
Bikes: Volagi, daVinci Joint Venture
Posts: 3,962
When my wife and I got back into cycling last August we bought new bicycles and a ridiculously heavy lock which I've used once. I've got specific coverage on our tandem ($30/yr). I really like the idea of the very light cable with combo lock - no key to loose. Has has been pointed out a professional bike thief won't be deterred in any event and tandem-wise may not even be interested. An opportunistic thief wouldn't have the tools or wouldn't bother. Got to get me to the hardware store now.
rdtompki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-09, 08:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
zonatandem's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,783
In our 3 1/2 decades of tandeming, personally know of 2 tandems that were stolen.
#1: stolen in the small town of Benson, AZ, parked in front of a restaurant, unlocked
Owner was re-imbursed and got another custom tandem built. Stolen tandem was found 3 months later dumped in the desert with the computer missing. Probably kids took it for a joy ride.
#2: another custom tandem was stolen out of a locked shed This one was never found and thieves likely knew the value and spirited bike out of the state. This bike had custom purple anodized crankset and other goodies. Sort of hard to sell locally.
An ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure; if a thief really wants to steal your tandem . . .
Pedal on TWOgether!
Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-09, 11:36 PM   #9
Front Half
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 40
In and around town, I use a 6-ft cable and U-lock; one of them through the front wheel, the other around a secure object. When touring, I use a 12-ft, 1/2 inch cable through both front and rear wheels, and around a secure object.
Front Half is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 AM.