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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 04-20-10, 12:37 PM   #1
PeFSQ
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S&S Travel and Insurance

Hi from Montreal,

new to tandeming, we are waiting for our new S&S coupled Co-motion Primera tandem to arrive. We are very excited about the possibility of taking it with us for an end-of-summer visit in our country of origin - the Czech Republic.

We wanted to ask whether people usually take any special insurance for the luggages containing the bike when travelling with a coupled tandem. If yes, what would be the price range for such insurance?

Or, do you take an insurance for the bike in general (even when not travelling with the bike)?

Thanks.

Pavel & Zuzana
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Old 04-20-10, 12:47 PM   #2
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Or, do you take an insurance for the bike in general (even when not travelling with the bike)?

Thanks.

Pavel & Zuzana
I talked to our insurance agent and he told me that our homeowners insurance included the bike. I'm not sure he really understands the concept of a custom, coupled tandem, but he didn't seem to think we needed a special rider.

I'd recommend talking to whomever you have either homeowner's or renters' insurance from (and if you currently have neither, this would be a good time to change that). It might not cost you anything - being included - but it still would be good to know that.
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Old 04-20-10, 07:44 PM   #3
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I have been told by two different insurance companies that my tandem would require a rider like an expensive piece of jewelry. One quote was 10% and another 7% of the purchase price per year.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:52 PM   #4
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Last trip to Europe we bought a special "rider" to our homeowners insurance plan for, if I recall, about $50/month for a very comprehensive coverage. Agent said "if you drop the bike carrying it up the stairs and it gets damaged, this will cover it." Not cost effective if you kept it in force all the time, but for the couple weeks of a trip, probably not too bad. Consider what the airline baggage goons can do with your bike case. I've watched 'em... We started it on the date of departure, and canceled on return. Nice piece of mind, and they are OK with that. And they let us specify that the custom Erickson tandem was worth $14,000 or something. In the end the goons did major damage to the case(s) but the bike survived for another day.
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Old 04-20-10, 08:53 PM   #5
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We are very interested in a Czech Republic tour, but next year. I was taught Czech in the US Army, but never allowed to go there at the time, and now I finally can tandem tour there! We'd like to start with this route:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/224642
and then go through Sumava to Domazlice (sorry for the misspellings but I don't know how to make the letters), but don't know what would be a good route from Domazlice back to Praha.

Sorry, I don't know anything about bike insurance. I am planning to build a very light wooden case for our tandem.

Please let us know how your trip goes or at least give us a link to a post in the Touring forum.
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Old 04-20-10, 09:03 PM   #6
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Hey CFB: I built my own wood case, too. In fact built two different designs. One was 1/4" plywood with epoxy/fiberglass coating, the other is bead/cove redwood slats/epoxy laid up like a canoe or kayak. Have only actually used the plywood, and it survived Detroit>Paris>Florence and return, though the goons mooshed the case clasps. Am redesigning that part for this summer's Spain outing with closures designed for pro musician cases:
http://www.reliablehardware.com/mediumtwistlatch.aspx
Have other advice, too, if you are interested. My case(s) came out at the same overall weight as the S&S plastic cases, and way more esthetically pleasing. Wow factor among friends.
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Old 04-20-10, 09:19 PM   #7
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Hey CFB: I built my own wood case, too. In fact built two different designs. One was 1/4" plywood with epoxy/fiberglass coating, the other is bead/cove redwood slats/epoxy laid up like a canoe or kayak. Have only actually used the plywood, and it survived Detroit>Paris>Florence and return, though the goons mooshed the case clasps. Am redesigning that part for this summer's Spain outing with closures designed for pro musician cases:
http://www.reliablehardware.com/mediumtwistlatch.aspx
Have other advice, too, if you are interested. My case(s) came out at the same overall weight as the S&S plastic cases, and way more esthetically pleasing. Wow factor among friends.
You bet I'm interested! Planning on a 5mm 5-ply Okoume case with epoxy filleted corners, no glass. Hadn't thought of the aesthetics, but now that you mention it, why not. PM me please.
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Old 04-20-10, 09:34 PM   #8
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PM sent.
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Old 04-21-10, 01:10 PM   #9
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I thought your issue was going to be with the Airline tarrifs. One reason many people buy S&S couplers is to avoid the bike fee by the airline.

So when you check your S&S case or cases, do you declare it as a bike? If you do, they're likely to charge the fee.

If you don't, and the bike's lost or damaged, I could see the airline not paying the claim, or paying at a much reduced level.

If you're in this situation, it would be worthwhile reading the tarrif of the Airline you're flying on, and seeing what the limits of their liability are.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:10 PM   #10
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As far as I know, the payout from the airlines for loss/damage is based strictly on a per bag limit, is laughably low, and not even enough to cover a bag full of casual street clothes. If you expect to replace a trashed or lost tandem I suggest, again, that you buy "all perils" insurance as a rider to your homeowner's policy. I made my agent acknowledge that an enthusiast's custom tandem was worth $12k and if necessary, that would be the claim, and she said assuming I could document such value, we were good to go. Kept the rider in force just long enough for the trip. Cheap peace of mind.
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Old 04-23-10, 12:22 PM   #11
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Pavel & Zuzana,

We own a Co-Motion Primera Co-Pilot and love it - you are going to be very happy with it.

I'm having the discussion with our insurance agent now. He has repeatedly told us that our bikes (we have about a dozen) are covered with our existing homeowners policy. We have finally shown him the cost to replace all those bikes (many of them custom) and we are now getting a rider on our policy. We may have to sell a car to make up the difference in the new premium, but it is worth it in peace of mind.

The airlines typically only cover $1500 or so - as someone else commented, the compensation won't cover a suitcase with a week's worth of clothes let alone a bicycle.

Please share some photo's of your new tandem and the trip on your return.
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