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  1. #1
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    What car mounted racks do you use for your tandem?

    Just bought a used Trek T1000 and was wondering what experience you tandem owners have with roof racks? What brand do you use and/or recommend. We have a Honda Accord with a roof rack, and a Honda CR-V. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    We've been very pleased with our ATOC (the rail mounts are Thule). Our Jetta wagon has roof rails and the low roof height means I don't even have to use the swivel. If I had a vehicle with a rear hitch I'd be tempted to look at one of the tandem racks that mounts the tandem near verticle.
    Rick T
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    daVinci Joint Venture

  3. #3
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    A Yakima Sidewinder. We are very happy with it. After we are done using it, it is out of the way. We considered a hitch mounted rack and looked at one. The cost of the hitch and having it low where it is easy to damage were negatives but the deciding point was that it was awkward to use. Then you have to put it somewhere when you are done using it.

  4. #4
    Hi, folks sdold's Avatar
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    A Rick Jorgensen Tango tandem rack. http://www.bicycle-engineering.com/ No-frills, but amazingly strong and simple.

  5. #5
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    If we can't get there without a car, we would rather not go. We do somehow find a way to go to an awful lot of places even with that restriction and we are somewhat surprised to find a growing number of young people with the same philosophy. Now if I could just find a way to tolerate their music.

  6. #6
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    My favorite is the Yakima Sidewinder. For loading, it pivots out from the vehicle. It supports the bike by the boom tube, so the rack doesn't stick out the rear of the vehicle. A single bike fits on it just fine. I had to shorten ours, but what I did is specific to a size small bike with a lateral tube.
    Thule/ATOC supports the bike by the rear wheel, so the rack sticks out the back a ways. It does not pivot away from the vehicle for loading, so more care is required to keep the cranks and chainrings away from the car.
    Draftmaster is the easiest to load/unload, but it's my least favorite. You'll want to remove it when you're done using it. It's heavy. It adds length to the vehicle. The bike sits just as high as a roof-mounted bike so it won't clear drive-thru's or a garage.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I used to use the Thule V type, which mounted on thule roof bars (actually on almost any bars) that I could sell you for $150 if you like. My old Burley Duet had a rear drum and did not have rear quick release. I now have a newer Santana, whose QR wheel takes about 3 seconds to remove and replace, so I have been using a conventional Rhode Gear trunk carrier. This also doubles as a makeshift work-stand. I found that by taking off both wheels, the length of the tandem frame (approx. 70") is about the same as my single bike with its wheels mounted; not any wider load than the single. It is very simple and works fine!

  9. #9
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    We have been very happy with our ATOC Tandem Topper, mounted on our Ford Focus Wagon. We have a factory roof rack with Yakima rails attached. We have had the rack for 8 years and have used it for both our Co-Motion Speedster and our Calfee Tetra. We use it for short trips - for longer trips we take the wheels off and put the bike in the back of the wagon. We have the drill down so well that we can take the wheels off and put the bike in the back in about the same time as we can put it on the roof rack. It is nice to have both options.

  10. #10
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    We like our Rocky Mount Tandem R4. It's on top of our Honda Accord affixed to a Yakima roof rack. The pivot to load is great, the rear telescopes so that you can carry short bikes on it as well--and also so it doesn't impinge on the trunk lid opening. Be careful when it's extended for the tandem so you don't dent the trunk!

    We have the rack mounted as far outboard on the passenger side as possible (though still inside the rack mounting towers), but we still need to keep the passenger door open to clear the front bottom bracket on the Co-mo when loading.

    http://www.rockymounts.com/TandemMount_R4_p/0512.htm

    We had found a coupon code online for it, and saved 10% that way.

  11. #11
    Senior Member brockd15's Avatar
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    We use a trunk rack also, the Saris Bones RS specifically, and we don't even take the wheels off. I put it on like any other bike, turn the front wheel and bungee it to the top tube, which keeps it from sticking out at all on that side. The back wheel sticks out 6" to 7" or so; not enough to worry about. It's a lot easier to use that rack than it is the fork mount rack in the bed of my truck.

  12. #12
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    We like to keep the Calfee inside a vehicle if we can.

    We recently picked up an awesome 1985 Toyota Cressida Wagon

    - Supra Inline 6
    - RWD
    - Comfy
    - Nice interior, and the seats fold completely flat

    The Calfee can fit with only the front wheel removed, and room for tons of other stuff.

    Cool thing is a Turbocharged Supra engine nearly bolts right in, so that will be my next project (eventually, after I do suspension, brakes etc).



    PS - We used to stuff the Calfee into a Civic. That was a major PITA, but I still liked it over a rack.
    Last edited by uspspro; 07-22-10 at 11:46 PM.

  13. #13
    enginerd jeff^d's Avatar
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    We have a Thule Revolver hitch rack mounted on a 1983 Toyota pickup with a camper shell. It holds the bike from the top tube using padded arms. I take the front wheel off and it doesn't stick out the sides more than the side mirrors.

    The really nice thing is that the rack is hinged, and rotates out so we can access the tailgate. We have a loft built inside so we can sleep and store things underneath, and keep the bike on the rack out of the way. Works great for weekend trips. The truck is so tall with the camper shell that it's not really practical to keep the bike on the roof. Although we do have a Yakima Rocketbox mounted up top to store other stuff. Use a step ladder to access.

    I would recommend adding extra lights to the rear of the vehicle with a hitch rack. Our tandem covers up the taillights and turn signals, so I installed some LED light bars on the camper shell and reflective tape on the bike rack. Don't want to be rear ended...

  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We've always been able to haul our tandem inside our vehicle.
    Anything from an old VW Squareback to a couple of Honda Accord Hatchbacks to our current 97 Honda Station Wagon.

  15. #15
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    Interesting discussion. We'll hopefully be buying our new tandem in two weeks, and I'm shopping for some type of carrier. We have a Yakima roof rack, and I've been looking at both the Sidewinder as well as the Rocky Mount.

    However, it never occurred to me that the bike might fit inside the car. We have an '06 Subaru Legacy wagon. We'll be looking at a Santana Team AL in XL size. Does anyone have any idea whether it will fit in our car? I'd much rather have it inside, since it's going to be subjected to an 800-mile trip home.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    I've also got 4 Yakima Copperhead fork mount (single) bike carries for my roof rack. With the kids grown I just realized I won't need all four of them as singles - does it make sense to extend one of those Copperheads? I'm willing to forego the pivoting, etc. I imagine that I'd want to find a way to secure the back of the bike which I think is doable.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyTim View Post
    However, it never occurred to me that the bike might fit inside the car. We have an '06 Subaru Legacy wagon. We'll be looking at a Santana Team AL in XL size. Does anyone have any idea whether it will fit in our car? I'd much rather have it inside, since it's going to be subjected to an 800-mile trip home.
    What does your back seat look like?

    The trick is to recline the passenger front seat and half of the back seat. The rear wheel goes in the passenger front seat and the stoker rides respectfully behind the captain just like on the bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Thanks Retro Grouch. I guess that's not going to work - it will be 800 miles home with and my stoker doesn't do rear seats. Not in cars, anyway.

  19. #19
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    We have an ATOC Topper and are actually buying our tandem TODAY from the man behind ATOC, Charlie Buchalter.

  20. #20
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyTim View Post
    Thanks Retro Grouch. I guess that's not going to work - it will be 800 miles home with and my stoker doesn't do rear seats. Not in cars, anyway.
    Ours fits in the Cressida wagon in the rear without messing with the front seats at all.

    This is a Legacy Wagon pic:




    A: 39" wide lower gate opening
    B: 43" wide mid-gate opening
    C: 48" wide top of wheel wells
    D: 42.25" wide between wheel wells
    E: 33.50 " height opening at gate
    F: 29-31" interior height depending
    on where you measure
    G: 43" length with seat folded up
    H: 73" length with seat folded flat

    I am not sure what ours measures, but I'm sure you can get the tandem in there some way, and can most likely leave the rear wheel on. Front has to come off for sure, but that's no big deal.

  21. #21
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    An 800 mile trip will probably also involve other gear. By having the bike on the inside you will fight to get around it. Although you will catch bugs with a roof rack, you will have room for a cooler or other necessities such as luggage. There isn't a lot of surface area on a bike to catch bugs. Also rain cleans them off nicely at 70 MPH. If you want to access something, chances are you will have to take out the tandem. I used to do a partial commute in a Subaru wagon, ( an 85 GL so a little smaller) it was a PITA to haul my single bike out of the back. Since a tandem is larger and heavier, it will require more effort. It will be easier to drive if you can use your rear view mirror, but it certainly isn't necessary. The other reason we like a roof rack on our station wagon is the simplicity of use. It is just much easier than an interior fit. On the plus side for using the interior, it's less likely to be stolen, although that is a small risk, since you will be in transit most of the time. I once stayed in a hotel in Reno with items in the back of a pickup. I slept well knowing the parking strucure at the hotel had a nice video monitoring system staffed by very efficient hotel security.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    I was able to secure a loaner Sidewinder from a fellow club member: problem solved! We'll have to buy something like a Sidewinder in the future, if/when we do travel events, but once we get it back from purchasing it, we can just haul it around in the back of our pickup.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    uspspro - thanks for the dimensioning info. Once I get the tandem home I'll experiment with fitting the bike into our Subaru. I'm sure stashing it inside the car will be a handy option, if/when we're in an environment where security is an issue.

  24. #24
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    We have a medium Santana Arriva that we can fit inside our '96 Subaru wagon with the front wheel off and the head of an old single yakima fork mount put in as a way to keep the fork from digging into things. I also take the handle bars off the stem and take the captains seat post(and stoker bars) out, to make thing fit more easily. In our case we can keep both the front seats, fold down the two rear seats, and put the bike in upright such that the mounted fork sits on the back part of the armrest glove box, and the rear wheel on just closes inside our hatch. In this position, the weight of the bike could actually be on the front timing chain, so we place that right over the split in the folded down rear seats to allow the weight to bear on the fork and the rear wheel. I then use a strap to hold the bike upright tying it down to the solid hooks used to latch the rear seat when it is up. This might be tight with the XL, but I bet you can do it. Since the bike rides upright, it really takes up very little of the rear cargo space, and the space it does take is right down the middle. This makes it very easy to both pack and access all your other stuff. You do need to be careful about not getting chain tattoos on your car or your stuff. I don't actually do this approach much, as usually I need the rear seats for my family. In that case we put either two tandems or a quad on the roof with yakima bars and towers, and the great (but sadly discontinued) Sportworks U2 tandem racks. I couple the two tandem racks to make a quad rack when needed. The Sportworks design was incredibly modular and flexible for unusual bikes.

    Enjoy the new tandem!

    DMT
    Sanatana Arriva (S&S)
    Cannondale Road Tandem
    Santana Quad
    Last edited by tie dye tandem; 07-26-10 at 02:22 PM. Reason: I did not mean to hit return!

  25. #25
    Old biker, new tandem-er!
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    I have the Rocky Mount also, and while I like the pivot and the telescoping tray, the Q/R skewer broke pretty quickly. Also, the rack is kind of ugly. Does the job, though!

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