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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 02-20-12, 05:23 PM   #1
DubT
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Is there a list of vehicles that can be used to haul a tandem inside?

We currently have a 2008 Chrysler Pacifica that we use to haul our tandem. It will fit neatly inside the car with the rear wheel sitting on a mount that I built and installed on the floor behind the front console. It takes a little effort to getting but once in the bike is stable and protected.

I will be replacing the Pacifica some time in the future and would like to know from the groups experience what crossover or minivans can be used to carry a tandem on the inside.

I know that the Honda Odyessey will do the job and it certainly has good reviews, are there any others that will allow the tandem to fit behind the front seats like the Honda does?

Thanks,

Wayne
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Old 02-20-12, 05:39 PM   #2
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I don't think there is, except scattered on different threads. Maybe this thread should become the official listing.

I am wondering about the Mazda 5, it looks to have potential.



I am going to see about making a cardboard cutout of our tandem sans front wheel. Then I'll take this cut out to new car lots, and take photographs of how it fits.
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Old 02-20-12, 06:08 PM   #3
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I don't think there is, except scattered on different threads. Maybe this thread should become the official listing.

I am wondering about the Mazda 5, it looks to have potential.



I am going to see about making a cardboard cutout of our tandem sans front wheel. Then I'll take this cut out to new car lots, and take photographs of how it fits.
Without the list I will just take the tandem and make sure it fits. Our daughter is looking for a new vehicle and she is going to buy a vehicle that will allow her to haul her race bike inside. She has been taking her bike with her as she looks at vehicles. She is leaning in the direction of the Ford Edge.
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Old 02-20-12, 06:24 PM   #4
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I looked into the Mazda 5 but due to the front console you can't back the tandem in and have the rear wheel between the driver and passenger seat. Even with the front wheel off this Mazda is too short to fit the tandem behind the driver seat. I wanted it to fit but it wouldn't.
We ended up getting a 2008 Honda Element and the tandem fits fine. There's a small short console / cup holders and we just put the rear wheel
on top of it between the driver and passsenger seats. There could be problems with the newer Elements due to a taller console.
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Old 02-20-12, 08:09 PM   #5
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We have both a Dodge and a Chrysler minivan. Our tandems will go behind the seats. Our triplet will fit between the seats.

Dave
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Old 02-20-12, 08:27 PM   #6
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When we attend tandem rallies there is a lot of possibilities seen.

For us though

Ford E150 Chateau Van for keeping the stuff locked and out of sight.

Toyota Tacoma double cab long bed other times.

When we bought the Toyota, the van hauled a our longest tandem to the various dealerships. Salesman came out, we explained the bike had to fit. After that we (actually my heartless wife / stoker, beat them up on the last day of the year) worked the deal on the model we wanted.

PK
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Old 02-20-12, 10:00 PM   #7
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Second generation (FWD) Mazda MPV.
One right down the middle.
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Last edited by JanMM; 02-20-12 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 02-20-12, 11:56 PM   #8
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We have both a Dodge and a Chrysler minivan. Our tandems will go behind the seats. Our triplet will fit between the seats.
It would be nice to find a vehicle smaller than a minivan that would accomodate a tandem upright in the middle with front wheel off. The Honda Element is an example, but I've ridden in one, and what with its utilitarian interior and four cylinder, it makes the Odyssey seem sybaritic in comparison.
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Old 02-21-12, 03:44 AM   #9
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Check out: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=Honda+Fit

Any of the "full size" minivans will work.

Our T50 measures a fraction under 8' fully assembled. Take a tape measure to narrow things down, then once you have a smaller field of vehicles to choose from, try with the actual bike(s).
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Old 02-21-12, 04:40 AM   #10
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Another recent thread listed the Toyota Sienna and had pictures posted with the tandem inside. Someone else posted a Honda Odyssey with pictures in the same thread.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-tandem-inside
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Old 02-21-12, 09:13 AM   #11
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We recently looked at the Mazda 5. A tandem will fit easily if both wheels are removed. This is the method I use on my smaller Mazda Tribute which is the same as a Ford Escape. The Tribute is a tight fit for a Santana Medium bike but it fits. I built a sled that both bottom brackets rest on with the bike without wheels. Sliding it in at a 45 degree angle and it just fits. Wheels go in wheel bags.

We opted for the Tribute because I wanted the smallest vehicle that would hold the tandem. A little more trouble to load and unload than a minivan which we owned before. On the other hand we most often ride from our house and carry the tandem only occasionally but have the vehicle in the garage every night along with two tandems, three singles and a work area. The extra foot or two in garage space allows for working on bikes with both cars in the garage.

Wayne


One side benefit to the tight fit is that the bike has no where to move in case of an accident.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:27 AM   #12
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Toyota Sienna!

After we saw first-hand just how easy it was for our tall friends (with a long custom tandem) to load it into their 2011 Toyota Sienna we did some quick research and just bought a 2012 Toyota Sienna XLE model. If I hadn't seen it for myself I'm not sure we would have been convinced

1. You can load a long tandem in directly, only removing the front wheel. You need the XLE model which has 2nd row captains chairs (no bench seat).
2. Bike seats will not have to be lowered or removed!
3. No seats in the van will have to be removed! 3rd row 60/40 seat folds down flush with the floor.
4. You can still transport people in the 2nd row captains chairs with the tandem in.
5. If you remove the 2nd row captains chair behind the driver, then two tandems and four people can be transported. The 3rd and 4th passenger would side on the right side in the 2nd and 3rd row seat (the 40% part of the 3rd seat put up).
6. You can get an AWD option in the XLE model (which was important to us)
7. tinted windows in back with installed window shades makes the tandem nearly impossible to see.
8. tight turning radius, quiet smooth ride
9. "long slide" 2nd row captains chairs mean you can put them almost anywhere you want in the cargo area. They slide fore, aft, and tilt so you can positon cargo anywhere you need it to be.

The reasons we didn't get the Honda Odyssey (though it is nice):
1. No AWD option, which was very important to us
2. No long-slide captains chairs in 2nd row
3. 3rd row seat not as versatile

Many many people haul their tandem in an Odyssey and love it--but the AWD was a deal breaker for us and the long slide/tilt captains seats in the Sienna gave us options to put in a 2nd or 3rd single bike, put a dog crate up behind the driver, etc. So much more possibilities.

When we test drove the Sienna we told the dealer it had to come home with us so we could physically put our tandem in it or we wouldn't even consider the purchase. We knew our friends did it and we saw that, but we wanted to do it with our own tandem. The dealer had no problem with that and didn't even require a salesman to ride with us. We just put old blankets in the back and between the captains chairs and did it. I wish I would have taken a photo at that time, because we've only had the vehicle for 4 weeks and haven't needed to transport it yet so I have no photos.

I never in a million years thought we'd be the owners of a mini-van, but it's amazing how well it works for this purpose.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:50 AM   #13
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A tandem will fit in an Element but it is tight. The front wheel is off. The rear wheel is on "platform" and rests between the driver and passenger seats. If you had a manual transmission it might make shifting difficult. For a longer trip I made a boom tube support so I could remove the rear wheel and have a be able to hold my wife's hand while driving. Gas mileage for an Element is nearly the same in town or on the highway. We love our Element and live with the 20-21 mpg on the highway.
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Old 02-21-12, 11:30 AM   #14
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No problems shifting our manual transmission Element with the rear wheel between the seats. We just move the rear wheel more toward the passenger side.

Good idea on the boom. We've done trips up to 5 hours with the tandem in place. We just remove the rear pack so we can se each other.
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Old 02-21-12, 11:32 AM   #15
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For trips of any length, we carry our CoMo inside our 2004 2-door Jeep Wrangler in two cases. The couplers are the best money spent for options IMHO.

Once at our destination, we haul the bike on the outside rack.
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Old 02-21-12, 11:52 AM   #16
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Gas mileage for an Element is nearly the same in town or on the highway. We love our Element and live with the 20-21 mpg on the highway.
20-21 on the highway is what I get with the V-6 powered Odyssey, and indeed the EPA MPG estimates for the Element and Oddyssey differ not at all.

A pic of your boom tube support would be helpful.
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Old 02-21-12, 02:05 PM   #17
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Well it may not be usefull to add our rig to the list because it will probably come as no surprise that we can fit our tandem, with both wheels attached, into our Volkswagen Eurovan Weekender camper. We fold the back seat down and just lay the bike on it's side. We avg about 16-17 MPG in town and 22-23 on the highway. It has been a great van - absolutely love it after having owned it for many years. Unfortunately they have not been sold in the US for awhile but are available in Europe.
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Old 02-21-12, 02:39 PM   #18
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This thread is a treasure trove of tandem-friendly van info. Right now I'm using my 2002 Jetta diesel wagon to transport our tandem (on the roof of course). I get 35 mph at 75 mph, but I'm seriously thinking of trading our Passat in on a mini-van. The Passat is my car and I don't even commute now so I expect the mileage on a van would be no more than 10,000 miles/year: it's either a second Jetta diesel wagon or minivan and I don't know that diesel will ever come down in price relative to gas so the economics may actually be a wash.

We can't keep taking long trips in the current Jetta forever as we've got 280,000 miles on it now - still going strong, however.
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Old 02-21-12, 03:11 PM   #19
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A pic of your boom tube support would be helpful.
The boom tube support is an elevated foam-lined wooden tray that insures that the chains, cranks and rear derailleur don't drag on the floor.
Since I only use it for longer trips the rear seats are folded and I use a ratcheting strap to the seat attachment points in the floor to "lock" the tandem into place. I've remade the elevated fork mount you see in the picture from a previous thread I created.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...hlight=murf524

Last edited by Murf524; 02-21-12 at 03:13 PM. Reason: more details
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Old 02-21-12, 09:09 PM   #20
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I never in a million years thought we'd be the owners of a mini-van, but it's amazing how well it works for this purpose.
Mini-vans get no respect, but in many ways they are the most useful vehicles on the road.

My only concern is that the market seems to be pushing manufacturer's to optimize them more towards hauling passengers than stuff, reducing utility while pushing up cost.

Overall we prefer our 2nd Gen Odyssey to the current gen version, it's just a matter how long we can keep it running (140,000 miles so far and no big issues).
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Old 02-22-12, 08:05 AM   #21
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We've hauled our tandem in a variety of vehicles, both rented and owned in the USA and Europe. Here's a partial list, annotated:

1. 2008 Honda Odyssey, our primary big-bike mover. Our triplet even fits inside, upright, up the middle to the dash with both second-row seats still usable. Tandem fits easily, without folding down the front center console. (Note that current Odysseys have a console that must be removed rather than folded down to carry something like a triplet... not quite as easy). BTW, our Odyssey easily gets 26-28 MPG on the highway.
2. Subaru Outback. We've owned 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009 Outbacks, and our tandem fit inside with half the rear seat folded down and both tandem wheels removed, allowing our son to fit in the back seat in his car seat. Current model-year Outbacks are a bit bigger, so I'm sure they would work, too.
3. 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door (hatchback). We just traded our Outback on a new 2012 Subaru Impreza; I haven't tried the tandem in it yet, but will report when I do so. I think it will likely fit, but will require the passenger to sit in the back seat behind the driver, as those with Honda Fits have reported doing. As an aside, we looked at the Honda Fit when shopping for our new car, and I was surprised that a) it gets worse MPG ratings than the new Impreza (rated at 27/36) despite being smaller, and 2) it's close in price to the Impreza, despite the Subaru having AWD, and 3) the Impreza is roomier.
3. Ford Focus station wagons of most recent vintages. We've rented these several times on trips to Europe and our bike always fits inside with the wheels removed, although sometimes we've had to remove the stoker handlebars in order to allow a third person to sit in the back seat.
4. European small- and mid-size station wagons also usually work fine, including the Ford Mondeo and the Opel Astra and Vectra
5. 1991 Isuzu Trooper. Boy, I miss that truck! Would haul anything inside it's cavernous van-like space and was indestructible, except for the rust that got it. RIP.
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Old 02-22-12, 08:17 AM   #22
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Mini-vans get no respect, but in many ways they are the most useful vehicles on the road.
Our 12 year old Grand Caravan is my "Covered Pick-em up truck". Since the kids have grown the back seat is always out and the center seat is usually folded down. It takes our youngest's dorm stuff to/from college, transports the tandem and is big enough to carry a 4 x 8 foot sheet of plywood inside with the rear hatch partially open. Unfortunately the body is starting to rust and the wife wants a smaller car, so we too are beginning to look at which smaller vehicles can carry a tandem.
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Old 02-22-12, 11:22 AM   #23
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Haul our tandem inside 1997 Accord Station Wagon (last of its type in the US).
For long hauls take wheels off tandem and remove pedals + pilot seatpost/stokerbar combo.
Can also haul single bike along with tandem inside the wagon with all our other stuff with hatch closed.
For short trips load tandem in (with 2nd row seats folded) and let front wheel hang partially outiside of hatch.
Pad front wheel with piece of old carpet, close hatch as far as possible with bungee cord.
Works fine.
Get mid-30s mpg on the highway on cruise control.
Used to haul partially disassemebled tandem inside a Honda Accord Hatchback.
Where there's a will, there's a way!
Pedal on!
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Old 02-22-12, 11:45 AM   #24
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What I am looking for is something similar to our Chrysler Pacifica, it is very quiet, comfortable and has nice creature comforts. It also gets around 25 mpg on the road. I have to kind of partially rotate the tandem in to get it in the vehicle.

I would like to have something that allows the tandem to fit like the picture of Ritterviews in the back of his 07 Honda Odyssey.

I do not want to remove the rear wheel or the handlebars, front wheel is ok.

I like the looks of the new Ford Explorer, the Mazda CX 9 and the new Chevy Traverse as well as the Toyota Venza. Does anyone have any experience with any of these vehicles.

Thanks,

Wayne
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Old 02-22-12, 11:48 AM   #25
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I have a 2003 Ford Taurus wagon. I was able to fit the tandem inside with both wheels on but will most likely remove the front to have more room for the passenger seat.
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