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  1. #1
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    cartop hauling without a proper tandem rack?

    I'm going to be in the position of needing to haul my tandem on top of my Toyota Sienna from Oregon back to Texas next summer. By the time I add up the cost of a proper tandem rack like a rocky mount and the required Yakima crossbars to mount on the factory rack I'm pushing past $500 for frankly what is likely to be a one-time haul. Normally I just shove the thing in the back of the minivan for trips around Texas but that won't work for this return trip because I'll have the wife and 3 kids along for the cross country road trip.

    So I'm thinking perhaps I can just break the thing down as far as possible (remove wheels, cranks, handlebars, seats, etc.). Buy a couple of rolls of bubble wrap and just seal the whole thing in bubble wrap. Then lash the whole thing up on the Sienna's factory rack. Tie it down good and solid, lock it in place, and then just leave it there for the duration of the trip home.

    What do you all think? Is that a reasonable solution for a one-time haul or should I just bite the bullet and buy a proper rack system?

    I have also contemplated buying just the rocky mount R4 (which can be had for $259 on Amazon) and then jury rigging some hardware so that it mounts directly to the factory crossbars which would negate the need to invest in a whole Yakima system. But looking at the pictures I suspect that would put the rack too low and too far inboard to properly use the pivot feature without having the timing chain ring scape on and scratch the car. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had success mounting these on a factory crossbar. I'm sure the factory bars are strong enough. I've used them several times to go cross country hauling a Yakima rocket box with 5-10x the weight of a tandem in it. They are very sturdy and probably more secure than mounting Yakima crossbars to the side rails.

  2. #2
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    Why not just ship the bike via UPS?

  3. #3
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    I have transported singles successfully many times on factory racks by turning the bike upside down and using toe clip straps to cinch the handlebars tightly to one crossbar, then a bungee or equivalent to tie the saddle to the other crossbar. Have not done this with the tandem but I'm not sure why it wouldn't work if you can get enough distance between the two crossbars.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemTrailDog View Post
    Why not just ship the bike via UPS?
    I think it is too big to ship UPS and you need to use some traditional freight company. Plus, I don't have a shipping box. I expect for the cost of properly shipping it back to Texas I could probably just go ahead and buy a rack.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    You can easily use something like this: http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-R...RG8015221.html

    Just put your tandem on the rack, remove the front & rear wheels and you're good to go. If you felt so inclined, you could use some extra tie-downs going from the front fork and rear drop-out to the lowest part of the rack to guard against "rocking", but most tandems -- sans wheels -- tend to ride quite nicely on a standard rear bike mount.

  6. #6
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    We carried ours on a few cross-country trips on the back of a VW Rabbit using a $20 bumper rack. The front wheel was turned 90 degrees so it was alongside the rear fender on the driver's side and the rear end (sans wheel) was about even with the fender on the passenger side.

  7. #7
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    At a recent bike rally, I saw a tandem lashed to the roof of a VW Bug. Lots of padding, but the bike had not been taken apart.

  8. #8
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
    I have also contemplated buying just the rocky mount R4 (which can be had for $259 on Amazon) and then jury rigging some hardware so that it mounts directly to the factory crossbars which would negate the need to invest in a whole Yakima system. But looking at the pictures I suspect that would put the rack too low and too far inboard to properly use the pivot feature without having the timing chain ring scape on and scratch the car.
    Waht kind of cross rails. There is hardware to mount the Rocky mount on slotted "european" cross rails. We did that on our Porsche. We can't use the pivot feature because the rack mounts too far inboard, but other wise it works fine.

    Here's a link.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  9. #9
    Half Fast mwandaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
    ...I can just break the thing down as far as possible (remove wheels, cranks, handlebars, seats, etc.). Buy a couple of rolls of bubble wrap and just seal the whole thing in bubble wrap. Then lash the whole thing up on the Sienna's factory rack. Tie it down good and solid, lock it in place, and then just leave it there for the duration of the trip home...
    It won't be pretty, but it should work just fine. Since you just want to do this once, keep it simple.

    You can probably just remove the pedals, instead of the cranks. You can probably just lower the seats, instead of removing them.

    Pictures, please! I'm guessing it's going to look like the giant cocoon of an alien monster :-)
    Last edited by mwandaw; 02-11-13 at 09:18 AM.
    Not slow, not fast, but Half Fast!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
    I think it is too big to ship UPS and you need to use some traditional freight company. Plus, I don't have a shipping box. I expect for the cost of properly shipping it back to Texas I could probably just go ahead and buy a rack.
    UPS ships tandems routinely for about $150. Greyhound is probably a better choice though and a bit cheaper. After Greyhound, FEDEX would be next choice.

    There are a couple of existing threads here on shipping the beast and cost there to. I think the common search phrase to find them is "greyhound" or Tandem Shipping

    FWIW: I have taken several tandems on the factory top rack of a mini-van. Just take the wheels off and put them inside. Then wrap the rest in either bubbles or blankets and lash it to the rack with clothesline rope, etc. Check it after the first 1/2 hour and at each stop thereafter to make sure you are not catching so much air that it is tearing off the padding, etc. If you stop for hotel over night or to take in a Disneyworld, take the bike down and put it inside the car or it will get stolen for sure.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Saw a system that is cheap/simple on the internet somewhere from Holland.
    Inflate two car innertubes. Put 'em on roof of vehcile. Remove pedals on non-derailleur side and lay tandem down flat on top of inflated innertubes.
    Lash it down with rope/bungees.
    Keep it simple . . .
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  12. #12
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Inner tubes are good as long as they stay inflated. In the admittedly unlikely event they lose pressure, you lose padding/cushioning and your lashing becomes loose. Probably OK if the tubes are in good condition and there's nothing on the roof rack or load that might puncture them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Looigi:
    Deflation of tubes is a remote possibility.
    Thinking out loud: substitute the innertubes with thick foam pad(s), as in old couch cushions.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  14. #14
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    you might look into the Sea sucker bike mounts. http://www.seasucker.com/product-category/bike-racks/ They use vacuum suction cups that go direct to the top of the van and are easy to transport from vehicle to vehicle. There is a great thread with pictures on the mtn bike forum http://forums.mtbr.com/car-biker/seasucker-587996.html I now travel with one on our trips as it fits in the suitcase easily and we can use it on rental cars. I used it last month for our Calfee and it worked great.

  15. #15
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
    I'm going to be in the position of needing to haul my tandem on top of my Toyota Sienna from Oregon back to Texas next summer. By the time I add up the cost of a proper tandem rack like a rocky mount and the required Yakima crossbars to mount on the factory rack I'm pushing past $500 for frankly what is likely to be a one-time haul. Normally I just shove the thing in the back of the minivan for trips around Texas but that won't work for this return trip because I'll have the wife and 3 kids along for the cross country road trip.

    So I'm thinking perhaps I can just break the thing down as far as possible (remove wheels, cranks, handlebars, seats, etc.). Buy a couple of rolls of bubble wrap and just seal the whole thing in bubble wrap. Then lash the whole thing up on the Sienna's factory rack. Tie it down good and solid, lock it in place, and then just leave it there for the duration of the trip home.

    What do you all think? Is that a reasonable solution for a one-time haul or should I just bite the bullet and buy a proper rack system?

    I have also contemplated buying just the rocky mount R4 (which can be had for $259 on Amazon) and then jury rigging some hardware so that it mounts directly to the factory crossbars which would negate the need to invest in a whole Yakima system. But looking at the pictures I suspect that would put the rack too low and too far inboard to properly use the pivot feature without having the timing chain ring scape on and scratch the car. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has had success mounting these on a factory crossbar. I'm sure the factory bars are strong enough. I've used them several times to go cross country hauling a Yakima rocket box with 5-10x the weight of a tandem in it. They are very sturdy and probably more secure than mounting Yakima crossbars to the side rails.
    We have a Dodge Grand Caravan with factory load bars. Problem with the bars is that they are not flat across but bow upward (high in the middle) which makes carrying upright items problematic. Also, because the factory bars do not extend out past the side rails, it is impossible to mount carriers or boxes further outboard and greatly limits the cargo space.

    Since I have collected many Thule rack bars and other attachments including a large Yakima Rocketbox over the years, for this vehicle I picked up a set of 4 Thule Tracker II Footpacks (No. 430) which allow me to attach a pair of flat heavy duty Thule load bars to the van's factory rails. This Thule setup has carried huge loads of windsurfing equipment and bikes on the top of the van without any problem. Plus since the Thule bars are much wider than the factory side rails it makes attachment placement and access a breeze. I bought those Thule feet back in 2009 from a Craigslist guy in SFO for $30/ea ($80 msrp), but these days you can find them online from retailers for around $140 for the set.

    The Rocky Mount r4 is a great tandem carrier - especially for the price. Just be sure to use a couple cargo straps to anchor your tandem from either the captain or stoker's seatpost to the factory rails - for both security and to help relieve stress on the tandem fork and rack attachment.
    Last edited by twocicle; 02-13-13 at 09:15 AM.

  16. #16
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that nobody's suggested the obvious solution:

    Wife in co-pilot's seat
    Tandem in back
    3 Kids strapped on roof-rack (for details ask Mitt Romney)



    - Wil
    "" - Marcel Marceau

  17. #17
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis View Post
    I'm surprised that nobody's suggested the obvious solution:

    Wife in co-pilot's seat
    Tandem in back
    3 Kids strapped on roof-rack (for details ask Mitt Romney)



    - Wil
    Now that is no proper redneck setup. Based on observations here in N. Idaho...

    Wife strapped to *** rack, kids strapped to front grill. Beer and guns bouncing around loose.

  18. #18
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    On a vacation to Europe a few years back we transported our triplet on top of a rental car (Ford Mondeo station wagon) using two 2x4s lashed (very) securely to the factory roofrack siderails. We laid the bike flat on the roof and tied it to the crossbars. I removed the bike wheels, the pedals on the one side, and turned the handlebars. It worked fine for a nine-hour drive at high speeds (130km/hr +). The wood 2x4s gave us the extra height necessary to keep the bike from touching the roof. Of course, we padded the contact points between the bike and the wood crossbars.

  19. #19
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Nabbed this photo from another thread as it pertains to the Rockymount R4 and an example of installing it on flat load (factory?) racks.

    WinterD2_sm.jpg

  20. #20
    Senior Member Stray8's Avatar
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    I have a Sienna also and I think that a cheaper option for roof mounting would be to get something like this Yakima Raptor Aero Upright Bike Mount ($134) that can attach to the factory roof rack cross bars and then bolting on an aluminum tray extension as needed. You should be able to fabricate a V-shaped tray extension fairly easily.

    But a rear mounted rack would be better as it cuts down on aerodynamic drag for fuel economy on long drives.

    24945_i_1.jpg

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...:referralID=NA
    Last edited by Stray8; 03-02-13 at 08:55 AM.

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