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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 03-14-14, 12:31 PM   #1
KonAaron Snake 
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Looking for an uplifting storage experience

I have a problem, well more than one problem but specifically we have two tandems, including a Schwinn triplet, sitting in our living room. My wife would like to get them off of the floor and hanging from the ceiling. We'd like to set up hoists in the living room - one would support the Schwinn, I'd guess it weighs 90 lbs? Maybe even more. The other is a Bilenky/Sterling tandem that probably weighs around 50 lbs. Do any of you recommend specific hoists? I'm looking at three...and am concerned about putting that much weight on the saddle, like I see in the photos. I'm also concerned about there being enough rope to spread out for the triplet.

These are the bikes:





These are the hoists we're looking at:

RAD Cycle Products Rail Mount Bike Hoist Bicycle Lift Storage Garage Mount - Bike Stands & Storage

NEW Ceiling Mounting Lift Bicycle Durable System Garage Storage Heavy Duty - Other

Sports Solutions Up-and-Away Deluxe Hoist System | Storage - Cycle | - Cycle Sports UK

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 03-14-14, 01:43 PM   #2
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Do you think the Rad Easy could be set-up to hold the bike by the top tube of the Bilenky/Sterling and around the Captain top tube and the middle seat cluster, or the sloping top tube behind the middle position on the Schwinn? At 90 LBS you will need to make sure you are into the stud! :-)
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Old 03-14-14, 02:53 PM   #3
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I'm not sure Paul - I was hoping others here might have done it and have an answer. I assume I could do it, but I was hoping to confirm.

You're right about the weight issue - it's going to go right into a ceiling joist. That much hanging weight does worry me a bit. Most of the time the Sterling will be on the floor since we use it a lot, but we'd like to get it up when we have company over.
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Old 03-14-14, 05:35 PM   #4
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Possible 'hide' the Schwinn Triple standing behind the couch? No hoist needed.
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Old 03-14-14, 09:41 PM   #5
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adopt mountaineering gear, or steel pulleys from the Marine hardware to rig up the pulleys
they will be plenty strong ,

use plastic coated steel clothesline instead of nylon.
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Old 03-14-14, 10:00 PM   #6
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Sailing stuff. Westmarine.com to select. Google for best pricing.
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Old 03-14-14, 11:39 PM   #7
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I built my own bike hoist, really not that complicated with rope and pulleys. I used rope loops around the bike and carabiners as a disconnect between hoist and loops. Mountaineering carabiners will be weight rated if you *really* need it. I used pretty minimal carabiners, not even 1/4" rod sized.

You really do not have to overdo it here. If the bike really does weigh 100 lbs that is only 50 lbs on two lift points. The loading divides and reduces quickly. Nonetheless mounting to ceiling studs is mandatory and probably the one spot to over compensate with doubled up lag bolts/eyes (no shear working for you here, only pulling).

With that much weight you will likely want some kind of compound hoist though. The upside is reduction of force needed to lift the bike (and this can be huge) and the downside is you pull lots of rope. With my hoist I had compound action and it was still helpful to lift the bike while pulling the rope rather than just pull the rope.

Rope is plenty adequate for this job, there is really no need of steel cable. The only advantage of cable is that it will stretch less but it will be much tougher to manage the ends and tie off.
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Old 03-15-14, 12:40 AM   #8
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Harken makes a great hoist system with good mechanical advantage. Check with marine stores for best prices. We use large carabiners through the rear wheels on our mountain tandems instead of the seats and then use the handlebars for the front.
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Old 03-15-14, 01:17 AM   #9
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Well.....that middle hoist is identical to the one that Harbor Freight sells.....for $9. Yes, I said nine dollars.....

Bicycle Lift

I've used several of these over the years, and they work fine. IMO, their weak link is the rope....the mechanism/hardware is up to the task of any of your bikes. You could replace the rope with something a little heavier and still be WAY under the cost of the links you posted.

Heck....I've got a bunch of these in a box out there that I'd send you for the cost of the shipping, if you want to try one.

BTW, you don't have to use the seat as a rear hanger....I used the wheel on mine.

Our triplet hangs from my shop ceiling on a motorized hoist:

https://garagegator.com/

I don't have a good pic of it, but you can see it how it generally hangs in this one:

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140314_225002.jpg (63.5 KB, 189 views)
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Old 03-15-14, 04:49 AM   #10
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That Garage gator might be just the ticket! I like the motorized element, but it will come down to how my wife feels about the aesthetics. Also really appreciate the tip on the cheap-o hoists and changing rope; I figured the pulleys/structure would also be cheaper. If the rope is the only limiting factor, you're absolutely right.
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Old 03-15-14, 01:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMarkR View Post
Well.....that middle hoist is identical to the one that Harbor Freight sells.....for $9. Yes, I said nine dollars.....

Bicycle Lift

I've used several of these over the years, and they work fine. IMO, their weak link is the rope....the mechanism/hardware is up to the task of any of your bikes. You could replace the rope with something a little heavier and still be WAY under the cost of the links you posted.

Heck....I've got a bunch of these in a box out there that I'd send you for the cost of the shipping, if you want to try one.

BTW, you don't have to use the seat as a rear hanger....I used the wheel on mine.
Great price on the Bicycle Lift @ $8.99. PerformanceBike has sold the same design for years, but their price is $35-$50. The Performance model has a decent rope and 55lb rating (vs. the Harbor Freight: 44lb), so maybe a slight upgrade - not sure.

In years past I used the PB hoist. My preference was not to hook the tandem directly to the hoist hooks, but use inner tube loops instead... much easier on the paint, frame & components. Also, attached the hoist to a long (6'-7') piece of 2x4 wood, then bolted that board to a few joists in the ceiling above. This was a lot more secure than using just the limited attachment points provided in the hoist end plates.

It takes a fairly strong arm to hoist 50lbs with this lift. Not sure how successful you would be hoisting 90lbs.

Last edited by twocicle; 03-15-14 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:06 PM   #12
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I have 3 of these, which are similar to the Harbor Freight ones: Racor PBH-1R Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift - Amazon.com
One is for a 48 pound tandem, and the other two for 40 pound kayaks. The tandem is in the garage, over the center aisle, so I can get it out without moving the cars. The Kayaks are in the barn, so I had to add extra rope for the higher trusses. For the triplet, you could combine two sets of pulleys and hooks for extra load capacity and easier pulling. It just takes more rope. And I definitely agree with twocicle about screwing the lift to a board and attaching that to several ceiling joists, especially if they run perpendicular to the bike. Is your living room ceiling high enough to walk under the bikes? My garage ceiling is almost 11 feet and I wouldn't want it any lower for the bike hoist.
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Old 03-16-14, 08:38 PM   #13
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It's 12feet...nice, high ceilings. I'm lucky to be married to a woman who thinks hanging tandems will look good.
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Old 03-16-14, 10:10 PM   #14
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I have 3 of these, which are similar to the Harbor Freight ones: Racor PBH-1R Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift - Amazon.com
One is for a 48 pound tandem, and the other two for 40 pound kayaks. The tandem is in the garage, over the center aisle, so I can get it out without moving the cars. The Kayaks are in the barn, so I had to add extra rope for the higher trusses. For the triplet, you could combine two sets of pulleys and hooks for extra load capacity and easier pulling. It just takes more rope. And I definitely agree with twocicle about screwing the lift to a board and attaching that to several ceiling joists, especially if they run perpendicular to the bike. Is your living room ceiling high enough to walk under the bikes? My garage ceiling is almost 11 feet and I wouldn't want it any lower for the bike hoist.
I used one of these for our Mocha, but had trouble with the hooks bending under that much weight. I modified it with some heavier pulley wheels and nylon rope to replace the hooks. Not pretty, but a lot safer. Having one of the hooks bending out and dropping the bike was a bit scary on many planes.
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Old 03-17-14, 08:26 AM   #15
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I think I'm going to set up something myself with stronger pulleys/hooks as suggested...either that or go with the motorized one. My wife's concern on that one is how long the motor will last/long term maintenance issues.

I really appreciate everyone's insight.
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Old 03-17-14, 09:03 AM   #16
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Sailing stuff. Westmarine.com to select. Google for best pricing.
We've got Harken Hoists for kayaks in the Garage, one of which is holding a 18 foot plastic tandem, that with the gear stowed in it has to weigh 100 lbs.

It's very nicely builty, works well, and would easily handle your tandem. It's also likely overkill for the job, but perhaps relatively inexpensive piece of mind.

Harken 145 lbs Kayak Lift System - 4 Point - austinkayak.com - Product Details
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Old 06-09-14, 01:08 PM   #17
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We ended up using these:

Handy-Hooker? Canoe and Kayak Storage Hoist and Hanger

Couldn't be happier! Goes up and down easily, looks clean and, so far, they support the weight.





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Old 06-15-14, 03:49 AM   #18
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I use the Racor Bike Lift to hoist my Raleigh Companion. I don't like the hooks but I'm not worried that they'll fail.
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Old 06-15-14, 06:12 AM   #19
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I use the Racor Bike Lift to hoist my Raleigh Companion. I don't like the hooks but I'm not worried that they'll fail.
They list max capacity as 50 lbs...the triplet is double that.
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Old 06-15-14, 07:30 AM   #20
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Your solution looks good. I was going to suggest hanging by the handle bars or top tube, but you've got it under control just fine.
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Old 06-15-14, 11:11 AM   #21
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So far so good - if it all comes crashing down, I'll know there was an issue!

The product claims weight limit of 150 lbs, which I am well under. I like how it works, except the rolling of the rope after use.
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Old 07-17-16, 01:23 PM   #22
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I have 3 of these, which are similar to the Harbor Freight ones: Racor PBH-1R Ceiling-Mounted Bike Lift - Amazon.com
One is for a 48 pound tandem, and the other two for 40 pound kayaks. The tandem is in the garage, over the center aisle, so I can get it out without moving the cars. The Kayaks are in the barn, so I had to add extra rope for the higher trusses. For the triplet, you could combine two sets of pulleys and hooks for extra load capacity and easier pulling. It just takes more rope. And I definitely agree with twocicle about screwing the lift to a board and attaching that to several ceiling joists, especially if they run perpendicular to the bike.
I found this thread through searching. I just ordered this hoist and will let you know how it works. The tandem might be more than 50 pounds, but I'm comfortable pushing these limits, since I figure they are issued conservatively.
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Old 07-18-16, 07:34 AM   #23
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I found this thread through searching. I just ordered this hoist and will let you know how it works. The tandem might be more than 50 pounds, but I'm comfortable pushing these limits, since I figure they are issued conservatively.
I'm risk adverse
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Old 07-18-16, 07:49 PM   #24
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I found this thread through searching. I just ordered this hoist and will let you know how it works. The tandem might be more than 50 pounds, but I'm comfortable pushing these limits, since I figure they are issued conservatively.

Let me know how that works for you.
I want to find a better position for this tandem.
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Old 07-19-16, 10:24 AM   #25
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I'll try to take pictures. This is in a barn with high rafters.
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