Transporting a Tandem by Car

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Edwards
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Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby Edwards » 11 Aug 2011, 8:55am

Having just purchased a Tandem I am after information about roof rack forms of carrier. I have found 3 types and am not sure which is the best way to go. My list is below also I have no problems lifting the bike and will carry step ladders if needed.

Hydraulic lifting - These seem easy to use but are expensive. If you have one how good are they and is it worth the extra money.

Front fork clamp - The ones I have seen have had a swivel mechanism so that the bike stands on its rear wheel. Then the bike is lifted and turned to get it up on the roof. Will I have any problems using one of these on a Vauxhall Zafira.

Bike on its side slide on - These a first glance seem to be the most cost effective and reasonably easy to use. I am concerned about damaging the drive train and would like to know how people stop the forks turning.

Unfortunately I can not get the bike in the car due to the second row of seats not being removable. I am intending to look at doing this but it is a workshop not car park job.
I did try it on a tow ball mounted carrier but felt it to wide for the car.

I hope to get knowledge and thoughts from more experienced Tandem owners and anybody who knows about these things.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

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MikewsMITH2
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby MikewsMITH2 » 11 Aug 2011, 9:33am

You cant get a tandem inside a car without removing both wheels and mudguards which isnt very convenient We have used 2 of the saddle mounted upside down carriers for about 30 years. The front wheel is tethered to the crank by a toe strap, the stokers handlebars are strapped to the roof bars with toe straps and the light cord is used as "rigging". We've done several long journeys with this rig without incident (and it is really cheap). Please excuse Jan for looking a bit tired and wind blown as we had just finished 100Km in gale force winds and torrential rain!

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby SimonCelsa » 11 Aug 2011, 9:42am

With a Vauxhall Zafira - put the tandem inside.

Our cheap Viking Tarantino goes in OK upside down, however you have to first remove the wheels & mudguards & lash back the rear derailleur.

I recall myself, the wife, 3 kids, tandem, eldest daughters bike, youngest daughters bike & a kiddies seat (in the roofbox) fitted OK for a recent day out cycling. I think I managed to puncture a hole through the car roof fabric lining with the front forks but it's only a flesh wound!!

I would imagine the time faffing with a roof rack & putting your back out of kilter is the same hassle as taking off wheels etc.

Simon

jb
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby jb » 11 Aug 2011, 9:58am

I made my own in the end as I could not find a good one at the time (might be different now). But basically, I used some electricians 'UNISTRUT' (galvanised) for a trough for the back wheel to sit in and on the front I drilled through and put some 10mm threaded bar which holds the front forks with the wheel removed, this stops front a rear movement. I take the rear saddle out and place in a short tube which has outriggers down to the roof bars and is held on with 6mm bolts, this stops lateral side to side movement. The whole rig is quite simple and quick to operate once its fixed onto the roof bars (providing there are no front pannier racks on) the only drawback is you need to be quite tall or park next to the curb.

It took a bit of effort to make but with an expensive tandem you want to be sure its solid and safely secured, a lot of racks allow the bike to wave about usually stressing the handle bar stem or some other part of the bike.
Cheers
J Bro

reohn2
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2011, 10:00am

We've carrried tandems (various) on a tow bar mounted rack twice a week for about 8 years(same car Ford Mondeo) without issue,the backwheel hung out by about 10inch approx beyond the wingmirror,the nearside with the steering turned 90 deg without overhang.If we were travelling more than 100miles I would remove the both wheels, I also had cut the rear mudguard halfway between the seatstays and first set of mudguard stays then overlapped and bolted.The bolt and stays could then be unfastened(5mins) and the back half of the m/guard could be removed,which brought everything within the width of the w/mirrors.
I'm aware of the Zavira's rear seat limitations for tandem transport as we looked at one when buying our Mazda Premacy,the Mazda takes a tandem upside down straight down the middle of the car with the front wheel out due to its amazing rear seat configuration(three seperate seats each of which can be removed individually)Fiat Ullyse(sp?) are similar and Ford Galaxy's swallow two tandems and four occupants easily.
Friends of ours use a pendle tandem roof rack but it would be a bit of a stretch getting a tandem on a Zafira for someone who's vertically challenged (don't forget we've met :oops: )
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Edwards
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby Edwards » 11 Aug 2011, 10:22am

reohn2 wrote:Friends of ours use a pendle tandem roof rack but it would be a bit of a stretch getting a tandem on a Zafira for someone who's vertically challenged (don't forget we've met )


Oy just cause I catch my bum going down kerbs. :wink: :roll:

I have managed to get the thing up there using step ladders that go on the roof as well. Fitting it into an adaption I made to hold 4 bikes insidethe car, clamping the forks.
I do not like the idea of removing to much of the parts from the bike.

I am also considering making some thing to mount it on to a box trailer.
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

james01
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby james01 » 11 Aug 2011, 10:28am

We carry ours laid flat on ordinary roof-bars with strategically placed wadding to avoid damage. With practice, loading becomes quick and easy. It's cheap, avoids most headroom issues, and feels reassuringly solid compared with an upright mounting.

reohn2
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby reohn2 » 11 Aug 2011, 12:42pm

james01 wrote:We carry ours laid flat on ordinary roof-bars with strategically placed wadding to avoid damage. With practice, loading becomes quick and easy. It's cheap, avoids most headroom issues, and feels reassuringly solid compared with an upright mounting.


I can see this system working well with correctly positioned padding,pipe lagging perhaps? on either or both roof bars and bike frame.
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CJ
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby CJ » 11 Aug 2011, 1:24pm

There are also the tandem carriers made in UK by Pendle Engineering. We have the standard model, and it works fine so long as the tandem is not too heavy to lift overhead and so long as the car is not too tall. I find that lifting it off is more tricky and so I put a folded kitchen step-stool in the car for that. If you had a taller car maybe the use of something like that would also help with getting the tandem up there.
Chris Juden
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TonyR
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby TonyR » 11 Aug 2011, 2:03pm

reohn2 wrote:We've carrried tandems (various) on a tow bar mounted rack twice a week for about 8 years(same car Ford Mondeo) without issue,the backwheel hung out by about 10inch approx beyond the wingmirror,the nearside with the steering turned 90 deg without overhang.If we were travelling more than 100miles I would remove the both wheels,)


I did the same but dropped the front wheel out and turned the steering 180 degrees which made it quite a bit narrower and quite acceptable for all distances. There is a rear tow ball carrier which carries them vertically which avoids that altogether. I also had a roof mounted carrier with no assist. Its quite easy to lean the bike up against the side of the car with the front wheel at 90 degrees resting in the front wheel block. Loosely tie it in and then just lift and pivot the rear wheel into place.

pherron
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby pherron » 11 Aug 2011, 5:51pm

CJ wrote:There are also the tandem carriers made in UK by Pendle Engineering. We have the standard model, and it works fine so long as the tandem is not too heavy to lift overhead and so long as the car is not too tall. I find that lifting it off is more tricky and so I put a folded kitchen step-stool in the car for that. If you had a taller car maybe the use of something like that would also help with getting the tandem up there.


+1 for the Pendle. Reasonably easy to use and not too expensive.

Carrying horizontal bikes is not good if it rains!

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Si
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby Si » 11 Aug 2011, 8:20pm

there used to be a chap who advertised his carriers in 'cycle' - they were wood and metal affairs, cost about £100 and had a bit that sort of slid down sideways where you could mount the bike at an easy level before sliding it up onto the roof. The one that I inspected appeared a very good design and its owner was very happy with it. Dunno if he is still making them, and can't remember his name but if you can track them down I think that you would do well to consider them.

We used to use a pendle, their proto-type model in fact which we got for a £10er! It was OK but even on my small peugeot 106 it was a bit of a pain to get the tandem on and off by one's self. Not too bad with help but still a bit of a chore.

If you do get a pendle style one, remember that they are also very good for carrying recumbents - thus you would owe it to your self to get a 'bent so that you get the most out of the carrier.

Edwards
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby Edwards » 11 Aug 2011, 9:34pm

Si I have been loaned one of that type of carrier to try, I will let you know how I get on.

There is absolutly no way I could get a bent past the err in drawers.
Keith Edwards
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cotswolds
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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby cotswolds » 12 Aug 2011, 3:56pm

I'd recommend persevering with getting it inside the car if you can. With our Citroen Picasso, we just remove the centre rear seat and tandem front wheel then roll the tandem in backwards the right way up. A couple of bungees hold it in place and an old curtain covers the back wheel, etc, which is close to the front seat passengers. Getting it out and ready to ride is trivial, and there's room for 4 people plus luggage if necessary.

Apart from lack of hassle, the advantages to us of carrying it inside are lack of wind noise, and carrying it on the roof must cause a lot of drag (= increased petrol consumption).

When manhandling the tandem by myself, I've taken to removing the captain's saddle/seatpost/stoker bars. It reduces the weight a little, but more importantly makes it easy to stand and lift close to the centre of gravity.

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Re: Transporting a Tandem by Car

Postby Vorpal » 12 Aug 2011, 4:35pm

I have to admit that I haven't taken ours by car very often. When I bought it, I hired an estate because I knew it wouldn't fit in our Fiat Punto, and I wasn't certain it would fit on it. I had to drive a fair distance to collect it, so that seemed like the best solution. I have since put it on top of the Punto without a carrier; just a tarp & some (to borrow the phrase from james01) strategic padding.

I think if I transported it often, I would get a rack of some sort.

Check also the Tandem Club. http://www.tandem-club.org.uk/nf2002/index.htm I often see carriers and racks on their notice board.
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