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Question for tandem riders(7 posts)

Question for tandem riderstz
Aug 2, 2002 4:57 AM
I am yet another cyclist, whose other half does not ride a bicycle. Hence, I am considering getting a tandem, but first I am trying to get as much information about them as I can.
Is it possible to transport such a long bicycle by car? I couldn't find anything on tandem-specific bike racks. Please, advise where to look for information.

Thank you.
Aug 2, 2002 5:10 AM
What do you mean by "the other half does not ride"? Does your better half not know how to ride, or dislike riding, or is it that you just ride at different paces? A tandem is not the answer to a cycling-couple problem. Rather, it's another way to engage in a sport the both of you enjoy. If your partner cannot or does not enjoy riding, it's not going to get any better on an expensive tandem. When my wife and I purchased ours, we quickly discovered that you need to work as team in every respect. Just pushing off requires that both of you master a new technique.

If you're both interested/committed, the answer to your rack question is simple. Yakima, ATOC and Performance sell various versions of racks, towers and trays for tandems. Like the machine itself, the rack is expensive.
Aug 2, 2002 5:35 AM
She enjoys riding, but on bike paths only, geting very nervous when cars get too close [after two years behind the wheel she hasn't become confident driver either]. This made me thinking about trying a tandem. I am very far from purchasing - I'd like to rent one for several days, and actually try riding it with my fiance, assessing her reaction. If all goes well, then I'll invest money in it. If not - then I'll have to seek some other solution.
If we make a good tandem team - I'll be a very happy man, and will gladly pay for those expensive car racks. :)
Thanks for your help!
re: Question for tandem ridersgregario
Aug 2, 2002 5:16 AM
Tandem racks are commonly available. Yakima, Thule, Draftmaster, etc. makes them. Check the usual catalogs, Performance, Excel, Colorado Cyclist and your local LBS. Personally, after several years of putting ours on top of my car, I bought a minivan. We just spent a load of cash on a new one and I'd rather have it inside the vehicle. I have one for sale if you're interested ;). It's listed on the RBR Classifieds, a Trek T-200.
re: Question for tandem riderstz
Aug 2, 2002 5:38 AM
Thanks for offering, but I am not buying one yet. I'll research first, then rent one, and only then [if my fiance likes it] will purchase.
Many solutions for transporting a tandem.Spoke Wrench
Aug 2, 2002 5:50 AM
My wife and I have been riding tandems together for more than 25 years. Over Labor Day we will be attending the Midwest Tandem Bicycle Rally with probably 400 to 600 other tandem teams.

The "A" solution for transporting a tandem bicycle is a minivan. It's fast and easy to load, the bike is out of the weather and grime, and in a pinch you can store the bike there overnight. It's the ultimate $30,000 bike accessory. A variation on the minivan concept is an enclosed trailer.

We use an old style Thule rack on top of our Saturn. I picked that rack because the bike is more laterally stable than any of the others, but it looks to me like the competing racks, like even the ATOK are adequately safe. I can load the bike by myself without difficulty. I wouldn't want to have to load it on a taller car by myself.

There are receiver racks that are especially designed for tandems. If you already have a receiver rack, it's also probably OK to use. A tandem with both wheels is about 8' long. A typical car is about 6' wide so you'd have about 12" sticking out on each side. Remove the front wheel and you only have 6" sticking out on each side. I've even seen people use strap on racks for their tandem, but I wouldn't.

Contrary to what one of the other posters indicated, the majority of tandem teams are composed of one rider who has extensive bicycling experience and one who has limited, if any, bicycling background. Tandems make it possible for two people with different physical abiilties enjoy the ride together.
re: Question for tandem ridersStewK
Aug 7, 2002 7:34 AM
If I take the front and back wheel off my tandem (not really a big deal) I can put it on my trunk with minimal extension. You could at least start that way and then buy a dedicated tandem rack later.