- Is it necessary to have a standard bike rack to carry a tandem bike?
- Is it a specialized one?
- What is the best place for you to carry your tandem bike?
- Is it necessary to dismantle the thing before you use it?
As we go about discussing everything you need to know concerning transporting your two-wheeler, all those nagging questions in your head will finally find some relief in the form of solace.
How to Transport A Tandem Bike?
There are several ways in which you can carry your tandem.
By putting them directly into your car, you will be able to carry them without any racks at all.
In addition to using trunk-mounted or roof-mounted racks to carry your bicycle, you can also use a tailgate pad or a truck bed bike rack to help you haul your bike. If you have a pickup truck, a tailgate pad or a truck bed bike rack can also be used to haul your bicycle.
The great news is that you don’t have to stop there. We can also provide you with a tandem bike bag where you can pack your tandem bike easily.
In order to provide you with an understanding of what to expect, let us take a closer look at each of them in more detail.
Tandems Can Be Transported Without A Bike Rack
You might be wondering what if you do not want to go through the hassle of having to purchase a bike rack for your tandem bike. Perhaps you are planning your first trip, and you don’t want to invest in the whole process.
You can definitely choose to transport your bike without a rack, since as they say, “When there is a will, there is a way!”
Having said that, I have done this primarily because I was on a tight budget, but hey, I’m better qualified than you to tell you how to go about it because I have done that myself.
It is true that this option does not provide you with much scope in terms of what you can explore, but you still have two options. The first is to carry it directly in your car. The second is to dismantle it completely and to carry it in a specialized tandem bag.
Carrying In Your Car
It is possible to carry a tandem inside a car even though it may be quite challenging to do so. Furthermore, depending on how many people your car will be able to carry, you can go about doing this in two different ways.
In the case that you are traveling alone, then you can just place your bike inside the rear end of your car and you can go, but in the case that you have your family with you? Or maybe you have a large number of friends? Or perhaps you have luggage to move?
Please note that this is only for those of you who have only one bike to carry. We will discuss how to carry multiple bikes in the next few minutes. Please don’t panic. I have something for you too.
If You Have One Tandem Bike To Carry, Here Are The Tips
Currently, we will be dealing with only one baby, as I mentioned earlier.
When Traveling Alone, there are several things to keep in mind
During one of my solo outings, my tandem accompanied me as I enjoyed some me-time with myself. Having used my SUV to transport my bike, it worked out quite well, although I had to adjust my rear seat to ensure the bike’s gear did not feel too much pressure. Otherwise, I would have damaged the chassis.
The most important thing for you to remember when loading up your bike in the car is to be gentle with it, and slide it carefully into its position. You have limited space, and you don’t want to damage your baby during this process.
In addition, if you prefer to use this route, it would be wise to cover your bike with a tarpaulin sheet to prevent friction between your bike’s rings and the chain of your bike and your vehicle’s body. This is to prevent the bike from being damaged if it comes into contact with the car’s bodywork.
When you are traveling with your family or if you have some baggage with you,
In the event that your family is travelling with you or if you have some cargo to load, there are still a few options you can avail of.
Today, the majority of the bikes come with a quick-release mechanism that can be used in order to open the front wheel of your bike so that you can save space in your car when storing it.
It is important for you to carefully adjust your bike in order to avoid damaging its rear mechanism. After you have carefully positioned your bike, cover your bike with a sheet as soon as you have managed to get it in the proper position. This will keep your bike’s body from getting damaged.
Furthermore, you can use cardboard in between the brake callipers on your bike in order to ensure that they are secured carefully and to prevent the “pots” (pistons) that make contact with the callipers from damaging it.
It is possible, as a last resort, to flip open both the wheels on your bike if you are not able to fit it with one wheel. Cover your bike with a sheet, keep both the wheels on top of your bike, secure them tightly in place, and then close the bike.
There may be times when you have to carry more than one tandem bike
The next time you think you might be able to fit many tandem bikes into your car, I want to let you know that it is going to be a real hassle. There is no doubt that the bikes will fit in the car bodies, but fitting in the wheels will be very difficult.
When you are willing to take this risk, you should make sure that if you do decide to go about doing this, make sure that you use sheets to create padding for your bikes by layering them up. By doing this, you will ensure that your bikes are protected against bumpy roads and dents and scratches will be less likely to be caused.
How To Unmount The Wheels Of Your Tandem Bike?
The wheels on your bike can be easily dismantled without any tools if you have an automobile with quick release wheels. All you have to do is flip your bike over and get the wheels off.
The easiest way to do this is with a toolbox. It is necessary to turn your bike wheel clockwise and make it easier for you to open it up if your bike does not have quick-release wheels.
How to Dismantle Your Bike
As an alternative to this option, if you are looking for a challenge, you can disassemble your bike and then put it into a specialized bag designed to carry tandem bikes, if you are up for it.
In order to accommodate the whole of your tandem bike, these bags can be elongated to a length of over 50 linear inches; thus, they are capable of accommodating the entire bike.
It’s going to be quite a task to dismantle the entire set of bicycle fenders to fit everything inside a bag, but you’ll be able to save a lot of money, along with some space, by doing so. Of course, it’s going to be a tough undertaking to disassemble the whole set and fit everything inside a bag.
How the Process Works
Despite the fact that dismantling your entire bike may seem like a huge amount of work, it is important to do it carefully. You will need to start by removing the pedals, using a wrench, then removing the couplers with a spanner, loosening the brake cable splitters with your fingers, and finally removing the derailleur cable splitters with your fingers.
The rear wheel can now be removed by turning the skewer on the rear wheel. Put the chain on the small cog and pull the derailleur forward; voilà! It drops down as a result. When the wheel has dropped, you can then remove the skewer from the front wheel. You will now need to open the brake calliper and give the skewer a few turns to safely remove the rear wheel.
In the case of disc brakes, you will need to remove the rotors from both wheels. Otherwise, you could damage them. Wrap the rotors together, cover them with a sheet, tie them together and store them in the trunk of your car, preferably out of sight.
It is necessary to use a wrench to remove the saddle and the front seat from their frames. Once both have been removed, the bolts underneath the handlebar base can be removed and the handlebar can be reassembled.
After removing the crank set, it is necessary to remove the chain from the tandem in order to pack it up. Next, proceed to remove the chain from the tandem. In order to provide additional padding to all of the bars, you will need to cover them with pads attached to Velcro, and then separate them one by one into three sections. Once you are done, it will be easier to load.
It is possible to encounter some resistance when you are separating the different parts with couplers because the parts are under tension. If you line up the whole system and release the tension, you should be able to remove the resistance.
In order to avoid any damages to your couplers, you will need to tightly secure them with Velcro pads, which will prevent any damage from occurring.
What Is The Best Way To Arrange The Dismantled Tandem Bike In A Bag After It Has Been Disassembled?
I would suggest first of all that you pack all of your smaller parts tightly in a plastic bag and set it aside for a while.
As for the bigger parts, the next thing to do is to take the three separate parts and put the middle part in a bag, then place the front wheel on top of that, and then place the rear wheels on top of that, finally covering the whole thing with soft cardboard.
In the next step you will need to take another bag, place the front and the rear parts in it by placing them on top with their faces facing each other, then you will be able to fit the small plastic bag with the parts in between them.
As soon as you are done with this, you can proceed to accommodate all the rest of the remaining parts. Once you have done all of this, you and your bike will be ready to seal the deal.
The Tandem Bike Can Be Transported With Bike Racks
Would you like to go through the hassle of going through the whole process of buying a bike rack for your tandem to avoid the hassle of going through all that hassle?
In that case, what are your options? Let’s take a look at them together.
Tandem Bike Roof Racks For Cars
It is one of the most popular racks in the world of racks because it is designed to go right on top of your vehicle’s roof rack or upper door frame. As the name suggests, it is one of the most popular racks in the world of racks.
There are several types of roof racks that can be installed on a vehicle to increase rearward accessibility, allowing you to use the trunk more freely. There are either standard roof racks which require a preexisting roof bar, or suction racks which do not require any preexisting roof bar.
The next step is to assemble the rack on the roof bar once you have chosen your rack and have finished the process of choosing it.
It is very important to secure the rear mounts tightly to prevent any damage to your baby before using the rack. Once the rack is attached to the bar, make sure the bolts are tight on both edges. Then, take the carrier down and secure the tandem bike over it using straps.
The next thing that you need to do is to attach the bike carrier right on top of the bar, right in the middle, and to secure the whole setup with bolts, and now you can transport your bike with your car.
The main disadvantage of this rack is that it creates a disturbance to the vehicle’s aerodynamics, which can result in heavier fuel consumption. Additionally, you should lift up your bike carefully since you may damage both your vehicles as a result of this rack.
Carry Tandem Bike with Trunk Rack
There are a lot of advantages to choosing this type of rack, the most obvious of which is the fact that it consumes less fuel than the roof racks. With these racks, you are able to mount them on the back of your car and secure them with straps. Additionally, arms and cradles will provide extra support.
You can take the racks and fasten the bike tires with the support in the carrier. You can adjust the straps as and when you feel like doing so. The carriers are very easy to use and do not require any pre-existing system. You can bring the racks and fasten the bike tires on the support.
With this type of rack, you do not need to worry about the bike swaying when you attach it to the rack. Once you have secured it to the rack, bring the bike to a vertical position and then attach the bolts tightly with the tubes. Secure both the wheels and handlebar with extra straps, so that the bike is not going anywhere.
I really don’t think this is a very safe option to follow, which is why I won’t really recommend it to you as a first option since I find that they aren’t very secured for the bikes, as well as hampering the rear accessibility.
It is possible to mount a tandem bike rack on a truck bed
Is there anything you can do if you own a pickup truck?
What is the best way for you to carry your tandem bike?
In that case, you can use a truck bed bike rack to carry your tandem just as you would carry any other normal bike. Just make sure that you check the specifications and size of the bike, and you should be fine.
The ones that I found to be the easiest to use were the ones that took up a tremendous amount of space. Using this pad with a regular bike can result in a significant amount of space crunch. However, using this pad with tandems would be impossible.
For tandem bikes, there are tailgate bike pads that can be attached to the tailgate
If you own a pickup truck with a tailgate, you can use a bike pad on the tailgate for transporting your tandem as well. These are rectangular-shaped pads that you can attach to the tailgate of the truck for transportation.
It is important to choose a pad that is easily foldable and will cover your tailgate. You can then place your bike on top of the pad and this will give your bike the necessary support. They also allow you to save space.
I also found that the pads lost their interior softness pretty quickly in my experience, so that might actually be a real problem to deal with. Moreover, they could pose a safety risk, too, as they are not a great fit for long-distance bumpy rides.
Tandem bike hitch racks designed specifically for tandem bikes
You might be thinking you can use a regular hitch rack for carrying tandem bikes, but unfortunately, you cannot use those typical hitch racks to carry tandem bikes. You will have to go for custom-made racks if you decide to use hitch racks at all.
Why is that?
There is a reason for this, namely the huge distance between the front and rear wheels that can be accommodated by the normal hitch racks.
It would be best if you did this only as a last-ditch effort because they might end up being a bit pricey as a result.
I would like to end this article on a high note
As you can see, this is indeed a comprehensive guide to transporting your tandem bike. As a result, I hope you and your partner will be able to take your tandem bike to the far-away places you both have often dreamt of together.