Can you transport a tandem bike across long distances?
Tandem bikes are a great way of getting exercise while spending time with a friend or loved one. However, if you plan to travel somewhere further away for a leisurely ride, trying to figure out how to transport your bike might be a confusing experience.Transporting a tandem bike with a car can be tricky. Although the compact size and light weight of the bike rack makes it very easy to put inside most cars, some riders need the interior of the vehicle to be free for passengers and other luggage. Usually, using the car’s rooftop is the only option.
There are some car roof racks that you can install on or at the back of your car. Using these, the bike can be easily transported on a road trip.
Another option is to dismantle the tandem bike and pack it into a specialized tandem bike bag. Thankfully, using these bike bags to package bikes has never been easier thanks to their new and innovative designs. Newer tandem bike bags can expand as much as 62 linear inches to accommodate luggage the size of airline cabin bags.
Most of these tandem bike bags can fit a full tandem set, as well as fenders and racks. It can indeed be cumbersome to fit everything inside of the case, but it will allow you to travel with your complete tandem bike in the boot of your car.
Note: Almost everything must be detached from the bike’s frame
How to transport a tandem bike – dismantling it
Dismantling a tandem bike may seem like a daunting task, but it’s fairly simple as long as you do it step by step.
- Remove the wheels and remove air from the tires. Also remove disc brake rotors, but leave the cassette as it is
- Remove water bottle cages and the kickstand.
- Remove all racks. If you are prone to forget where the screws and bolts go, fix them back into the relevant slots so that it is easy to reassemble your bike parts
- Remove handlebars
- Remove cranks while keeping the pedals on the crank arms.
- Seat posts should be removed while keeping bike saddle and stoker’s stems attached
- Remove chains – note that the rear chain must be split before removing
- Remove rear derailleur
- Detach cables. It is a good idea to use cable separators, so that in future cables could be easily detached before transport and reassembled upon arrival.
- You may need to remove your fork if it is long and takes up too much space.
Arranging the dismantled parts in a tandem bike bag
- Accessories such as mirrors and water bottles should be packed in a separate bag
- Place the front triangle part of the frame at the bottom, and the rear wheel with its cassette facing down.
- Put in the rear triangle part of the frame. The wide part should go over the empty space created by the front triangle part.
- Put the rear rack around the wheel.
- For the two tubes connecting the rear and front triangles- place them between the rear wheel and rack.
- Slide the fork in between the rear triangle’s two arms
- Place the front rider’s handlebars around the rear wheel.
- Fit the cranks wherever there is space.
- The handlebars for the rear rider are next. Place it at the top.
- Seat posts and saddle go wherever there is space
- Put the front wheel at the top
- If you have packed everything correctly, the tandem bike bag should just be able to close tightly. If not, you may have to pack a few items in another bag.
If you are still unsure, this video shows you how to pack your tandem bike in a travel bag (Credit to Co-Motion Cycles):
If you live in a city, seeing the same sights while riding a tandem bike with your partner can become boring. However, it is possible to transport your bike by either car or plane.