Travelling with a Tandem

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Kathy Glover, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Kathy Glover

    Kathy Glover New Member

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    Does anyone have any experience (or advice) regarding travelling with a tandem. For example, will it be allowed on an aeroplane?

    My husband and I recently hired a tandem and did a 2 day ride which was fantastic. He didn't have to wait for me, and I didn't have to kill myself trying to keep up. We are considering buying our own tandem, but are concerned about how to store it and how to travel with it.

    Hope someone out there can help :confused: ,
    Kathy
     
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  2. OCRoadie

    OCRoadie New Member

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    Check out www.santanabikes.com
    They are great tandem builder. They have a tandem frame, I believe it's called the "Stow Away" or something like that. It has couplers that allow you to break the frame down. Co-Motion might also have something similar, be prepared to spend some serious money on a nice tandem, especially the break-down style frames. I do know that these styles can be checked on airplanes. You may also check with Santana about renting one.
     
  3. Kathy Glover

    Kathy Glover New Member

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    Hi OCRoadie

    Thanks for the info. I did'nt know that you could get a "stowaway" tandem. Will have to hunt to see if it's available in Australia.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
     
  4. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Kathy, Check out http://www.sandsmachine.com/, that is the firm that makes the best couplings for 'break-down' bikes. They have a list of builders worldwide who work with them. If you cannot find someone who already works with them, you could also get your local custom builder to buy a set of the couplings and have make a one-off break-down-able tandem for you!

    Happy riding!
     
  5. Kathy Glover

    Kathy Glover New Member

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    Thanks, I'll check it out :)
     
  6. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Nessun problema. We are here to serve! ;)
     
  7. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    Hi Kathy

    Tandeming is great fun. We have had numerous people take ours for a test ride on the Big NSW bike rides and go out and buy their own.
    We have travelled a fair amount with a tandem and the ease of travel depends on where you are going. We have a Santana Sovereign which is a fair size bike to get around but we manage reasonably well. It just fits in our Subaru Liberty with the wheels and pannier rack removed. We have a roof rack that fits on our Impreza but I hate scraped the bugs off after a long drive.
    We fly VirginBlue in Aus and they seem very helpful with the tandem. We use a couple of bike boxes taped together that we buy from them when we ride to the airport.
    We live about 20mins ride from Sydney Airport.
    We flew to NZ in 2003 without any problems either way but we have heard on the [email protected] list that there are more problems traveling in Europe.
    We are heading to France and Austria for 7 weeks soon and will be picking up a custom Co-motion Mocha Co-Pilot on the way. This will pack up into a couple of soft suitcases for flying so we hopefully wont pay any extra fees.

    We have some friends who live nearby who have a Bike Friday tandem which they are very happy with and it packs up easily for travel.
    If you want more info I am happy to help

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  8. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    We have traveled with our Santana "stow away" S & S coupled tandem. Santana... and likely others, sell a huge case that allows you to store the tandem in pieces inside. The case is very large and you will pay for oversize on the plane. It takes a larger car/SUV/Van to transport the case.
    We have traveled with it, but not since 911.
    S & S couplers work very well. The gear cable couplers work OK, but I wish they were better designed. We don't use a coupler on our rear brake cable.
    If you buy a S & S Coupled tandem I suggest a 3 things:
    1. Take spare tandem specific cables with you and know how to install and adjust them.
    2. Practice taking the bicycle apart and putting it together many times before your first "real" trip.
    3. Get reusable padding (cloth foam and velcro) for all the frame tubes, etc. and have designated bags for other parts.
     
  9. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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  10. pegasus_pete

    pegasus_pete New Member

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    Kathy, Greenspeed in Melbourne will add couplers to a tandem frame if possible. Unfortunately the couplers are only available to suit round frame tubes of certain sizes. Many modern tandem frames use frame tubing which is not circular in cross section. Transporting a tandem on the road is not generally a problem as a tandem with wheels off and forks turned backward is no wider than a normal Australian medium car. A tandem can hence be carried on a normal bike beak. Hope that helps, Peter
     
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