How to store a tandem bicycle between rides.

Friday, February 7, 2014 by Jay S. Hardcastle

A common question for people considering a tandem bicycle is how to store their new tandem between rides. A tandem bicycle is over 8 feet long from wheel to wheel, and can be a little ungainly to manage, especially when you are just getting used to handling one. Here is the first of some helpful tips on storing a tandem between rides.
tandemhangIt helps to first visualize the space you will need for your tandem. Your tandem just a little big bigger than a twin-sized mattress, a space roughly 8 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 4 feet high. So if you have some stairs involved with storing your tandem, ask yourself if a twin mattress could make the same stairs, remembering your tandem won’t bend in the middle!

For many years, I have stored our personal tandem suspended from the front wheel using a bike hook. This keeps the tandem bike safe from falls, and keeps the floor space needed to a minimum. This works for almost every tandem front wheel, as long your tandem is not equipped with hi-performance carbon aero rims. New tandem owners are always concerned about hanging the weight of a tandem, overlooking the fact that the tandem is usually 1/5 (or less) the weight of the team that is riding it!

To hang a tandem from the front wheel, all you need then is clear access to at least a 2 foot wide by 4 foot bit of floor space, next to wall with an 8 to 9 foot ceiling. You then need to attach a good quality bike hook firmly to the ceiling. (Yes, bike hooks come in different weights, and a 5/16” or 3/8” heavy-duty hook is preferred to a lighter ¼” diameter hook.)

Depending the ceiling in your garage, you may need some minor carpentry to securely mount a hook at the right height. Generally, you want to have the rear wheel about 4-6” off the ground, and both wheels resting against the wall; your hook should be about 14” from the wall the bike will rest against.

racor_solo_2011_259pxIf you have an extra high garage ceiling or mounting on the ceiling isn’t an option, you can also use a wall mounted hook, like the Racor Solo ($21.99) to hang the bike on the wall.

In some future posts, I will cover some additional ideas for storing your tandem, along with other tandeming tips. I have been riding sport tandems since 1975, and have enjoyed some amazing tandem adventures with my wife and two sons.

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