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.
It 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.
If 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.