Ok Patenito’s post with the motorcycle rack fueled my fire even more. I need a tandem rack for our car, let’s see some homemade ones! I know there are a few out there in the market but my primal instincts tell me I can build one for their price.
Don't have pics with me, but I made two tandem racks by using some single bike racks that were being sold off pretty cheaply from an LBS.
They are made from 1" square steel tubing with wheel wells at both ends and an upright in the middle with a clamp for the downtube. Meant for lightweight road bikes, they're not that strong.
What I did was to take 2 racks, remove one wheel well from each, then join them end to end with a sleeve using the bolts from the removed wheel wells. The front upright attaches to the downtube and the other attaches to the boom tube of the tandem. I use straps around the captain's seatpost to guy down the bike so that it is pretty secure.
The other rack I made is similar to the first, but I replaced the front wheel well with an axle and QR skewer to attach the front forks with front wheel removed.
Both these racks separate pretty easily to revert them to single bike use.
If we're just taking one tandem, we'll usually just remove pedals from one side, turn the bars and lay the bike flat on the roof bars. It's a bit less fiddly than mounting the racks to the roof bars and hoisting the tandem up.
Thanks for the ideas! Our car (Subaru Impreza sedan) has a 24" bar spread. I know, it sounds crazy. I rejected the idea of a tandem rack after I thought about it for a while, but now the fire is fueled again.
I am thinking of splitting the difference, hanging 'half' over the windshield and 'half' over the trunk. If I do this with a fork mount the half that lays over the trunk is pretty much the same distance as our single mounts. However, I have gained more hanging the over the windshield. Makes me wonder if the bars can hack it or they will jump around. I know our bars shake a little bit with a single on.
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