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  1. #1
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!

    I took a Thule Sidewinder, swapped the stock tray for a piece of 6061 aluminum channel (84" x 3" x 1.5"), drilled the channel for the sidewinder (two bolts), drilled the channel for a cross bar mount (two holes), then used a couple bungee straps to secure the rear wheel.

    To mount the tandem on the rack, I have my wife stand on the tailgate, I place the rear wheel onto the channel about where it will sit when fully mounted, then she holds it steady as I lift the front of the tandem and drop the front wheel into the tray and stabilizer, then all I do is pivot up the sidearm, strap down the rear wheel, and away we go!

    We often use a cam strap from one side of the rack to the other, across the stoker bar, to further stabilize the tandem. We could drive locally without the strap, but it makes me feel more comfortable with the strap in place.

    So far we have driven back and forth to local spots and as far as three hours away to Bent Creek, speeds up to 80mph and not a wiggle!

    The rack was a leftover from my biking days, I think they can be found for $100-150 used on Ebay. The channel I purchased from On line Metals, $75 delivered.

    Here's the rack unmounted, I'll post a pic with the tandem mounted once I remember to take a picture with the tandem mounted


  2. #2
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    I take the wheel off, but to each his own.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-ride.jpg  

    DW-DHR,VPX,SLX,SX,Stump Jumper ht.,Specialist, Bicycle Fabrications DH Tandem,Gravity Bike,Bamboo 29rs,Profile Uni,Renovo R4.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the inspiration Ben. We recently picked up the type which requires taking the wheel off and really really dislike the fuss, especially with the spacers that we have on the Phil Wood front hub. I've been thinking along these lines as well. Looks pretty straight-forward, just need to find myself a sidewinder arm.

    Ours is mounted on top of our Aliner camper, so not exactly like a roof, but same idea. I was very uncomfortable with the amount of wanging around the thing did when driving off-road, so I fabbed up this stabilizing arm. Just an aluminum pole with a ratchet strap cannibalized from another bike rack. Works like a charm.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #4
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    There is no reason to take off a wheel, we have been using our tandem rack for a year, recently I drove across the country through high winds, and the rack and tandem arrived unscathed.

    A Thule side arm attached to an aluminum channel works great, doesn't require wheel removal, AND it ends up costing less than a production tandem rack.

    Seriously, someone should sell this set up, making the channel a two piece would reduce the size for shipping.

  5. #5
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-dscn5531.jpg

    here's a pic of what I have. I turned around the sidearms since this pic was taken. I like your set up Nurse Ben, I ,was just trying to do something so I wouldn't have the long extrusion hanging out if we all wanted to ride our own bikes. plus , not much deck room.

  6. #6
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-smaller-tandem.jpg


    here's a side pic of how much hangs over. after a few rides down bumpy roads, my idea started to fail. the 1 x 1 aluminum spine started to bend. so now looking like might get that extrusion a bit thicker.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps a strut (a stick ) from the bumper to the point where the wheel is resting. It would interfere with opening the tailgate, but if you worked out an attachment that was quick and easy.... perhaps it would be acceptable.

  8. #8
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    yeah thought about that, think ill stick with the long extrusion and just swap it out when not using tandem.

  9. #9
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!

    With the Avalanches we have another option, I used a Yakima Frontloader, and let the rear tire land on the bed cover. I like how freerider1 has a rack on the covers, is that bolted on? For now, I just use tie downs to secure the rear wheel. Here's a pic from a recent family ride.



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  10. #10
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    yep , bolted through the covers and sealed. thought about doing it that way but, tire is in way and have height issues.

  11. #11
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    so your channel is 84 x 3 x 1.5 ? is it the American standard or aluminum assoc ? whats the wall thickness? do you have a road tandem or mtb? sorry so many Q's. thanks for your time.

  12. #12
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!

    Quote Originally Posted by freerider1 View Post
    yep , bolted through the covers and sealed. thought about doing it that way but, tire is in way and have height issues.
    If you don't mind sharing, can you show me how you bolted thru the covers? Really like your setup so I can get rid of my straps. TIA.


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    "Before D.W., "anti-squat" was referred to as pedal feedback."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    If you don't mind sharing, can you show me how you bolted thru the covers? Really like your setup so I can get rid of my straps. TIA.


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    sorry so late getting back to you on this. Ill get some picks tomorrow. going to order the channel that Ben talked about. want something sturdy. as far as my rack mount, started with the Yakima #6 landing pads and a set of the Yakima control towers.just have to make sure you seal the holes. also, make sure drilling holes in your bed covers.

  14. #14
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_112058.jpgCustom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_112107.jpgCustom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_112123.jpgCustom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_112134.jpgCustom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_112144.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    If you don't mind sharing, can you show me how you bolted thru the covers? Really like your setup so I can get rid of my straps. TIA.


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    here is the picks of how and where. the one problem i had was the front mount were a bit too forward for for the tire or bike to clear cladding so i had to move the sidearm back by drilling new holes and reversing clamps.
    my original mount was old SST towers and custom bent clamps that held on the side of the bed panels. hope this helps. feel free to ask more questions, I'm in an avalanche club so, tons of ideas. thanks.

  15. #15
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    Thats kinda of funny, two pictures with a Chevy Avalanche truck and a Ventana tandem, we also have a Avalanche and a Ventana tandem.
    I also made my own tandem mount, but I remove my front wheel so there is less rear overhang. I'll post pictures, although it is not mounted on my rack at this time.

  16. #16
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    cool cant wait to see'em. would be easier if I could take front wheel off but, 8 Allen bolts to hold it on is kinda a pain.

  17. #17
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    (Hopefully) Here is a picture of my custom tandem mount(I can't stand the new way of posting pictures on this site).
    We have a RS Boxxer, it only takes about 30 seconds to remove the front wheel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-img_0695.jpg  


  18. #18
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    Custom Tandem Roof Rack: Carries the Tandem with the Wheels On!-20140704_170802.jpg

    nice rack, I have an ATC Terrex-5 triple crown w/20mm through axle.love the fork so really don't want to change it just for a rack.

  19. #19
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    You should be able to loosen the fork bolts( as opposed to removing them) right? then slide the axle out. I know that's not the most efficient, but imo, a fork mount is by far more superior way of transporting bikes, especially a tandem, but I understand your problem though.

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