Is taking your tandem with you on your agenda? Use a bicycle travel case.
"Thanks for the bicycle travel case information. You really saved me some potential heartache"
Packing your tandemThere are two camps of thought on packing your tandem. The first is using some type of bike box or case. The second is merely putting a luggage tag on your bike and letting it travel on a plane as a checked item. I have had friends take their tandem across the U.S. this way and have not suffered any damage doing this. In fact, they shipped two tandems on that particular trip and the bike they put in a case ended up getting squished by a luggage tram at the airport somehow.
Depending on the type of tandem you have, rigid or coupled, your case needs will vary. Most coupled tandem manufacturers offer cases that are specific to their bikes. Santana offers the FTS (Foam Tray System) . With die cut recesses, it is very easy to pack your Santana tandem.
Photo and text courtesy of Santana Tandems.
In my opinion, it is a good idea to take advantage of the experience they have packing and protecting their own models of bikes. Buy the case they offer. It may cost a little more up front, but a damaged bike caused by a case that just doesn't fit will cost you more in the end. See below in the airline tips sections for added savings that a custom made case will offer.
are just that. Two hard, injection molded plastic cases, that fit together with latches, straps or a combination of both. In the case of tandems, this usually means a custom made case by the tandem manufacturer.
One exception to this that I know of is the tandem case by Crate Works .I own this bicycle travel case in the
single bike form
. It is the Pro-XLC. I can tell you from experience and so far, four trips to Europe with a Crate Works bicycle travel case, that these cases are tough! I have both this and a Serfas case and the Crate Works is the case that my bike goes in every time.
I have seen only one soft tandem case or bicycle frame bag as some people call them, out there on the market. Based on the travel experiences of my friends that have the single bike version of this case, the Bike Pro Tandem Case
offers a great way to get your tandem around if you want the soft version.
The bicycle travel case is much more than a bicycle frame bag. There is a significant amount of protection afforded by a case of this type. Fork mounts keep your bike situated in the case and molded foam protects other parts. Caster wheels make travel a cinch.
Flying with your bike
If you plan to travel quite a lot with your tandem, getting a coupled tandem might even save you money in the long run over a non-coupled tandem.
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