Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would sometimes like to transport my tandem by car, and it would be convenient to use one of those "strap-on" bumper carriers. Is it feasible to use this type of carrier?

share|improve this question
You might be better off with a roof rack – Kibbee Jul 25 '13 at 17:41

If it sticks out from the with of the car DO NOT carry the bike in the bumper carrier, if necessary, take both wheels out but take no chances, anything wider than the car is a danger to yourself and others, think about motorbikes.

share|improve this answer

Yes, yes it is possible...

If the tandem is loaded onto the carrier at an angle, it won't extend much beyond the width of the car or minivan (maybe not at all for a larger vehicle). It's not totally clear in the following picture, but the horizontal bars are tilted up a bit to make it more secure.

tandem on carrier

It's necessary to bungee-cord the bike or otherwise secure it otherwise it'll tend to slide "down" (in my case, the front will tip down, which will make it stick out on the driver's side). I use 2 cords to secure it:


Other notes:

  • I immobilize the bars so that the wheel doesn't flop while loading/unloading (and while removing the front wheel, which I have to do to keep it from sticking out on the driver's side.
  • It's not clear in the picture, but behind our mini-van, the front forks don't stick out at all, and the rear wheel sticks out maybe an inch beyond the width of the van. Also, the bar-ends I have don't stick up above the roof box.

Although it looks ridiculous, the same technique can be used on a small car:

mazda tandem

The bike doesn't actually stick out beyond the width of the car as much as it appears to in the picture, it's less than a foot on each side. It does stick way way up above the car, however, so when I've done this (only a couple times) I'm very careful about going into underground parking.

share|improve this answer
Be exceedingly careful where/how you park, if the bike is hung like that. It would be very easy for someone (in a car or walking) to not see the bike and hit it. If they're in a car you'd quite likely lose the bike. If they're walking you'd likely lose the lawsuit. – Daniel R Hicks Jul 25 '13 at 0:54
I can several things that concern me.... the rear wheel is hanging very low to the ground, the height - in the last picture the bars appear to be higher than the sewerage pipe. Wouldn't want to have to clean up that mess...... and the amount of windage would be much higher than these racks are designed for, likely not a problem, but....... Best to use roof rack IMHO – mattnz Jul 25 '13 at 1:27
With the mini-van it's been fine, the bike doesn't stick out much/at all. (And the vehicle's never been parked with the bike on it.) The pic with the small car is deceiving, the wheel isn't as low as it looks and with the bars immobilized, they weren't close to the pipes. But I've only ever transported the tandem on the rack the one time. – Ward Jul 25 '13 at 19:13
Depending on the jurisdiction you also might get in conflict with the police as in some countries it is not allowed that mounted things (like bikes on a rack) are wider than the car's outer mirrors. – Benedikt Bauer Oct 15 '13 at 16:39

Can you tow a trailer with your car? That would be the safest and most responsible way to move your tandem.

Second option would be to ride it there, over the course of a day with rest stops you and your co-rider could do 100 km.

Another option would be a roof rack, like others have mentioned. Your vehicle's roof looks long enough to accept the full length of the bike. Brands to search for may incluide Thule. Possibly you're looking for three cross bars, and two normal "bike rails" in line-astern or as close to that as possible. May have issues with the front bottom bracket being super low, which means an adapter to raise the front fork a bit more than normal.

Please let us know what you end up doing.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.