Transporting the Tandem

edited July 2013 in Tandem
How do you do this?

I have a new Rover and am planning to add the tandem attachment as soon as I can get one. But how to transport it has me stumped.

Short of having a pickup with a 10-foot bed, is there any convenient way to transport a tandem all in one piece?

Or, do you have to break it down and transport it in two pieces? If this is the case, how much hassle is it to break it down and put it together again? And how long are the two pieces? Are they both short enough to carry on a regular trike rack or the back of a car?

I'd really appreciate some input. Thanks so much.


  • edited August 2012
    I'm the impatient one, I guess. After a couple of days asking everywhere and everyone I knew -- and coming up empty handed -- here's what I came up with.

    Given that
    * I decided I didn't want to have to disassemble and reassemble the Rover Tandem -- once at home and once at my destination -- every time I wanted to transport it to ride someplace else; and,
    * I decided I wanted to buy something already made for this specialized transport task, instead of trying to adapt some other device to do the job halfway.

    I came up with only one option out there: This Tandem Tadpole Trike Trailer made by Bicycle Transport Trailers in Madison WI.
    For additional pictures you can click on the *tandem tadpole trailer* album on this page:
    This same trailer can also be used if I ever want to transport my Rover to ride without the tandem attachment.

    I've been very pleased with my preliminary communications with builder/proprietor Michael Gulvik. I ordered my trailer this morning -- to be picked up sometime before TT delivers the tandem attachment they're soon to make for my Rover. I hope this information is helpful to others.
  • And.. here are the pics! New tandem trailer loaded with just the single Rover. That's how we'll be travelling till we get the tandem attachment later this month. As soon as that happens, I'll post some more pictures here.

    The trike is very easy to load and unload, and it rides along very securely. We've pulled the trailer some 250 miles already. Loaded and unloaded. Highway and city. It pulls nicely. Mike's taken care to make this a great transport alternative.



  • We bought an alpaca carrier, which uses a trailer hitch to tranport our regular tandem (not the rover). I don't know about the Rover, but it took three of us to put the trike back together, and that was a trip to the shop for routine maintenance. I absolutely love our tandem, but I'm not sure I want to spend another 700 dollars on a trailer after buying the carrier just last year. I met a couple on the bike path who said they travel with their tandem frequently, but it was a brief conversation and I didn't get any specifics.

    Good luck.
  • As promised, here are a couple of pics of our trailer -- now with the Rover tandem loaded up!
    We continue to be exceedingly happy with the trailer. The wife and I can easily lift the Rover Tandem onto and off of it. The trailer works well for us in every way.
  • Looks great! Will be passing this along and you should post it on the Rover forum.
    Kelli B
    Sales, TerraTrike
  • I'm considering purchasing my first tandem (and first bike since I was a kid) and realized I have a problem: I do not believe I currently have a way to transport it.

    I have a 2003 Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback (not wagon) with a factory sunroof, no roof rack, and no hitch.

    What are my options? I don't know if I can get a roof rack since I have the sunroof, although having the option to load a bike and/or a luggage carrier is appealing.

    Maybe I could fold down the seat and load it inside with one of the wheels off? Any thoughts would be most appreciated.
  • Item 1
    Consider this: Just buy a Rover 8 now. You and your Significant Other (your future tandem companion) both get in some individual riding time on the single tadpole. Then buy the Rover Tandem Attachment for all those many more miles to come. This will let your body and your pocket book ease into riding again, taking some time to work through the tandem transport issues.

    You should be able to get the Rover 8 single into your hatchback right now. When you lower/remove the rear seats and load it rear end first, the rear tire may extend into the space between the front seats and rest on the console. A lot of folks transport a tadpole this way.

    Item 2
    When you do get the tandem, portability becomes a lot more problematic. If you want to do all that work every time you ride it, you can tear it down and reassemble it each time. But that's an awful lot of work unless you're going to ride it a lot in your carry destination. Short of that, I think your only viable options are a trailer or larger vehicle. On this forum, you'll read from folks who have done it both ways.
  • re: item 2
    Although tearing the tandem rover totally down is a hassle, removing only the back portion is quick and easy. I do it every time we ride.
    1. Detach shifter cable rear section (be sure to use a coupler to attach the tandem extension to the original cable instead of replacing the original with a longer single cable)
    2. Remove the back (outside) chain from the stoker's crankset (leave it on the rear wheel)
    3. Loosten the 2 set screws holding the rear portion to the main frame. the front is at the seam here the sections join and the rear is under the seat. Slide apart.
    Done! Less than 5 minutes. :D
  • Thanks for the counterpoint, Stokie. It's a good one. This may solve the trandem transport issue for a lot of folks.
  • The Web site listed for Bicycle Transport Trailers above is now listed as a Parked Domain, but I'm hoping the tandem tadpole trike trailer may still be available by contacting Michael A. Gulvik, of 1318 S. Thompson Dr., Madison WI 53716 at (608)222-0240. It looks like an ideal way to transport our Rover Tandem without having to disassemble anything.
  • Best wishes for getting in touch with Mike. You might also try this email address: mgulvik at gmail. We are still VERY satisfied with the tandem trailer we got from Mike last year. I hope he's still in business.
  • I can't find the invoice, but I think the tandem trailer was listed for $700-750. I just heard from Mike. Seems he's not building any more trailers. He was starting to get a lot of orders, then got a new day job that left him with no time for the business. He writes: "I have been sending people that inquire the parts lists, suppliers, and pictures, but they will have to build it themselves or have someone handy build it for them." Seems like a great hobby/venture for someone else hereabouts.
  • WilhelmGGW wrote:
    As promised, here are a couple of pics of our trailer -- now with the Rover tandem loaded up!
    We continue to be exceedingly happy with the trailer. The wife and I can easily lift the Rover Tandem onto and off of it. The trailer works well for us in every way.


    Would you be willing to measure the distance from the center of the rear hub to the center of the front hubs? Curious if the small trailer I have could be modified to carry a Rover Tandem.

  • 83 inches. I hope it works for you!
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