What is the best way to travel with a tandem?

You have a few options:

  • Bring along a travel tandem.  This is your best option.  A good S&S coupled tandem or a Bike Friday is always the best way to travel with your bike.  If you don’t already own one and don’t want to buy one new, you might consider buying a used one on eBay or one of the tandem classified sites.  Coupled tandems retain their value very well, so even if you don’t want to keep the bike, you can probably get all or most of your money back if you resell it.
  • Pack and bring along your regular tandem. A lot of airlines have maximum sizes for luggage and a tandem will normally exceed this, so be careful if you want to do this.  Shipping may be a better option if you want to go this route.
  • Rent – We really do not recommend renting a tandem from any local bike shops, unless you can really verify the quality of what you are getting.  We have had some bad experiences with rentals that sounded great, but really weren’t when you get a hold of them.  Tandems|East will rent you a coupled bike with cases.  Should you wish to pursue this, please contact them directly for more details.

Shipping your bike vs bringing it along with you on your flight:

  • There are various ways you can ship your bike.  You can use a specialty company like Bike Flights or use any of the standard shipping companies.  You will need to figure out a place to ship it to.  Either the first hotel or a bike shop will usually work out.  If you want to pay them, you can even have the shop put it together for you. Make sure you work out a return plan as that can sometimes be more challenging them shipping your bike to the remote location.
  • A lot has been written about bring your bike with you as luggage on the plane and some Google searches will turn up all kinds of information and stories.  When you are purchasing your airline tickets, you should understand your luggage situation (bag quantity, oversize and/or overweight issues) and research the airline’s policies before buying a ticket.  What you think may be the cheapest fare may not be when you factor in the cost of bringing your bike.  When looking at the luggage policies, be aware that a lot of airlines have special prices for bicycles or sporting equipment.