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Tandems and camping

Geoff Johnstone2021-12-20 21:08:27

Good evening, many thanks for previous helpful responses received via this forum. We're hoping to go tandem touring (fingers crossed) in the Spring. We plan to camp. We'd be keen to know what fellow tandem-ers do with their tandem over night whilst camping? We'd be grateful for practical tips incl security.  Many thanks!


Karen Petty2021-12-20 21:19:16

We haven't done this for a while but when we last did, a couple of locks where all we ever used.  If we were near anything solid, such as a fence, the bike was locked to the solid object.  Otherwise, a couple of tent pegs and some cord to hold the bike upright and locks around the wheels and frame.  Panniers etc went in the tent with us.  Valuables were always kept in the handlebar bag which went everywhere with us.  It might seem risky but we never had any problems.

Regards, Dave P.

Alan Morgan2021-12-20 21:20:35
  • I have done a good number of long distance tandem camping tours in the UK and France. 
  • At first, when the tandem was brand new, I was very nervous about the possibility of theft especially during 'in transit' stops for coffee or what ever.
  • Under those scenarios I did not then, and still do not, leave the tandem unattended/out of sight.
  • However, on proper campsites I am far more relaxed and just use a reasonable padlock and cable to attach the tandem to a fixed object - so far so good!
  • Risk is a very personal matter - you just need to assess the local conditions as best you can and take what ever security measures leave you comfortable.
  • Leaf through the cycling uk forums to see what other cycle campers do - you will see a vast range of precautions being exercise from virtually nothing to 'fort knox' features - each to their own!
Stephen Gray2021-12-20 22:00:55
On tour we guyed our bikes or the tandem to make a washing line and or just used to lock to something immovable but close to the tent overnight as any attempt to steal would probably have woken us. However there are quite a few gps based bicycle alarms available now at various price points. I like the idea of the one concealed in the handlebars. As said before,it depends upon how big a risk you think there is of someone staling a tandem. Personally would be more worried about an expensive solo. 
Chris Bishop2021-12-20 22:44:10

Not sure if it matters where you are staying, unless of course there is a locked room or you are allowed to keep your tandem in your room.

We use a D lock and cable. Loop the cable through the front wheel threading the cable through itself. The cable then goes round a solid object and back to the D lock which attaches the rear wheel to the frame. If you are worried then removing the stoker bars/pilot seat post and saddle makes riding it away more difficult. 

Always have a bag with all the valuables in it that is easy to remove and take with us at any time. We also have a simple padlock which attaches the three rear bags to the rear frame.

Nothing is fool proof, you need to do enough that you aren't going to worry or lose sleep. 


Alan Morgan2021-12-21 14:43:55

I spotted this method on a youtube clip where the tent pole is put through the front wheel spokes.

I've thought about GPS trackers but of course they are only useful after the tandem has been stolen, so I'd rather concentrate on primary protection to stop the theft in the first place, and at my stage of life, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable tracking down and confronting bike thieves - but each to their own of course.


Mike Dunning2021-12-21 15:25:10
I wouldn't worry too much. Tandems aren't the easiest objects to steal and if someone does make off with your pride and joy, they are going to be highly conspicuous and probably quite to easy to trace. If you're really concerned, remove the front wheel and stow it in your tent. That would make any prospective bike thief think twice. Lumbering off with a one wheeled tandem! I don't think so. Way too much hassle! There are far easier things to steal.
Matthew Bailey2022-01-23 18:30:42
We always opt for a lock through back wheel and guy rope tied to the bike. However i would agree with above, even though we know how expensive they are, i don't think they are very appealing to the opportunist!