2. Remove pedals and put in plastic bags marked front & rear.
3. Remove timing chain by pushing to side and turning the crank Put the chain in a plastic bag, keeping untwisted if possible. Set aside.
4. Wrap the frame tubes, except the 4 middle tubes between the couplers. More padding is better than less. 2 fork blades, top tube, lateral, down tube, both seat tubes, 2 seat stays and 2 chain stays.
5. Remove bar/stoker stem. Set aside.
6. Optional: Remove both seat posts and wrap, leave seats on. Set aside.
7. Disconnect the cyclometer bracket from the handle bar and let dangle. Disconnect the front brake straddle cable and take the housing out of the cable stop.
8. Remove the front stem by removing the top cap, and loosening the 6mm Allen on the side of the stem. Wrap the stem and tuck the bars around the top tube, while turning the fork 180 degrees to face to the rear, and secure the bars to the tube. Screw the stem cap back in place on the top of the fork.
9. Disconnect the derailleur cable separators. Tape the cables to the front and rear triangle of the frame.
10. Disconnect the rear brake cable from the straddle cable, remove it from the stop (it pulls out) and tape to the front of the tandem. Do the same with the drum cable if you have one.
11. Remove any racks, the wheels and fenders and set aside. Put spacers in dropouts to protect against crushing.
12. Loosen the front 4 couplers, but not all the way. Then hold the front triangle firmly and undo each coupler. Cover each coupler and put the front triangle in case.
13. Remove the 4 tubes, 1 at a time and wrap and mark. Be sure to mark which end is which (the lower two only). I used a fine permanent marker to color code the couplers at the back end on both the tube couple and the coupler on the rear triangle to make it easier to put back in the right place. Cover the couplers. The right side boom tube must be removed last and installed first. The wrench goes on at an angle but works fine. Watch out for those sharp chain ring teeth! Leave the bottle cages on and cut the wrapping around them.
14. Put the rear triangle and the 4 loose tubes into case.
15. Put your helmets, shoes and racks in bags or wrap them, and your seats and rear bars, and stuff them all in and around the frame. Use rags or foam for padding as desired. Put the pedals, chain, and tools in seat packs and handlebar packs and stuff in around the frame and other parts, making a stable package. Add fenders.
16. Celebrate, your tandem is all ready to travel. On domestic airlines, don't tell them the cases are a bike so they won't charge you. On international flights we say, "the 2 cases are A bike", so they are counted as 1 piece of checked luggage, allowing you to check 3 others (2 total per person).
1. Unpack and put the wrapping in the case you took it out of (helps to keep from reinventing your packing method each time).
2. Reverse the assembly process. Turning the couplers as tight as you can, without straining, is tight enough.
3. CAUTION; make sure the chain is securely on the chain ring before you install the right side boob tube. If the chain drops down between the coupler and the bottom bracket and chain ring, it is tough to get out. It can be forced out by using the chain ring and pushing very hard on the crank arm (this scratches things but works), or uncouple and try again. A "Jump Stop" will prevent this problem during reassembly as well as on the road.
4. Some minor wiggle and squiggle and tweaking is usually required to make everything work as before. Check to be sure the cables are all in their guides and stops correctly. Double check your couplers, stem bolts, crank bolt, seat binder bolts and anything else you installed for tightness. Test ride without your stoker and adjust as required. Then have a great tour!
We always suggest 2 cases. Put the tandem in one, the wheels in the other. Use seat packs and handle bar bags to hold tools and loose parts like pedals, stuff in your helmet, shoes, racks, etc. in yours, and your stoker's stuff in the other (I'm assuming the captain is doing the bike packing). The side compartments on the "soft sides" of the bags are for your bike clothes. They provide the necessary side cushioning.
CARE AND SAFETY: We recommend checking the BTC for tightness before each ride. The couplers should be kept clean and free of any grit. Place a small amount of 100% DuPont Teflon Bearing Grease inside the nut on the retaining ring shoulder and on the threads after a good cleaning.
S&S Machine provides a very detailed instruction for installation and care of BTC's. You should obtain a copy and read thoroughly.Back to Tech Tips!