Sunday, September 16, 2007


In the old days, transporting my tandem recumbent meant hefting it up onto the roof of my SUV. Definitely not for the faint of heart and not to be attempted without a stoker up on the roof to help. I developed several techniques for getting this done, but even the most succesful of these still tried the patience of the team, especially after a long, hot ride. Even when the bike was securely lashed to the roof, I was never quite comfortable with it up there. Then I discovered Draftmaster and never looked back. The Draftmaster rack mounts in the trailer hitch of my truck. It now takes me and my stoker about 3 minutes to rack the Seavo and secure it on the Draftmaster.

The Draftmaster has distinct advantages, especially for the tandem owner, over a conventional roof top rack. First, and foremost, is that you never have to lift the bike. With the Draftmaster the most strenuous part of the racking process is standing the bike up on the drive wheel and walking it into the rack. The rest is just securing. I've hauled as many as three recumbents with this rig without any problems. Since the rack kneels for loading, I still have access to my rear cargo door and cargo area. With a little practice under my belt, I was soon able to load and unload the tandem all by myself.

When I bought this system from a friend I had my tandem in mind. I found that the standard trays weren't quite long enough and that the Draftmaster tandem tray would cost me an arm and a leg. I had four standard trays to work with. After mulling over the options, I had one tray cut in half and welded the pieces to two of the other trays. This gave me two trays that were seven feet long. These were just perfect for my tandem as well my other LWB recumbent.
On the minus side, the Draftmaster is heavy and expensive compared to conventional racks. It also can create some vertical clearance issues, particularly if you park in a low clearance parking garage like I do. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this system.

Miles Saturday: 39
Miles This Year: 2260