Panniers or Trailer for Rover Tandem?

I am brand new to the forum and am planning on purchasing a Rover Tandem this spring. I have NO experience with recumbents, trikes or tandems - it has all been 2 wheels and upright :-)

My girlfriend has some physical issues that make a tandem a logical choice for us to enjoy our biking time to together, and a trike seemed like the safest way to do that. I would foresee mostly 'day-trips' on our local gravel paths and occasional on some back road riding in the beautiful hilly area we live in too.

On my two wheeled touring bike I use traditional panniers. What do you all use as far as 'storage area' goes? I did not see any larger bags on Terra Trikes site at all. Are there websites that cater to this type of things that I just have not found yet? Also, is it possible to pull a bike trailer such as a BOB or even a small child carrier type with a Rover Tandem? Would there be a lot of modifications to make a trailer set up work? I realized that this would be a pretty looonnnggg unit, but that does not bother me much as I have a trialer plenty big to take it in, and could also store it at a friends house who lives right on one of our main trials also.

Looking forward to a new way of biking and all the knowledge about it that seems to be in these forums :-)

Thanks, Dan Dietz


  • edited January 2017
    Hi Dan,

    Short version of my suggestion: Get the rack TT has, then get panniers elsewhere.

    One thing that can surprise a lot of people new to trikes is that many, if not most, of the components are standard bike parts. It's the frame and how they're laid out that is custom, along with a few other things like the steering mechanism.

    There are exceptions, and you do need to check things out first, but for the most part the above holds true.

    Technically you don't need to use the rack that TerraTrike sells, but it is a *very* solid design that you know will definitely attach properly without having to bend/modify things. (Some racks attach to a seat post, which the Rover won't have.)

    My Rover has the rack, but I picked up these:

    It's no longer available, and the price had jacked up over the years since I got them, but I spent ~$75 for the pair. In my case I needed to be able to transport a 17" laptop to work, so I needed large bags.

    Here is a different set:

    That has a photo of the back of the bag, which shows you the type of rack mounting you'll need to have for the rack from TT. You certainly don't have to use that set, or even Axiom brand bags. You just need something with the same type of mount.

    Trailers are likewise pretty standard, as long as they attach to the rear axle and not a seat post. But my personal thought is why spend more money to make the trike even longer. :)

    - PaulNM

  • Blackburn makes a very good rear rack for mountain bikes that is easily fitted to the rear of a Terra Trike and costs significantly less. Panniers will then mount to the rack.

  • @Elrique64 I'm seriously considering making my own side-bag mount using simple u-bolts and pvc piping painted glossy black, because I REALLY like that idea of having your stuff right there at hand. Snacks, extra drinks, camera, etc.

    Fact is, the Rover, while rated at 400 pounds, is more likely good for much more. Didn't I hear that somebody at TT once said "the wheels will collapse before that frame ever breaks".  :-)
  • edited January 2017
    More like this one. One of the images shows a higher mount position for the bag.

    Honestly I'd have to mount the side bags pretty damned high to get at them around my own belly. :-(
  • @Elrique64 when I ride I can't see what gear I'm in - I can't see the shifter.

    I had to raise the mount points of my helper bars and mount my mirrors into the ends of those so I could see them. Putting them in the ends of the handlebars . . . couldn't see them (plus being so low they were in the bottom of my bifocals and totally fuzzy anyhow)

    I suppose I could set my seat more upright, but where's the fun in that?
  • @djdietz I have a small trailer made for dogs that would work quite well for transporting things that don't need to be right at hand. You just put the hitch on the rear axel. Here is an example
  • The one I have is also an Aosom trailer, it's a nice entry level trailer to see if you like it but the quality is shite. Mine could also be a stroller, who takes their dog out in a stroller anyway? (no offense to those not able to walk their dogs or with dogs not able to walk). :)>-
    If I was going to use a trailer regularly I would purchase a more expensive/better quality one. Heck when we spend thousands on our rides, why buy a crappy trailer to use all the time? And the Aosom is of terribly low quality.

    But then there's always.........
  • Thank you all for the ideas, it helps me to understand how things can be done on this type of bike... Ill update as I go along so others can learn too.
    Thanks, Dan Dietz
  • Dan,  not sure how "hilly" your area is, but climbing hills on a Rover tandem can be brutal on anything moderately steep or long.  Nice thing is, you can pull off to stop and take a break without even unclipping.  If I had it to do over, I'd explore the possibility of getting lower gears.  About the only time we use 8th is speeding down hill.  We now have a second tandem with 81 speeds and hills are no longer an issue.
  • An electric assist Crankset motor could be the answer for the Rover Tandem?!
  • TerraTrike's Largest Panniers, Top Bag, and Rack carry more than enough for my Wife and I, and fit perfectly......ce5oy4i7qfd3.jpg
  • Like the example from Skuuter above, we chose to go the pannier route. In our case, it was a doubled rack and 4 panniers. While it worked - and quite well - during the 2017 Erie Canal Ride (450 miles across New York State), it actually created a bit of squirelly-ness in the steering at speeds above 15 mph. Next year, if we choose to use the tandem again on the Erie Canal Ride, we will almost certainly switch to a BOB trailer. We noted that those with BOB trailers handled the single track, which occurs for about a third of the journey, much better than two-wheeled trailers. We also noted in a separate test at home that a trailer did not induce the same weird high speed steering characteristics as the panniers.


    Lance M. Gundersen, Sr.
    MM1(SS) USN(Ret)
    Power Plant Operator
  • edited October 2017
    If you consider going the panniers route, Bike Nashbar offers their own brand of panniers as well as other brands. I use their panniers on both my Trek mountain bike as well as my TT Path.hx5u7n058e56.jpg
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