Our sister company Circe Cycles has introduced a separable version of their Helios Tandem and it is already proving of interest to Airnimal owners.
As the Helios is already compact enough for easy car transportation and, usually, gets by on a train, Circe designed a coupling system, rather than a quick fold, that, with minimum dis-assembly, makes it small enough to fit into the Airnimal Traveller case for airline travel. The Trailer Kit can also be fitted into the case which converts the case into a trailer and is a good way of carrying additional gear on a tandem.
To pack the Helios in the Traveller case only requires the ‘de-coupling’, and normal removal of wheels, pedals, seat posts, QR handlebar and timing chain. All other components can stay in place.
The design, using a compression drain pipe and coupled rear top tube, makes for easy re-coupling, the drain pipe effectively holding the two ends of the tandem in place ready for the insertion of, and final alignment with, the coupled top tube.
Depending on the spec, the Helios packed into the Traveller case weighs 25-30kg, which is overweight on many, but not all, airlines. Consequently Circe will be offering a two case option where both cases will be under 20kg allowing the two riders to each check-in half of the tandem and still have weight allowance for other gear.
Circe is also offering a two bag option for trains where there are size limitations, or, possibly (though not recommended) for flying where weight is at a premium.
The two case, or bag, option requires a bit more disassembly, but transmission and brakes will stay in place. The front brake lever stays with the front section and the handlebar with all other levers stays with the rear section. Re-usable ties are used for releasing and reconnecting the cables.