The motor provides assistance when you need it. This is one of the best features of an electric bike (e-bike). Unfortunately, the motor cannot also help you lift your two-wheeled dynamo onto your car rack for your next adventure. You will need an e-bike rack that can support and hold your heavier bike.
When you choose a rack for your e-bike, keep these things in mind:
- Hitch racks should be your priority: Roof-top racks can be difficult to load, and trunk racks are not strong enough.
- Take a look at the way bikes are held. It is important to understand that an E-bike is different from the best electric unicycle, so the way of holding them is different as well. Here, platform racks work well. Also, take a look at the attachment set-up.
- Examine the specifications: The rack’s maximum weight per bicycle should be higher than any other bike.
- Check to see if the rack comes with a ramp. Ramps make loading easier. You can either buy an additional ramp or integrate a ramp into your rack.
Rack manufacturers are creating more models that can hold e-bikes, so there are more options. A rack you purchase specifically for an e-bike can also hold a regular bike.
This article is about e-bikes. You can read How to Choose Car Racks for a more comprehensive discussion.
A Hitch Rack is the Best Choice for E-Bikes
Roof racks can be awkward for heavy e-bikes. It is difficult to lift a 50-pound e-bike over your shoulders in order to load it onto a roof rack. A hitch rack is a better option than a roof rack if you don’t have any other hobbies like powerlifting.
The trunk racks are not designed to carry heavy e-bikes. Although trunk racks can load closer to the ground than roof racks they are not able to hold most e-bikes.
It Is Important to Understand How The Rack Holds E-bikes
Platform (tray-style) racks vs. hanging (mast-style). A platform rack is better for your e-bike because it can handle a variety of frame styles. Most step-through bike adapters don’t have enough strength to hold a heavy bike. A platform rack is more stable than a hanging rack and can hold more weight per bike.
Bike attachment: Many platform racks come with a wheel hook that clamps to the tire. A rack that has a hook may not be able to hold your e-bike securely if it has fenders. It is not recommended to place the hook behind or in front of the fender. A rack that attaches to the frame of the bike is better. This allows it to securely hold a variety of bikes, even bikes with fenders.
Tilt access: This best bike rack hitch feature allows you to tilt the rack so that you can access the trunk or rear hatch.
Prior to buying an E-Bike Rack, here are some key factors (specs) you should consider.
Maximum weight for a bike: All bikes you intend to transport should not exceed this limit. This information should be included in the rack’s description and technical specifications. If your e-bike is slightly heavier than the recommended weight, you can remove the battery from the bike during transport to make it fit within the accepted load capacity. See the loading tip below.
TWC (Total Weight Capacity) of the hitch tongue: TWC refers to the maximum weight that your hitch can handle. Your vehicle’s TWC cannot be exceeded by the combined weight of your bike rack and bikes. If you have added a hitch to your vehicle that did not come with one, make sure to find both the TWC of the hitch and the TWC of the vehicle. The hitch TWC and the vehicle TWC cannot be exceeded by your rack + bikes.
Tire size and width: Double-check your bike’s tire width, wheelbase, and rack maximum tire widths.
A Rack and Ramp are Advantages
Although the platform of a hitch rack may be close to the ground, it can still prove difficult to lift a heavy e-bike onto it. You can simply roll your bike onto the ramp if your rack has one. A ramp is an important feature that anyone can use, especially those who have difficulty lifting and carrying an e-bike. Some racks come with a ramp that can be stored inside the rack for transport. Others allow you to purchase a ramp separately. Other racks do not offer either.
Lift assist: This powered mechanism lifts the bike onto the rack. The hitch for your vehicle must be electronically set up, just like it would with trailer taillights.
Rack Loading Tips
Take out the battery: E-bike batteries can weigh several pounds so it is easier to load. Not all batteries can be removed but most e-bikes allow for that. Storing the battery in your vehicle will keep it warm, which will increase battery life. Because it isn’t possible for a thief to take your e-bike away, it makes it less attractive to steal. Double-check your bike manual to find out how to properly remove and transport the battery.
One wheel at a stretch: If you don’t have a ramp to lift the front wheel, use a platform rack to load the bike onto the tray. As you move the front wheel forward, lift the rear wheel of the bike into the tray. This is a tricky technique, especially if you have to maneuver the rack tray.