Can Your Bike Rack Keep Up With Your E-Bike?
If you have recently purchased a battery-powered bike, you and millions of others have hopped on the e-bike revolution. Manual pedaling is sooo last year, right? E-bike market sales grew by 240% between 2020 and 2021 and are quickly replacing conventional forms of transportation. They are popular among commuters and city dwellers and increase biking accessibility to all physical abilities.
E-bikes knock down many barriers to riding standard bicycles. According to a survey conducted by Cycling Industry News, most participants began electric cycling due to hills in their area, traveling far, and carrying cargo (read here). Once introduced to an e-bike, pedal-powered bikers continued their love for bikes with new opportunities.
Electric bicycles are becoming exponentially more popular, so it is time to look to the future and figure out how to get your e-bike out and about. Plenty of bike racks will accommodate one or two e-bikes, but what if you want to travel with your old and new loves? Keep reading to find the best bike rack for biking needs.
Can I put an E-Bike on a Bike Rack?
The quick answer is yes, but it is a little more complicated than that. E-bikes can weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds, and weight capacities vary between bike racks. The majority of e-bike friendly bike racks have two placeholders with the ability to carry a 50 to 60 lbs bike each.
Another bike rack that can carry more than two e-bikes is North Shore Rack 4-Bike, which has a 60 lbs bike limit and 200 lbs total bike weight capacity-- that's three 60 lbs e-bikes on one rack. There are some options that exist that can carry more than two e-bikes, with limits of around 60 lbs per bike and 200 lbs total bike weight for the rack – that’s just barely 3 e-bikes on the rack. However, unlike VelociRAX, the options have only one loading position, so heavy e-bikes have to be lifted overhead to place in bike carriers. Then the bikes also end up resting on the fork, which can rub and damage the bike over time. Fork rubbing can be especially problematic with heavier bikes, and replacements are not cheap!
If you're looking to transport over three e-bikes, the VeloicRAX is for you. VelociRAX vertical hitch bike racks can carry up to 230 lbs of total bike weight, and each tire basket can carry 55 lbs. You can load up to four e-bikes before reaching capacity, but if you only want to travel with two e-bikes, you can usually load two e-bikes and three mountain bikes while staying within the rack weight limit.
Remove Unnecessary Weight
E-bikes are significantly heavier than traditional pedal-assist bikes. Removing excess weight, including batteries, bag carriers, and locks, will allow you to pick from a greater selection of bike racks. Depending on the type of bike and battery technology, removing the battery can decrease bike weight by 20 lbs!
What Kind of Bike Rack Do I Need for an E-Bike?
Your bike rack decision will be determined based on the number of bikes you want to carry, the quality of the rack, and how much you are willing to spend.
Number of Bikes
If you are looking for more bike placements, VelociRAX is a practical and affordable option. Our racks can hold up to four 55 lbs bikes and are built with a damper assist lowering mechanism to safely lower a fully loaded rack. This takes the stress out of loading and unloading multiple heavy e-bikes.
E-bikes are heavy-duty, so the bike rack it goes on has to be just as tough. VelociRAX are steel constructed with no breakable plastic parts to worry about. E-bikes can safely travel with you thanks to tire-only contact, UV-tested rubber straps, and a steel build that will stand the test of time. Get ready to take e-bike transportation to the next level!
What is Your Budget?
If you are trying to solidify your bike rack budget consider quality and quantity. A two-capacity bike rack has the capacity for two 60 lbs bikes for $849, which averages $424.50 per bike. The VelociRAX 412 is $860 and can carry four 55 lbs e-bikes, which averages $215 per bike. The VelociRAX is a much better bang for your buck and allows you to be creative with your bike load, unlike all others in the market.
The Perfect Hitch Bike Rack For E-Bikes
Once you try a hitch bike rack you can't go back. They are ideal for frequent usage, maximum accessibility, and can support much more bike weight than trunk or roof racks. The right one also takes out the hassle of lifting bikes. Hitch bike racks that lower into a loading position (like VelociRAX) eliminate heavy bike lifting and can make loading easy for the whole family. They also leave your car squeaky clean, unlike trunk racks that often leave paint scratches or dents from bikes hitting the vehicle.
Tray vs. Vertical
The two most popular e-bike rack options are tray racks and vertical hitch racks. Tray racks are okay for two bike placements but get cumbersome when tasked with more, while vertical hitch racks are handy for loading two bikes and more.
You may need to grab a friend to help you load e-bikes onto a tray rack due to awkward angles and weight, but it is manageable if there are only a couple of bikes to work with. If you are looking for tips on how to load a heavy e-bike on a tray rack, watch this video. By placing the front tire in the desired tire basket, then lifting the rear tire after the front tire is secured, loading is much easier than completely lifting it by the frame.
Loading e-bikes onto a bike rack does not need to be difficult-- work smarter not harder! When loading an e-bike onto a VelociRAX we recommend pressing on the rear brake, walking back while holding the handlebars, and rolling it in the desired tire basket. The roll-in and roll-out method simplifies loading various bike types, including e-bikes. You don’t have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to load your bike onto a VelociRAX, just to know the difference between the front and back brake levers.
Standard with all VelociRAX is a pack of rubber bands. Although rubber bands aren't show stoppers, they keep heavy bikes in place while on the road. After bikes are loaded, place rubber bands over brake levers to lock tires in place and keep bikes in place. This minimizes side-to-side movement of the front tire and up-and-down movement of the rear tire, which is helpful when several heavy bikes are stacked next to each other.
No Bike Left Behind
E-bikes have opened a new door for broader outdoor recreational enjoyment and transportation uses. A VelociRAX is the ultimate bike rack for e-bikes because you should never be limited to two bikes. Continue riding in style by traveling with all your bikes, even e-bikes! You can avoid manhandling heavy bikes thanks to roll-in and roll-out loading, and trust your bikes are safe thanks to a tough build. Vertical hitch racks make traveling with electric bikes easy, flexible and fun for everyone. Bring ‘Em All!