How to Choose a Bike Rack for Electric Bikes

How to Choose a Bike Rack for Electric Bikes

An automotive bike rack is a necessity for many folks when transporting their bicycle. eBikes require special consideration due to the added weight of the electrical system over a traditional bicycle.

We do not recommend trunk-mounted racks or other racks that are secured only with straps for our eBikes.

The best solution to accommodate the weight of an eBike is to use a hitch-mounted platform bike rack.

If your vehicle does not currently have a hitch installed, it can be added to most vehicles with a visit to your local mechanic or dealership and can even be a DIY activity.

It’s best to use a 2” hitch receiver (as opposed to a 1.25” receiver), as it allows far more options in choosing your rack, and can accommodate more weight.

You should also consider the following:

Tongue Weight Rating

Will the hitch hold enough weight for the bike(s) you want to carry? Even the smallest hitches typically have a tongue weight rating of at least 200lbs, but it is important to know what yours is rated for, as it will be carrying the weight of the bikes and the rack.

Rack Weight Rating

Will the rack hold the weight of the bikes you want to carry. Sometimes you can get away with a single bike on a two-bike rack that might not be rated to carry two eBikes, but it is advised to find a rack that is rated for more weight than you intend on carrying.

Most eBikes weigh around 60 pounds each. EVELO eBikes all have removable batteries, which helps reduce the overall weight placed on the rack.

Number of Bikes

The more bikes you need to carry, the heavier the rack you need. Thus, it is important to consider how many bikes you will need to haul, and if the added weight and size of a larger rack is justified.

Bike Mounting

How do you secure the bike to the rack. We strongly recommend only using racks that secure bikes by their wheels. Most (though not all) fenders are not damaged by wheel clamps, as they are designed to be flexible.

Models that hold bikes by their top tube tend to allow more movement and can lead to damage. A bike with a step thru frame also requires a top tube adapter, should you use a rack with this design. It is a good idea to use rags or towels to help protect the top tube with this design, as long as they are secured properly.

Other Features

Manufacturers have developed some very helpful features on today’s bicycle racks. There are models that come with a ramp so that you do not have to lift your bicycle onto the rack each time you wish to transport it.

Some ramps, like the Thule EasyFold XT 2, are integrated into the rack itself. This configuration is a very convenient way to load your eBike.
racks provide added security measures that prevent bikes from being stolen from the rack itself. There are also bike racks designed to carry tricycles! Be on the lookout for the features that matter most to you.

Our Favorite eBike Car Racks

For full size eBikes:

The Thule EasyFold XT 2 is a quality rack with an array of features that benefit eBikes. It has a weight capacity of 130lbs (65lbs/bike)- one of the highest in the industry- and will accommodate any of our bikes with the battery removed. It contains an integrated ramp for easy loading and unloading, and can tilt to allow the rear hatch of your vehicle to open without the bikes getting in the way. You can lock the rack to your car, as well as the bikes to the rack, with the included locks.

For e-trikes (Compass):

The Hollywood Sport Rider SE Hitch Bike Rack is a heavy duty rack that can hold our Compass tricycle and one other bicycle. It has a weight capacity of 100lbs for the trike, and an additional 80lbs for the bicycle. Like the Thule, it can tilt down for easy access to your cargo door, and has security locks for the attachment points between bike and rack, as well as rack and car.