• 2019-07-14

THE BEST CAR RACKS FOR YOUR ELECTRIC BIKE

Looking for a car or RV rack to carry an electric bicycle? This article describes proper rack use and lists what's available, including this one from Pedego Electric Bikes Vancouver that's big enough to carry our three-wheel electric tricycle.

Pedego Trike

TRIKE - ELECTRIC ADULT TRICYCLE

The Pedego Trike is built for optimal comfort and stability. 

It empowers more people to safely enjoy riding.

William Shatner Pedego bike

William Shatner is just like you and me. He loves his family.

it’s fun for the entire family that brings them together more than anything else. Finally, something that everyone can agree on!

“We’ve gone on many adventures,” William recalls, “none more joyful than the electric Pedego bike.



You’ve bought a brand new Pedego electric bike, you’ve ridden it around your neighbourhood, and now it is time to transport it to a distant trailhead, another town, or take it on vacation.

We think the easiest way to transport a Pedego – without pedalling it – is with a platform rack on a two-inch hitch. We’ve written a lot about racks in an earlier post The Best Car Racks for Your Electric Bike. We recommend this system because a platform distributes the weight of an electric bike and a big hitch reduces wobbling. Most of all it lets you carry more than one bike, and who wants to Pedego alone?!

Other tips for taking care of your rack is to remove it when you are not using it, especially in winter, to reduce wear and rust. Be sure to lock your bikes to the rack when leaving your car parked for a length of time.

While the platform racks such as Thule and Swagman are rated for the full weight of your electric bike, it is a good idea to remove the battery for long trips to reduce the weight of the bike on the rack. Be careful not to leave a lithium-ion battery inside a car in very hot or cold weather, however.

Similarly, some motorhomes and vans are large enough to fit your electric bike inside. This reduces the risk of theft and weather damage during transport, although be careful of the battery storage.

Rack manufacturers will identify those that are rated for attaching to the bumper of RVs and motorhomes. Generally, they will be the sturdier carriers that are also rated for electric bikes, with a two inch hitch, for two bikes only.

Then there are specialty rack manufacturers that build racks for tricycles and cargo bikes. We like Hollywood Racks, and Pedego Vancouver carries its trike rack in store.

It is also possible to transport your electric bike upright in a rack that sits in the back of a truck tray, or in an enclosed trailer that people use to haul a variety of toys.

Find out what suits your vehicle and your lifestyle, then try transporting your electric bike. Once you’re comfortable taking your Pedego electric bike some distance, browse our Adventures page for inspiration of the places where you can enjoy electric biking.

Believe it or not, more bikes are damaged while they are being transported using another vehicle than they are when they’re doing the transporting. Scratches, dents, crimped cables and even broken derailleurs or spokes are more often caused by putting a bicycle in the back of a truck, in a trunk or on a poorly designed bike rack than when we’re riding them.

At Pedego Canada we’re regularly asked what are the best car racks for your electric bike. There are two important things we tell people:
#1. You’ll want a platform rack that mounts to a trailer hitch. The reason being is that racks which sit on top of the roof of your car are too high to reach and those that rest on the trunk or hatchback of your vehicle are not robust enough to take the weight of an electric bike. Platforms distribute weight best, are easiest to load and minimize any damage due to car movement.
#2. Ideally, you’ll want a 2-inch trailer hitch. A smaller hitch will typically result in more side to side movement of the rack with the heavier bikes. A 2″ trailer hitch allows you to carry multiple ebikes without wobbles and ensure your electric bicycle investment is safe and secure.After extensive research with multiple brands of bike racks, these are the best car racks for your electric bike.

Swagman-Bike-Rack

Swagman-Bike-Rack

Swagman Escapee

Another hitch-mounted platform bike rack that we really like is the Swagman Escapee.  Swagman is a company based in Penticton, British Columbia and it is responsible for a variety of different styles of bike racks but we’ve found the Escapee to be the most robust – it can easily carry two 50+ pound ebikes. An added bonus is that they are RV rated. Also, the Escapee, with its wheel clamp system, works really well with low step-thru bikes such as the Boomerang, which can be challenging on other types of racks.
The other thing we like about the Swagman hitch-mounted platform racks is they’re not situated too high off the ground so it’s easy to lift the front end and then the rear end of the electric bike to get it into the platforms.


Thule-easy-fold

Thule-easy-fold

Thule Easyfold

The best part about the Thule Easyfold platform bike rack is it comes with a ramp so you can easily roll your electric bike up and onto it. In  video, Ruby, the co-owner of of Pedego Qualicum Beach, shows just how easy it is.

As the name suggests, the Thule Easyfold is completely foldable for easy handling and storage. However, an important thing to note is the rack itself is robust (it can carry up to two 65-pound ebikes) but that also means it’s heavy so you’ll want to take care installing it.
The adjustable grip handles allow you to secure any style of bike from an Interceptor Step-Thru to the Ridge Rider and the wide tire trays can accommodate all bikes including the Trail Tracker no problem. Another great detail is the foot-operated lever, which allows you to tilt the fully-loaded rack down and away from the bumper so you can easily open the back hatch.