ebike rack

Best eBike Racks for Cars: Ultimate Guide

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience, efficiency, and eco-friendliness. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just looking for a fun way to explore new places, e-bikes can provide an exciting and sustainable mode of transportation. However, transporting e-bikes can be challenging, especially when you need to travel long distances by car. That’s where e-bike racks for cars come in handy.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to choose the best e-bike rack for your car. We’ll cover different types of e-bike racks, their features, pros and cons, and provide you with expert tips and tricks to help you transport your e-bike safely and securely.

What is an ebike car rack?

An e-bike car rack is a device that allows you to transport your e-bike on the back or roof of your car. E-bikes are typically heavier and bulkier than regular bikes, and they require a specialized bike rack with a higher weight capacity. E-bike car racks come in different types, including hitch-mounted racks, roof-mounted racks, and trunk-mounted racks, each with its own set of features, pros, and cons.

Types of E Bike Racks for Cars

There are tree main types of ebike car racks available on the market. Each type has its own set of features, pros, and cons. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of e-bike racks for cars:

Hitch-mounted E Bike Car Racks

Hitch-mounted e-bike racks are the most popular type of e-bike racks for cars. These racks attach to the hitch receiver at the rear of your vehicle. They typically have a higher weight capacity and are easier to load and unload due to their lower height. They are easy to install and can carry multiple bikes at once. Hitch-mounted racks come in two varieties: platform and hanging.

Platform hitch-mounted racks hold the bikes by their wheels and offer excellent stability and security. They are more expensive than hanging racks but provide better protection for your e-bikes.

Hanging hitch-mounted racks hold the bikes by their frames and are more affordable than platform racks. However, they can be less stable and require additional straps to keep your bikes from swaying during transportation.

Pros:

  • Higher weight capacity, making them ideal for heavier eBikes.
  • Lower height, making it easier to load and unload your eBike.
  • Often come with integrated locks and additional security features.
  • Tilt mechanisms can provide easy access to the rear of the vehicle.

Cons:

  • Requires a hitch receiver on your vehicle.
  • Can be more expensive than other types of racks.
  • May obstruct rearview visibility or access to the trunk when not in use.

Roof-mounted E Bike Car Racks

Roof-mounted e-bike racks are another popular option for transporting e-bikes. They require a roof rack to be installed on your car and are typically more expensive than hitch-mounted racks. While they may require a bit more effort to load and unload, they keep the rear of your vehicle free for access. However, they offer excellent stability and protection for your e-bikes.

Roof-mounted racks can carry one or two e-bikes and are easy to install and remove. They also provide better clearance for your vehicle and allow you to access your trunk or rear hatch without having to remove your bikes.

Pros:

  • Keeps the rear of your vehicle free for access.
  • Compatible with a wider range of vehicles, as long as they have roof rails or crossbars.
  • Allows for the transport of other types of cargo, such as kayaks or skis.

Cons:

  • Requires more effort to load and unload your eBike due to the higher position.
  • May have a lower weight capacity compared to hitch-mounted racks.
  • Can increase fuel consumption due to added wind resistance.

Trunk-mounted E Bike Car Racks

Trunk-mounted e-bike racks are the most affordable option for transporting e-bikes. They attach to the trunk or rear hatch of your car and can carry up to three bikes at once. However, they can be less stable than hitch or roof-mounted racks and may require additional straps to keep your bikes from swaying during transportation.

Trunk-mounted racks are easy to install and remove and can be stored in your car when not in use. However, they can obstruct your rearview and can be challenging to access your trunk or rear hatch with bikes attached. They are generally more affordable but may not be suitable for heavier eBikes.

Pros:

  • Generally more affordable than other types of racks.
  • Easy to install and remove, without the need for a hitch receiver or roof rails.
  • Suitable for occasional use or for those on a budget.

Cons:

  • Lower weight capacity, making them less suitable for heavier eBikes.
  • May not provide the same level of security as hitch-mounted or roof-mounted racks.
  • Can obstruct rearview visibility and access to the trunk.
Type of Rack Pros Cons
Hitch-Mounted Can carry multiple bikes at once

easy to install and remove

provides excellent stability and security for e-bikes

can handle the weight of heavy e-bikes

Can obstruct rear visibility

may require additional straps for hanging racks

may require a hitch receiver to be installed on your car

Roof-Mounted Provides excellent stability and protection for e-bikes

doesn’t obstruct rear visibility

can handle the weight of heavy e-bikes

can be used with a variety of car models

Can be more expensive than other types of racks

can be difficult to load and unload e-bikes

can reduce fuel efficiency due to wind resistance

Trunk-Mounted Most affordable type of e-bike rack

can carry up to three bikes at once

easy to install and remove

compatible with a variety of car models

May require additional straps to secure e-bikes

can be less stable than hitch or roof-mounted racks

may obstruct rear visibility

may require extra care to prevent scratches or damage to car paint

Factors to Consider When Choosing an E Bike Rack for Your Car

Choosing the best e-bike rack for your car can be challenging. There are several factors you should consider before making a purchase. Let’s take a closer look at the most important factors to consider when choosing an e-bike rack for your car:

  • Vehicle Compatibility

The first thing you should consider is compatibility. Some racks may not work with certain types of hitches or roof rails, so always verify compatibility before purchasing. Moreover, not all e-bike racks are compatible with all types of e-bikes or cars. You should check the weight capacity and compatibility of the rack with your e-bike and car before making a purchase.

  • Bike Weight

Ensure that the rack you choose can support the weight of your eBike. Electric bikes are typically heavier than regular bikes, and some e-bikes can weigh up to 70 pounds or more. You should choose a rack with a weight capacity that can handle the weight of your e-bike and any additional gear or accessories you may have.

  • Ease of Use

Transporting your e-bike should be easy and stress-free. Choose a rack that is easy to install and remove from your vehicle, as well as easy to load and unload your ebike. Features like foldable or removable arms and tilt mechanisms can make this process more convenient. Some racks require additional tools or complicated installation, which can be frustrating and time-consuming.

  • Security

Your e-bike is an expensive investment, and you want to make sure it’s secure during transportation. Look for a rack that offers excellent stability and security features, such as locking mechanisms or adjustable straps.

  • Price

E-bike racks can range in price from less than $100 to over $1,000. While you don’t want to skimp on quality, you should choose a rack that fits within your budget. Consider the features, quality, and durability of the rack when determining its value.

Feature Hitch-Mounted Roof-Mounted Trunk-Mounted
Capacity Multiple bikes Single or multiple bikes Up to 3 bikes
Stability Excellent Excellent Less stable
Security Excellent Excellent Good
Installation Easy Requires roof rack installation Easy
Compatibility Requires hitch receiver installation Compatible with most cars Compatible with most cars
Price Mid-range to high High Low to mid-range

Top 7 Best ebike car rack

 

Thule EasyFold XT 2 Bike Rack

The Thule EasyFold XT 2 is a fully collapsible, hitch-mounted bike carrier designed for easy assembly, use and storage. It has a high load capacity of 66 pounds per bike, making it suitable for carrying electric bikes and mountain bikes. The rack features removable mounting arms with lockable Thule AcuTight torque limiters that click when optimal tightness is reached, ensuring easy bike mounting.

The EasyFold XT 2 offers increased wheelbase distance to accommodate more robust bikes with wider rims. Its adjustable micro-clip buckles and wheel straps allow for quick wheel attachment (up to 4.7″) and transportation of larger bikes. The convenient tilt pedal provides easy trunk access even with bikes mounted.

The rack allows for easy mounting and adjustment before closing the tightening handle, thanks to the initial stabilization of the hitch ball attachment. Integrated carrying handles make transporting the rack ergonomic and comfortable. The EasyFold XT 2 comes pre-assembled with no tools required, and includes locks to secure your bikes to the rack and the rack to the hitch.

Thule EasyFold XT 2 Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 132-pound weight capacity
  • Fully foldable design
  • Convenient tilt pedal for easy trunk access
  • Locks included for securing bikes and the rack

Saris SuperClamp EX 2-Bike Rack

The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 is a versatile bike rack designed to haul eBikes, downhill rigs, TT bikes, and other bike types securely with dual shepherd hooks that don’t touch the bike frames. Weighing only 35 lbs, this robust rack can carry two bikes weighing up to 60 lbs each. The ratcheting arms pivot on case-hardened brackets for superior strength, and wheel straps are provided for kids’ bikes, eBikes, and bikes with fenders.

Universal wheel trays accommodate wheelbases up to 48 inches and feature reflectors for added visibility in low light. The tilting function allows easy rear vehicle access even when the rack is fully loaded and folds up when not in use. The integrated locking cable secures bikes to the rack, while the locking hitch pin secures the rack to your vehicle’s hitch.

The Saris SuperClamp EX 2 is covered by a lifetime warranty and made in the USA.

Saris SuperClamp EX 2 Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 120-pound weight capacity
  • Tilting feature for easy rear vehicle access
  • Integrated locking cable and hitch pin
  • Covered by a lifetime warranty

Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Rack

The Kuat NV 2.0 is a premium bike rack designed to set the standard in style, security, and ease of use. This heavy-duty rack has a 2-bike capacity of up to 60 lbs each Te Kuat NV 2.0 is built for the long haul and features an adjustable front tire cradle system for optimal bike fit. The foot-assisted pivot system allows for hands-free lowering of the rack, making loading and unloading effortless.

An integrated Trail Doc repair stand simplifies on-the-go maintenance, while fully integrated cable locks and a hitch lock keep your bikes secure. The front tire ratchet has an intuitive release, and the rear tire strap is designed with a co-molded strap to protect wheels.

Installation is a breeze with the no-tool hand-tight hitch cam system, and the rack boasts a premium gloss metallic powder finish with water transferred logos for added durability and style. Available in both 2-inch and 1.25-inch hitch sizes.

Kuat NV 2.0 Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 120-pound weight capacity
  • Integrated repair stand for easy field maintenance
  • Foot-assisted pivot system for hands-free lowering of the rack
  • Fully integrated cable locks and hitch lock included

Hollywood Destination E Bike Rack for Electric Bikes

The Hollywood Destination E Bike Rack is a hitch-mounted bike rack designed specifically for electric bikes with tires up to 4.5″ wide. With a sleek and modern design, this rack can carry up to two electric bikes or standard bikes, with a maximum weight of 70 lbs per bike. The rack includes an expandable, wide aluminum ramp for easy loading and unloading.

The Destination E Bike Rack can fold flat against the car when not in use and features “balanced tilting” with the pivot point between the bikes, ensuring easy trunk access when the bikes are loaded. The “No-Wobble Hitch System” eliminates slack between the receiver and the rack without the use of tools.

Adjustable, keyed-alike locking frame and seat post clamps make the rack suitable for unusual bike geometries. The rack has a weight of 46 lbs and a bike spacing of 11 inches.

Hollywood Destination E Bike Rack Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 140-pound weight capacity
  • Expandable, wide aluminum ramp for easy loading and unloading
  • Folds flat against the car when not in use
  • Designed specifically for electric bikes

Saris Door County Bike Rack

The Saris Door County is a top-tier electric bike rack designed for eBikes. Powered by your vehicle’s 7-pin connection, this platform hitch rack effortlessly lifts eBikes into the transport position and lowers them with electric lift assist, eliminating the need for manual lifting.

The Door County features unique “lobster claws” that securely hold bikes without touching fenders or eBike battery mounts. Its integrated security system locks the rack to the car and the bikes to the rack, and it comes with glowing tail lights, including running, brake, and turn signals for enhanced visibility.

This hitch rack can carry two bikes with a maximum weight of 60 lbs per bike, accommodates a wheelbase of up to 48 inches, and is compatible with bike tires up to 3 inches wide. It is designed for use with 2″ receivers only and is not approved for use on RVs or tow-behind RVs and trailers.

Saris Door County Characteristics:

  • Trunk-mounted rack
  • 120-pound weight capacity
  • Lifts and lowers eBikes with electric lift assist
  • Tilting feature for easy access to the rear of the vehicle
  • Integrated security system for the rack and bikes

Yakima OnRamp E-Bike Rack

The Yakima OnRamp hitch-mounted bike rack is a versatile and secure solution for transporting eBikes. It is designed to carry two bikes weighing up to 66 pounds each and features an integrated ramp for easy, roll-on loading. The adjustable frame attachments accommodate a wide range of bike styles, including eBikes, mountain, road, hybrid, women’s specific, BMX, kids bikes, and bikes with fenders. The rack can handle tires up to 29×3.25″ and up to 27.5×4.5″ wide tires when used with the FatStrap Kit (sold separately). It also accommodates bike wheelbases up to 50″.

The OnRamp comes with integrated SKS (Same Key System) locks to secure both the bikes to the rack and the rack to the vehicle receiver. It tilts forward with bikes loaded for easy trunk access and has adjustable bike trays to minimize bike-to-bike interference. The rack is off-road rated at 40 pounds per bike and RV rated at 40 pounds per bike. Moreover, it is compatible with the Yakima BackSwing and StraightShot accessories for added versatility.

Yakima OnRamp Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 132-pound weight capacity
  • Integrated ramp for easy loading
  • Built-in SKS locks for added security

Thule T2 Pro XTR Bike Rack

The Thule T2 Pro XTR is a hitch-mounted bike rack with no frame contact, featuring integrated wheels for easy transport to and from the vehicle. Its tool-free AutoAttach system simplifies installation and removal, while accommodating various bike styles, including eBikes up to 59.5 pounds. The HitchSwitch lever allows the rack to tilt up when not in use or tilt down for rear vehicle access without removal.

The Thule T2 Pro XTR comes with an integrated cable lock and locking accessory to secure bikes to the rack and the hitch. Adjustable spacing enables mounting two bikes without interference, fitting wheel sizes from 20 inches to 29 inches and tires up to 5 inches wide, making it suitable for road, mountain, fat tire, and electric bikes. It’s available for both 2-inch and 1.25-inch hitches, and can accommodate two additional bikes using the Thule T2 Pro XT Add-On (sold separately).

Thule T2 Pro XTR Characteristics:

  • Hitch-mounted rack
  • 132-pound weight capacity
  • Tool-free AutoAttach system for easy installation and removal
  • Integrated cable lock and locking accessory for added security

eBike Car Rack Comparaison Chart

Rack Model Type of Rack Weight Capacity Bike Capacity Special Features Price Range
Thule EasyFold XT 2 Hitch-mounted 130 lbs 2 Fully foldable, easy loading, integrated locks $750-$850
Saris SuperClamp EX 2 Hitch-mounted 120 lbs 2 Lightweight, ratcheting arms, tilting feature $450-$550
Kuat NV 2.0 Hitch-mounted 120 lbs 2 Foot-assisted pivot, integrated locks, Trail Doc $600-$700
Hollywood Destination eBike Hitch-mounted 140 lbs 2 Wide ramp, e-bike friendly, balanced tilting $450-$550
Saris Door County Hitch-mounted 120 lbs 2 Electric lift, lobster claw bike holds, integrated locks $1300-$1500
Yakima OnRamp Hitch-mounted 120 lbs 2 Ramp for easy loading, integrated lock, tilt feature $550-$650
Thule T2 Pro XTR Hitch-mounted 132 lbs 2 Hitch-mounted, integrated ramp, built-in bike lock $600-$700

Expert Tips for Transporting Your E Bike Safely and Securely

Transporting your e-bike can be challenging, but with the right rack and a few expert tips, you can do it safely and securely. Here are some tips to help you transport your e-bike:

  • Use a Hitch-Mounted Rack for Heavy E Bikes

If you have a heavy e-bike, it’s best to use a hitch-mounted rack. Platform hitch-mounted racks provide excellent stability and can handle the weight of heavy e-bikes. Make sure to choose a rack with a weight capacity that can handle the weight of your e-bike.

  • Use Additional Straps for Hanging Hitch-Mounted Racks

If you’re using a hanging hitch-mounted rack, make sure to use additional straps to secure your e-bike. Hanging racks can be less stable than platform racks, and additional straps can prevent your e-bike from swaying during transportation.

  • Protect Your E Bike from Scratches and Damage

Transporting your e-bike can be rough, and it’s essential to protect it from scratches and damage. Use protective covers or padding to prevent your e-bike from getting scratched or damaged during transportation.

  • Check the Tightness of Straps and Bolts

Before hitting the road, make sure to check the tightness of your straps and bolts. Loose straps or bolts can cause your e-bike to sway or fall off during transportation.

  • Remove Batteries and Accessories

If possible, remove the battery and any accessories from your e-bike before transporting it. This can make it lighter and easier to load and unload, and it can also protect the battery and accessories from damage during transportation.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about e-bike racks for cars:

Are e-bikes too heavy for bike racks?

E-bikes are typically heavier than regular bikes, and not all bike racks are compatible with the weight of e-bikes. However, there are bike racks with a higher weight capacity that can handle the weight of e-bikes. Hitch-mounted racks are the best choice for heavy e-bikes, as they provide better stability and security.

How do you carry an e-bike on a car?

To carry an e-bike on a car, you’ll need a bike rack that is compatible with the weight and size of your e-bike. Hitch-mounted racks are the best choice for e-bikes. Once you have a compatible rack, you can load your e-bike onto the rack and secure it with straps or locking mechanisms.

Can I transport my conversion electric bike on an e-bike car rack?

Yes, you can carry a conversion electric bike on an e-bike car rack. Conversion electric bikes are simply traditional bikes that have been modified with an electric motor and battery, and they can be just as heavy as purpose-built e-bikes.

How many e-bikes can I transport on a hitch-mounted rack?

Most hitch-mounted racks can carry up to two e-bikes, but some models can carry up to four or five bikes.

Can I use a trunk-mounted rack for heavy e-bikes?

Trunk-mounted racks are not recommended for heavy e-bikes. They are best suited for lighter bikes and short distances.

Can I use a roof-mounted rack on a car without a roof rack?

No, a roof-mounted rack requires a roof rack to be installed on your car.

Can I transport my e-bike with the battery attached?

It’s recommended to remove the battery before transporting your e-bike, as it can add additional weight and can be damaged during transportation.

Do I need to register my e-bike when transporting it on a car?

No, you don’t need to register your e-bike when transporting it on a car.

Is it legal to transport my eBike on a car rack?

In most jurisdictions, it is legal to transport eBikes on a car rack as long as the rack is securely attached to the vehicle and does not obstruct lights or license plates.

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