What Car Rack is Best for Electric Bikes?
A new type of bicycle just rolled into town: the electric bike. These bicycles, powered by physical effort assisted with a motor are rolling into the mainstream market and growing in popularity. Across the pond, over 50% of all new bike sales are electric bikes, a trend that is starting to catch on in the United States.
eBikes are more readily available than they have been in the past. From big name bike companies releasing electric-specific product lines (think Electra, Felt), to crowd-funded models (Rad Power Bikes, for instance) to an eBike conversion kit, pedaling with motorized power is showing no signs of slowing down. And it's easy to see why.
For a commuter, the E-bike makes longer distance to the office do-able. Did you know that most workers are willing to travel an average of 25 minutes to their place of work? It's a statistic that's held true since the Romans built their cities around the ability to walk 25 minutes to get to their "office." (Chariot jams suck, right?)
From a recreational point of view, the eBike opens the door to a whole new world of activity. There are the silver foxes longing to get back in the saddle; the couple who wants to ride together, and wants a way to minimize the physical fitness differences between them; the parent who wants to haul their children to daycare in a trailer as much as they want to haul you-know-what up the next single-track on their electric mountain bike. All in all, the electric bike is a great addition to the biking stable.
The eBike itself is by itself a fun way to get around. But what do you do when you need to transport your newfound form of transportation? Whether it's to get the bike home from the dealer, or to open up your biking world beyond what you can reach from your house, there are many times that riders want to put the bike on their car. So they turn to us with the question: "Which car rack is best for eBikes?"
The answer is our Freedom family line of platform hitch racks, the Freedom EX and SuperClamp EX racks – both perfect to carry eBikes right out of the box.
- The 2-bike versions of these racks can carry 2 bikes up to 60 lb each.
- The 4-bike versions can carry 2 60-lb bikes on the two spots closest to the vehicle, along with 2 additional 35-lb bikes (190 lb of bikes total).
Let's Get Nerdy
From the technical perspective, here are the details of why the Freedom and SuperClamp are the best car racks for electric bike racks:
1. Bike Weight
The average weight of eBikes on the market is 52 lb - almost twice the average weight of a standard bike! Hoisting over 50 lbs of metal can make loading and unloading a formidable task, which is where the low height of these platform racks comes into play.
A lower rack makes it much easier to get your bikes on and off the rack. (Pro Tip: if your electric bike weighs more than 60 lb, you can reduce the weight by removing the battery and carrying the battery inside the car.)
2. Bike Geometry
Electric bikes are available in a wide rage of bike styles, from a step-through city bike to a full-suspension fat tire bike. In addition, the battery position varies between down tube, rear rack, and seat tube, which may shift the center to be, well...not so center.
Both of these variables are best accounted for by carrying the bikes by the wheels. Doing so provides the most stable, flexible offering that accommodates all of these different bike configurations.
3. Rack Weight
The total weight allowed in the hitch has to account for both the bikes AND the rack. Since the Freedom 2-bike is only 21 pounds, and the SuperClamp 2-bike is 30 pounds, both racks loaded with 60 lb. bikes meets the weight requirement of a Class 2, 1.25" hitch receiver -- a fact that makes our racks a particularly advantageous solution if you have a 1.25" hitch receiver.
As with all of our car racks, the Freedom and SuperClamp are both backed with a lifetime warranty and proudly made here in the USA.