Electric (eBike) Rack Guide
What to Consider
Most e-Bikes weigh a lot, but some can be made lighter by removing the battery. Make sure you know your bike’s weight and the the racks listed weight capacity, it is one of the most important specs for which to look. Some eBike compatible ramps have ramps to make loading easier, but some don’t, requiring you to be able to lift the bike onto the rack–which is typically around knee height.
Wheel mount or frame mount
Many hitch bike rack styles are called tray racks where the bike is placed on a tray and an arm swings up to clamp down on the front wheel just in front of the fork. This is the safest and most secure place for the arm. Many eBikes have front fenders which make this style of rack somewhat tricky. You cannot clamp the rack’s front arm onto the fender itself–it needs to clamp directly against the tire. There are are few options with fenders: you can remove them–allowing you to have a wider selection of racks to choose from, or keep them and focus on frame/seat-post clamping racks. In some cases a wheel mounted rack can clamp onto the tire in front of the fender if the fender doesn’t cover to much of the top of the wheel. This isn’t ideal however, it may make the bike less secure and in many cases voids the racks warranty.
Weight and Portability of Rack
Because eBike racks tend to be quite heavy duty, many are also quite heavy. Overall rack weight should be considered as you will be taking it on and off the vehicle and moving it to where it will be stored. Some racks have integrated wheels to make their portability easier.
Ease of Loading Bikes
E-Bikes tend to be heavy and lifting them onto a hitch rack can be difficult. Many eBike racks come with integrated or optional ramps which allow you to roll/push your bike up onto the rack–saving your back some heartache.
If you plan on putting the rack on the back of a travel trailer or RV, make note that these, as opposed to most passenger cars, create a lot of force on the rear of the vehicle. Because of this, some racks are ‘RV rated” due to their heavy duty reinforced joint. This is not to say that racks not RV rated aren’t heavy duty or equipped to put on large vehicles or trailers. This simply means that a rack not ‘RV rated’ likely haven’t been tested under such forces and/or the warranty doesn’t cover usage on these vehicles.
If your ebike has fat tires, consider the max tire width of the rack. Some racks will not easily fit fat tires.
|Model||Price||Best For||Rack Weight||Max Weight Per Bike||Wheelbase Range||Max Tire Width||Pro||Not Pro||Additional Features|
|Thule Easyfold (1.25″/2″)||$$$||Heavy Ebikes||45 lb||65 lb||up to 51″||3″ (With Thule XXL Fatbike Wheel Straps 4.7″)||Light, easy to use, integrated wheels||Folds in, not up flush to the vehicle–making it stick out further from rear of the vehicle when not in use.||Wheels for easy transport|
|Yakima OnRamp (1.25&2″)||$$||Heavy Ebikes||43 lb||66 lbs||up to 50″||29×3.25″ and up to 27.5x 4.5”||Light, easy to use||Pricey for the amount of rack you get|
|RockyMounts Monorail (1.25&2″)||$-$$||Moderately heavy ebikes, all bikes||39 lbs||60 lbs||36” to 50”||5″||Simple, solid and fat tire compatible (5″), expandable to 3 bikes (non-ebikes)||No ramp options, diffucult to fold in down position when bikes are on|
|RockyMounts Backstage (2″)||$$$||Vehicles with swing-out rear doors||59 lbs||60 lbs||36” to 50”||5″||Fat tire compatible (5″)||Heavy, no ramp|
|Kuat NV 2.0 and NV Base (1.25&2″)||$$-$$$||All bike styles||52 lbs||60 lbs|
20″ to 29″ Adapter needed for 20″ to 24″
|5″||Nice ramp available, great construction and looks, exapndable to 3 or 4 bikes (non ebikes)||High Cost, heavy, Ramp sold and carried separately from the rack itself|
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