Transporting your e-bike
6. 5. 2022
Some product photos of e-bikes and bicycles are only visualizations.Skrýt
Not sure how to transport your e-bike? Do you want to transport an e-bike easily
and smartly? We have answers and advice for you in the attached article …
If you became a proud owner of a new e-bike and have no more places to discover in your backcountry, the time has come to venture to more distant places. However, holidays, long weekend or a mere trip to a more remote place may be a problem if you have no means to transport your e-bike with. Moreover, if we take into consideration who is a typical user of e-bikes, it is easy to find out that nearly everyone tries to cope with e-bike handling: people with movement challenged persons, families with children, the elderly and many others. Due to many challenges involved, choosing a suitable way to transport the e-bike is therefore not a simple task to do. This article provides you the best options for transporting your e-bike in a car. And if you have not selected the right e-bike, or are pondering about replacing your current one with a different model, the following article might be of interest for you: Choosing a correct e-bike
Before you start pondering about which bike rack type to choose, it is necessary to remember that transporting e-bikes involves many limitations and challenges. The actual weight of the e-bike is the most crucial one of them; an e-bike may weight more than 20 kg (44 pounds). This means that any handling with the e-bike is very difficult. If you do not own a van that enables that the e-bike be put inside easily, you need to select a rack that is proper for your car. There are many types of racks on the market, but no all of them are suitable for transportation of e-bikes. The majority of racks are designed to be used with regular bicycles that are not equipped with the battery and motor, thus being much lighter and less bulky than an e-bike. Therefore, always check the maximum load of the rack selected. Due to the weight of the e-bike (or even more of them on the rack), it is important to choose a suitable and recommended, if possible, type of mount. Of course, there are special types of racks made specifically to hold e-bikes. These count with the e-bike weight, but the problem is that there are not many of them. Also, higher purchase price must be taken into account, too. When choosing a rack, you need to consider your abilities. As has been mentioned already, e-bikes are not particularly lightweight machines, and handling with them, lifting them up and mounting may not be an easy task. So it is a must that you think about this aspect when selecting a rack, and consider whether you and members of your family are capable of lifting the e-bike on the roof of your car, for example. We will try to present you the most common types of racks and point out their pros and cons.
A roof bike rack is a very well-known and popular method of bicycle transportation. The most important thing to have when using this type of rack is physical strength, as lifting a bicycle or even a 20+ kg heavy e-bike on the roof of the car is not easy. And if you have more e-bikes in your family, it is like a weightlifting exercise. The actual mounting the e-bike to the rack and manipulation with the e-bike on the roof are very difficult too, and you must be careful not to scratch or dent the roof of your car. In addition to that, it is important always to remember that your car is “taller” with e-bikes on its roof, so you better forget about underground garage parking. Also, the aerodynamic profile of your car will suffer significantly with bicycles on the roof, and hand in hand with it goes increased fuel consumption. The good thing about roof racks is their low purchase price and the fact that it can be mounted on any car. They are also quite easy to carry, and they do not take up too much space when stored. Nevertheless, we prefer not to recommend this type of rack for e-bike transportation.
Bicycles mounted on the rear door of a car look quite sleek. This type of bike racks are put usually on SUVs, vans, and wagons, i.e. on cars with relatively vertical rear door. The offer of these racks includes many models that have not been homologated for use in our country since they obscure the rear lights or registration plate of the car. Therefore, it is advisable to find out whether or not can they be used in traffic. Besides, this type of rack cannot be mounted on any car and any rear door. The rear door must be equipped with steel edges that are necessary for fixing the rack. This type or rack has a big disadvantage: it prevents you from using the rear door when your bicycles or e-bikes are mounted on the rack. Also, the weight of them makes getting into the trunk possibly dangerous, and puts the rear door hinges under a great stress. Does this rack have any positives? Yes. Favourable price, and easy installation and removal. It does not make your car much wider and taller, and so more confined spaces are not a possible problem. And the roof of your car remains unoccupied, thus offering space for a roof box or any other load. Despite all of this, we would rather not recommend using this type of rack for transportation of e-bikes.
You must have a towbar installed on your car in order to be able to use this type of rack. Its advantages exceed several insignificant disadvantages. It is recommended not to be too thrifty with them, and for many reasons, one of them being huge differences between the mounting systems that attach the rack on the towbar. So while some types are so user friendly that you just put them on the rack and secure with a lever, others may require a tool and tightening, which makes manipulation during installation more difficult. Easy handling when mounting your e-bikes on the rack is one of this rack’s advantages; the rails are low above the ground and some manufacturers offer a kind of ramp for easier bike manipulation - you do not even need to lift the e-bike. Fixing the e-bike to the rack is easy too. Moreover, the rack can be tilted to allow easy access to the trunk. The rack is versatile for any types of towbars, and is easy to remove. It can also be locked and thus protected from theft. As was the case with the rear door rack, roof remains free for transportation of other things. High purchase price is definitely a downside of this rack, just as is the necessity to have a towbar installed on your car, if you have not got it yet. The rack makes the car effectively longer, so the driver must be careful when reversing. With this rack, you also need to have another registration plate issued and installed, and rear lights must be connected, too. When transporting several e-bikes simultaneously, you must be careful about the maximum load of the towbar. This is stated in the MOT certificate. The maximum load of the rack is provided directly on it, or in documents accompanying it. As far as transportation and handling of e-bikes when fixing them into the rack is concerned, we consider this type of rack to be the best and therefore, we recommend it.
As stated above, towbar bike racks are most practical and suitable for transportation of e-bikes. Some of these racks are foldable, or have additional wheels for easy handling and rack storage. This means that anyone, even rather frail people can deal with handling and placing the e-bikes on the rack. As has been claimed at the beginning of this article, there are special types of racks that are designed specifically to transport e-bikes and that can bear greater load. The following are renowned types of racks and brands that make them. If you opt for one of them, you will not make a mistake. There are other variants available, too, and the final choice is up to you.
Thule EasyFold XT
Atera Strada Sport E-Bike
Uebler X21 Nano
Westfalia Portilo BC60
When transporting e-bikes, it is advisable not to forget about protecting them from bad weather, such as rain. You can buy special protective covers designed for various number of e-bikes transported. If you are planning to travel abroad, it is good to know that various countries may have different conditions for transportation of loads, i.e. of e-bikes and bicycles. Most often, reflective plates attached to racks and bicycles are required. Spain and Italy have their own specific reflective plates, and these must be on every car that transports bicycles or e-bikes on their car.
Therefore, if you are considering buying a rack for your e-bikes, pay higher attention to your selection as if you choose wisely, it will make handling with e-bikes easier. You will not even think about whether or not are you able to load your e-bikes, and how much effort will it take.
Good luck with your selection and many safe kilometres on your e-bike transported on the most convenient rack for you!
Article: Choosing a correct e-bike
Article: How to take care about your e-bike?
Article: The e-bike is not for the old only!
Article: LEVIT Ambassador: Ondřej Moravec
Photo credit: www.thule.com
We are honoured and it is our great pleasure to introduce you ambassador of the
Levit brand: Ondřej Moravec, a former member of the Czech biathlon national
team. For a long time, he was a pillar of the biathlon team, and his name
appeared regularly in the starting rosters of World Cup races, Word
Championships and Olympic Games. He is also a three-time medallist from the
2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.