Skip to Content

Can You Put an Electric Bike on a Bike Rack?

The electric bike also needs to be stored properly. This article discusses putting an electric bike on a bike rack.

A man holding a pedal of an electric bike on a rack.

I’m always looking for new ways to get around that don’t require a vehicle. An electric bike is one of those ways. You can put an e-bike on a bike rack, but you need one made for your bike.

First Off, What Is an Electric Bike?

Heybike Mars Electric Bike Foldable 20" x 4.0 Fat Tire Electric Bicycle with 500W Motor, 48V 12.5AH Removable Battery, Shimano 7-Speed and Dual Shock Absorber for Adults

An electric bike, or e-bike, is a bicycle that has an electric motor to help you pedal. However, looks like a regular bike and not a scooter. The motor draws power from a rechargeable battery. You can install a motor on your mechanical pedal bike or buy them like that. Either way, it helps you pedal but doesn’t self-propel like a scooter.

Can You Store an Electric Bike on a Regular Bike Rack?

A woman holing a bike on a bike rack.

Yes, you can store an electric bike (e-bike) on a regular bike rack. However, you may have to make some tweaks to make it possible first, such as adjust your rack frame if you have that option. You might also have to remove some parts, including your horn, battery or basket.

See also  Do You Need Shin Guards for Mountain Biking?

How Do You Fit an E-Bike on a Bike Rack?

Check Weight Capacity

You must confirm that your bike rack can hold your bike’s weight. If you’re not sure, you may have to double-check by looking up the model numbers for the rack and your bike online. Otherwise, check the owner’s manual if you still have it. Try not to reach maximum capacity, if you can all help it either.

I would suggest staying within at least 5-10 pounds below the maximum possible weight for your rack. Following this advice may mean the difference between making it to your destination with your bike and not without it. You have other considerations besides weight, however.

Check Size and Shape

“The last thing you want is to attempt to bring your e-bike somewhere, only to find its parts scattered along the highway,” says Biking Universe, “You never want to exceed the weight capacity of your rack because that’s just an accident waiting to happen.”

You can, however, make it work if you make one important tweak involving battery removal. It could save you money if you don’t want to buy a new bike rack, but make sure you can still safely transport it.

Try Removing Battery (Even if Bike Fits on Rack)

If your bike seems to fit except for the part where the battery is installed, remove it. Besides, you could damage a battery in transit because of the vibrations from the bike rack Itself.

Destruction could also occur if you hit a bump or pothole in the road while traveling in unfamiliar areas. When this happens, the bike might jostle around while you drive. It is best to remove the battery from the e-bike and transport it separately to avoid any damage.

See also  Thule T2 Pro XT Bike Rack Review (with 2 Bike Extension)

Is Putting an E-Bike on a Regular Bike Rack Safe?

A man placing his mountain bike on a spiral rack.

You won’t have any problem safely transporting your e-bike on a regular bike rack if you make sure that you secure it properly, just like you would with a non-motorized bike, to avoid accidents or loss.

Can I Transport My E-Bike on the Highway on a Regular Bike Rack?

Two mountain bike at the bike of a car.

You can, but most e-bikes are heavier than regular bikes. So, transporting them on the highway becomes a challenge. Remember, when traveling at interstate speeds, the force that pushes against you when you drive could cause more damage than when coasting on a back road at 20 miles per hour.

You can’t afford any costs, embarrassments or harm to you or others associated with improper carrying of an e-bike. Make sure it will not fall off, or you and other motorists and pedestrians could end up (literally) in a world of hurt.

What’s the Safest Way To Transport an E-Bike on a Bike Rack?

Thule Helium Platform Hitch Bike Rack, 1 Bike, Silver

Don’t second-guess yourself if you suspect your e-bike configuration will not allow you safe travel when storing it on a rack. Don’t take any chances if your intuition is screaming, “No! Don’t Do it!”

With that in mind, one suggestion I’ve seen is to carry your e-bike by its wheels. Both wheels slip into a groove, and a top latch holds it the bike in place.

Will My E-Bike Stay on a Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack?

If you’re using the one that doesn’t have wheel slots you can slip them into before bracing down the bike, you should take caution. However, it should stay if the rack will hold your bike’s weight.

See also  Do You Need Elbow Pads for Mountain Biking?

Can I Place an E-Bike on a Roof Bike Rack?

Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack

You can, but if you do, remember that it’s not the easiest to remove once you get it up there. It’s best to use a hitch-mounted one if you can. If you do use a roof rack, don’t strain your arm and back muscles. Use a stepladder to mount it on top of your car and to ensure safe reach when removing it.

How Do I Make Sure My Electric Bike Won’t Fall?

Engineers designed the hardware used to hold bikes onto cars. That being said, not all manufacturers produce quality products. Make sure you know the maker has a reputation for keeping their customers safe. If you’re in doubt, you also could add some ratchet straps or bungee cords to the roof or hitch racks.

Make sure the ties or fasteners you use for extra security aren’t too loose, however. They could drop and become entangled in your wheels if long enough.

What E-Bike Rack Do You Recommend?

Any bike rack that supports your bike’s construction, size and weight will do. Some models even work for both electric and non-electric bikes. I’ve found some features I would want if I were to purchase a bike rack for my vehicle.

Safety Features

RHINO USA Ratchet Tie Down Straps (4PK) - 1,823lb Guaranteed Max Break Strength, Includes (4) Premium 1" x 15' Rachet Tie Downs with Padded Handles. Best for Moving, Securing Cargo (Black 4-Pack)

I think grab arms would make life easier. This provides extra security for you, especially when traveling long distances. Sturdy safety straps also will help, which I did mention before.

I told you about ratchet straps, but you can also find safety straps made for bike racks that either come with the rack you bought or are sold separately.  Besides ratchet straps, other types have a belt snap or hook closure that you should pull or adjust as tight as possible to stay safe.

See also  Electric Bike vs Moped

Reflectors also will provide you some peace of mind when traveling. If you have any on your bike, make sure they’re visible from a driver’s position at all angles. Maybe place a reflector on your handlebar or even consider bike lights that wrap around the frame.

A solid hitch pin—one made of durable steel or equality as strong metal—could also prevent accidents. When it comes to transporting belongings on the outside of a vehicle, I say, don’t cut costs with cheaply made items.

Security Features

Source: Lectric eBikes

A bike rack that has an intuitive lock or an automated locking system will not only prevent you from bike loss while driving but also theft.  Hinged and spring locks that provide you room for a padlock would deter people from taking your bike, or you could find a rack that has a lock built into it. Foldable ones also exist, and they come as standalone items too.

Convenience Features

A tilting function on your bike rack enables easy loading and trunk access. I call this a convenience feature, but you could also classify it as a safety one. A tilting function may prevent lower back pain, for one. If you’re not as tall as other people, you probably would appreciate this function as much as I would.

Another useful feature is the quick release lever. I wish I had a bike rack with one. I see how it could take the cumbersomeness out of mounting and dismounting an e-bike, which is heavy to begin with.

Practicality

You do have to use caution when choosing any “one-size-fits-all” bike rack, especially for long-distant traveling. However, it may seem more practical to have one high-quality rack for your e-bikes. If it fits all your vehicles, or if it’s made for universal use, then it makes switching cars easier. 

See also  Should You Use Both Rear and Front Brakes on a Mountain Bike at the Same Time? What is the Proper Braking MTB Method?

What Are the Most Important E-Bike Rack Features?

Electric bikes on a bike rack.

I say weight of the bike is number one. If you notice your rack frame bending in places it’s not made to bend, that’s not a good sign. Check and double-check their capacity.

As far as making sure a bike will stay on your vehicle when driving, you could instead secure it to a hitch cargo rack. However, you have to make sure it does accommodate bikes. I mentioned this because I believe that secure placement on your vehicle is the number one priority, which will keep you and others safe.