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What Car Racks Are Best for Electric Bikes, Trikes, or Fat Tire Bikes? Buying Guide!

A bike that is electric can be used to get around the city and town. These bikes are great for taking along on your road trips, cross-country, or to the local trailhead. A sturdy bike rack is essential for any type of bike: electric, fat tire, cargo, or electric trike. What type of bike do you need? Which one should you look at? You should also consider other options.

To help you narrow down your search, we’ve reviewed the top bike racks for electric bikes. We also discuss what you need to put your electric bicycle on your vehicle, whether it be an SUV, car, or RV.

Searching in More Detail

There are many models and makes of bike racks. However, we can narrow our search to find the right model for you. Three main factors should be considered when choosing a bike rack for an electric bike.

Can your bike rack support the heavier weight of your bike(s), if necessary?

It is so easy to load your bike on the rack. In this instance, it is easier to load your bike onto the rack closer to the ground.

The rack is very adaptable to different sizes and shapes of electric bikes (fat tire or cargo bike, trike, etc.).

Let’s take a look at the different rack types that might work best for electric bikes.

Choosing the Right Mounting Style is Important

There are three types of bike racks: trunk-mounted racks (roof racks), and hitch-mounted racks (hitch-mounted racks). These two types of racks are not suitable for heavier electric bikes. However, hitch-mounted racks have the greatest weight capacity and flexibility.

Roof Racks

Mounting a regular bike on a roof rack can be difficult. You might consider adding 40+ pounds to the bike and lifting up an electric bicycle. If you don’t have a roof rack, I would not recommend it.

Trunk Mounted Rack

These racks attach to cars or SUVs’ trunks or rear hatches. They are limited in weight to 35 lbs per bike. These bikes also have the disadvantage of being higher than the ground and requiring more lifting to place the bike.

Although these racks are generally cheaper than hitch-mounted racks they won’t work well with heavier electric bikes.

Hitch-Mounted Racks

Mounted bike racks that attach to hitches can do exactly what they claim and attach to your vehicle, truck, or RV. This is another essential piece of equipment if you don’t have a hitch.

The hitch-mounted racks are the best for electric bikes. This is because of a few factors:

Racks with hooks are generally lighter than other types of racks.

These racks offer greater flexibility for loading/unloading your trunk. Many hitch-mounted racks have a tilt function that allows you to access your trunk while your bikes are still attached to the rack.

How big should my hitch be?

Most hitches are custom-fitted to fit each vehicle. The mounting tabs are welded in the right location for each make or model. If you have an older hitch, chances are that it won’t work with a newer or different vehicle. There are five types of hitches, each corresponding to its strength and towing capability.

You will need a hitch for your bike rack that falls within the class II or III range. A class III hitch should have a 2” receiver tube. This will allow you to mount multiple hitch-mounted racks and reduce side-to-side movement.

If you intend to tow a trailer with your hitch at some point, then this should be the primary criteria for sizing the hitch. The cost of a new hitch is between $200 and $400 depending on its size and type.

GTW is Gross Trailer Weight and TW is tongue weight. Gross trailer weight (GTW), is the total weight of the trailer. Tongue weight (TW), is the vertical load on the trailer’s coupler. We are more concerned about the Tongue Weight (TW), which is the total weight of the rack and any bikes or gear it holds.

The top 4 brands with racks that are well-suited for electric bikes

Hollywood Racks

The Sport Rider rack, which is mounted on a hitch mount, is made specifically for electric bikes that have a large weight for two 80-pound ebikes. This model is available in several configurations to fit standard electric bikes. It can be fitted with cargo ebikes (3″) and fat tire bikes (5″) as well as electric trikes (3-wheel)!

Saris Bike Racks

There are two Saris models that are well-suited for electric bikes: one can accommodate two bikes and one can accommodate two or four bikes.

Two electric bikes up to 60 pounds can be held on a Saris Freedom EX 2-Bicycle Universal Hitch Bike Rack. The rack weighs only 27 lbs. With two 60-pound ebikes attached, it falls below the maximum tongue weight for a class 2 hitch (upto 350 lb).The Saris Superclamp Car Rack can hold up to two 60-pound Electric Bikes and accommodates up to 4″ fat tires. The rack weighs 35 lbs. It is compatible with a class 2 hitch that can hold two electric bikes.

Thule

Thule EasyFold XT2 Hitch Bike Rack can hold two electric bikes up to 130 lbs each. A collapsible ramp is an optional accessory for this rack that allows easy loading and unloading. This rack can also be used to store fat tire ebikes that have a width of up to 4.7 inches.

Yakima

The Yakima-Hitch Mounted Bicycle Rack can hold two 60-pound electric bikes. This rack can hold tires up to 4.8 inches wide and requires a 2″ hitch receiver.

The YAKIMA – HoldUp EVO 2’’ Hitch Mounted Tray Bicycle Rack, 2 Bike Capacity can hold up to two electric bikes of up to 50 lbs each

The 3 Most Important Tips

How do you load a heavy electric bicycle on a bike rack?

A loading ramp is provided by most manufacturers for platform-mounted bike racks. This will make it easy to transport a heavy electric bicycle up the ramp and onto the rack. It will also save you time and possibly your back!

The easiest way to load a heavy Electric Bike?

If possible, remove your electric bike battery
To reduce the overall weight of the bike rack, I recommend taking the battery out of the bike if possible. Most electric bike batteries weigh between 2-10 lbs depending on their capacity. However, some batteries with higher capacities can weigh as much as 20 to 30 lbs. It will be easier to load and unload your ebike from the bike rack if you reduce its weight.

Battery Removal (if possible) for Electric Bikes

If possible, remove your electric bike battery
To reduce the overall weight of the bike rack, I recommend taking the battery out of the bike if possible. Most electric bike batteries weigh between 2-10 lbs depending on their capacity. However, some batteries with higher capacities can weigh as much as 20 or 30 lbs. It will be easier to load and unload your ebike from the bike rack if you reduce its weight.

Conclusion

You will find this guide useful whether you are just getting started with electric bikes or an experienced pro with thousands of miles under your belt. I hope this helps you to get on the road with your bike this season.

Read More: How to Choose Mini Dirt Bike | Buying Guide

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