Not everyone has the luxury of being able to ride their bike right out of their front door. Many cyclists transport their bikes by van, car, or pickup in various ways. But the added weight of an electric bike can make transporting it a little more tricky.
So, in this article, we’ll look at how to transport electric bikes from one place to another.
Transport Your Electric Bike Inside Your Car
Most people will transport their electric bikes with their car. Sometimes, you can fit your bike inside the car without any trouble. However, if your car isn’t that big, you may have to do a couple of things to squeeze it in.
The first thing you’ll probably need to do is remove the front wheel. When you remove the front wheel, put the axle back into the fork, so you don’t lose it or leave it behind. There’s nothing worse than driving to a trail 2 hours away to realise you don’t have an axle. This is the same story as your wheel, so don’t forget it!
Next, you’ll probably have to put the back seats down to make room. It’s best to lay your bike down on its side in the back of your car so it doesn’t move around. If you have lots of other stuff, you can put your bike upright, but make sure it is wedged firm enough to stop it from falling over when you drive around corners. But take care of where the handlebars are, as they can smash your side windows.
You must take care of how you put your bike into the car, as you can easily damage the controls mounted on the handlebars. It’s also a good idea to cover your bike. This will protect it from damage and hide it from thieves when you park up.
Transport Your Electric Bike Using A Rack
One of the most popular ways to transport an electric bike is with a rack.
But whichever one you buy needs to be able to take the extra weight of an electric bike. Therefore, you need to know how much your electric bike weighs, so you can be sure that your rack is rated high enough to carry it safely.
At this point, it’s worth mentioning that you may want to remove your bike’s battery when loading it onto a rack, to reduce the weight. You should also make sure that you remember the key that locks the battery on your bike.
Car racks come in all shapes and sizes, so let’s go into using the most popular types.
Towbar-mounted racks are pretty versatile and can carry more than one bike, depending on which one you get. But weight is the most critical part of using one. The combined weight of your bike and rack cannot exceed 60kg.
Some towbar-mounted bike racks have a release mechanism that allows the rack to tilt, so you can access the boot without needing to take your bike off the rack.
Another good towbar rack feature to look out for is the foldable ramp. These allow you to wheel your electric bike onto the rack without lifting it.
Roof racks are great for carrying bikes. They don’t interfere with reversing sensors or prevent access to your boot. However, electric bikes are heavy, so lifting one onto the roof rack can be pretty challenging, especially if you have a tall car.
Another issue with roof racks is that people tend to forget they have several thousand dollars of electric bikes on the roof. People smashing their bikes into road signs, height restrictions, and garages is not unheard of.
With this in mind, a roof rack may not be the best option for an electric bike. If you still like the idea of transporting an electric bike on a roof rack, make sure it is certified for the weight. It also makes driving difficult because you’ll be constantly worried about the electric bikes on the roof.
Trunk racks fit on hatchbacks but are not that robust, as they are a budget option. They are fine for lightweight road or mountain bikes. Still, I wouldn’t feel confident hanging an electric bike weighing over 20kg on one, especially for long drives.
These racks are pretty flimsy, and they flex a lot when you load them up with regular bikes. Therefore, the weight of an electric bike may be too much for a trunk rack.
Transport Your Electric Bike Using Pickup Pads
If you drive a pickup truck, you can easily transport your electric bike in the back. You’ll often see pickup-driving mountain bikers hanging their bikes over the tailgate covered with a large pad.
Transporting your bikes in a pickup gives you lots of carrying capacity. It looks pretty cool, too, especially when you have three or four bikes loaded up. However, you have to make sure that you can lock your bikes, as the back of a pickup leaves them vulnerable to theft.
You should always keep your bikes locked in the back of a pickup, even when driving. A thief can easily lift an unsecured bike out of the back when you’re stuck in traffic and ride away.
Transporting Electric Bikes In A Van
The van is the ultimate electric bike transport vehicle. They are popular with mountain bikers, as you can fit everything you need for the day in the van, use it as a changing room, or even stay the night in it.
There are several ways you can transport your bike in a van, depending on your setup. For example, you can buy a padded bag to put your bike in to protect it. It also stops your van from getting muddy after a day on the trails.
The most critical thing about transporting any bike in a van is ensuring it doesn’t move around. You can use straps or bungee cords to attach it to anchor points inside the van.
Make More Room For Your Electric Bike
If things are tight, there are things you can do to make transporting your electric bike a little easier. Recently we transported 15 bikes in a smaller van and a car, here are some tips on how we managed it.
Let out the air
It sounds a bit extreme but if you let out the air on your ebike tires you’ll gain a few inches either side. If you’re transporting multiple bikes this ends up making quite a lot of spare space. Make sure you let the air out safely and remember that a tire is more susceptible to a puncture when a tire is low on air, so make sure you take all the air out. This is only applicable if you’re not removing the wheel itself.
Remove Electric Bike Components
If you’re looking to transport electric bikes, you’ll know that they can be quite vulnerable. The battery, for example, cannot be damaged or pierced or they won’t work. The motor is sensitive, as is the sensor and speedometer. Then, if you have an LCD readout on the handlebars you’ll want to make sure it’s safe. So, one of the best ways to ensure these components are safe for electric bike transportation is by removing them where possible. This allows you to be a bit more rough with the frame when you’re fitting it in your car or van. Just make sure you wrap the components in bubble wrap or put them somewhere safe for the journey ahead.
Removing electric bike components isn’t hard, but if you’re unsure make sure you check the manufacturers’ guidelines. Although they’re pretty standard, some can be different from others and you don’t want to break anything when you remove it.
Transporting an electric bike isn’t that much different from a regular bike. But the extra weight of an electric bike makes it a little more complicated. You need to ensure your rack is rated for the additional weight and that you’re strong enough to lift the bike, which could be an issue for older riders.
You can check our more articles about electric bikes on our blog, or if you’re looking for a new bike have a look at our electric bike reviews.