October 9

Transporting A Heavy E-Bike – 5 Tips And Tricks

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Properly transporting your electric bike should be well planned in advance. Tossing your bike in the back of your vehicle without any concerns about the potential problems can result in an extensive list of headaches. 

In other words, planning and taking the best action is a must when transporting your e-bike.

In this article, we’ve covered things you should be aware of when deciding to transport your electric bicycle, as well as five tips and tricks on how to transport a heavy e-bike.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in!


Things To Consider Before Transporting Your E-Bike

Ebike Transport

There are countless types of e-bikes available in the market. You can’t transport two different bikes the same way. Keep reading to learn more about the factors determining how transport-friendly an e-bike can be.

E-Bike’s Shape And Frame

E-bikes come in different shapes and frames, and while some models have longer bodies, some don't. Some e-bikes are made to look bulky, whereas others are known for their elegant shapes.

If your electric bike is too long and bulky, you would most likely be unable to transport it in a passenger car. You would have to think of a larger vehicle to transport your bike.

Some e-bikes have bar handles designed to protrude more, limiting the option of vehicle one has when transporting such a bike.

Some electric bikes have their batteries exposed to external environmental factors, so the chance of the battery getting damaged when carried on racks occurs. 

E-Bike’s Weight

Ebike Rack Weight

One of the most crucial factors determining an electric bike's transportability is its weight. An e-bike is much heavier than a regular bike.

Since electric bikes are so different in their designs, they are bound to have different weights. The material that’s used for producing an electric bike dictates how heavy it’s going to be. For example, steel-framed bikes are amongst the heaviest, whereas carbon fiber e-bikes are much lighter.

So while a small car’s roof rack should be more than enough for carrying a lightweight e-bike, heavier e-bikes will require a larger vehicle and more rugged racks for transportation.

The Transporting Vehicle’s Type

Ebike Rack

One can transport an e-bike via car, truck, bus, or train. However, every type of vehicle has its own potential and limitations.

If you have a base model sedan, not every electric bike would fit in its trunk. And even if you get a mounting rack, the car’s roof also has its weight limitations.

On the other hand, having a truck or a minivan means you can probably carry almost any kind of e-bike. You can either remove the minivan’s seats or simply make space in the truck's trunk.  

You will have to ensure the bike’s safety and stability during transport, which we will cover in the following segment.


Tips And Tricks On How To Transport A Heavy E-Bike

Ebike Rack Mountain

Following are five tips and tricks that will help ease the process of transporting your heavy electric bike, further allowing you to focus on your trip.

1. Keep The E-Bike Secure 

Let’s say you own a truck with an eight-foot bed - it might be tempting just to toss your e-bike in the truck’s bed and call it a day. 

Sudden turns or heavy braking during the drive will prove that only putting an e-bike in your truck’s bed is a mistake. 

You will need to ensure that you keep the bike secure, and that’s where you can use bungee cords and ratchet straps. Even if you aren’t worried about your bike banging up the back of your truck, the last thing you would want is for your pricy e-bike to be bent out of shape before you even get to your destination. 

2. Remove The Battery 

There are some arguments regarding whether or not one should remove the e-bike’s battery for transportation. However, we say it's a good idea to remove it. 

As you’re driving along, you will subject your electric bike to vibrations and bangs. The battery of an electric bicycle might be designed to withstand some minor beating, but why should you subject your battery to it in the first place? 

It takes only a few seconds to remove the battery from your bike, and keeping it in the vehicle with you will eliminate most concerns. 

So even though there are arguments against removing the battery, we encourage you to educate yourself on the matter so you can make your own decision, but better safe than sorry. 

3. Popping Off The Front Wheel 

One great way to lower the overall footprint of your electric bike is to detach its front wheel. The good news is that popping off the front wheel is very easy. All you’ll need are two wrenches that will help you remove the axle nut - that's it.

We recommend securing the axle nut to the wheel or the frame, as it will make things simple when you're putting the bike back together.

4. Protect The E-Bike 

Considering how much money you invested into your electric bike, you definitely want to keep it safe from dents and scratches. 

A great way to keep your bike protected from harm is by covering it before you head out on your trip. There are special bags that you can put onto your e-bike which will keep it safe from the elements. Also, a moving blanket makes for a good way of protecting the bike and comes at a minimal investment. 

5. If You Are Tight On Space, Get A Rack

If there just isn't enough room to take your e-bike because you loaded your truck with a lot of gear for your trip, you can get yourself a rack so you can transport your bike. Of course, you should get a rack that can support your e-bike’s weight.

Trunk Racks

Trunk racks make for a great choice for those who transport their e-bikes less frequently but still need a bike rack.

PROS

  • Generally less expensive than other options
  • Can be used by multiple vehicles
  • Easier to mount electric bikes onto a trunk rack than a roof rack

Cons

  • It blocks the usage of the trunk, meaning you’ll have to pack your vehicle in the correct order
  • Your rear parking sensor might not work
  • You’ll probably need an additional rear license plate holder and rear lights holder in order to stay road legal

Towing Hitch Racks

This kind of rack is mounted onto your vehicle’s towing hitch point. First, you’ll need to install a towing ball if you don’t already have one. These racks come in several variants that can carry one, two, or even three bikes.

But if you have a heavy bike, you need to keep in mind the maximum weight capacity of the rack.

PROS

  • The most hassle-free and secure option for most e-bikes
  • Many options can carry multiple bikes depending on your needs
  • These racks offer less risk of damage to your vehicle’s paint than a trunk-mounted rack since the bikes are clear of the vehicle's body
  • Mounting bikes onto a hitch rack is easier than a roof rack
  • A great option for frequent use and highway driving – fuel economy isn’t affected like a roof rack, and they are more secure than a trunk rack

Cons

  • These types of racks tend to be expensive
  • Similar to trunk racks, your rear parking sensor might be blocked
  • If you have a large vehicle, like a large SUV, there is the chance that some parking bays might not be long enough

Final Thoughts

Ebike Rack

It’s no secret that electric bikes have become extremely popular as their environment-friendly technology enables safe and fun means of traveling.

If you wish to take your eclectic bike with you on a trip, you can do that, even if it's heavy. 

In this article, we’ve covered several factors that will dictate the transportability of an e-bike, as well as the tips and tricks on how to easily and safely transport your heavy electric bicycle. So, be sure to follow these recommendations next time you take your e-bike with you on a trip.


About the author

Ruaan is an electrical engineer born in South Africa and currently working in Oslo, Norway. He loves tech and gadgets and owns an electric car (Tesla) as well a front-wheel-drive electric bike. He rides his bike all year, even through snow and ice covered roads in the cold winter.


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