These carriers are sturdy enough to support an electric bicycle.
By Evan McCausland Jan 5, 2023
Want to take your e-bike along for a road trip? Your old bike carrier might do the trick, but then again, it might not. Car racks designed for traditional bicycles might not be strong enough for e-bikes, some of which tip the scales at 40 lbs., and others, close to 80 lbs.
If you’re in the market for a more robust carrier, consider these four options. Each attaches to your vehicle’s hitch receiver and situates the cradle low to the ground, so you don’t have to lift your bike very high and risk throwing out your back. If your vehicle lacks a hitch receiver, you can have one installed for a couple of hundred dollars. We recommend the 2 inch diameter type, as many rack makers favor it. Regardless of the hitch size, though, you need to ensure the tongue weight at the hitch exceeds the combined weight of the rack and bike(s). Note: Using a hitch extender to clear a rear-mounted spare tire cuts tongue-weight ratings in half, so keep that in mind when doing your calculations.
Küat Piston Pro X ($1,389)
This carrier comes with a hefty price, but you’re paying for clever design. Made almost entirely of metal, the two-tray Piston Pro X can carry up to 67 lbs. per bike and includes a semi-integrated cable lock, quick-adjusting tire clamps, and LED taillights that connect to your vehicle’s trailer wiring. Moreover, the pneumatic tire chocks retract all the way down to the ground and can accept an optional ramp so you can wheel your e-bike into place rather than lift it.
Yakima OnRamp ($729)
The OnRamp supports two 66 lbs. bikes and comes with a handy loading ramp that nestles next to one of the trays when not in use. You secure the bikes to the rack with adjustable strap clamps, which accommodate a wide range of frame and tire sizes. You can also slide each cradle to ensure there’s ample clearance between bikes.
Hollywood Racks Sport Rider for Electric Bikes (HR1500) ($500)
This no-frills carrier lacks some of the slick features found elsewhere on this list, but it’s one of the heavier-duty racks on the market, capable of carrying two 80 lbs. bikes—including those with fenders. The Sport Rider can fit fat tires up to five inches wide, and it’ll hold step-through bicycles with an extra-cost adapter. To prevent theft of your rack and bikes, the Sport Rider includes a hitch pin/security cable and a bike lock, which accept the same key.
Saris Freedom 2-Bike ($379)
If you want a low-profile budget buy, the Freedom 2-Bike is worth a look. It carries two 60 lbs. bicycles—secured with rubber straps and cushioned holds—and weighs just 20 lbs. For reference, that’s half the weight of the OnRamp, the next lightest rack on this list.
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Car, truck, train, or bus—if a vehicle has wheels, chances are Evan McCausland is interested in it. More importantly, he’s interested in helping others learn more about cars and trucks, especially when it comes time to make a decision on their next vehicle purchase. For nearly two decades, he’s been fortunate to have the opportunity to do just that, writing for major automotive publications, automotive clubs, and automakers alike.