As e-cycling becomes more and more popular, people are starting to look at every nook and cranny for other places to ride. Not only that, but some e-bike owners have also begun searching for ways to enjoy and use their electric rides more conveniently every day. This is where e-bike carriers, trailers, and racks come in handy. Not only are they additional accessories for your bikes, but they are also becoming essential attachments for some.
Looking for the best e-bike attachment might be challenging for most, but it’s a good thing that there are online guides that are made accessible for situations like this. If you are someone who’s looking for the perfect accessory for your electric bike, then read on, because this article is for you.
Two Most Common Types of Bike Racks
Just like its technology, bike transport has come a long way. Gone are the days when you would just rely on sturdy ropes or cords to safeguard your 2-wheeled ride. In this part of our explainer, we will take a look at some of the kinds of bike racks and their pros and cons that you want to consider before purchasing one.
Whether you want to carry an electric bike or a regular bike, the principal rule is the same; your rack carrier should be user-friendly, it should secure the safety of your mobility equipment, and it should also ensure that your bike is free from any transport damage.
When it comes to storage, there are bike car carriers that can be attached inside the car, on the rear, or on the roof. Let’s take a look at 2 of the most common systems, and try to differentiate them, shall we?
Towbar Bike Racks
This type of rear carrier is also known as the hitch-mounted bike rack. They are usually more expensive than other bike carriers, but it is justified by its ease of loading and unloading. This is also the type of rack that is most suitable for an electric bike.
With a towbar rack, a rider wouldn’t have to lift the e-bike itself to get it to the mount. Some models might come with a ramp and have a “tool-less disassembly feature” which makes it a popular choice among e-bike riders who are always on the go.
Moreover, towbar bike racks can carry up to 4-5 bikes, depending on the model. If you really need to carry this many bikes in one go, then you should opt for a brand like Thule or Grip Sport which has designed an ergonomic vehicle rack for this purpose.
- A towbar carrier leaves more room on the roof for more cargo if you’re going on an outdoor trip.
- There are carriers of this type that tilt, so they do not require the rider to unmount their e-bikes to access rear doors and boots.
- The best towbar rack carriers are strong and fully adjustable (you can position your electric bikes to avoid clashing), and come with different ride heights that suit every type of car.
- Not all towbars are equipped with a tool-less disassembly feature. In this case, you might take time in loading and unloading your e-bikes.
- There is a chance for your bike, when mounted, to obscure a rider’s rearview.
- Because there is a towbar or hitch attached at the back of your vehicle, without your bike, you might forget about the rack while reversing, and end up with unlikeable results.
- Some rack carriers of this type do not come with a built-in plate holder, which might cost you extra if you are required to have one.
Note: Most territories in Australia require the rear number plate of your vehicle to be visible. If you think that your rack will block your plate number, you can purchase an additional bike rack number plate holder that will allow you to relocate your plate so it can be clearly seen from behind. If you are driving at night, you should also have an illuminated accessory to light up your number plate.
Roof-mounted Bike Racks
Roof-mounted bike carriers have evolved so much in the past years, security and style-wise. There are 3 types of roof mounting systems, but the most popular type does not require the rider to remove the bicycle’s front wheel. It uses a clamp and straps to ensure your ride’s safety and stability. Most carriers have “feet” that are attached to the roof, or crossbars where the rider can attach the accessories.
However, it is worth noting that not all vehicles can suit the roof-mounted carrier. There are some vehicles, especially sedans or hatchbacks that would require customisations to fit this type of rack. Most SUVs have factory-installed roof racks, which make them suitable for fitting a bike carrier of this type.
- Roof-top mounts allow easier access to the vehicle’s boot or rear door.
- Because your bike is mounted on top of your car, you wouldn’t worry about your number plate being blocked, and it doesn’t require additional illuminated accessories that will cost you more bucks.
- This type of racks saves your car from greasy upholstery, and can ensure a safer means of carrying if you are on a ride that includes dangerous and long commutes.
- It may be harder for some people to reach their e-bikes especially if the roof mount is installed on tall vehicles like an SUV.
- Lifting the bike up to the roof might be a challenge for some, especially when a ramp is not easily accessible.
- Worst case scenario, if you ever forget that your bike is mounted on top of your car’s roof, you might unknowingly hit your garage door, and shell out more money for repairs.
Helpful Tips in Choosing an E-Bike Carrier
There are some differences between a regular bike and an e-bike. This means that there is also a difference when it comes to car rack requirements needed to transport an e-bike.
For example, most roof-mounted racks can only carry a load of up to 20KG. If you happen to purchase this type of bike carrier, you might only be able to load one electric bike at a time. Although roof-mounted racks are not very suitable for e-bikes, some still take the risk of using them.
A towbar (hitch-mounted) bike rack is probably the most suitable carrier for an e-bike. This is because its placement allows a heavier load, and makes it more convenient for the rider, which is why they purchased an electric bike in the first place.
If you are thinking about buying a carrier for your e-bike, then these tips might help you decide.
- Consider your needs. This is probably the key to choosing the perfect bike rack. How often will you use it? How many bikes do you need to transport? If you only need to transport one e-bike, then there is no point in buying a 4- bike set-up, unless you also transport bikes other than yours.
- Make sure that your rack will suit your vehicle. Assessing your vehicle doesn’t just mean knowing if the rack will fit, it is also knowing how often you will need to switch between two or more cars. This also includes knowing if your automobile has rear spare tyres that may block any mounting, or if it has parts that might need to be adjusted before installing your bike rack.
- Know your budget. Just like any other purchases, you must also know how much you’re willing to spend when buying an e-bike car rack. There are expensive ones that are definitely high-quality, but there are also affordable ones that are just as durable and reliable as the pricier ones.
- Security is important. One of the first things that you should consider when buying a bike carrier rack is if they have a secure system. A good e-bike rack would usually have a system that can endure any driving condition. You wouldn’t want to drive in the middle of the Australian highway, and drop your valuable electric bike in the middle of the road, would you?
If you are ready to purchase your e-bike rack carrier, then we have handpicked some of our favorites that might pique your interest!
Staff Picks: The Best E-Bike Carriers in Australia
As one of the most trusted online e-bike sellers in the country, E-Ride Solutions makes sure that we only partner with the best brands. As for our carriers, brands like Grip Sport definitely take the top spot on our list. Here are some of their best electric bike carriers that we think are the best for your electric ride.
GSE Electric Bike Rack
Just like most e-bike carriers, the GSE comes with a ramp and a tool-less disassembly feature which means that the rider isn’t required to use tools to mount and unmount. It claims to be a gamechanger for owners of electric bikes and heavy mountain bikes.
- No lifting. A built-in ramp means you can load and unload your e-bike in seconds.
- Heavy-duty. It can carry two e-bikes, both weighing up to 30KG each.
- No clashing. Both e-bikes are secured and safe from rubbing together.
- Easy boot access. The e-bikes tilt out of the way for easy access to boots and rear doors.
- User-friendly. No need to worry about removing the entire rack! This carrier has a quick-release system that allows you to remove your rear rack in seconds.
- Light-weight. The rack weighs 18KG all in all, including the carrier and its quick-release hitch.
If you are interested in purchasing this urban bike rack, you can click the link here.
GS4 Electric Bike Rack
The GS4 is similar to the GSE in ways more than one, but it is definitely an upgrade when it comes to some of its key features. One essential change is that this rear rack can carry up to 4 e-bikes, while remaining safe and secure.
- Versatile. This model comes with 3 different ride heights and gives you the ground clearance you need wherever you’re heading.
- Heavy-duty. It can carry four e-bikes, each weighing up to 30KG each.
- More storage. It fits electric bikes with tyres that are 3” wide. Options for fat-bikes with 6” wide tyres are also available.
- Set and Forget bike positioning. This ensures that your electric rides are positioned without clashing.
- Light-weight. It weighs a total of 39KG for a full 4-bike set up.
If you want to know more about this versatile bike rack, you can check it out here.
GS2 Bike Rack (Trike Bike Carrier Rack)
Concluding the list of our top picks is a rear rack that’s a nod to all e-bike carriers out there. The GS2 is a versatile carrier that can carry up to 2 e-bikes at once or even an electric trike bike. This rear carrier rack is known to be very sturdy and versatile and is also perfect for off-road riders.
- Quick and easy to use. This model is a very simple one and is highly adjustable.
- Safe and secure. It is one of the most secure bike carrier systems in the market today.
- Design-specific. It is designed especially for vehicles with upward-swinging rear doors.
- Adjustable height. The rider can set the carrier’s height to high or low, depending on whether you’re off to urban or off-road driving.
- Made with quality materials. You can ensure the durability of this bike carrier since it is made from super strong steel that can last for a long time.
There you have it! Our top three choices when it comes to electric bike carriers. All of these are 100% Australian designed, owned, and made. It is also worth noting that every Grip Sport carrier is made with a lifetime guarantee, and could easily be one of the best investments you will make.
It might sound simple, but choosing the perfect way to transport your electric bike can require more research and comparisons. If ever you need help, our staff are always ready to answer your questions and to assist you in making your purchase.