E bike hitch rack load capacity existing Thule Chamber 4

OEL77

New Member
I have a Thule Camber 4 bike hitch rack with maximum load capacity of 150 lbs.
Would it be capable of transporting 2 e bikes weighing 60 lbs each ?
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
The short answer is, yes and no. You could contact Thule and ask their opinion but I suspect you won't get the answer you're looking for.

My brother has a Thule Helium 3 hitch rack rated at 112# or 37.5# per bike, similar to your Camber 4. We sometimes carry 2 - 60# Pedego bikes and so far, we haven't had a problem. However, we only do this for short distances (20 miles or less) on smooth roads at relatively low speeds while moving the bikes from one trail head to another.

My guess is, based on my experience, it would work if you attach the two bikes as close to the vehicle as possible and don't go bouncing around on rough roads. It would be a good idea to do as I do and rig bike to vehicle safety ties to keep the bikes off the pavement should something go wrong.

I would NOT however recommend doing this on long, high speed trips. Remember, ebikes are expensive and you are assuming some legal risk should something go wrong and someone gets hurt.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
Please leave a sign on the rear of your vehicle “bike has exceeded rack capacity , follow at your own risk” so I know to stay away. The correct carrier is part of the cost of buying an ebike...any single part failure of the rack is a dangerous fail

Check with your insurance and see if the will cover any damage to all involved
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Am I missing something? The load does not exceed the listed weight limit?

No, but it does exceed the per bike weight limit. It will probably work but some sharp lawyer could make a case out of it should something happen.
 

NeilJ

Member
No, but it does exceed the per bike weight limit. It will probably work but some sharp lawyer could make a case out of it should something happen.
Yes you are, each bike retention structure is designed to carry 1 bike of 37.5 lbs x 4 = 150 lbs. Not a bike of 60 lbs. So you would overload the individual bike supports. But it's probably ok if your willing to take the risk. Just seen that it's a hanging rack so prob ok. But you take your chance
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I have a Thule Camber 4 bike hitch rack with maximum load capacity of 150 lbs.
Would it be capable of transporting 2 e bikes weighing 60 lbs each ?
Thule rates this rack for a max 150lb load with a max 37.5lb limit per bike; https://www.thule.com/en-us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-camber-4-_-9056 . Thule is basically saying that the max 150lb load needs to be evenly distributed between the four carriers, not concentrated in 2 carriers. Your 60lb ebikes will exceed the individual carrier ratings by 60%. Doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

There is a "safety factor" built into all these specs, so you might get by on smooth roads for short distances with the batteries removed, but you just don't know. What did your bikes cost? Is it worth putting that investment at risk?

What bikes do you have? Are they OK being transported by the top tube? Some manufacturers don't recommend this due to the bike weight and their use of double butted top tube material.
 

opimax

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Atlanta
You have heard the statement “you have the right to swing your fist until it hits my nose”? You are driving down the highway at 70-75 mph and the clamp designed for 37.5 lbs lets go with a 62 lbs bike. The rack is still on the car because it didn’t fail but the bike is tumbling at the car behind you. That car doesn’t have a chance, you hit my nose...and more
 

OEL77

New Member
Thule rates this rack for a max 150lb load with a max 37.5lb limit per bike; https://www.thule.com/en-us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-camber-4-_-9056 . Thule is basically saying that the max 150lb load needs to be evenly distributed between the four carriers, not concentrated in 2 carriers. Your 60lb ebikes will exceed the individual carrier ratings by 60%. Doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

There is a "safety factor" built into all these specs, so you might get by on smooth roads for short distances with the batteries removed, but you just don't know. What did your bikes cost? Is it worth putting that investment at risk?

What bikes do you have? Are they OK being transported by the top tube? Some manufacturers don't recommend this due to the bike weight and their use of double butted top tube material.
M2S R500 ALL TERRAIN and a RIZE city. Not sure recommendations on restrictions on transporting.
 

PatriciaK

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Pacific Northwest and Piedmont Triad
I would always go by the per bike limitation rather then the total weight, for all the accident risks stated above.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
It's really hard to know, and Thule probably won't give you a real answer, just the "safe" answer.

While the 2-bike version has a 75-lb total weight limit, the 4-bike version has a 150-lb limit. Is the 4-bike version stronger in the pieces that are otherwise the same?

For comparison, look at T2 Pro XT. Adding the 9036XT piece increases the Max Weight capacity from 120 lbs to 160 lbs. That implies that the main structure is stronger than the 120 lb limit, but that Thule has concerns about the individual bike weights at each point. And, that might not be structural, it might in terms of the attachment securing mechanisms. That is, the rack frame can support more, but the way the bikes are secured (eg straps) may not be up to more weight.


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In which case you might, if you're willing to take the risk, figure out additional bike securing mechanisms to add on when carrying two bikes where each bike is heavier than spec but the total weight is within spec.


EDIT: I do agree with @Alaskan. I personally believe that platform racks are superior in almost every way, especially for heavy eBikes.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
With the total weight of an ebike all hanging from the frame, bouncing along on rough roads, the concern is not just the rack, but principally undue strain on the welds holding the top tube to the down tube and the seat tube. The entire weight of the bike is hanging off those two welds which were engineered to hold the bike together under compression, which is not there when hanging.
 
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Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
M2S R500 ALL TERRAIN and a RIZE city. Not sure recommendations on restrictions on transporting.
I'm not finding any manufacturer guidelines either. They both have support contacts on their web sites. I'd recommend contacting them re top tube transport, regardless of the suitability of this rack for 2-60lb bikes.

Like others on this and other threads, we use a rack that supports the ebikes by their wheels. Seems like a good way to protect several thousand $ in investment.