Getting Ready For an eBike

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Ah yes, the steps in preparation for being owned by an eBike.

I'm a planner so I'm one of those who has to think through everything and get all my ducks in order.

Things like:

- Where will I keep my eBike?
- How will I secure and protect my eBike? (I don't have a garage)
- How will I transport my eBike?
- How will I get my eBike on a trailer (I live alone & have no help)
- Who will put together my eBike (I will order it online since there is no eBike retailer near me who sells the brands I'm interested in)
- Who will help maintain my eBike?


So I am now in the process of getting things in place. As a girly girl with no one to help me I have to 'outsource' a lot.

1. I ordered a hitch for my vehicle. It arrived today. I will take it to my local car place down the street to ask them to install it for me. That hitch is heavy (for me). They'll be able to install it with the car on a hydraulic jack in probably 20 min or less.

2. I need to find the right eBike hitch rack for me. I only need to carry 1 eBike, max 60 lbs. Lifting is a concern for me. The hitch connection is 1.25".

3. I have to find and negotiate with a local bike shop to put together my new eBike when it arrives, and also arrange to have the bike shipped to their place. Easy Motion bikes, for example, require quite a bit of assembly and I am not comfortable trying to do it myself.

3a. I also need to see if a local bike shop will agree to perform warranty-type work on the bike and will agree to be the place I have my bike serviced when it needs maintenance (sorry I'm just not a DIYer outside of putting air in tires and some lube on a chain).​

4. I have to order my new eBike and then be patient for it to arrive!

5. I need to have the hitch and bike rack installed and ready to go before I can pick up the assembled eBike.

6. I need a good cover for the bike to protect from outside elements as I will likely have to store the bike in my backyard. I already have a Kryptonite lock and cable but may need another lock just to be safe.

7. I think I'm going to have the bike shop that assembles the bike also put in some liners in the tires to help prevent flats. I have never changed a flat (yes I know, I know, I need to learn!) But still I'd like to prevent such a thing, if possible.

8. I need a strategy in place for when I'm out riding and I get a flat or something happens and I can't ride the bike back under my own power. Like AAA for my eBike or an arrangement with someone who can help me out.


SEE! It's never just about the bike... there's all this infrastructure and support planning that goes with eBike ownership.
 
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J.R.

Well-Known Member
There a bunch of great locks on the market, I have a box full! Just send me a self-addressed stamped BOX and I'll send you a Kripto;)
The best or maybe just my favorite is the Abus 6500!!! I've put it through L! Snow, ice, rain, mud & sand and road salt and it looks and works like brand new. Few things you purchase work better than expected, this does! If you get an Abus, go for the 6500. (This opinion is subject to change without notice upon theft of e-bike)
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Your planning is sound. I see on thing that would concern me. Storing your bike in your backyard under some protective cover make sure the condensation during rainy days does not get trapped under the cover and thus creating wet 'cloud' that permeates everything including and most importantly the electronics of the bicycle. That could be trouble.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Ah yes, the steps in preparation for being owned by an eBike.

I'm a planner so I'm one of those who has to think through everything and get all my ducks in order.

Things like:

- Where will I keep my eBike?
- How will I secure and protect my eBike? (I don't have a garage)
- How will I transport my eBike?
- How will I get my eBike on a trailer (I live alone & have no help)
- Who will put together my eBike (I will order it online since there is no eBike retailer near me who sells the brands I'm interested in)
- Who will help maintain my eBike?


So I am now in the process of getting things in place. As a girly girl with no one to help me I have to 'outsource' a lot.

1. I ordered a hitch for my vehicle. It arrived today. I will take it to my local car place down the street to ask them to install it for me. That hitch is heavy (for me). They'll be able to install it with the car on a hydraulic jack in probably 20 min or less.

2. I need to find the right eBike hitch rack for me. I only need to carry 1 eBike, max 60 lbs. Lifting is a concern for me. The hitch connection is 1.25".

3. I have to find and negotiate with a local bike shop to put together my new eBike when it arrives, and also arrange to have the bike shipped to their place. Easy Motion bikes, for example, require quite a bit of assembly and I am not comfortable trying to do it myself.

3a. I also need to see if a local bike shop will agree to perform warranty-type work on the bike and will agree to be the place I have my bike serviced when it needs maintenance (sorry I'm just not a DIYer outside of putting air in tires and some lube on a chain).​

4. I have to order my new eBike and then be patient for it to arrive!

5. I need to have the hitch and bike rack installed and ready to go before I can pick up the assembled eBike.

6. I need a good cover for the bike to protect from outside elements as I will likely have to store the bike in my backyard. I already have a Kryptonite lock and cable but may need another lock just to be safe.

7. I think I'm going to have the bike shop that assembles the bike also put in some liners in the tires to help prevent flats. I have never changed a flat (yes I know, I know, I need to learn!) But still I'd like to prevent such a thing, if possible.

8. I need a strategy in place for when I'm out riding and I get a flat or something happens and I can't ride the bike back under my own power. Like AAA for my eBike or an arrangement with someone who can help me out.


SEE! It's never just about the bike... there's all this infrastructure and support planning that goes with eBike ownership.


The AAA covers bikes (maybe ebikes) in some locations. Otherwise, these guys seem to be OK and the price is fairly low. If you have AAA they waive the signup fee:

http://www.betterworldclub.com/faq/#BRA6

Hitch rack is definitely the way to go. Most of the rack can scratch up a bike, especially with a lock. I think this rack is a nice design, but I haven't bought one yet:

http://www.1upusa.com/

Lifting an ebike can be a little tricky, and they are pretty heavy. You might find a technique, like one wheel, then the other.

You have to know how to remove the rear wheel, to change a tire. That's just worth practicing, with an ebike. Then you have the rear wheel, to work on. Some tires come right off. I've had good luck with tires around 2 inches, bad luck with narrow road bike types.

Good luck!
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Thanks JR, I will take a look at the Abus lock.

And thanks Brambor, that sounds like something to look into as well. I also have a little garden shed structure (looks like a tiny house, with siding and shingled roof) and I'm going to see if I can fit my eBike in there. The inside is dirty and full of cobwebs and has a bunch of stuff in it, but it would at least provide protection for the bike from the elements (not to mention keep the eBike hidden).
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
George S,

I saw your earlier post about the 1up rack and that is the rack I'm most interested in right now. My question, which I cannot find on their website or anywhere else is: will the 1up rack be able to hold one 57 lb eBike?

I sent a message to them via their website (yesterday) but have not heard back. I don't need to carry 2 or more bikes as it's just me.

As for learning to change a back tire (or any tire), I will have to have a lesson on that. I've watched some YouTube vids in the past but that was not for an eBike.

And getting the eBike up and onto a frame hitch rack is going to be something I need to figure out. Maybe I can figure out a homemade ramp of sorts to at least help me from having to lift it all up.
 
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PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Oh right, and arrange for an armed guard to stand next to my locked ebike wherever I park the bike when out and about, and give people dirty looks if they come within 20 ft of the bike and pull the gun out and say, "Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY!" if they come within 5 ft of the eBike. What? Too much ya think? I dunno. Theft can really be a problem.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
George S,

I saw your earlier post about the 1up rack and that is the rack I'm most interested in right now. My question, which I cannot find on their website or anywhere else is: will the 1up rack be able to hold one 57 lb eBike?

I sent a message to them via their website (yesterday) but have not heard back. I don't need to carry 2 or more bikes as it's just me.

As for learning to change a back tire (or any tire), I will have to have a lesson on that. I've watched some YouTube vids in the past but that was not for an eBike.

And getting the eBike up and onto a frame hitch rack is going to be something I need to figure out. Maybe I can figure out a homemade ramp of sorts to at least help me from having to lift it all up.


I asked and they said this one ($349):

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Their site is kind of worthless, but there are good reviews on bike forums (regular bikes) and also on You Tube.

This is the rack that I've seen in shops:

http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/produ...bike-carriers/thule-t2-2-bike-916xtr-_-916xtr

It helps to wear leather gloves, the yard kind, when changing a tire. It's like gripping and pulling down a giant rubber band. I like thick tubes and the tire liners are well liked in some quarters. I've had half a dozen flats in the past 6 months. Some tires are definitely much tougher than others. It is tough to avoid, at least with certain kinds of native weeds. Even tire levers are something to think about. Plastic is safer, but thick plastic may be required if the tire is hard to get back on the rim.

Anyway, just ask away...
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
I asked and they said this one ($349):

(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)

Their site is kind of worthless, but there are good reviews on bike forums (regular bikes) and also on You Tube.

But the difference between the silver and the black one is the coating on the black rack, correct? Otherwise they are rated to hold the same # of bikes, have the exact same components, and there's no other difference I can see. So if both of those 2 quik racks are the same, except for the color/coating on the rack, then either one should be able to hold a 57lb bike, if one of them can. Unless I'm missing something....?

Now, they do have an "HD" heavy duty model but that one is designed to hold 2 bikes and cannot be reduced to only hold 1 bike and of course it's a lot more expensive--$260 more than the black Quik Rack 1 bike model.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
I like the shed idea. Roof protection over direct moisture and enough breathability to let any moisture to evaporate
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Thanks eDean! I've seen those before.

I think I'll make use of the existing shed in my backyard to store my bike since I don't have a garage (btw, it doesn't look this pristine, as a landscape artist enhanced it with the flowers and cleaned the image up)


shed.jpg
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I haven't used this exact model hitch carrier but I did use an older Curt carrier. They work great. $140.00 at Amazon.

Curt 18084 Hitch-Mounted Tray-Style Bike Rack
"New for 2013 are Curt Manufacturing's hitch-mounted tray-style bike racks. The 18084 bike rack offers an easy and convenient solution for transporting your bikes. This bike rack carries two bikes and up to 90 lbs. with either a 1 1/4" or 2" shank. The padded arms easily adjust to fit men's, women's, or kid's size bikes. The tilt away feature allows for rear vehicle access while the bike rack attached to your vehicle. The threaded shank adds stability and prevents wobble while the bike rack is in use. The sides of the rack fold up when not in use, creating a sleek product behind your vehicle. Please keep in mind, any Curt bike rack used with a 1 1/4" receiver tube requires the use of a support strap (Curt 18050). Failure to use a support strap will void the warranty of the trailer hitch and / or bike rack."
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Thanks JR!

Interesting bike rack (that CURT model). I just purchased the CURT hitch receiver, which has a 1.25" receiver opening.

Did you note that CURT rack specifies their support strap (not included in price) MUST be used if a hitch receiver size of 1.25" is used. I have a Prius and the only hitch receivers that fit my car are ones with a 1.25" hitch receiver. One can purchase a 2" adapter to add onto the CURT hitch receiver.
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
@PowerMe Hollywood and Thule both make carriers that are certified for ebikes, the Hollywood Sport Special Edition is one example,. In reality, any rack for 2 regular bikes will work for one ebike, but the fly in the pudding is whether the manufacturer will warranty damage to the rack or bike/s in the case of some sort of accident. I asked my reps at J&B Importers that question when customers were grumpy about the difference in price for tray style bike racks designed for the weight of an ebike. They were emphatic that these manufacturers were clear that if the rack were not spec'd for an ebike then any damage to the bike or rack would not be covered.

Also, with a little practice you can get the bike into a tray rack one wheel at a time rather than just lifting the whole bike. Use leverage and pivot the frame and second wheel after setting the first wheel into the rack. Remember to remove your battery; in general that's safer in case of an unfortunate catapulting of a bike from the rack!
 

PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Must the tray racks be spec'd for an "ebike" or is it really about the weight of the bike itself? Like, if I remove the battery when transporting the ebike on a hitch rack, that makes it lighter but also makes it "just a bike." Without a battery installed the bike can only be used as a regular pedal bike. Other than being heavier due to components, it's still just a bike at that point.
 

lilrich1959

Member
Power Me I don't know what part of the country you live in but if you get winter like we do in Wisconsin one thing to add to your list is to store your battery in a heated area during the winter. You can ride in the cold with reduced performance but should keep the battery inside when not used during the colder months. Also recommended is a top up charge every thirty days when not using the bike for extended periods no matter what the temperature. The battery is one of the most costly components of your bike, proper maintenance and care will insure you have many years of enjoyment. Glad you found a bike and keep rolling...
 

Gus

Active Member
Thanks JR!

Interesting bike rack (that CURT model). I just purchased the CURT hitch receiver, which has a 1.25" receiver opening.

Did you note that CURT rack specifies their support strap (not included in price) MUST be used if a hitch receiver size of 1.25" is used. I have a Prius and the only hitch receivers that fit my car are ones with a 1.25" hitch receiver. One can purchase a 2" adapter to add onto the CURT hitch receiver.
Just a word of caution depending on what eBike you get. If you get a hub motor ebike, with a large weight bias towards the rear its going to give a nasty teeter-totter effect with only a 1.25" hitch when carrying only 1 bike (not so much with a 2" hitch). Rear racks are much more stable if the weight is distrubuted evenly about the center, which can usually be corrected by carrying a 2nd similar bike mounted the opposite direction. Not an issue if the bike carry's its weight in the middle like a mid drive.

Note: the strap helps with fore/aft wobble but not with roll.
 
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PowerMe

Well-Known Member
Power Me I don't know what part of the country you live in but if you get winter like we do in Wisconsin one thing to add to your list is to store your battery in a heated area during the winter. You can ride in the cold with reduced performance but should keep the battery inside when not used during the colder months. Also recommended is a top up charge every thirty days when not using the bike for extended periods no matter what the temperature. The battery is one of the most costly components of your bike, proper maintenance and care will insure you have many years of enjoyment. Glad you found a bike and keep rolling...

Hi Rich,

I live in North Carolina. I will take the battery out of the bike and keep that battery inside my house so it stays in a climate-controlled environment. I also will top off the charge of the battery after each ride, as suggested.

I've been reading and reading so I am well-prepared for the care and feeding aspects of an eBike, especially managing a lithium battery that should not be stored in either cold or hot environments.

Note: I do not yet have an eBike. I'm planning my purchase now.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
But the difference between the silver and the black one is the coating on the black rack, correct? Otherwise they are rated to hold the same # of bikes, have the exact same components, and there's no other difference I can see. So if both of those 2 quik racks are the same, except for the color/coating on the rack, then either one should be able to hold a 57lb bike, if one of them can. Unless I'm missing something....?

Now, they do have an "HD" heavy duty model but that one is designed to hold 2 bikes and cannot be reduced to only hold 1 bike and of course it's a lot more expensive--$260 more than the black Quik Rack 1 bike model.

Well, I sent them an email and they said this was the rack for an ebike:

http://www.1upusa.com/product-SDquikracksilver.html

So this one is $369, and has another support bar. Given the other discussions this doesn't surprise me. I have a rack that is rated for 90 pounds because it is for 3 bikes. But each bike is rated about 35 pounds. So even I use one bike at 50 pounds (less battery) I am not within the specs (no warranty). That rack sits really high and doesn't match thetop tube on my ebike anyway. If you have a step through there's no top tube to rest the bike on, with the cheaper racks.

As for the point Gus makes, I'm not sure. You could get a couple of 5 pound weights and put them in a handlebar bag, something like that. Different companies use different techniques to stop sway and motion in the hitch.