loading/unload ebike from platform bike rack

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
We all know that ebikes are heavy, so platform racks are highly recommended. I'm currently looking to buy Kuat Transfer v2 to hold two bikes. What I like about this rack is that it is U-shaped and hollow inside, so I should be able to lift the ebike onto the inner tray without having to extend the bike with my arms over the outer tray. I've had back issues before so I want to be using mainly my legs to support the bike while loading/unloading, not my arms/back.
The other option I saw was to buy a platform rack that supports a ramp to load the bike. But these racks are quite expensive, approaching the price of my ebike itself!!
Thoughts?
 

nublar

Member
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
1) The maximum weight limit of the Kuat Transfer v2 is 40lbs/bike. Is your ebike, even with battery removed, less than that?

2) Ramps not made for this rack won't work. In particular, I own the 1UP ramp (and will gladly sell it, btw), and don't see how that would fit another brand's rack.

3) Ramps are good for 1 bike only anyway. Rolling up the second bike will have interference with the first bike due to close spacing and handlebars. It really sucks leaning the second bike to try to miss the first bike. Might as just lift the damn thing.

4) There is a bike rack, the MoTow, which has an available screw lift. You can load the bikes almost on the ground and then use a power drill to raise the platform. It's not cheap, though.
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
1) The maximum weight limit of the Kuat Transfer v2 is 40lbs/bike. Is your ebike, even with battery removed, less than that?

2) Ramps not made for this rack won't work. In particular, I own the 1UP ramp (and will gladly sell it, btw), and don't see how that would fit another brand's rack.

3) Ramps are good for 1 bike only anyway. Rolling up the second bike will have interference with the first bike due to close spacing and handlebars. It really sucks leaning the second bike to try to miss the first bike. Might as just lift the damn thing.

4) There is a bike rack, the MoTow, which has an available screw lift. You can load the bikes almost on the ground and then use a power drill to raise the platform. It's not cheap, though.
Kuat Transfer with 2" hitch, first bike is rated at 60 lbs, 40 lbs 2nd bike. My girlfriend's ebike is 55 lbs, maybe around 45 lbs without batttery. Second bike is mountain bike, 31 lbs.
If I get a ramp, it would have to be another rack since Transfer doesn't support it.
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
So pricing out 1Up rack for 2 bikes and one ramp, it'll be $717. Add another $100 for express shipping, because free shipping for ship in 4-5 weeks!!??!!?
 
While I don't yet need help lifting my bike onto the rack, I expect in time I might. Thus, my decision to buy the Thule Easy Fold which has a price comparable to the Kuat. I also liked the fact that it folds up into a compact form
 

Code54

Member
Check with oneUp - I think the express shipping is only for how it actually ships and that delay is across the board.
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
So I ended up buying Kuat NV Base 2.0 after reading many great reviews. It is a really nice looking rack and very well made. BUT!!!
1) The hitch is too long for my car ('19 Rav4). It extends about 14-15" beyond the hitch and makes it difficult to in/out of my driveway and ride over speed bumps.
2) This thing is HEAVY and BIG!! To access the hatch, I have to lower the rack and maneuver my legs between the rack to access items in my car.

So upon more research and consideration, I will go with 1UP rack, a single + add on. The horizontal extension of this rack from the hitch is very short compared to other racks (looks like around 8"). It is a little lighter than Kuat, but the rack is so compact in comparison. The single will not block my hatch access so I'll leave it on the car since I bike 2 or 3 times a week. When my girlfriend wants to go for a ride, then I can install the add-on to carry her bike.

Luckily, I bought the Kuat rack from REI, so full refund will be given. Whew! Now I just need to wait for 1UP rack to ship....
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
Check with oneUp - I think the express shipping is only for how it actually ships and that delay is across the board.
From 1Up website:
SHIPPING DELAY ALERT! Due to the cycling market explosion, order processing is expected to reach 4-5 weeks at the time of order. Orders with expedited shipping (Express Saver or faster) will ship within 2-5 business days from when the order is placed. Thank you for your understanding!
It sounds like with express shipping, they will process and ship your order in 2-5 days, while order processing for free shipping takes 4-5 weeks. I don't know why shipping speed affects order processing speed, doesn't make sense. I'll call to double check.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The founder of 1up has a new company. I forget the name, but it’s been mentioned here in another thread. Worth checking out.
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
Be patient and wait for this rack to hit the market. It has a loading ramp. Should be best in class

Very interesting!! In this video, the woman keeps comparing the new racks to the old ones, which she never names but is implied as "1Up". Several improvement made and less tools needed for rack adjustments and expansion. With these improvements, QuikRStuff looks to have improved upon 1Up's rack, but priced at nearly $1000 for a two-bike setup. Ouch!!
 

FezUSA

Active Member
I've mentioned elsewhere here on the forum a few times, I bought a MoTow rack and the optional lift kit which brings it in to the same price range as the Easyfold XT and the Kuat, both of which were on my original shortlist but unavailable last year when making my purchase. The MoTow is all metal, made here in the US and offered me the required 1 1/4" or 2" hitch option. The lift kit did add to the price considerably, but the hitch on my Yukon XL is quite high, so it I went with it and have been pretty happy since! The rack is currently on sale!
 

Padrepedro

Member
Region
USA
I've mentioned elsewhere here on the forum a few times, I bought a MoTow rack and the optional lift kit which brings it in to the same price range as the Easyfold XT and the Kuat, both of which were on my original shortlist but unavailable last year when making my purchase. The MoTow is all metal, made here in the US and offered me the required 1 1/4" or 2" hitch option. The lift kit did add to the price considerably, but the hitch on my Yukon XL is quite high, so it I went with it and have been pretty happy since! The rack is currently on sale!
Thanks, @FezUSA. With the Kuat rack, I was able to load the ebike one wheel at a time onto the inner rack, so my original concern about ebike being too heavy to lift was resolved. MoTow does look like a good solution for those really heavy ebikes. Mine is "only" 48 lbs without the battery.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
I've mentioned elsewhere here on the forum a few times, I bought a MoTow rack and the optional lift kit which brings it in to the same price range as the Easyfold XT and the Kuat, both of which were on my original shortlist but unavailable last year when making my purchase. The MoTow is all metal, made here in the US and offered me the required 1 1/4" or 2" hitch option. The lift kit did add to the price considerably, but the hitch on my Yukon XL is quite high, so it I went with it and have been pretty happy since! The rack is currently on sale!

I can't quite see where that MoTow rack attaches to the bicycle? Just a couple ratcheting straps through the wheels?
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I can't quite see where that MoTow rack attaches to the bicycle? Just a couple ratcheting straps through the wheels?

The rims rest on the upper arms and the wheels are strapped.
The tires rest on the lower arms and are strapped in.

So, the MoTow isn't really a platform rack, but it doesn't hold bikes by their frames. There is metal rim to rack contact, though, which probably isn't much of a problem unless you've got some fancy carbon fiber rims and even then probably OK.

You can watch the videos on MoTow's site. If you're using the same bikes all the time it seems fine, but adjusting the arms and straps for new bikes each time looks somewhat fiddly.
 

FezUSA

Active Member
I can't quite see where that MoTow rack attaches to the bicycle? Just a couple ratcheting straps through the wheels?
@smorgasbord is right. The cradles that the wheel rims rest on is padded to help protect the rims. I have some 6x6 1/4" neoprene patches from another project that are self-adhesive. I'm probably going to add those to the cradles to provide even more protection.

If you are changing which bikes you're carrying, then it is a little fiddly to adjust the arms, however if you use the same 1 or 2 bikes each time, you figure it out the first time and then forget about it. The system breaks down easily, although I did replace a pin with a locking pin that required me to widen one hole a smidge. I also switch between a 1 1/4" hitch and a 2" hitch depending on which vehicle we're using. They provided both stingers and it's a 5 minute job to change over.

Is it the best out there? Horses for courses, so no. However it is a solid solution made from all metal here in the US. Their customer service was responsive before and after the service.