Tips for loading heavy electric bikes onto car racks by yourself

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys! I'm frequently loading electric bikes onto my car rack... and many times I have to do it alone. I've shared this before in some of my reviews, but wanted to create a stand-alone video showing how it's done. Recently, while visiting Arizona to see my Grandfather and Dad, we went out to the desert near the White Tank Mountains and took his fat tire electric bikes along for a fun ride! These ebikes weigh 60lbs+ with their cargo racks, fenders, accessory bags, lights and other add-ons. The hitch rack my Dad uses is a 2" hitch mounted platform that is actually elevated in order to reduce ground contact when driving across uneven terrain... so lifting the bikes up and down from this extra high rack can be very challenging when done solo without the help of a friend. My Dad had some tips to share and I have some experience doing this myself, so this video is designed to be a helpful explanation of our combined best practices. I hope it helps you, but please be careful when lifting your own bikes and always include a second person if possible. This video is not meant to be advice, it is for entertainment purposes only and shows our ideas.


The products and accessories shown in this video were all purchased by my Dad, and some of them were new to me! He chose them based on his desire to ride in the desert and have reliable stuff. I've listed most of them below and some of the links have Amazon affiliate commission for me if you choose to buy there. I also have a list of local ebike shops that might sell the same accessories and you can see them here: https://electricbikereview.com/shop-directory/ You might have also seen our video interview where he talks about how he upgraded his bikes to perform better in the desert, and I created a forum post for that one here: https://electricbikereview.com/foru...essories-and-replacing-a-towed-vehicle.43285/

Electric bikes with all details listed

Electric bike hitch rack and covers for RVs

Bike locks for transporting and riding

Tire protect to prevent flats

Light and reflector upgrades

Rear rack, trunk bag, pannier bags

Swept back handlebar and ergonomic grips

Water bottle upgrades and expansion

Comfort and armor upgrades

I always appreciate feedback and corrections, so feel free to expand on the ideas shared in this video with your own tips and techniques for loading heavy bikes onto car racks. I have become a big fan of the hitch racks vs. hanging racks, and was impressed that the Thule Pro T2 XTR was able to secure two fully kitted RadRover fat tire bikes without even removing their racks or interfering with the fenders. My Dad has hauled these bikes all over the USA and had zero problems. I think this rack is setup for two bikes by default, but may be expandable to four bikes at once, if you have a 2" hitch receiver. My Prius only has an 1-1/4" receiver and I use the lightweight Küat Sherpa hitch rack :)
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
I had to put my bike on a hanging hook on the train for awhile. the hook is high enough to hang the bike by the front week and have the back wheel just off the ground. so jsut lifting it is going to be really hard more so then a rack. but I found a easy way to do it and it would help with a rack. that was to hold the back brake and pull bacon the bars and the bike will lift thew front end up with not a lot of effort. then I just waked it under the hook put my knee behind the seat pulled back and pushed and popped it on the hook. so use the same method to get the front wheel on then push or pull the bike the rest of the way on.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I'm a vegetarian, so I don't do bacon on my bars. I have a Rad Rover though, like Court's dad, and a similar rack. The method shown is pretty much what I use. It's pretty obvious once you do it, but old habits of lifting 25 pound bikes onto a rack all at once take a minute to break.

My Rover has a good 10 pounds on Court's Dad's.

TT
 

soyabean

Active Member
Region
Canada
I have become a big fan of the hitch racks vs. hanging racks
The correct term is platform racks, and since the dawn of time, they have always been the norm for heavier bikes, that includes ebikes.

Platform racks benefit all bikes regardless of weight by the time it takes it get one mounted and secured, takes seconds.

There are platform racks that have ramps so you just roll your bike up onto it. How about that :)
 

Elkman

Member
The only racks that have integrated ramps are the ones from Thule and Yakima. The 1up has an available ramp but it is short, prevents using their license plate holder, it does not securely attach to the rack and flips over with wide tires, and as it is only 3" wide it does not work with wider fat tire bikes. I bought a Motorsports folding motorcycle ramp for my 1up Super Duty double rack.
 

VoltMan99

Well-Known Member
Region
Asia
City
Tokyo
While looking for a roof rack for my BMW I stumbled upon one of their older products for SUVs, which is basically a crane 🤣 :

5948AEA9-8826-4864-BCEA-8B64DD024B5A.jpeg
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
Okay...How is it supposed to work? I don't see any leverage available...without a motor to lift the bikes?
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Well, got the Stealth hitch installed and the next day the 1 Up heavy duty rack showed up. Now all that's left is getting the bike rider off his tired rear end to practice mounting. Did I mention it's hot as heck? Tomorrow I start my practice. Wednesday I haul the CC up to the mountains!!
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
The only racks that have integrated ramps are the ones from Thule and Yakima. The 1up has an available ramp but it is short, prevents using their license plate holder, it does not securely attach to the rack and flips over with wide tires, and as it is only 3" wide it does not work with wider fat tire bikes. I bought a Motorsports folding motorcycle ramp for my 1up Super Duty double rack.
Would this one work with a normal sized tire?

 

Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The only racks that have integrated ramps are the ones from Thule and Yakima. The 1up has an available ramp but it is short, prevents using their license plate holder, it does not securely attach to the rack and flips over with wide tires, and as it is only 3" wide it does not work with wider fat tire bikes. I bought a Motorsports folding motorcycle ramp for my 1up Super Duty double rack.
One more is coming. It's possible they have solved the 1up issues as they improved upon many things. It will be a wait, and it will cost $.

 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I usually carry my two 65 pound bikes in the bed of my pickup and use a ramp to load. I occasionally carry a third bike on a Thule tray style hitch rack. I use a simple approach when loading. I lift the front end of the bike first and place the front tire in the tray with the rear wheel still on the ground. I then lift the rear in a similar manner. That way, I only need to lift about half the bike weight at one time. I realize however that this won't work for all hitch racks.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
I usually carry my two 65 pound bikes in the bed of my pickup and use a ramp to load. I occasionally carry a third bike on a Thule tray style hitch rack. I use a simple approach when loading. I lift the front end of the bike first and place the front tire in the tray with the rear wheel still on the ground. I then lift the rear in a similar manner. That way, I only need to lift about half the bike weight at one time. I realize however that this won't work for all hitch racks.
I think thats the method I'm going to try later today when I attempt to load the CC up onto the 1UP...
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Ok, I think I got it. Was able to load Sport easily on to the 1Up rack and secure the front tire with the bent arm of the 1up. I may have one small dilemna-my rear fender on my Espin Sport and probably the CC as well prevents me from securing the bent arm directly on the rubber. I wonder do I remove the fender or just secure against the fender? I think I know the answer but was just curious as to if any of you have had experience with the 1up...
 

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Taylor57

Well-Known Member
So I removed both fenders from Sport and was ready to mount on the new Stealth/1Up. 1 problem. Flat rear tire on Sport. Secured Sport to the 1 Up and headed to Palm Desert to visit my granddaughter and my son (the wrench)
Well, lets just say it was 115 in the garage, but we finally got the rear tire off of Sport, and installed the Slime. Well, we couldnt get the rear tire to seat. After what seemed like 9 hours and a gallon of sweat, we noticed the washers perhaps were out of place-Boy I wish my memory was better, I think this has been brought up a million times-be careful of those offset washers-they can make your life sweaty!

Long story short, Sport is prepped, cleaned, chain lubed and ready for the mountains. I will post some pics once I mount her for the voyage...
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
Tested the new rack to see if the boys new acoustic 29er will fit and she strapped on nicely. Really liking the new 1up rack...
 

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Merle Nelson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Nice. Inventor of One Uo has some kind of protection for fenders so you can clamp against them when we get closer to winter. (If I read the info correctly.)