Which E Bike Carrier Should I Consider?

Jim1348

Member
I bought a pair of Gazelle Ultimate C380+ e bikes. My wife would like us to be able to transport them to ride other places.

I have a Ram 1500 pickup with a 2 inch receiver hitch.

Should I look at a truck bed bike rack or a hitch mounted bike rack carrier?
 

Nvreloader

Active Member
Region
USA
Jim
You might want to check this info out, I would check the spec's to make sure the carrier will safely carry both bike, I bought a single steel one with a ramp,
and if I need to change anything I have a welder etc.
Also check how the wheel spacing is done welded in and no choice of changing spacings or round long bolts that can be adjusted to fit your bikes wheel to wheel spacing.


HtH's,
Don
 
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Rickman1

Active Member
Region
USA
City
Aridzona
Measure the wheelbase of your ebike/ebikes before shopping for a rack. I purchased a Thule EasyFold XT 2 before I actually picked up my new ebike. The ebike would not fit on the rack because of the long wheelbase. Sold the Thule at a loss and purchased a different rack that fit the ebikes. Also make sure the rack you buy will actually hold the weight of your ebikes.
 

Kayakguy

Well-Known Member
A bed mounted carrier requires lifting heavy bikes up onto the bed. A platform rack works best for ebikes, I think, because you can lift the bike one end at a time (I do front wheel, then back). If you are hauling a step-thru, you will probably need a top tube adapter (a sort of temporary, removable top tube), unless the carrier is the type that uses U-shaped pivoting holders that grip the bike by the tires (but that kind is somewhat problematic if you have fenders.

Mine is a KAC (Kick Ass Carriers) platform rack. We use top tube adapters because both our bikes are step throughs. I wouldn't want to try to hang a bike with those top tubes, as they aren't designed to suspend the weight of the bike.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
My Thule rack JUST fits a Townie, Trek Pure, and KHS smoothie flat foot frames. Not an inch to spare
 

bikeman242

Active Member
If you have a pickup, why not just wheel the bikes on the bed of the truck, and tie a couple of ratchet straps over the handlebars to secure them?

No risk of getting rear ended and losing the bikes, no risk of the heavy bikes falling off the rack, and no road debris to scuff up the bike.

Seems like the obvious solution if you have a pickup.
 

jakimo

New Member
Region
USA
I had to share: I picked up a Thule EasyFold (normally $900) today at REI for 20% off! That’s quite a discount, honestly

I stumbled on the coupon while in REI looking for pannier bags for my Turbo Vado :)
 

rayray

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I bought a Thule Easy Fold two years ago, and it served me well. Unfortunately, I bought a new Specialized Creo recently, and it wouldn’t fit next to my wife’s Rad Mini without contacting each other, no matter how I positioned them. After looking at every rack made, and I mean EVERY rack, I narrowed it down to only 3 or 4 that would work without either making contact, exceeding the weight limit (based on the Rad, not the Creo) or having to clamp my carbon fiber frame. Yes, the Thule uses clamps, but I figured as long as I was buying a new rack, I’d eliminate that concern. In the end it came down to availability, and I ended up with the Kuat Piston Pro…..after an extensive internet search to find a dealer with one in stock. It’s expensive as hell, but it works.

So, what to consider?
1) Weight limits of the carrier. Two Gazelle’s will exceed most with the batteries installed, but of course that can be easily overcome.
2) You may need a ramp, whether you choose a hitch rack or the truck bed. That’s a lot of (awkward) weight to heft. Few racks offer ramps.
3) Distance between bikes…make sure you know how far apart the two bikes need to be to avoid contact, or buy the rack with the widest spacing between bike you can find. Consider the possibility of future bike changes.
4) Weight of the rack itself. The Thule is fairly heavy, but it has wheels. The Piston Pro is even heavier (all steel) and does not have wheels, but I’ll have to live with that due to my particular needs.
5) Will it work with fenders? My wife’s Rad does have fenders, and the Piston Pro uses wheel clamping bars, but it still fits it, as long as I use Velcro strips per Kuat’s instructions. Some of that type won’t work at all with fenders.

There may be other considerations, but there’s a start.
 
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Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
If you have a pickup, why not just wheel the bikes on the bed of the truck, and tie a couple of ratchet straps over the handlebars to secure them?

No risk of getting rear ended and losing the bikes, no risk of the heavy bikes falling off the rack, and no road debris to scuff up the bike.

Seems like the obvious solution if you have a pickup.
That’s exactly what a buddy of mine does with his emtb…in fact, he also drives a RAM pickup. That might be the less costly alternative but requires a bit more muscle on his part.

I really like how stable and secure our 1Up Super Duty is, how easy it is to load bikes and the fact that no part of the rack touches the bike frames and that goes as well for the bikes themselves. I also have an optional ramp but don’t think I’ll be using anytime soon. Having the flexibility to transport just a single bike or two by simply bolting an add-on makes it such a versatile rack. Both the base rack and the add-on fold up neatly and are easily stowed in the corner wall of a garage. The super duty’s weight capacity is 75lbs/bike.

IMG_20220526_2109001.jpg

The Kuat PP looks dynamite but was a tad more than I wanted to spend.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
Please remember there are riders here that would have difficulty even ramping a bike onto a truck bed.
:)
I just keep a 5' long by 2' wide board of wood in the truck bed, along with a sturdy stepstool. Wheel it right up and down to the truck bed.

No need to break your back lifting the bike.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
No need to break your back lifting the bike.
I can no longer get my Thule mounted. A few of us are worn out and nearer our dirt naps. Severe arthritis and advanced spinal stenosis make simple tasks impossible. ALL lifting can be excruciating. I’m not whining here I just know what I was capable of 10 years ago and what I am in my 70’s

I should have invested in a hitch mount with ramps. Maybe low enough to comfortably roll bikes on.

My Middrives KHS Townie clones are a bit under 50 lbs
 

rayray

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I can no longer get my Thule mounted. A few of us are worn out and nearer our dirt naps. Severe arthritis and advanced spinal stenosis make simple tasks impossible. ALL lifting can be excruciating. I’m not whining here I just know what I was capable of 10 years ago and what I am in my 70’s

I should have invested in a hitch mount with ramps. Maybe low enough to comfortably roll bikes on.

My Middrives KHS Townie clones are a bit under 50 lbs
If you’re referring to the Easy Fold and lifting the rack itself, I understand. It is a bit heavy, though not the worst out there. However, if you’re referring to loading the bikes on an Easy Fold, it does come with a ramp, which is ingeniously engineered to be hidden inside the unit. I just paid a small fortune for a Kuat Piston Pro, and the ramp doesn’t stow on the rack at all, so it’s a bit of a nuisance. Unfortunately, my wife’s bike is over 60 lbs., so there’ll be no leaving the ramp behind.

The only thing I didn’t like about the Easy Fold is that you can’t drive with an entirely empty rack (well, that and the fact my new bike didn’t fit on it with my wife’s). Of course, it wasn’t that difficult to remove or re-install, so it’s really not THAT big of a problem.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
so it’s really not THAT big of a problem.
For YOU! Sadly some of us can’t easily mount the carrier. I get help at home. The problem is how do I get them off and back on when traveling to bike trails in MN.
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
That’s exactly what a buddy of mine does with his emtb…in fact, he also drives a RAM pickup. That might be the less costly alternative but requires a bit more muscle on his part.

I really like how stable and secure our 1Up Super Duty is, how easy it is to load bikes and the fact that no part of the rack touches the bike frames and that goes as well for the bikes themselves. I also have an optional ramp but don’t think I’ll be using anytime soon. Having the flexibility to transport just a single bike or two by simply bolting an add-on makes it such a versatile rack. Both the base rack and the add-on fold up neatly and are easily stowed in the corner wall of a garage. The super duty’s weight capacity is 75lbs/bike.

View attachment 124360

The Kuat PP looks dynamite but was a tad more than I wanted to spend.
1 UP racks are sturdy, simple and easy to install and use. I have had 2 of them so far. One Super Duty 2 inch and my latest 1.25 inch Quick Rack single for my Kona. Both are capable of hauling heavy bikes with no issues...
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
I bought a pair of Gazelle Ultimate C380+ e bikes. My wife would like us to be able to transport them to ride other places.

I have a Ram 1500 pickup with a 2 inch receiver hitch.

Should I look at a truck bed bike rack or a hitch mounted bike rack carrier?
The nice feature with 1Up is the weight of the base rack which is 28lbs for the Superduty 2” single. It works great for transporting a single bike and is easier on the back when attaching it to the hitch receiver. The add on is 18lbs but unlike most racks you’re not forced to lift an entire rack assembly where dual trays are permanently attached together.

The ramp is easily stored on the back of the rack by aligning keyhole slots with security bolts. I admit that I haven’t used it much and still find that I’m able to load ebikes onto the trays in the conventional manner.

IMG_20220201_1317282.jpgIMG_20220201_1319123.jpg
 

Taylor57

Well-Known Member
The nice feature with 1Up is the weight of the base rack which is 28lbs for the Superduty 2” single. It works great for transporting a single bike and is easier on the back when attaching it to the hitch receiver. The add on is 18lbs but unlike most racks you’re not forced to lift an entire rack assembly where dual trays are permanently attached together.

The ramp is easily stored on the back of the rack by aligning keyhole slots with security bolts. I admit that I haven’t used it much and still find that I’m able to load ebikes onto the trays in the conventional manner.

View attachment 125315View attachment 125316
Does 1 UP make the ramp?
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Does 1 UP make the ramp?
Yes. It’s also powder coated, can be configured to fit on either side of the bike trays and is also compatible with your Quick Rack. It does require swapping out the stock metal hardware for clevis/hitch pins at the bent arms. This allows the arm to be folded down so that the ramp can be hooked into place at the end of the tray. I think that the ramp would be particularly helpful if a vehicle’s hitch receiver is quite high up off of the ground making the task of lifting a heavy ebike all that more difficult.