Best Bike Racks For An Electric Bicycle in 2023
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BIKE/BOARD

Best Bike Racks For An Electric Bicycle in 2023

Hollywood Rack with an orange ebike

What are the best bike racks for an electric bicycle? E-bikes are obviously different in a few ways from regular bicycles (“acoustic bicycles” is what I like to call them). They are heavier and often designed differently, making the choice of a bike rack a little more important. 


E-bike Rack Mounting

The first thing to consider is where you will mount the bike or bikes on your vehicle. If you have a hitch receiver, you have the easiest and widest range of choices. For the most part, the types that you attach to your trunk or spare tire using straps and rubber-coated metal hooks aren’t going to be strong or reliable enough for the weight of an e-bike. 

If your vehicle already has a hitch receiver, it may be an SUV or crossover. Just about any vehicle can have a hitch receiver welded onto the frame of the car. With an SUV or crossover, your rear hatch/tailgate probably needs some space to open. If you already have bikes mounted, then realize you need something from the back, it’s handy to have a rack that tilts away so you can get access to the inside of your vehicle.

With your hitch receiver, you will need to know whether it’s 1.25” or 2”, the latter being the most common and sturdiest. The next thing you’ll have to check is the manufacturer’s listed tongue weight, meaning the highest recommended weight the receiver can support. Often this is around 400 lbs and sometimes more. My Toyota 4Runner has a towing package with a 730 lb tongue capacity, which means in theory, I could carry a lot of e-bikes at once. Not that I would, however, that would be one massive rack!


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Match Your Bike Rack to Your E-bike

The next thing to consider is which bicycles you’re going to put on there. When I was the editor of Electric Bike Action magazine, I’d have different bikes every week, making sure I’d constantly have to adjust the rack or switch to a different rack altogether, because the bikes have different frame sizes and wheel sizes, etc. You’re more likely to have 1-2 bikes, maybe 3, so you can get one that fits those exact bikes. 

If your bike has fenders, this may mean that you need a rack that secures the bike(s) by the frame, not on the wheels. A bike with a full fender on the back wheel is especially difficult with racks that secure the wheels.


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Lock It Up!

It’s also really handy to have a rack with built-in locks. They’re usually cable locks, and they’re keyed the same as the hitch receiver lock, so you’ll only need to carry one key. A cable lock won’t stop a professional thief, but it will deter amateurs. Try to always keep an eye on your bikes.


The Best Electric Bike Racks


KÜAT NV 2.0

Kuat

I had the Küat NV 2.0 and loved it. It’s easy to fold up or down, the built-in locks are great, and it handles bikes from skinny-tired hybrids to 5” fat bikes. I say I had one, because one day I took my car, with the rack folded up, through a car wash. One of the big rotating brushes grabbed hold of it and literally ripped half of it off, shearing the bolts. Kids, don’t try this at home.


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But overall, it’s one of my favorite racks, and it comes in both a 1.25” and 2” hitch size, and each tray in the 2-bike version can hold up to 60 lbs each. If you opt for the 4-bike version, the capacity drops to 40 lbs each, likely requiring you to remove batteries while your e-bikes are on there. There’s an optional ramp that will cost an extra $98, but worth it if you want to save your back from lifting heavy e-bikes on and off the rack.

  • $849
  • 1.25” or 2” hitch size
  • 60 lb capacity per bike
  • Can handle fat bikes with tires up to 5” wide
  • Built-in locks

HOLLYWOOD RACKS DESTINATION E

Hollywood Rack

Hollywood Racks Destination E is my current rack. It’s beefy, though a bit big when folded up. It comes with a ramp that slides together for easy storage. It can handle 2 bikes, at an amazing 70 lbs each, with a maximum tire size of 4.5”. It uses lockable “frame grabbers” to hold the frame (or sometimes the seatpost). It comes only in a 2” hitch size. It tilts nicely away to give you access to the hatch of your vehicle.

The included, collapsable ramp makes loading heavy bikes easier and becomes half its size when collapsed for easy storage. Image care of Hollywood Racks.
  • $699.99
  • 2” hitch only
  • 70 lb capacity per bike
  • Can handle fat bikes with tires up to 4.5” wide
  • Built-in locks

THULE T2 PRO XTR


Thule

Thule has been making great bike racks for years, and I’ve owned a number of them. Their new e-bike-rated rack looks great, with a similar wheel hook system as the Kuat NV 2.0. It tilts nicely to allow rear hatch access. 

Thule
  • $799.95
  • 1.25” or 2” hitch size
  • 60 lb capacity per bike
  • Can handle fat bikes with tires up to 5” wide
  • Built-in locks

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1UP 2” SUPER DUTY DOUBLE

1Up

1Up is legendary for their quality and adaptability, with their unique tire/wheel holding system that can hold 16”-29” wheels. It isn’t fat bike-friendly, it will only take plus-sized tires up to 3.1”, and bikes with a wheelbase of up to 54”. There is a spacer kit as an option for wider tire sizes. It can hold up to 75 lbs per tray. There is also a single-tray version.

This, like the Hollywood Racks rack, work well even with bikes with fenders, as long as the rear fender isn’t really long.

  • $730
  • 2” hitch only
  • 75 lb capacity per bike
  • Can handle tires up to 3.1” wide (with an optional kit for wider tires)
  • No built-in locks

SARIS MHS 2 BIKE PACKAGE

Saris

Saris takes a unique approach. Their MHS system has a base that you can add one, two, or three trays to. It’s sturdy enough to take up to 80 lbs per bike, and has a similar wheel/tire holding system to the 1Up. It can accommodate wheel sizes from 20-29” and as wide as 5”. It’s made for 2” hitch receivers only. 

  • $899.97 (for 2 bike trays)
  • 2” hitch only
  • 80 lb capacity per bike
  • Can handle tires up to 5” wide 
  • Built-in locks

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FEATURE IMAGE: TONY DONALDSON

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AUTHOR: 

TONY DONALDSON

One Response

  1. I have the Thule ebike rack and it is awesome… Holds bikes securely plus folds down for access to hatch AND folds up out of the way… I do use short nylon straps in addition to the factory plastic straps to secure bikes to be safe…

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