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Best Bike Rack For Electric Bikes – Ultimate Car Rack Solutions

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Electric bikes offer many benefits to riders, but low weight is not among them. They can be hard to lift or carry, and most bike racks on the market are not e-bike friendly.

In this article, we go in search of the best bike rack for electric bikes, reviewing many high-quality products along the way.

At the top of our list is the Thule EasyFold E-Bike Carrier, which has a wealth of great features and thoughtful design touches. It’s made especially for e-bikes.

We’ll also be giving you hints and tips on what to look for in an e-bike rack.

Top 17 Best Bike Racks For Carrying E-Bikes

All our reviews are categorized to help you choose a rack with the features you need.

1. Thule EasyFold XT E-Bike Carrier (best overall)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 65 lbs (130 lbs / 59 kg total)
  • Weight: 45 lbs (20.4 kg)

A rack full of great features is the Thule EasyFold XT E-Bike Carrier. It has a generously wide loading ramp so you can wheel heavy e-bikes into place easily. The weight capacity and wide platforms accommodate most bikes.

This rack accepts tires up to 3” wide. For fat tires up to 4.7” wide, you’ll need a separately available strap. While this is a downside, many electric fat-tire bikes will be too heavy for this rack.

A very cool feature of this rack is the ability to fold it up when not in use and wheel it around suitcase-style using the built-in rollers.

The EasyFold has movable bike arms that work with different bike geometries. For security, the bike clamps are lockable. There is also a hitch lock. Importantly, this means you can lock bikes to the rack and the rack to the car.

Owners of carbon e-bikes can protect their bike frame from clamping damage with a special protector (separately available).

Anyone using this rack with a taller SUV or van may need to buy the Thule EasyFold long loading ramp, so that’s a downside that will apply to some vehicles.

This rack also tilts for easy access to the back of your vehicle and the ramp storage space under the rack.

What We Like

  • Ramp – perfect for lifting heavy e-bikes onto the rack.
  • Versatile – accepts most e-bikes with movable clamps for different geometries.
  • Wheels – built-in rollers let you move the rack easily when unmounted.
  • Foldable – easy to store folded in a car trunk or garage.

What We Don’t Like

  • Extras – you’ll need to buy accessories if you have fat bike tires, a carbon frame, or a tall vehicle.

2. Kuat NV 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack (runner-up)

Kuat NV 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack in Black Metallic colorPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.4 kg total)
  • Weight: 52 lbs (23.5 kg)

A close second to the Thule EasyFold is the superbly built Kuat NV 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack. This is a good-looking bike rack with a glossy metallic powder coat finish.

Ratcheting hooks secure your bikes by the front wheel, so there’s no frame contact. That makes this rack especially attractive if you have carbon bikes.

The Kuat NV 2.0 has large front wheel cradles and sliding rear wheel straps that allow the rack to accept various wheelbases. A slight downside is an inability to adjust the horizontal position of the cradles, which would help avoid contact between bikes.

A spring-loaded foot lever lets you tilt this rack for easy access to the rear of your vehicle. A hand-tightened cam system keeps the rack secure in the hitch.

For security, this rack has a lockable hitch pin and a cable lock integrated into each tray.

An excellent feature of this bike is its built-in bike repair stand for on-the-go maintenance. A Kuat loading ramp can be bought separately.

What We Like

  • Build quality – superbly constructed with a durable powder coat finish.
  • Tilt – a foot lever lets you tilt the rack away from the car with your hands free.
  • Tightening – easy hand tightening with an anti-rattle feature.
  • Repair – a built-in repair stand helps you fix your bike on the move.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cradles – horizontal adjustment would be handy in some cases.

3. Yakima OnRamp 2-Bike Hitch Rack (best for loading)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 66 lbs (132 lbs / 59.8 kg total)
  • Weight: 42.6 lbs (19.3 kg)

The ability to mount e-bikes onto a rack with minimal effort is a big feature for many people. With that in mind, the Yakima OnRamp 2-Bike Hitch Rack is a great choice. This rack also has a useful capacity of 66 lbs per bike.

One of the strong points of this bike rack is its sturdiness. The build quality is high, so you can expect durability.

Of course, the headlining feature of the OnRamp is the integrated ramp system. Although using a ramp means it takes longer to load your bikes, it might save you from straining your back. The ramp stows away neatly after use.

With the Yakima, the wheel trays include side-to-side adjustment. This lets you fine-tune bike positions when carrying two bikes, so they don’t obstruct each other.

The trays accept tires up to 3.25” wide with the included straps. You’ll need a separately available FatStrap kit if you have a bike with wider tires.

This rack has a main mast with two adjustable arms, each with a ratcheting strap that ties to the frame. Because the mast is fixed to one side of this OnRamp rack, it can be more difficult to find a suitable attachment point on some bikes.

A considerable plus point is how easy the OnRamp is to assemble. It’s also fully lockable and tilts for trunk access.

What We Like

  • Ramp – avoids having to lift and maneuver a heavy e-bike when loading.
  • Build – high construction quality.
  • Assembly – easy to assemble.
  • Tilts – tilts for trunk access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Mast – sometimes hard to find suitable bike attachment points from the immovable mast (especially with step-through frames).

4. KAC K4 Hitch Mounted 4-Bike Rack (best for multiple bikes)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 4 x 60 lbs (240 lbs / 108 kg total)
  • Weight: 79.5 lbs (36 kg)

If you’re after a heavy-duty carrier that can hold a whole family’s e-bikes, consider the KAC K4 Hitch Mounted 4-Bike Rack. Durably made from powder-coated steel, this rack fits into 2” hitch receivers.

As well as holding multiple bikes, the K4 is versatile. It can hold any type of e-bike, right up to fat bikes with 5” wide tires. Each bike is secured with a padded hook arm, wheel straps, and a safety strap.

One downside to this type of bike mounting is that it works best with a conventional crossbar. If you have step-through bikes or bikes with a low crossbar, you may need to buy crossbar adapters to make them fit this rack.

The hooked arms of the rack are lockable, as is the hitch pin. Thus, the bikes are locked to the rack and the rack is locked to the car.

This rack also includes a Smart Tilt feature with a patented quick-release lever for fast access to the hatch or trunk of your vehicle. The rack is heavy at over 79 lbs, but you can fold it flat against the rear of your car when not in use.

What We Like

  • Solid – very sturdy build quality, albeit at the cost of weight.
  • Widths – takes most tire widths up to 5” fat tires.
  • Tilt – quick and easy tilting for access to the rear of the car.
  • Secure – lock the bikes and the hitch pin.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – some bikes may need a crossbar adapter for compatibility.

5. Thule T2 Pro XTR 2-Bike Hitch Rack (best for frame protection)

Thule T2 Pro XTR 2-Bike Hitch RackPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.4 kg total)
  • Weight: 52 lbs (36 kg)

Some high-end electric bikes may have carbon frames, which are particularly susceptible to clamping damage. A rack like the Thule T2 Pro XTR 2-Bike Hitch Rack holds the bike by the wheel, thus preserving any frame.

Aside from its slightly hefty weight, this bike rack has few downsides. It has a low loading height that makes it easier to mount heavy e-bikes. A smooth tilting feature gives you easy access to the rear of your vehicle.

For security, the T2 Pro XTR has a lock knob that secures the rack to the car and integrated cable locks for your bikes. Consider adding a good U-lock or two to the system for added security.

Another handy feature of this rack is its tool-free installation and removal. You can also buy a 2-bike extension that turns the XTR into a 4-bike rack.

The key benefit of this rack is its sheer user-friendliness—a trademark quality of Thule.

What We Like

  • User-friendly – well-designed and easy to use.
  • Protective – no clamping force on bike frames (ideal for carbon bikes).
  • Tilt – smooth tilting mechanism for easy trunk or hatch access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Locks – cable locks do not deter habitual bike thieves.
  • Weight – heavier than many rival products.

6. Hollywood Racks HR1500 Sport Rider Hitch Rack (best for heavier e-bikes)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 80 lbs (160 lbs / 72.5 kg total)
  • Weight: 56 lbs (25.4 kg)

E-bikes can easily exceed 70 lbs, especially when they’re also fat-tire bikes. If you have such a machine, you can still carry it safely on the Hollywood Racks HR1500 Sport Rider Hitch Rack. This rack accepts bikes up to 80 lbs and tires up to 5” wide.

To make life easier when loading such heavy e-bikes, you should remove the battery whenever possible. There’s no ramp with this rack, so making the bike as light as possible is advisable.

Other features of the HR1500 Sport Rider include a tilting mechanism for rear cargo access, heavy-duty wheel holders with ratchet straps and rim protectors, and a reinforced frame that is externally braced for heavy loads.

Bikes are secured to the rack via lockable frame hooks. A downside to this system is that it works best on traditional bikes with a horizontal top tube. If you have an electric bike with a step-through frame, you’ll probably need to buy a crossbar adaptor.

What We Like

  • Strength – reinforced frame that can hold bikes of up to 80 lbs.
  • Tilt – you can still access the rear of your vehicle.
  • Secure – lockable bike hooks and a lockable hitch pin.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – you may need to buy crossbar adapters for some bike types.

7. Kuat Piston Pro X 2-Bike 2″ Hitch Rack (best for ease of use)

Kuat Piston Pro X 2-Bike 2 Hitch RackPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 67 lbs (134 lbs / 60.8 kg total)
  • Weight: 78 lbs (35.38 kg)

It comes at an eye-watering price, but few racks make loading bikes as easy or smooth as the Kuat Piston Pro X does. Like all Kuat racks, this model is exceptionally well made and has a powder-coated finish for durability.

One of the unique features of this rack is its hydro-pneumatic arms, which spring into an upright position with one touch or punch of a large control switch. It’s then a simple matter to move these arms over your wheels to hold the bike in position.

The pneumatic arms are Kashima-coated. This embeds a layer of molybdenum disulfide into the alloy surface of the arms, providing enhanced lubrication and durability, not to mention an attractive golden finish.

What you don’t get with this rack is a ramp, but you can add a Kuat ramp if you have heavy e-bikes. Because this rack does not clamp the bike frame, it’s a good choice for high-value lightweight carbon bikes.

The Kuat Piston Pro X holds 18” to 29” tires (or 700c) and can accommodate tires up to 5” wide. You can also buy add-on platforms to hold another one or two bikes.

Another premium feature of this rack is its integrated LED lights, which synchronize with your vehicle to retain full visibility for the following traffic. The lights come with a magnetic quick-connect plug-in cable.

What We Like

  • Easy – perhaps the easiest rack to use on the market.
  • Quality – exceptional built quality and durability.
  • Modular – turn this into a 4-bike rack with an add-on.
  • Lights – built-in LED lights keep you and your signals visible.

What We Don’t Like

  • Price – mega-expensive, though this is one of the best racks you can buy.

8. Hyperax Volt 2 E-Bike Hitch Rack (best for versatility)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 70 lbs (140 lbs / 63.5 kg total)
  • Weight: 33.5 lbs (15.2 kg)

Many more affordable e-bike racks have hooks to hold your bike frame down. The problem with these is that they’re incompatible with step-through frames and other non-traditional bike geometries. The Hyperax Volt 2 E-Bike Hitch Rack solves this.

This great-value rack comes with two crossbar adapters, so you can fit most e-bikes to it straight out of the box without buying extras. What’s more, it’s also suitable for many fat tire e-bikes, which is not true of most e-bike racks.

The Volt 2 holds bikes up to 70 lbs and tires up to 5” wide. Note that you can usually remove the battery to reduce the weight of your e-bike by several pounds. This may also make the bike easier to secure.

The Hyperax Volt 2 is tiltable for easy trunk access and has a lockable hitch pin. The hooked clamps also have locks, so you can lock your bikes to the rack and the rack to the car (caveat below).

There are a couple of downsides to this rack. The quality of the locks is questionable, so you may want to reconsider the purchase if you mean to leave your bikes unguarded. As well, it doesn’t fold flat when unloaded, so it’s better for occasional use only.

What We Like

  • Capacity – this will hold many fat-tire electric bikes minus their battery.
  • Tiltable – access the rear of your vehicle with bikes loaded.
  • Adapters – comes with two crossbar adapters.

What We Don’t Like

  • Locks – questionable lock quality on the bike hooks.
  • Non-folding – you can’t fold it flat against your vehicle when not in use.

9. Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack (best roof rack)

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  • Rack type: Roof
  • Weight capacity: 1 x 44 lbs (19.9 kg)
  • Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg)

Roof racks are not normally recommended for e-bikes, but the Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack is worth considering if you own a lightweight machine. It has a 44 lbs weight capacity, which easily exceeds the weight of high-value electric road bikes.

The UpRide grips bikes by their wheels and accommodates a maximum wheel size of 29” (the MTB equivalent of 700c). It holds a maximum tire width of 3”, but this is rather academic with e-bikes because it will often mean the bike is too heavy.

If you are an owner of a lightweight electric road bike, chances are it has a carbon frame. This rack is ideal for a carbon bike because it doesn’t clamp the frame.

A downside that exists with all roof racks is the potential to forget you’re carrying a bike. In that event, you may write the bike off when driving into a garage or under a barrier.

It is possible to lock your bike to this rack and the rack to the car, though unfortunately, the locks do not come with the rack. You have to buy them separately. Of course, you also need to have crossbars fitted to your roof before installation.

 What We Like

  • Lightweight – much lighter than hitch racks at 17 lbs.
  • Carbon-friendly – does not clamp bikes by the frame.
  • Lockable – you can lock both the bike and the rack, albeit at extra cost.

What We Don’t Like

  • Capacity – this rack is only likely to suit lightweight electric road bikes.

10. Rocky Mounts BackStage Swing Away Hitch Rack (best for trunk access)

Rocky Mounts BackStage Swing Away Hitch RackPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.4 kg total)
  • Weight: 63 lbs (28.57 kg)

If you doubt that a tilting bike rack will give you enough clearance for rear-of-vehicle access, consider the Rocky Mounts BackStage Swing Away Hitch Rack. This rack swings to the passenger side of the car for unimpeded access.

Maybe you often need to remove heavyweight items from the rear of your vehicle. This rack gives you plenty of room to do so. It can swing to the side even with two bikes loaded and has a 41” cantilever arm that works with most cars and trucks.

This is a versatile rack, too, that holds bikes by their wheels using hooked arms. It can hold any wheel diameter from 20” to 29”, which includes 700c hybrid or road wheels.

You can put a fat-tire bike on this rack with tires up to 5”, though the weight capacity will be too low for most electric fat bikes. A bigger downside is its incompatibility with fenders, which block its clamping system.

For security, you can lock the rack to the car with a locking hitch pin. A cable lock is also provided, though this only deters very casual theft of your bike(s). You might like to add more robust locks to bolster security.

What We Like

  • Space – unimpeded access to the rear of most vehicles.
  • Carbon-friendly – won’t damage carbon frames as it clamps the wheels.
  • Lockable – the rack and your bikes are lockable.

What We Don’t Like

  • No fenders – incompatible with fenders, like many wheel-clamping racks.

11. 4-Bike Hitch Rack (best for durability)

Saris SuperClamp EX 4-Bike Hitch RackPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs | 2 x 35 lbs (190 lbs / 86.1 kg total)
  • Weight: 63 lbs (28.57 kg)

Most of our reviewed racks are durable, but which is best in this regard? The Saris SuperClamp EX 4-Bike Hitch Rack is hard to beat. It’s made in Wisconsin and undergoes stringent testing for strength and durability.

This is a robust rack that can hold two e-bikes closest to the vehicle and two regular bikes or lightweight e-bikes on the two outer platforms. It would be great for parents or grandparents who ride e-bikes and want to take their kids or grandkids out for rides.

You can tilt this rack even when it’s fully loaded with four bikes. This is another rack that holds bikes by their wheels with shepherd hooks, which means it doesn’t exert any clamping force on the bike frame.

There isn’t much to find fault with here, aside from the vulnerability of the cable lock that provides a degree of bike security. Many bike racks have these, but they’re no match for any seasoned bike thief. You can add your own locks for peace of mind.

The Saris SuperClamp EX has a lockable hitch pin, which prevents theft of the rack.

What We Like

  • Quality – excellent build quality.
  • Versatile – works with most types of bikes.
  • Tilt – provides easy access to the rear of your vehicle, even when fully loaded.

What We Don’t Like

  • Cable – deters casual theft, but most cable locks are easy to cut.

12. Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B 1-Bike Trunk Rack (best trunk rack)

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  • Rack type: Trunk
  • Weight capacity: 1 x 55 lbs (25 kg)
  • Weight: 8.48 lbs (3.84 kg)

Trunk racks are seldom suitable for carrying e-bikes, but the Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B 1-Bike Trunk Rack has an unusually generous 55 lbs load capacity. This is enough to hold some lighter e-bikes, even though many will be too heavy.

This hanging style of rack holds bikes in its protective cradles with ratchet straps. The rack’s rubber handles act as soft buffers to protect the bike frame from knocks.

The Tyger Auto TG-RK1B204B installs easily onto most vehicles, except those with rear spoilers. It has rubber bumpers to protect your vehicle. Coated hooks help avoid damage to the finish around the trunk edges.

As with many trunk racks, you’ll need a crossbar adapter to fit some bikes to this rack. Bikes with step-through frames or unconventional geometries will need this.

An obvious downside to this rack is that you can only carry one bike on it. Other models from the same manufacturer do not have the same high weight capacity.

What We Like

  • Capacity – unusually large capacity for a trunk rack.
  • Lightweight – easy to lift and install.
  • Protective – rubberized components protect both bike and car from damage.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – you’ll need to buy a crossbar adapter for some bikes.
  • Unlocked – no locking system (like most trunk racks).

13. Vibrelli V70 Electric Bike Hitch Rack (best for security)

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Most hitch racks have a security element, but the Vibrelli V70 Electric Bike Hitch Rack has triple locking to deter theft. You can lock the padded hooks of this rack as well as the hitch pin. A cable lock provides the third means of security.

Because this rack uses hooks to secure bikes by their frames, it works best on traditional bikes with high horizontal crossbars. Bikes with step-through frames are likely to need a crossbar adapter before you can load them.

You can load bikes with tires up to 5” wide on this rack, thanks to the flexible wheel cradles. It might be possible to carry some fat e-bikes on this rack, but the load capacity is borderline for that purpose.

Ratchet straps hold wheels firmly in place, and there’s a safety strap for extra security.

This rack offers exceptional value for money. It includes a tilt mechanism for access to your car trunk. The Vibrelli V70 also folds up when not in use, so you can leave it attached to your vehicle.

A patented anti-wobble hitch connection prevents wobbling, rattling, and instability while driving with the V70 rack.

What We Like

  • Security – three modes of security to protect the rack and your bike(s).
  • Wheels – holds all wheels up to 5” wide.
  • Value – this rack gives you a lot for your money.

What We Don’t Like

  • Crossbar – you’ll need to buy crossbar adapters for bikes with step-through frames or non-traditional geometries.

14. Hyperax Volt RV E-Bike Hitch Rack (best RV rated)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 70 lbs (140 lbs / 63.5 kg total)
  • Weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg)

A sister product to the Hyperax Volt 2 is the Hyperax Volt RV E-Bike Hitch Rack. This is an RV-approved rack with a strengthened mount for Class 3 hitch receivers and above.

Like the Volt 2, one of the great benefits of this rack is its potential to carry fat-tire electric bikes. Many of these bikes weigh well over 70 lbs, but if you can get the bike down to 70 lbs or lower by removing the battery, you’re good to go.

The Volt RV holds tires up to 5” wide in its wheel trays with no extra accessories needed. This rack won’t work well with step-through frames, but you can get around this problem by buying inexpensive crossbar adapters.

Some RV-compatible racks drop their weight capacity for this type of use, which is not a problem you encounter with the reinforced Hyperax Volt RV.

For security, this rack has lockable hooked arms and a lockable hitch pin. The rack and your bikes are both protected from theft.

Bear in mind that this rack does not tilt owing to its intended RV use. This may be an issue if you intend to switch it between an RV and an SUV, for instance.

What We Like

  • Capacity – generous 70 lbs capacity that will hold most e-bikes.
  • Fat tires – holds all wheel widths up to 5 inches.
  • Security – your bikes and the rack are lockable.

What We Don’t Like

  • Non-tilt – doesn’t tilt owing to its intended RV use.

Read more: The best RV bikes racks reviewed

15. Saris Door County Hitch-Mount Bike Rack (best for elderly riders)

Saris Door County Hitch-Mount Bike RackPin

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.4 kg total)
  • Weight: 63 lbs (28.5 kg)

Most e-bikes are far from lightweight, which can be problematic when it comes to lifting them onto a rack. Elderly riders or those with health issues may appreciate the Saris Door County Bike Rack, which includes an electric bike lift.

Though it’s expensive, the Saris Door County is an exceptional bike rack. The electric lift is activated by a keyed lock and includes clear up, down, and pause buttons. Another of this rack’s electrical features is the built-in taillights—an excellent safety feature.

The electrics are connected by a 7-pin connection to your hitch port, which you should legally have if you tow a trailer. If you don’t have an electrical connection at your hitch or have a 4-pin port, you’ll need to have a 7-pin connector installed for this rack.

This Saris rack holds bikes by their frames with rubber-padded “lobster claws”. It’s compatible with most frames.

Are there any downsides? Aside from the cost, this rack won’t hold fat bikes of any description because of its maximum 3” tire capacity and 60 lbs weight limit.

The Saris Door County is a heavy rack, too, though integrated wheels help you move it about off the vehicle. Other features include tilting capability and a dual locking system.

What We Like

  • Lift – elevates your bikes from ground level to carrying height.
  • Versatile – lobster claw clamping works with virtually all bikes.
  • Taillights – includes running, braking, and turning lights.

What We Don’t Like

  • Weight – heavier than the e-bikes it carries, which can make installation difficult.

16. Marvoware Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack (best value)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 66 lbs (132 lbs / 59.9 kg total)
  • Weight: 49.9 lbs (22.6 kg)

You get a lot for your money with the Marvoware Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack. While it might look a bit industrial, it’s an extremely robust rack made of powder-coated steel. It can take some pretty heavy bikes, too.

A rack that handles 66-pound bikes may be able to accommodate some fat-tire electric bikes with their batteries removed. This Marvoware rack can seat tires up to 5” wide.

The hooked and padded arms of this rack are vertically adjustable and designed to fit over the front wheel of the bike. Ratchet straps hold the rear wheels in place.

A quick-release and tilt design allows you to tilt this rack up to 120° away from the vehicle. It also folds flat when not in use.

One downside of this rack is its lack of any security. There are no bike locks and there’s no hitch lock.

An anti-wobble bolt inside the hitch keeps the rack stable during transit.

What We Like

  • Durable – robust build quality and durable powder-coated finish.
  • Capacity – takes a lot of weight and may carry lighter fat tire e-bikes.
  • Tilting – tilts by up to 120° for trunk access.

What We Don’t Like

  • Unsecure – neither the hitch nor your bikes are lockable.

17. Weize Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack (best budget)

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  • Rack type: Hitch/Platform
  • Weight capacity: 2 x 60 lbs (120 lbs / 54.4 kg total)
  • Weight: 38.54 lbs (17.4 kg)

Anyone wanting to carry e-bikes on a tight budget might consider the Weize Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack. This steel rack holds bikes by their frames using padded hooks, and its wheel holders can take tires up to 5” wide.

With its 60 lbs capacity, you won’t find many electric fat bikes that suit this rack, but many other e-bikes will. You’re likely to need crossbar adapters if you have step-through bikes, which will bump the cost up a bit.

You can’t lock your bikes to this rack, so you shouldn’t leave them unguarded for any period unless you add your own locks. The hitch pin is lockable, so no one can steal the rack itself.

Despite its low price, this rack does have a tilting function so you can access the rear of your vehicle when it’s loaded.

What We Like

  • Strong – made from reinforced steel for strength.
  • Protection – foam-padded hooks protect the finish of your bike.
  • Tilting – allows access to the rear of your vehicle.
  • Hitch – lockable hitch prevents rack theft.

What We Don’t Like

  • Unlocked bikes – does not include bike locks.

Rack Features You Need For Carrying Electric Bikes

Below are some of the things you’ll need to consider when buying an e-bike rack.

Bike Rack Type

Bike racks come in three main forms: roof rack, trunk rack, and hitch rack.

Most roof racks and trunk-mounted racks cannot handle the weight of typical e-bikes.

Roof racks are particularly impractical because you’d need to lift the e-bike higher.

By far the most suitable bike racks for e-bikes are hitch-mounted racks. These come in two main types: platform or hanging style.

A platform hitch rack is one where the weight of the bike is supported beneath the bike using wheel trays. The bike will then be held in a vertical position by a clamp.

Owing to their sheer weight, most e-bike racks are platform-style hitch racks. Hanging-style hitch racks usually have a lower weight capacity.

A hitch rack attaches to your car by slotting into its hitch receiver. You’ll need to have one of these installed if you don’t already have one on your vehicle.

Hitch Receiver Sizes And Hitch Classes

If you have a car with a Class 1 or Class 2 trailer hitch and 1-1/4″ receiver, your e-bike rack options will be more limited.

You can buy 1-1/4″ to 2” adapters, which also extend the length of the receiver and provide extra bumper clearance. However, see below.

A 1-1/4″ to 2” hitch adapter reduces the hitch’s weight capacity (aka tongue weight rating) by 50%. This is something you must pay attention to.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Class 1 hitches with 1-1/4″ receivers usually have a tongue capacity of 200 lbs. If you halve that by using a 2” adapter, the rack and bike(s) combined cannot weigh more than 100 lbs.
  • Class 2 hitches also often have a 1-1/4″ receiver but with a 300-350 lbs capacity. Again, you must watch the total load weight if you halve this by using an adapter (you’ll have 150-175 lbs to play with, including the rack).
  • Class 3 hitches have a 2” receiver and are compatible with all e-bike racks. They’re found on trucks and some SUVs or full-sized sedans.

Clamping Style

The way bike racks hold onto your bike is an important factor in your choice.

Most e-bike racks are platform-style hitch racks. These have wheel trays to hold wheels with up to 3” or 5” tires.

The bike will also be held by arms with clamps or hooks. These attach to either the top of the front wheel or part of the bike frame to prevent it from moving.

Bike racks that hold bikes only by their wheels are ideal for carbon bikes. Similarly, bike racks that secure bikes by the frame are usually compatible with fenders.

Bike racks that hold the bike by the top tube (aka crossbar) don’t usually work with step-through frames. Crossbar adapters solve this problem by creating a temporary top tube.

Video: Using A Crossbar Adaptor On A Platform-Style Rack

Weight Capacities

Of course, you need to buy a bike rack that supports the weight of your bike. E-bikes vary hugely in weight, but the heaviest of them can weigh 70 or 80 lbs and above.

If you remove the battery on your e-bike, you’ll make it compatible with a wider range of racks. Battery removal may also make it easier to clamp your bike to the rack.

It’s the weight of e-bikes that makes most trunk-mounted or roof-mounted bike racks unsuitable for them.

Ramps And Lifts

For some people, the sheer weight of an e-bike makes it hard to load on a rack. Luckily, there are several e-bike racks on the market that come with ramps or electric bike lifts.

Rack Weight & Foldability

The weight of a bike rack is critical for a couple of reasons. First, it’s harder to install a heavy bike rack because you usually have to lift it into place.

As we’ve already noted, the weight of a hitch-mounted rack also counts as part of the tongue weight on your vehicle. You must not exceed this weight, which is much more likely with e-bikes.

The foldability of a bike rack becomes more important if it’s heavy. If you can fold the rack flat against your vehicle when not in use, you can leave it there.

Tilting And Swinging

Do you need to retain access to the rear of your vehicle while carrying e-bikes? If so, you need a rack that can tilt or swing away from the trunk or hatch.

Luckily, most racks have a tilting mechanism. The ease of its use does vary, however, so it’s worth looking at that. Some have big foot pedals while others have fiddly levers.

Security

If you’re buying an expensive bike rack to carry expensive e-bikes, you’ll want both to be secure. Most hitch racks will have a lockable hitch pin that stops thieves from easily detaching the rack from your vehicle.

Trunk racks are rarely lockable. Some roof racks are. Both options tend to be less valuable in the first place.

Clamping arms on racks are also often lockable. Locks can be picked, but the aim is always to slow thieves down and maybe put them off.

Some bike racks come with integrated cable locks. These prevent casual theft but are easily cut. You can always add stronger locks to your set-up.

Lights

Many bike racks partially block license plates and lights. In some places, this is illegal, though you won’t usually be stopped for using a bike rack in the intended manner.

There’s a safety issue too, of course, when you block taillights. A few bike racks overcome this by including taillights that sync with your car.

Electric Bike Car Racks: FAQs

Do You Need A Special Bike Rack For Electric Bikes?

The main requirement for a bike rack is that it’s able to support the e-bike’s weight. Most racks that are capable of this are platform-style hitch racks.

Is There Anything Else You Should Get To Protect Your Bike While Driving?

You can buy covers for bikes on racks, but these need to be thoroughly tied down. Extra straps can be useful, especially if the supplied ones do not inspire confidence.

Do You Have To Strip Off Your Electric Bike Accessories Before Traveling?

You don’t usually need to remove any accessories, though it’s useful to remove the battery where possible. This can help keep the bike under the rack’s weight limit and might make it easier to secure.

How Do You Put An Ebike On A Bike Rack?

You’ll usually need to lift it onto the rack. If the bike is too heavy to lift, several models on the market come with loading ramps or electric bike lifts.

What Type Of Bike Rack Suits E-Bikes Best?

A platform-style hitch rack is undoubtedly the best type of e-bike rack. These are the only types of racks that consistently support the extra weight of e-bikes.

Final Words: Which Rack Is Best For E-Bikes?

To revisit our e-bike rack reviews, the Thule EasyFold XT E-Bike Carrier is our top pick for its thoughtful design and user-friendliness. It’s full of great features, including a ramp to help you load heavy e-bikes.

Hot on the heels of the Thule EasyFold is the Kuat NV 2.0 2-Bike Hitch Rack. This has a slightly lower weight capacity and no ramp, though you can buy one separately. A unique feature of this well-made rack is its built-in bike repair stand.

The Yakima OnRamp 2-Bike Hitch Rack is another contender that makes loading easy with its built-in ramp. This rack is sleek, robust, and has a useful load capacity. Notably, this model and our top Thule EasyFold rack are specifically made for e-bikes.

We hope this article leads you to the ideal rack for your e-bike.

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Glenn Harper
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When Glenn isn't writing for BikePush, he can often be found cycling on his local rural roads. If he can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, He’ll consider it a win.

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