Your weather app says today will be a nice sunny day with zero chances of rain. You then take a look outside—the sun’s out with plenty of cloud cover! Not one to miss out on this rare opportunity to spend the day outdoors, you decide to go out for a ride in the countryside to get some fresh air and exercise.
You pack your things for the trip and lug them inside the car. There’s only one thing left to bring with you—your electric bike. Here comes the hard part. You can’t seem to find a way to put the bulky e-bike into your car!
You’ve tried opening the trunk, but it won’t fit. You’ve also tried freeing some room at the backseat to no avail. You’ve even considered leaving your travel essentials and snacks for the trip. Finally, in frustration, you’re nearing the point of accepting defeat.
But don’t cancel your trip to the countryside just yet!
Bike racks can save you from the hassle of making room for your bike inside your car. You no longer have to tell your friends that they can’t come with you because there’d be no space for them. More importantly, you will now be able to bring all your trip essentials and have them all fit inside your car.
Getting your electric bicycle on the bike rack is quick and intuitive. Thanks to responsive mechanisms, you can get your bike from the car then out on the road ASAP. You no longer have to wrestle your way out of the car just to get your bike out.
Read on to discover the best hitch bike rack for electric bikes!
What Kinds of Bike Racks Are There?
There are many ways to go around attaching a bike to a car. Depending on the kind of vehicle you have, some bike racks may work better than others. Different bike racks can offer advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right bike rack for your situation can mean saving your bike and yourself from accidents.
Below are the four most common types of bike racks in the market.
Trunk-Mount Bike Rack
These are fairly common due to their inexpensive price tag. Trunk-mount bike racks are attached to the back of your car. Due to their design, they can fit most cars regardless of the size. However, these advantages come with some limitations.
This mounting design uses straps to hold on to the bike. Unfortunately, these straps can become loose and wear out after long periods. The straps also introduce a risk of the bike being stolen, as a thief can easily cut the straps.
While this type of bicycle rack allows multiple bikes to be mounted, the bikes are at risk of hitting each other and causing damage such as scratches and dents. The rider has to put ample padding along the tubings of the bikes’ frames to cushion any impact.
Roof-Mount Bike Rack
The roof of your car offers plenty of space for your luggage, barbecue grill, and of course, your electric bike. So it seems like a no-brainer to put your bike atop your car. However, if your car doesn’t already have crossbars built-in, you have to buy them in addition to your roof rack.
There are two ways to go about roof-mounting your bike. First, you could mount it via the fork, but this requires disassembling the front tire. The other option is to mount it upright by attaching it to the bike frame or its pedal crank.
Roof-mount bike racks can be a bit more complicated to install than the other types of racks. You may need to stand on something to reach the roof when mounting your bike as well. Another possible problem is vertical clearance; the car driver must be conscious about passing through drive-thrus and tunnels.
Truck Bike Rack
If you have a pickup truck, it makes sense to use the roomy space at the back for your biking equipment. The truck bed bike carrier is specifically designed to mount bikes at the bed of your pickup truck. Other designs of the trunk rack mount the bike on the tailgate instead.
Hitch-Mount Bike Rack
This kind of bike rack is most likely the most expensive among the options here. However, you can choose among the many different configurations to perfectly fit your car. There are hitch mount bike racks for sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
No matter which variant you choose, they all work by attaching the mount on your car’s hitch. The hitch provides a very stable foundation for the mount while also making it easier to attach and detach. As a bonus, you can seamlessly mount the bike without disassembling any of its parts.
However, if you choose to install a hitch-mount bike rack, you would lose access to the rear liftgate of your car. In addition, depending on your car, the bikes mounted on it can also block your rearview.
Why Should You Choose a Hitch-Mount Bike Rack for Your Car?
After going through the different bike racks, you might wonder what makes the hitch-mount bike rack the superior choice. Here we provide you with the reasons that might persuade you to install a hitch rack on your car.
- The hitch of your car is rock solid. Mounts designed to be attached to it benefit from their reliable strength and durability.
- Mounting and dismounting your bike can be very easy, requiring no bike disassembly at all. You can get on the road with your bike in seconds.
- Despite the steep price, the bike mount pays for itself by preventing damage to your bike and lasting for a long time.
- You can attach multiple bikes at a time, depending on the specific bike rack you purchase. So you can bring all your mountain bikes on a single trip!
- Unlike roof-mount bike racks, this type of rack doesn’t raise your car’s vertical clearance. So don’t worry about driving through tight streets and drive-thrus!
- Rack weight is no issue. The mount only adds a little weight to your car.
It’s settled then! You’re now in the market for a hitch-mount bike rack. Out of all the options available, which one is the best choice? We’ve done the research for you to narrow down your options.
Any of the following could be the best bike rack for you!
Sherpa 2.0 by Kuat Racks
Specs at a glance:
- All aluminum construction
- 14-inch spacing between the bikes
- Weighs only 32 lbs.
- Can fit a mountain bike and a fat tire bike
- It comes in two sizes: 2” and 1.25”
- It has a pivot lever and foot assist
- Not rated to be used with a trailer hitch
- Includes an anti-theft bike lock
- Intuitive release mechanism
- Can carry up to two bikes (each weighing up to 40 lbs.)
One of the most common problems with bike racks is theft. Riders become anxious the instant they step away from their car. With the cable lock that comes with the Sherpa, you can rest easy knowing that your bike is safely and securely mounted to it.
There could be times when our hands are too full. For example, your one hand could be holding your bike helmet while you grab your water bottle with the other. The Sherpa has a foot assist lever that allows you to release the bike without even using your hands.
K2 Sport by KAC
Specs at a glance:
- Fits 2-inch hitch
- Can hold two bikes (each weighing up to 60 lbs.)
- Suitable for most electric bikes and fat-tire mountain bikes
- It comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Patent release mechanism
- Patent anti-wobble mechanism
- Anti-theft locking hitch pin and key lock
- It comes with safety straps
- Does not work with a trailer hitch
- Built-in padding on hook arms
One downside of installing a hitch bike rack on your car is that it blocks the rear liftgate. With a bike rack installed, you’re denied access to the back of your car. Fortunately, the K2 Sport comes with the SmartTilt feature, designed to tilt your bikes away from your car, allowing you to open the rear door again.
The K2 Sport is noticeably more stable and firm compared to its competitors. Moreover, thanks to KAC’s patent Anti-Wobble System, every part and joint of the mount feel tight and secure without any slack. In addition to this, it also comes with straps to relieve anxious riders of any worry.
Sport Rider for Electric Bikes by Hollywood Racks
Specs at a glance:
- Designed to carry any electric fat bike with tires up to 5” thick
- It can carry up to two electric bikes
- It comes with universal heavy-duty wheel holders
- It can lay flat and be tilted away from the car
- It features a locking hitch pin for security
- It has a built-in 8-inch security cable to prevent theft
- Incompatible with a trailer hitch
The Sport Rider comes with Hollywood Racks’ patent No-Wobble Hitch System. You can easily set it up by inserting the locking hitch pin and turning the handle tightly. In addition, the system introduces tension between the hitch receiver and the rack, reducing slack as a result.
If you wish to drive your car without bringing any of your bikes, you don’t have to go through the hassle of disassembling the mount. The Sport Rider can lay flat against the back of your car, making itself compact. This feature significantly reduces the gap between the rack and your car from 10” to 4.5”.
As a responsible owner of an e-bike, you have to make sure that your investment won’t go to waste. Your electric bike deserves only the best accessories and equipment to keep it safe and sound. It may come with a steep price, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Hitch-mount bike racks are a little more expensive compared to other kinds of racks. But this high cost comes with peace of mind. You don’t have to worry that your electric bike might fall out of your car or be stolen by a thief. Your e-bike is guaranteed to be safe when mounted on a hitch bike rack.
Are you looking for a bike to mount on your hitch rack? Take a look at our bike buying guide to narrow down your options!