Unless you’re fortunate enough to live next to the trailhead of a vast network of backcountry trails, you’re going to need to drive with your bike to where the trails are. If you have an e-bike, transporting your bike isn’t quite as easy as throwing it in your truck bed: You need a sturdy and dedicated rack for the heavier weights of e-bikes.
But the great thing about the racks we’re exploring in this article is that you can also use them for standard bikes, meaning that if all of your riding partners or family members haven’t made the switch to e-bikes, you can still transport the whole bike stable on the same rack. Here is our roundup of the best e-bike racks out there for the extra weight demands of modern day electric bicycles.
Best E-Bike Racks
The Destination 2 from Hollywood Racks is a dedicated e-bike rack for 2 e-bikes weighing up to 140 lbs. combined. The Destination 2 will fit hitches of 1.25 and 2 inches, and its simple design makes attaching the rack to your trailer hitch an easy and low-stress step before your drive to the trailhead.
The Hollywood Racks Destination 2 Rack can also fold flat against the car when not in use, and it includes a wide, sturdy aluminum ramp so the user can power-roll the bikes up onto the trays – a very useful feature whose necessity becomes apparent after a long day in the saddle. The last thing a tired rider wants to do is dead-lift 70 lbs. of e-bike up onto the rack, potentially twice. Witthout playing favorites this was the best bike rack for e-bikes we tested overall.
With a brand-name like Hollywood, you might expect the Sport Rider to be an example of style over function, but the truth is far different. The Sport Rider is among the most versatile and adjustable racks we’ve seen, and it’s paired with a price tag that is more Main Street USA than Beverly Hills.
The Hollywood Racks Sport Rider Rack accommodates two standard or e-bikes of up to 80 lbs. each and with tires up to 5 inches wide. In addition to the category standard ratcheting adjustable arms and wheel hoops, the Sport Rider has a couple of distinguishing features that set it apart from the crowd: the arms lock for protection against theft, and an anti-wobble system keeps your pricey steeds from swaying around at the back of the vehicle. These two bonuses mean that the Sport Rider is a particularly good choice for longer trips in an RV with stops in unfamiliar settings.
The Saris MHS 2 encompasses a smart modular design that allows the user to add on kits to the base to carry up to four bikes. But the base modules and extra bike trays are sold individually, and so the buyer who needs the rack for only two bikes won’t be paying as much as someone who needs it for the maximum four bikes.
The easily upgradable design of the Saris MHS 2 Rack paired with the ability to tip the loaded rack down to allow the user to open a rear hatch, and the MHS 2 has a relatively light weight depending on the base module and number of bike trays needed. The only limiting factor of this rack is the per-bike limit of 60 lbs., which may be approached or exceeded with a backcountry e-bike decked out with bags and other accessories.
*2″ Receiver $200
*2 Single Bike Rack Trays $700
As its model name indicates, the OnRamp from industry stalwart Yakima allows the user to roll their e-bikes up onto the bike trays through the use of integrated aluminum ramps. The Yakima OnRamp Rack features a deceptively simple design that actually provides amazing versatility: the adjustable bike trays allow you to carry 2 e-bikes of up to 66 lbs. each, as well as standard mountain, road, gravel, hybrid, women’s specific, kids and BMX bikes. These easily adjustable trays also minimize the bike-to-bike contact that other all-encompassing racks can sometimes allow.
Yakima’s Integrated SKS (Same Key System) locks are included with the OnRamp, and they allow the user to lock the bikes to the rack, and also to secure the rack to the vehicle’s trailer hitch, an important security measure that is sometimes overlooked by rack manufacturers.
The Swedes have a design ethic of functional, no-nonsense technology, and the Thule Easy Fold exemplifies the engineering of its home nation. As its name implies, the Easy Fold’s main advantage is its ability to be folded away and stowed out of the way of the vehicle’s other intended uses outside of hauling bicycles. But at a moment’s notice, this Clark Kent of bicycle racks can be easily deployed into a “Superrack” of sturdy steel construction (with some aluminum and vinyl plastic bits for weight savings).
A couple of unique and thoughtful touches that the Thule Easy Fold Rack has are roller wheels on the rack itself, to help with storing it after it’s taken off the trailer hitch, and a license plate mount on the rack itself to comply with any local laws regarding license plate obstruction. After all, a Superrack like the Easy Fold must always do the right thing.
The Innoracks Tire Hold 2 looks solid standing still, and the two stout wheel hoops on both ends of the bike trays hold your bikes securely to the rack, without the annoying and sometimes disconcerting wheel rattles and movements of frame-secured bikes at higher speeds. Since the frame is the heart of the bike, it won’t be scratched or dented by the Tire Hold 2’s wheel mounts.
The Tire Hold 2 will accommodate 2 e-bikes of up to 60 lbs. each, and for those who use the rack for both standard and e-bikes, the lack of frame mounts means that the Inno Racks Tire Hold 2 Rack can accommodate carbon-framed road bikes as well as bikes with oversized forks. It’s heavier than some of the other racks on this list, but it’s also safe to say that its price is light for this crowd.
You might not have heard of 1 Up bike racks, and there’s a reason for that, Although the Wisconsin-based company has been around since 2001, over the past 21 years they’ve been steadily improving their product through research, design and testing instead of aggressively marketing the many virtues of their racks. But based on their sales numbers and popularity with cyclists of all stripes, the secret has gotten out.
The 1up 2″ Heavy Duty Double reflects 1Up’s singular focus of function. The base model hold two bikes and can be upgraded to a 4-bike carrier with an additional kit. The Heavy Duty Double also holds the bikes by the wheels and not by the frame tubes, and it comes in silver as well as black, which may provide a measure of extra visibility for the empty rack that protrudes behind the trailer hitch. Best of all, 1Up racks are all designed, tested and built right in Wisconsin, USA.
As its model name indicates, the Swagman Current is purpose-built for e-bikes. While that doesn’t mean that the Current won’t haul standard bikes, it does mean that it has a 120 lb. weight capacity (2 bikes of up to 60 lbs. each), and the ability to secure fat bikes with tires of 5 inch width.
While the Swagman Current Rack uses a frame mount system, the ratcheted hooks are strategically padded to avoid marring or scratching your bikes. The rack also tilts down when fully loaded to allow access to your vehicle’s rear hatch, and both the hitch pin and bike mounting hooks lock for added security.
The E-Scorpion 2 from British company Buzz Rack has a reputation for being one of the most solid and sturdy e-bike compatible racks on the market. At 18.1 kg (39.82 lbs), it’s not the heaviest of the racks we’ve looked it, but it is among the most versatile.
The Buzz Rack E-Scorpion 2 uses a secure mounting system with ratcheted straps for the wheels that fit tires up to 4in wide, and the lockable frame arms can be attached to any part of the frame or even to the seatpost. The E-Scorpion 2 Rack is a particularly good choice for the big and tall cyclist, with wheel holders that will accommodate larger wheelbases;up to 129.5cm, and the upright can be raised, making it suitable for bikes with very large frames.
The Kuat Piston Pro X is a purpose-built tool for the considerable job of securly transporting larger and heavier e-bikes. The hitch-mounted rack features pneumatic arms that easily open and close, a heavy steel hitch for the connection to your vehicle, but a lighter aluminum main frame and wheel trays, integrated lights that can plug into your vehicle’s wiring harness, and the ability to haul e-bikes weighing up to 67 pounds and with fat tires as wide as 5 inches. Carrying bikes with different wheel sizes isn’t a stumbling block for the Piston Pro X either – it will accommodate wheel sizes from 18 to 29-inch diameters.
The heft of the Kuat Piston Pro X Rack is matched by its price, but considering the heavier weights and increased value of e-bikes, it’s a price worth paying for such a well-designed and manufactured rack.