Choosing the Best Bike Rack for E-Bikes: A Comprehensive Buyer's Guide

If you have recently purchased a battery-powered bike, you and millions of others have hopped on the e-bike revolution. Manual pedaling is so last year, right? E-bike market sales grew by 240% between 2020 and 2021 and are quickly replacing conventional forms of transportation.

But now that you’ve got an e-bike, you need a bike rack for e-bikes that can safely and securely get your sweet ride to your next trail. 

E-bikes knock down many barriers to riding standard bicycles. A survey by Cycling Industry News found most participants began electric cycling due to hills in their area, traveling far, and carrying cargo (read here).

Once introduced to an e-bike, pedal-powered bikers continued their love for bikes with new opportunities. But e-bikes are heavier than your traditional bike, and finding the best bike rack for heavy e-bikes takes some research. 

Plenty of bike racks will accommodate one or two e-bikes, but you’ll want to read on to find the best tips and buying advice for getting the best bike rack for e-bikes.

Can I put an E-Bike on a Bike Rack? 

The quick answer is yes, but it is a little more complicated than that. E-bikes can weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds, and weight capacities vary between bike racks. The majority of e-bike-friendly bike racks have two placeholders with the ability to carry a 50 to 60 lbs bike each.

There are some options that exist that can carry more than two e-bikes, with limits of around 60 lbs per bike and 200 lbs total bike weight for the rack—that’s just barely three e-bikes on the rack. 

Most of these e-bike rack options have only one loading position, so heavy e-bikes have to be lifted overhead to place in bike carriers. Unless you’ve got some hidden agro strength, this isn’t going to be pleasant. Then the bikes also end up resting on the fork, which can rub and damage the bike over time. Fork rubbing can be especially problematic with heavier bikes, and replacements are not cheap!

To eliminate these problems, you’ll want to look for a hitch-mount bike rack strong enough to carry your e-bikes safely and securely. Our VelociRAX 3X, 412, and 5X are our best hitch racks for e-bikes. 

All have full-steel construction that can accommodate the weight of your e-bikes without breaking a sweat. The hitch bike racks have a maximum weight capacity of 230 lb, allowing you to haul about 4 e-bikes comfortably.

Related Link: Roof Mounted Bike Rack vs. Hitch Mounted Bike Rack: Pros and Cons

Types of Bike Racks That Work for E-Bikes

When it comes to a bike rack for e-bikes, you have a few options, but one is clearly better than the others. First, we’ll explain the different types of bike racks that can accommodate an electronic bike:

  • Hitch mount: The strongest and most durable bike rack, hitch mount bike racks insert securely into your car tow hitch. These racks are easy to load and travel securely behind your vehicle.
  • Roof mount: Roof mount bike racks don’t block car trunk access and can be versatile for bikes they carry. But loading that beasty e-bike onto the roof is going to test your strength. Loading ain’t easy.
  • Trunk mount: An inexpensive option, trunk mount bike racks rest on the back of your car trunk, generally secured by straps to hold it in place. These are compatible with most cars but aren’t durable for frequent usage.
  • Spare Tire mount: These bike racks attach to your spare tire on your car. Fairly easy to install and affordable, they are great for occasional trips. Putting an e-bike on it is going to test your rack and add extra length to the end of your car.

Now, here’s the part where we talk real talk. Roof mount is crazy for a heavy e-bike, don’t kill your back unless you already own one. But then, why are you researching bike racks? Trunk spare tire mounts can work, but they aren’t the most secure. Honestly, we wouldn’t put our bikes on those racks unless it was our only option.

Hands down, the best bike rack for e-bikes is hitch-mount. Now, this does require that your car has a hitch. If it doesn’t, you can get one professionally installed, and it may be worth the effort. Hitch bike racks are more secure, easy to load, and have a higher weight capacity which is essential for electronic bikes.

Hitch mount bike racks for e-bikes come in two varieties: vertical hitch mount and tray (or platform). Both types of racks will work for your heaviest bike. We’ll cover the differences between these two next.

Best Bike Rack for E-Bikes: Tray Bike Rack vs. Vertical Bike Rack

The two most popular hitch e-bike rack options are tray bike racks and vertical hitch bike racks. How these hitch bike racks compare:

  • Capacity: Tray racks are okay for two bike placements but get cumbersome when tasked with more, while vertical hitch racks are handy for loading two bikes and more.
  • Loading: You may need to grab a friend to help you load e-bikes onto a tray rack due to awkward angles and weight, but it is manageable if there are only a couple of bikes to work with. Vertical bike racks can be lifted upright more easily for faster access. 
  • Price: A tray rack is going to generally cost more per bike because they can only hold up to two e-bikes. A similarly priced vertical rack is going to allow for more e-bikes making the price more affordable per bike.
  • Security: Both types of hitch racks are going to be fairly comparable for bike security, keeping your e-bike safe and secure while you travel. 

The Best E-Bike Hitch Rack Option for 5 Bikes

We get the need for transporting more e-bikes. If you want to travel with more than three bikes, your best option for e-bikes is a hitch rack. At VelociRAX, we make the best tow-hitch bike rack for heavy e-bikes. Our racks can be customized into fat-tire e-bike hitch racks by easily replacing tire hoops.

If you're looking to transport  three or more e-bikes, the VeloicRAX is for you. VelociRAX vertical hitch bike racks can:

  • Carry up to 230 lbs of total bike weight
  • Each tire basket can carry 55 lbs
  • Accommodates wheels from 20-inch to 29-inch diameter and tires up to 5 in
  • Allows e-bikes to be spaced 10 to 15 inches apart to reduce interference, depending on the rack

Our 5-bike hitch rack easily carries four e-bikes before reaching maximum weight capacity. But it can also handle two e-bikes and three mountain bikes while staying within the rack weight limit. We also recommend our VelociRAX 5X, which offers more space between bikes.

Remove Unnecessary Weight to Get More E-Bikes on Your Bike Rack

Pushing the weight capacity on your bike rack? E-bikes are significantly heavier than traditional pedal-assist bikes. You’ll be able to get more bikes on your bike rack by removing excess weight on your e-bike, such as:

  • Batteries
  • Bag carriers
  • Locks

These small modifications can make a big difference in getting your e-bikes under your bike rack’s towing capacity. Depending on the type of bike and battery technology, removing the battery can decrease bike weight by 20 lbs!

Want to carry more than two e-bikes on your hitch bike rack? Shop our best-selling 6-bike hitch rack.

Related Link: How to Choose the Right Hitch Mount Bike Rack The Stress Free Way

Buyer’s Guide Specifications: What Kind of Hitch Bike Rack Do I Need for an E-Bike?

When buying a hitch bike rack for e-bikes, you’ll want to consider the following:

Number of E-Bikes You Need To Haul

Most e-bike-friendly bike racks cap out at two carrier spots, but VelociRAX is the only rack with the ability to carry four (read here). If you have family or friends who join you on the bike trails, we recommend getting a VelociRAX 5, 5x, 6, or 7. Shop our best-selling bike racks for e-bikes for more specifications and details. 

E-BIke Loading Access

When buying a hitch bike rack for e-bikes, you’ll want a rack that is easy to load because of the heavy weight of the bikes. Vertical hanging bike racks can be easier to load because you don’t have to lift the bike as high off the ground compared to a hitch platform bike rack. 

A VelociRAX vertical hitch bike rack is a practical and affordable option for e-bikes. Our racks can hold up to four 55 lbs bikes and are built with a damper assist lowering mechanism to safely lower a fully loaded rack. This takes the stress out of loading and unloading multiple heavy e-bikes.

Loading e-bikes onto a bike rack does not need to be difficult-- work smarter, not harder! When loading an e-bike onto a VelociRAX we recommend pressing on the rear brake, walking back while holding the handlebars to get the bike into a vertical position, releasing the back brake and rolling it in the desired tire basket. 

The roll-in and roll-out method simplifies loading various bike types, including e-bikes. You don’t have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to load your bike onto a VelociRAX just to know the difference between the front and back brake levers.

Tough Build for Durability

E-bikes are heavy-duty, so the bike rack it goes on has to be just as tough. We recommend buying a hitch bike rack made from all-steel construction for maximum strength and long-term durability. The stronger the build, the better the carrying capacity. 

VelociRAX is steel constructed with no breakable plastic parts to worry about. E-bikes can safely travel with you thanks to tire-only contact, UV-tested rubber straps, and a steel build that will stand the test of time. Get ready to take e-bike transportation to the next level!

Your E-Bike Rack Budget 

If you are trying to solidify your bike rack budget, consider quality and quantity. Price out how much each bike space will cost per rack. A two-capacity bike rack carries two 60 lbs bikes for $849, which averages $424.50 per bike. 

The VelociRAX 412 is $860 and can carry four 55 lbs e-bikes, which averages $215 per bike. The VelociRAX is a much better bang for your buck and allows you to be creative with your bike load, unlike all others in the market.

E-Bike Tire Width

If your e-bike tires are slim and comparable to most bikes, most bike racks will carry your bike. But if you own a fat tire e-bike or mountain bike, then you’ll want to look for a hitch bike rack that can securely fit and transport your fat tire e-bike. 

VelociRAX offers Fat Bike Tire Baskets accessories that enable you to customize your bike rack for fat tire bikes. These baskets can support up to five-inch wide tires, allowing you to ride all seasons on any size tire.

Want to customize your rack to fit a variety of bikes? Shop our best-selling accessories for hitch bike racks.

Related Link: It’s Time to Get Fat: Best Fat Tire Bike Rack

E-Bike Rack Weight Limit

Bike racks have a maximum weight capacity you need to research before you buy. The average  weight capacity of most bike racks falls between 37 lbs to 188 lbs, which may not work for your 60 lb e-bike. 

One of the strongest hitch bike racks, VelociRAX bike racks can carry a maximum weight capacity of 230 lbs–allowing you to transport more e-bikes than other racks. See how e-bikes load easily and securely on a VelociRAX hitch bike rack. 

Related Link: Read What Reviewers Are Saying About VelociRAX

Security and Other E-Bike Rack Features

You’ll want to research how the bike is mounted and secured to the bike rack. Heavier bikes like e-bikes need secure mounting like a wheel mount or a platform mount. The wheel mount is great because the wheel is flexible and minimizes damage to the bike during transport. 

You’ll also want to see how the bike is secured to the rack and other features that reduce wobble during transport that can scratch or damage your e-bike.

Standard with all VelociRAX is a pack of rubber bands. Although rubber bands aren't show stoppers, they keep heavy bikes in place while on the road. After bikes are loaded, place rubber bands over brake levers to lock tires in place and keep bikes in place. 

This minimizes side-to-side movement of the front tire and up-and-down movement of the rear tire, which is helpful when several heavy bikes are stacked next to each other. 

Travel Frequency for E-Bike Riding

Use is going to also influence your bike rack purchase. If you’re an occasional rider, you may not need an expensive, heavy-duty rack. If you ride often, you’re going to want to invest in a durable, full-steel construction hitch bike rack for your e-bike. 

Because of its ability to carry more e-bikes than most, VelociRAX is going to be your best hitch bike rack for bike enthusiasts, families, and expert riders. Our racks are made from high-quality materials and utilize a patented design for long-term, extensive use.

Related Link: How to Find the Best Tow Hitch Bike Rack for SUVs

The Perfect Hitch Bike Rack For E-Bikes

Once you try a hitch bike rack, you can't go back. They are ideal for frequent usage, maximum accessibility, and can support much more bike weight than the trunk or roof racks. They also leave your car squeaky clean, unlike trunk racks that often leave paint scratches or dents from bikes hitting the vehicle.

The right hitch bike rack for e-bikes also takes out the hassle of lifting bikes. Hitch bike racks that lower into a loading position (like VelociRAX) eliminate heavy bike lifting and can make loading easy for the whole family. 

Hitch Bike Racks are Ultimately the Best for E-bikes 

E-bikes have opened a new door for broader outdoor recreational enjoyment and transportation uses. A VelociRAX is the ultimate bike rack for e-bikes because you should never be limited to two bikes. Continue riding in style by traveling with all your bikes, even e-bikes! 

You can avoid manhandling heavy bikes thanks to roll-in and roll-out loading, and trust your bikes are safe thanks to a tough build. Vertical hitch racks make traveling with electric bikes easy, flexible, and fun for everyone. Bring ‘Em All!

Related Link: What Are Your Hitch Bike Rack Options? Here Are 5 Questions to Ask


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