So, you've just purchased yourself a shiny new eBike and you’re as keen as mustard to get riding! ... But hold on, how are you going to get it home? What about your upcoming holiday? What if you break down and need to get it to a service agent? What if you live on an island??
We've answered all these questions and more so have prepared a handy go-to guide for transporting your eBike.
Whilst it sounds a little silly it's worth mentioning that riding your eBike is actually a great option. They are designed to be ridden without power - handy if you ever run out of battery for example - and riding it avoids the risk of knocks or damage to components that will require adjustments later.
We will all face situations where this is not practical or possible though so the rest of this article is about other ways you can transport it.
Transporting your eBike by car is probably the most common method used by our customers, particularly as many love to travel to new places to explore and tour.
The main options are stowing it inside the car (or in the tray of your car) or on a bike carrier.
Believe it or not 80-90% of ebikes can fit in your boot if you fold down the rear seats. You can often avoid the need to remove the front wheel too if you can move your passenger seat forward.
Here are our top tips if you plan to transport it inside:
If you are concerned about lifting the weight of the bike remove your battery (if your eBike allows)
Have your derailleur facing up to avoid damage or misalignment (most eBikes will have a derailleur, it's the thing that allows you to change gears). Unfortunately it can be easily damaged, particularly when lying face down against the car.
Put it on a diagonal and move the passenger seat forward to create additional space if you need it.
If your handlebars prove to be the tricky part, loosen the stem and swivel them around. You may be able to avoid taking the front wheel off.
If you remove your front wheel and you have hydraulic brakes, use your brake pad spacer. (This is a small plastic piece usually orange, black or yellow that fits in between your front brake pads after the wheel is removed). This will help prevent accidentally locking your brakes on.
Lay down blankets for protection - not only for the bike but the car too!
Carrying your bike inside or on your car is convenient in that you can just put it in and you aren't spending any extra money. However if it doesn't fit easily, or is too cumbersome for you to do easily yourself you may want to consider getting a bike carrier that suits you and your car.
The most commonly used racks for ebikes are those that fit on your car's tow ball or a hitch mount. Mountain bikes can be a bit easier to find suitable racks as you don't have to fit mudguards and lights. However for fully equipped ebikes we recommend tray-style bike carriers.
The carrier that you choose should be rated to carry the weight of ebikes and have ways to securely attach your bike. We recommend ones that have three points of attachment (the two wheels and the frame) for secure travel, particularly longer distances.
Many of our customers opt for racks that carry up to two bikes so they can travel with a friend. There are also options for three-bike carriers.
Here are some other travelling tips:
Remove the batteries - not necessary but again
reduces the weight of your lift and gets them out of the elements (hot sun or rain).
Some brands eg. Riese & Muller and Moustache, also have special covers to protect the battery housing when the battery is removed (pictured).
Protect your bikes with a cover - for longer periods of travel it may be worth considering a cover to protect your bikes from the elements.
Use locking mechanisms if available - some racks such as those from Yakima and Thule come with a key system to lock your bikes on your rack and also your rack to your tow hitch.
Get your accessory plate to display your car's license plate.
Does the rack come with a wiring harness? - the wiring harness is the thing that allows your rack to duplicate your brake and indicator lights, a necessity for most roads. Also make sure it's compatible with the connector on your vehicle (usually a 7-pin flat head).
Get a ramp - if you're struggling with the lift many bike racks allow for ramps to be clicked into the side so you can roll your bike into place (example Yakima ramp below).
Honestly, they're brilliant and can some models can fold up into little spaces for storage. Many of our staff use them because realistically, we always end up owning at least 2 bikes at any point in time 😂. If you're wondering what we currently suggest, please see the link here to the Yakima Foldclick2.
Do not fret. If you do not have a car and you've found yourself in need of a transportation solution there are still several options remaining.
Say you've had a puncture, or an electrical breakdown and you need to get it to a service agent, the best option is usually to order yourself a maxi taxi (or equivalent).
Availability in urban and suburban areas is usually prevalent and at a reasonable cost given the distance. Sometimes the driver will even assist you with lifting the bike (if they're feeling nice). This can also be a great means of transporting cargo bikes that are too big for most home owned vehicles.
This is more popular for longer distances or overcoming gaps in bike networks. Trains often allow riders in the rear carriages so as to not disrupt regular passengers. If you can avoid peak hour traffic all the better as carriages are usually less packed. Ferries and barges are a similar story and all the same common decency rules apply.
If the above options aren't viable, you can still have your bike packed and shipped via road or sea freight (batteries generally not allowable via air). This is the most expensive option but an option nonetheless.
There are some specific carriers that deal in heavier bikes (like cargo) / motorbikes etc where you don't have to package them. Alternatively, some everyday logistics companies will take them if packaged appropriately (can require use of palette racking). Do some online research and ask for quotes to get an estimate of total costs.
Which of the above methods suit you best will depend on your circumstances but know that where there's a will there's a way. If you know you’re going to be travelling with your bike frequently a bike rack is a solid investment! Otherwise, storing the bike in your car or commuting via public transport can be a cost effective means of getting from A to B.
Of course if you have any further questions or would like assistance with purchasing any of our bike racks please contact us.
Go back to About EBikes
While most ebikes are made to be comfortable each of us is different. The great news is that if you are finding you have a comfort niggle there are a heap of small, useful things you can do or add to them to make them just right for YOU. We hope some of these tips help!
An ebike (or electric bike) is a bicycle that has an electric drive system which provides extra pedal power to assist you when you are riding. The technology that makes them such a joy to ride is sophisticated and easy to use, and they have surged in popularity over recent years. Read on and learn more about the tech that makes them tick.
The style and size of frame you choose can make a big difference to your comfort and enjoyment as they influence your riding position. Learn about the key e-bike frame styles and some of the main things to understand when determining which one is right for you.