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??
Although EBB offer a hand delivery service with our vans, we know you want to be self sufficient. Here is a handy go-to guide for transporting your eBike.
First Suggestion: Ride It
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.
Carrying It By Car
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.
Carrying it in Your Car
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).
If you have a bike with derailleur gearing have your derailleur facing up to avoid damage or misalignment. Unfortunately it can be easily damaged in transit if not protected and 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!
- Have a lifting buddy to help you get it in and position it if you need assistance.
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.
Using a Bike Rack / Carrier
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 like the one pictured above.
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-ebike carriers.
Here are some other travelling tips:
Remove the batteries - not necessary but againreduces 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 and more information here>>).
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.
What If You Don't Have A Car?
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.
Option 1) Maxi Taxi (or equivalent)
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 and convenience for you. This can also be a viable option for transporting cargo bikes that are too big for many home owned vehicles.
Option 2) Public transport (trains/ferries/barges)
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.
Option 3) Freight
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) 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.
Electric Bikes Brisbane also provides a boxing and freight service for customers who are travelling interstate so feel free to ask us if you want to take advantage of this.
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.
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