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Can You Put Electric, Carbon, or Other Bikes On a Bike Rack?

If you have recently bought a new bike, it is normal to be concerned about the bike rack, whether it will be safe and suitable for transporting bikes.

Before leaving the bike on just any type of bike rack while traveling, it will be wise to do some research to avoid any problems.

Can you put an electric bike on a bike rack?

An electric bike can be put on a bike rack. However, there are some conditions as bike racks can hold 17kg-50kg. It depends upon the weight of the e-bike. Batteries have an additional weight of 7kg-11kg, so the batteries need to be taken off and kept in the car to be safe on a regular bike rack.

Putting an e-bike on a bike rack is not a risky act. Sometimes, it depends on the model of the e-bike and its weight. If the weight is around 18-22kg and the bike rack can hold up to 20kg, the bike may eventually cause damage, swaying and hitting the vehicle the bike rack is attached to.

Matching a certain type of bike rack’s weight capacity with the current weight of the bike including the batteries and the motor will guide you better.

Do you need a special bike rack for electric bikes?

Using a special type of bike racks for electric bikes will be a safer option. Since e-bikes weigh 40-45% more than regular bikes, they will need a stronger bike rack. There are high chances of the bike falling from the rack if a regular trunk-mounted rack or a roof rack is used for e-bikes.

What kind of bike rack do you need for an e-bike?

Generally, hitch racks are highly recommended as they are mounted to the frame of the vehicle. It has more weight capacity and is more secure than other types.

Different e-bikes might need different bike racks:

Bike rack for an e-bike with fenders

Bike fenders weigh only a pound so roof racks may be suitable for e-bikes with fenders. However, the size of the e-bike also matters as roof racks are not close to the ground, hence requiring a difficult lift.

Bike rack for an e-bike with fat tire

E-bikes with fat tires weigh 23kg-32kg. Hollywood Racks Sport Rider is an excellent choice for e-bikes with fat tires as they are easier to load.

However, it might be a bit expensive to purchase than other racks as it has a higher weight capacity.

Bike rack for an e-bike with battery

The batteries for e-bikes alone weigh around 6.8kg-11.3kg and it makes the vehicle so heavy once attached.

Hitch racks need to be installed as it offers better stability and support to the wheels. They can also tilt while unloading such a heavy bike and it increases the flexibility.

However, hitch racks will still require the lifting of e-bikes.

Bike rack for an e-bike with ramp

Ramps make it so easy to load and unload heavy e-bikes. With Thule Easyfold E-Bike Racks, you can easily load e-bikes without having to lift them. It is a hitch-mounted bike rack that can be easily folded. 

Can you put a carbon bike on a bike rack?

Carbon bikes can be only put on a bike rack if it’s sturdy enough. However, it will bump into other bike frames and pedals if many bikes are stacked together in the bike rack. Additionally, the UV rays exposure may also melt the carbon frame and damage the bike.

A car rack that hangs the bike from the top tube is not recommended for carbon as it allows the carbon bike to sway frequently. The movement results in rubbing the top tube, allowing the other bikes to scratch the carbon frame.

On the other hand, carbon frame bikes don’t have UV protection in their topcoat, so it may result in discoloration in hot temperatures. Rain might make the carbon frame soggy; it may also lead it to break if the carbon is not strong enough.

Do bike racks damage carbon frames?

Bike racks will not cause any severe damage to carbon frames if properly fastened and secured.

However, carbon frames are sensitive to pressure, hence it isn’t suggested to use a rack if it is fastened to your seat clamp bolt. Additionally, if the carbon frame is also not well made, the carbon-fiber components can easily break if it hits the vehicle frequently while traveling.

Can you put a cruiser bike on a bike rack?

A cruiser bike can be put on a bike rack. However, it can accommodate its balloon tires which are up to 5 inches wide. The bike rack must also secure the cruiser bike at the frame in the center of the bike instead of supporting it only at the front wheel.

Due to its heavy-weight, balloon tires, and other accessories attached, it becomes harder to lift on a bike rack. Many bike racks may also not support its size; hence it will be wise to suit a particular hitch bike rack to your cruiser bike model.

The best rack for a cruiser bike is a hitch mount bike rack. It can accommodate 2-3 cruiser bikes easily without any risk of the bikes scratching each other. However, it is important to know how to mount the bike on a bike rack.

How to put a cruiser bike on a bike rack?

Putting your cruiser bike on any type of bike rack can be done easily if the bike rack is attached to your car firmly. Once attached, follow the steps below to put a cruiser bike on the rack safely:

Lift the cruiser bike

After lifting the bike on the rack, make sure the frame of the bike lines up to the specific points where you can attach the bike to the rack.

Attach the straps

Straps come with the rack to secure the bike. Attach the top tubes to the tires of the bike to stop them from spinning freely while driving. The horizontal straps are for securing the position of the bike to make it stable.

Secure the accessories

The cruiser bike might have accessories such as lights, bumper, baskets, etc. Add padding around them to avoid the parts from falling apart. For extra protection, they can be taken off and kept in the car.

Can you put a tandem bike on a bike rack?

Tandem bikes can be difficult to carry on a regular bike rack as their wheels may stick outwards. It can be only put on a tandem bike rack or a particular bike rack model, which is wider than most bike racks. Sometimes, taking the wheels out helps fit the bike for some bike racks.

The size of the tandem bike and the car matters a lot in this case. If the car’s length proves to be smaller than the bike, it cannot fit perfectly. There are high chances of the bike falling or hitting another vehicle while traveling.

Do tandem bikes fit on bike racks?

Tandem bikes fit on bike racks that are specially made for them. There are many types of bike racks. If the tandem bike is mounted to a roof rack, and the car’s length is smaller than the length of the bike, it will not fit perfectly.

If the rack is closer to the ground, it must be long enough for the bike to fit properly. The straps on the chosen rack must also reach the wheels of the bike or its wheels might stick outwards.

Can you put a mountain bike on a bike rack?

Almost all types of mountain bikes can be put on a bike rack. The rack should be strong enough to hold 13.6kg. It must be designed to fit its extra-wide handlebars and large knobby tires. However, using a roof bike rack may not be suitable as it cannot handle the weight of a mountain bike.

Not all types of bike racks support a mountain bike rack. In that case, attach an additional top-tube adapter to the existing bike rack. It is known for accommodating fat tires using extra straps.

Putting a mountain bike on a roof rack can cost you hundreds of dollars, especially if it is kept on the roof for a long-distance trip.

It will eventually degrade the gas mileage if the car is driven at a high speed. Installing a hitch mount bike rack will be more suitable for a mountain bike than a roof bike rack.

How to put a mountain bike on a bike rack?

Putting a mountain bike on a bike rack is not as hard as it sounds.

Prepare the bike rack

Before putting your bike on, find clips that have to be attached to the bottom, top, and sides of the truck. Secure the racks by tightening all the straps and make sure the racks are firmly in their place.

Read the owner’s manuals to know exactly which clips will be needed for the top, bottom, and sides.

Place the bike on the rack

Slowly lift the bike and place the top frame that joins the seat and the front wheel to the seat on the rack’s arms without scratching the car or the mountain bike.

Fasten the arms down to the bike’s frame

There will be a clamp that has to be pushed down and locked in the mountain bike’s frame and its large tires. Lock the frame on both arms and shake it to check if it’s secured properly.

Can you put a dirt bike on a bike rack?

A dirt bike cannot be put on a regular bike rack. On average, each weighs 215 pounds, and most bike racks cannot carry such weight. However, it can be put on a dirt bike rack which is sturdy enough and specially designed to carry the maximum weight of a dirt bike.

A dirt bike looks different than any of the bikes. The dirt bike rack is also different than other bike racks, the bike can be loaded from both sides and is stronger than others.

Are dirt bike racks safe?

Driving dirt bikes and the racks is not known to be safe as it may result in severe or minor injuries.

Safety depends on the precautions taken while driving and storing, whether the driver is wearing a helmet. Besides, you should maintain the safety manuals while carrying a dirt bike rack.

Not all types of bikes can be put on the same bike racks. Many drivers purchase high-quality and expensive hitch bike racks and are satisfied with their durability.

For better bike rack ideas for your particular bike model, follow the manufacturer’s manuals as each model differs from others.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do You Leave Your Bike Rack On Your Car?

Does a Bike Rack Damage Or Scratch Your Car?

How Fast Can You Drive with a Bike Rack?

How Much Weight Can a Bike Rack Hold?

How Many Bikes Can a Bike Rack Hold?