How to Transport your eBike by Car
While we are in the business of encouraging everyone to ride bikes instead of cars, we also know that sometimes riding isn’t the best option! Whether it's picking up your new Roadster from us, or you want to take your Roadster eBike on holiday with you – sometimes you need to transport your eBike by car.
If you have a larger car such as a mid-size SUV and are driving alone, you may be able to put your Roadster in the car whole. (Tip: removing the battery first makes it easier to lift and load). However, if you do not have a large car, or the backseat is already occupied, then the simplest way to transport your Roadster eBike is to get a bike carrier for your car.
For transporting an eBike by car, we recommend using a hitch mount rack with bottom support. [Please note that not all racks are suitable for transporting more than one Roadster; we recommend the Yakima StageTwo Hitch Rack if you have multiple Roadsters.]
This type of eBike carrier connects to the car via the tow ball and provides support for the eBike from the bottom up. It treats the bike gently by taking all the weight on the wheels and only using the frame or seat post for staying vertical.
In comparison, other bike racks carry the bike via its frame and effectively hold the bike in free air with no support underneath. Whilst this is fine for a lightweight, non-electric bike, it is not suitable for the weight of an eBike and there is a risk of damaging your Roadster frame or seat post if carried this way.
What to look for when selecting a car carrier for your eBike.
There are countless bike racks and car carriers on the market, but they are not all created equal. Below are our suggestions of what to consider when purchasing a carrier for your Roadster eBike as well as our recommendations with installing and using the Yakima StageTwo.
Installing & Removing a Towball Carrier
These racks typically clamp onto the towball using a masterful lever-clamp (Tow Ball Rack) or fit right into the square tow ball hole (Hitch Mount Rack), no other fixings are required. This means they can be easily installed or removed.
This is a very important spec to look at! The rack will need to be rated to carry the weight of how every many bikes you are planning to transport. To carry two Roadsters (which are approximately 25kg with the battery in) you’d need a rack with a load rating of 50kg or more.
A ramp is an optional feature that allows you to wheel the bikes on and off the carrier. This can be quite handy if your car is a bit higher off the ground or you are unable to lift the frame.
In general, we have found that since these racks are low to the ground for most cars, it is typically not too difficult to lift the bike directly onto the carrier. Moreover, removing the quick-release battery of the Roadster prior to transport reduces its weight by 4.5kg, making it easier to lift.
Most of these styled racks come with a tilt feature to enable you to tilt the bikes out of the way and access the boot. This is very handy if you plan to use the Roadster on holiday and need quick access to snacks!
Because of the special design of our frame, the Yakima StageTwo is the only carrier we have found suitable for transporting two Roadsters. It has an optional add-on ramp and is available to purchase from the following stores:
- Roofrack Superstore (WA based and currently available in-store only)
- Directly from the brand
Some tips on using the Yakima StageTwo:
There are two ways the cross members can be installed: (1) retaining arm forward, closest to the car, and (2) retaining arm back. We recommend installing with the retaining arm forward as that is the easiest set up to get both Roadsters onto the rack.
There are also two lateral positions the cross-members can be bolted on in. One of them results in the bike sticking out of the side of the car too much so we recommend bolting them on in the way shown in the image below:
Front bolt position:
Rear bolt position:
When you load your bike(s) onto the carrier, place the retaining arm behind the rear carrier (as shown below) to keep the bike secure.