Transporting E-bikes

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
Sam_15021736
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Joined: 26 Oct 2017, 8:51pm

Transporting E-bikes

Postby Sam_15021736 » 26 Oct 2017, 8:54pm

I have recently purchased an electric bike and have one problem with it, transportation. The family and I like to take our bikes on holiday with us each year and as we take a caravan we are unable to put the bikes on the tow hitch. The kids bike easily fit in the caravan however mine and the wife’s usually go on the roof. As I we have both recently purchased electric bikes (to keep up with the kids) we have no place for them to go as I have been unable to find any roof mounted electric bike carriers.

If anyone has any solutions to this, it would be of immense help.

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craigbroadbent
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby craigbroadbent » 27 Oct 2017, 9:08am

If your towbar is a flange type then you could get a hanging fix rack at the rear. The bikes fit between the car and the caravan. You should try to keep the nose load within limits, so balancing load in the caravan is important.
I guess it would be hard to lift the bikes, but less difficult than the roof. If you remove the batteries they will be lighter, but take care to cover the terminals if you do as corrosion won't be good.

Ruadh495
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby Ruadh495 » 27 Oct 2017, 10:11am

Can you fit a rack to your caravan? One at the back and one at the front for balance, perhaps.

I use a roof rack carrier with my e-bike, take the battery out and it's doable, though probably over the rating of the carrier (most seem to be rated 15Kg per bike). Mine's a conversion, but I can't imagine commercial e-bikes are much heavier. One thing I do is to triangulate the bike to the roof bars with a pair of straps, since it's the sideways forces which are the biggest problem.

I have been considering building bike mounts onto a section of old aluminum ladder and sliding the whole lot onto the rack via a ladder roller, for easier loading. There's a risk of approaching the max loading of the roof rack itself there, especially with two sets.

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craigbroadbent
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby craigbroadbent » 31 Oct 2017, 10:02am

I did hear of something similar to your ladder idea, but I haven't seen it. So load from low down and push up onto the roof. Perhaps a little easier than loading on the roof.
I think some racks are rated to 20Kg, but I wouldn't want to test them out. Strapping across is a definite must if you go down this route.

Ruadh495
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby Ruadh495 » 1 Nov 2017, 10:57am

I use the same technique for loading canoes. It's really easy. The secret is to have a small trolley under the low (back) end, so it can slide over the ground without damage. Just lift the front end onto the rack and slide forward, once the point of balance is reached the back end comes up. That way you never lift the full weight. A "loading ladder" could have a couple of small wheels. There also has to be a roller or bar far enough back to prevent the canoe/ladder catching the top of the tailgate (or you lose paint) and the ladder has to be long enough to sit at a fairly shallow angle with one end on the roofrack and the other on the ground.

I think it would be particularly good for tandems as well as ebikes. It's also probably the only technique which would work with a tall car, like an SUV or a van, but you don't really want bikes upright on top of one of those anyway (low bridges). The "challenge" I came across was that the car was only rated to take a 75Kg roof load. Two heavy bikes with ladder assemblies could be approaching that, my 16' canoe with the sail rig stowed inside is over.

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robgul
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby robgul » 2 Nov 2017, 8:07am

It's been mentioned but to reiterate : always remove the battery when transporting the bike exposed to the elements (and ideally have some sort of cover over the handlebar controls and the battery terminals) - it is also recommended to remove the battery when the bike is not used for any length of time as despite the controls being "off" there is still a small trickle discharge.

Rob

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gaz
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby gaz » 2 Nov 2017, 11:28am

craigbroadbent wrote:I did hear of something similar to your ladder idea, but I haven't seen it.

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John Holiday
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby John Holiday » 4 Nov 2017, 1:12pm

I have a similar problem when towing my trailer tent. To get round it, I got a thick metal plate drilled to take two tow balls one above the other. The trailer sits on the lower ball & the scissor type cycle carrier sits on the upper one.
The plate needs to be thick,otherwise it might flex when loaded.

Ruadh495
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby Ruadh495 » 6 Nov 2017, 10:57am

John Holiday wrote:I have a similar problem when towing my trailer tent. To get round it, I got a thick metal plate drilled to take two tow balls one above the other. The trailer sits on the lower ball & the scissor type cycle carrier sits on the upper one.
The plate needs to be thick,otherwise it might flex when loaded.


You can buy the plates, they are used to lower towball heights on Land Rovers and similar. Just use it "upside-down" to give a second higher mount for the bike carrier. I have heard that using one as a drop plate will invalidate the type approval of your towbar (and thus your insurance etc), not sure whether mounting a cycle carrier would do the same.

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craigbroadbent
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby craigbroadbent » 7 Nov 2017, 2:12pm

There are no real regulations about cycle carrying, and none in planning for the rear, but you are always responsible for a safe load.
I would recommend a cable through the bike frame and the towbar safety hole just in case.
The height of towball is a regulation item, and the structure is too, so no changes allowed. If you do add structure in between make sure it is flat and torqued to the right values, 240Nm if my memory serves me well.

torquerulesok
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Re: Transporting E-bikes

Postby torquerulesok » 10 Nov 2017, 12:59pm

Not being a caravanner, I'm wondering: why don't you store the two e-bikes inside the caravan, wedged in so they cannot move?