Here are the Electric Spokes Co. top 5 electric bike hitch racks for 2020. If you haven’t already, please first read our article entitled “Why you should not transport your e-bike on a standard bicycle trunk rack”. This article will give you the no-nonsense approach on how to transport these Lithium powered e-bikes safely.
Good! Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way – it’s my pleasure to share with you our top 5 picks for e-bike carrier racks for 2020.
We’ve reviewed many types of hitch racks for transporting e-bikes to and from customer homes, special events, and for adventures to our favorite trailheads. As a leading retail franchisor for e-bikes and other e-mobility vehicles, we have tested nearly all of the brand-name e-bike racks produced in the last 5 years – including several that aren’t produced by mainstream names. In the end, it wasn’t too difficult to agree on the 5 we would recommend to family, friends, and all our patrons.
The criteria used for this review are: 1. Ease-of-use, 2. Stability, 3. Onboarding and off-loading, 4. Bike security 5. Price point. The racks that made this 2020 list are the racks we now use in our shops, or that we personally own.
#1 Thule 903202 EasyFold XT Hitch Rack – 2-Bike
Since 2015, the Thule 9032 has been our #1 recommended rack of choice for e-bike owners. Over the years, Thule has updated this rack with new and improved features such as its onboarding ramp (which we absolutely love). The new Thule 903202 is feature rich with tilting, folding, and easy securing ‘door nob’ clamps – which is why mounting and unmounting the rack from your car hitch is “tool-less”. Most all of Thule’s high-end cycling racks are designed to be able to install onto your car without any tools. It’s truly ingenious and why Thule – a Swedish Company – stands apart from the pack.
At 45 lbs., the rack may be light, but it’s incredibly strong. The platform is rated to carry up to 65 lbs. per bike which is 5 pounds more than most of the competitors on this list. This means that for 90% of the e-bikes commercially produced today, you are unlikely to have to remove the battery pack in order to keep the bike under weight limit restriction.
Once loaded onto the platform, the bike is secured to the platform using the Thule patented door-knob clamp system. The clamping jaws are rubberized so as not to damage the paint on your bike. The clamp is adjusted by a turning a door-knob ratcheting mechanism. After tightening, Thule provides you with a key to lock the door-knob so that you can rest easily knowing your bike isn’t going anywhere should you decide to park it somewhere overnight.
Thule has recently upgraded its folding onboarding e-bike ramp. Unlike all of its competitors, the Thule 903202 XT comes with a folding ramp which offers owners the option of rolling up their e-bike onto the ramp without having to lift anything. The folding ramp is a singular feature that often closes the deal for of our customers. It is the single feature that no other rack provides.
Our only gripe with this nearly perfect platform rack is its platform base. For some of our longer wheelbase e-bikes – especially those in the cruiser or recumbent category, the platform is sometimes a wee bit short. Fortunately, the bikes that we’ve tested in this category are very niche bikes. Most likely, your ride won’t have this problem.
To view the full specs of this rack, visit our Thule 903202 XT page here.
Use our special Discount Code: T903202 for a special 10% savings at checkout!
#2. Kuat NV 2.0
I personally own the Kuat NV 2.0 which is mounted on a Ford Edge. As an active rider and a proprietor of a Voltaire Cycles Franchise store, I absolutely love Kuat racks for their ‘no wiggle’ platform. The platform feels like a two-ton steel table bolted to the ground. When you place your e-bike on the rack, you get the feeling the rack is stronger than the car! I’ve certainly traveled around with different racks over the years and have had my fill flimsy racks that shake and rattle during a drive. Nothing makes me more nervous than worrying that at any moment, something might give on the rack. With Kuat racks, there s dead silence. You feel secure in knowing that your precious cargo is completely secured to the frame of your car.
The large ratcheted over-tire clamp system easily attaches to any bike-tire size and width. Fat tire or 29er plus-size tires all are no problem with the Kuat 2.0. The only drawback is the rear-tire ratcheting strap which can be a little small for plus-size tires. The good news is that Kuat sells an optional extended ratchet strap for those larger tires. I would recommend this even if you don’t have a fat-tire bike. You’ll never know when you might need it.
The rack is a bit heavier than other high racks do to its solid steel frame. This is part of the reason that rack is completely silent while in transit on your car. Unlike most of the less-expensive racks which cause noise from extra ‘play’ in the construction, the Kuat performs like a sculpted hunk of steel. Not a peep of it will be heard in your car or truck cabin.
The Kuat also comes stock with a locking cable which is stowed in the Kuat frame and can be pulled out to secure your bikes to your frame while you are on errands. And as of 2020 – Kuat has introduced an on-boarding ramp so now they are neck-n-neck with the Thule 903202. There are a few versions of the 2.0 including a one with a Trail Bike Stand for fixing or adjusting your eMTB before or between a trail ride. See our entire collection of Kuat 2.0 Racks and Specifications by visiting us here.
Use discount code EKUAT20 for a special 10% discount at checkout.
#3 The New Saris MTR E-Bike Hitch Rack with either 1-bike, 2-bike or 4 bike options
Just moments before we went to publish our list for 2020, we attended the CABDA East Conference at met up with our Saris representatives who were so eager to show us their new MTR E-Bike Hitch Rack. I’m glad we met up with them because this rack goes one-step further than all the other mentioned on this list.
The new Saris MTR E-Bike Hitch Rack not only has the telescoping onboard ramp which allows you to roll your e-bike up onto the rack, the system also comes with 2 additional features which make loading and unloading your heavy cargo as simple as 1-2-3. The first feature is a rack track pivoting system. We’ve all struggled to handle the heavy bike that’s closest to the car trunk. The reason this is difficult is because the 2nd bike tray is in the way of our legs and body. To effectively manage the rear-most bike, we have to lean over and sometimes put contort our body to correctly load and secure the rear-most bike. This problem is now SOLVED with the Saris MTR E-Bike Rack because each tray on the rack can pivot clockwise 90 degrees. We played around with this feature at the conference and voted unanimously to give Saris 5 thumbs up on this singular feature.
The other feature we love about the MTR is the new tire clamping system. The silver lever at the bottom of the clamping fork is so intuitive, that even people with sever aversions to thinking will figure it out. It’s just “SIMPLE” and we love “SIMPLE”!
We are looking forward to spending this year playing around with our MTR e-bike rack to get a better feel for it’s many benefits. Because this rack has just been released to market, we were unable to give it a higher rating. But what we saw at the CABDA show and our personal experience operating all of the other e-bike racks we’ve reviewed, we felt sure that this rack would easily make our Top 5 list for 2020.
Use Discount Code SARISMTR10 at checkout for special 10% savings.
Saris Superclamp EX – 2-Bike Carrier
The Saris Superclamp EX has been a long-time favorite of cyclists for its compact shape, low center of gravity (easy for lifting on and off of a hitch rack), and it’s clamping system which puts the clamp down on the main top bar rather than over a wheel. This is especially attractive to those cyclists fashioning fenders. The Saris SuperClamp EX is rated for 120 lbs total carrying weight (60lbs per bike). This weight capacity is enough for most ebikes weigh between 48-52 lbs.
And thanks to the SuperClamp’s tilting feature, no more unloading bikes to let the dog out of the back. Simply tilt down and release the hounds. Top it all off with integrated locks, a built-in bottle opener and head-turning reflectors, the SuperClamp 2-bike is proof that you can have your cake and eat it too.
We strongly recommend the Saris SuperClamp for it’s lower CG (center of gravity). If you are looking for a rack that sits lower to the ground which makes lifting each wheel into the cradle a little easier, then consider the SuperClamp EX. It’s the perfect rack for Subaru SUVs and sport sedans.
Use Discount Code SARISEX20 for a special 10% savings at checkout.
Hollywood Sport Rider SE
We started carrying the Hollywood Sport Rider SE last year and have been immensely impressed with the quality of this economic hitch rack. This is the highest load-bearing rack of this list offering a whopping 80lbs per bike weight limit. That’s a full 40lbs more for a 2-bike limit than the other racks.
But the biggest asset of this rack is its price-point. If you are like us – budget conscious – and just looking for a rack that performs well, and can safely carry and stow your valuable e-bikes, then we strongly recommend the Sport Rider SE.
The Sport Rider Hitch Bike Rack for Electric Bikes is the E-bike version of the Sport Rider SE2. This rack will carry 2 electric bikes or 2 standard bikes. Special features include extra heavy-duty wheel holders for heavy load carrying capacity. This hitch rack folds up when not in use, tilts down for easy cargo access and includes a keyed alike locking hitch pin, security cable and locking frame hooks. Features patented No Wobble-No Tools Hitch Tightening System. For 2″ hitches only. Because of the weight load of e-bikes, we strongly recommend choosing the 2” version of this system only. Check out the full specs on the Hollywood Sport Rider SE here.