Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

General Discussion about electric bicycles.

Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:08 pm

What trailer hitch-mounted bike rack would you suggest for comfortably carrying a pair of 75 lb ebikes, so a total of 150 lb?

One which can be eliminated immediately is the Thule 990: My experience. I should have known from the specs: "Carries up to 2 bike (70 lbs Total)", and should have ignored the contrary recommendation.

From Thule, their 916 T2 (technical information)for 2" receiver (Arnie F has an older steel version), or 917 T2 for 1-1/4" receiver. Same features are listed for both models:
  • No wheel removal, no frame contact.
  • 4 Bike – 2” hitch, 2 Bike – 1-1/4” hitch.
  • Folds up for storage and down for access!
  • Fits a wide range of bikes.
  • Carries bikes up to 60 lbs. (160 lbs. total - 4 Bike / 100lbs. Total - 2 Bike 1-14”)
  • Fits wheels 20”-29” and up to 3” wide tires
  • Accommodates bike with wheel bases up to 48"
  • Locking accessory available.
  • Thule One-KeyTM System Compatible.
Update, 2009/11/14: Examined a Thule 916 T2 at Cycle Werks in Costa Mesa. Good: Its hinge is much stiffer in torsion (about vehicle length axis) thanks to its double plate hinge system, than my Thule 990 which has extra flex due to single plate warping. Good: It only fits a 2” receiver so that avoids adding extra tolerance play due to a adapter that would also allow it to fit a 1-1/4” receiver.

My understanding (I sent an email to Thule asking to correct me if I'm wrong):
The 916 T2 (2" receiver) will be good for two 60 lb bikes, and stay within its 160 max limit ==> Max of 120 lb for 2 bikes, no more than 60 lb each.
The 917 T2 (1-1/4" receiver) could be good for two 60 lb bikes, but first encounters the 100 lb max limit ==> Max of 100 lb for 2 bikes, no more than 60 lb each.
So in both cases, they are not suited for carrying a pair of 75 lb ebikes (not even one actually).
Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 50 lb bikes (1-1/4" receiver) or pair of 60 lb bikes (2" receiver).

Other suggestions?

Work in progress: Car Suitability Table (Excel spreadsheet) .

Related topics:
Best compact SUV to carry 2 ebikes on a trailer hitch rack
Similar discussion to this one on Tidal Force forum
Similar discussion to this one on E+ Electric Bikes forum
Most economical vehicle easily fitting 2 full bikes inside
Attachments
917.jpg
917 T2
917.jpg (41.03 KiB) Viewed 11177 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:17 pm, edited 23 times in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby dogman dan » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:14 pm

The swagman is half the price, including shipping. Carries up to 60 pound bikes? Mine is good for a lot more than that. Look for it at places that sell trailer hitches on the web.
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Swagman

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:40 pm

Thanks dogman. Found the Swagman web site.

Do you have the XC 2 Bike Rack 64650 or the newer XTC 2 Bike Rack 64670?
dogman (source in a message below) wrote:The one I have is the xc 2, older version. I have carried two 80 pound ebikes on it with no problems.
Excellent. Thanks for this info.

No indication of maximum bike weight on their website. I sent them an email asking to know if it is safe to carry 150 lb. Got an answer back...
sales AT swagmanbikeracks DOTcom, 2009/11/5 wrote:No the arm with the wheel holders will not support your 75 lb bikes. These have been tested up to 40 lbs bikes only.
So it seems the total max load should be for two 40 lb bikes ==> 80 lb max on the rack. Anything above this is "at your own risk".

Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 40 lb bikes (1-1/4" or 2" receiver).
Attachments
64650a.jpg
The older XC 2 Bike Rack 64650
64650a.jpg (37.37 KiB) Viewed 11175 times
64670a.jpg
The newer XTC 2 Bike Rack 64670
64670a.jpg (44.2 KiB) Viewed 11096 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Joe Hauler Motorcycle Carriers

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:32 pm

Got some info from Kevin at Electric Cyclery who re-sells the Joe Hauler carriers, which is worthwile copying here...
The electric bike carriers are heavy duty but are much too big and heavy to keep stocked in the shop.
Feel free to contact the manufacturer, Joe Hauler in San Marcos, CA
See: joehauler.com or give them a call (760) 510-9092 and tell them you want the electric bike carrier.
This is basically a motorcycle carrier with narrow wheel tracks.
So it is probably similar to the Standard Double Hauler model, for which there is this extra info:
Cam-Loc eliminates hitch slop
Holds street or dirt bikes up to 600 lbs.
Weighs 95 lbs.

Conclusion: Meets the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes.
Cons:
a) Does not fold up to reduce vehicle overall length when not carrying bikes.
b) Only (understandably) fits 2" receiver (not 1-1/4").
c) Carrier bottom not raised from hitch receiver: More likely to hit ground.
Attachments
Untitled-1.jpg
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Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby jag » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:11 pm

Another alternative that solves more than just bike hauling is a cargo platform. Then add bike attachments. Probably not as good as a dedicated rack for bikes, but will also carry e.g. rental machinery for me (floor sanders, polishers etc.) Most have 500lbs capacity. However, make sure the hitch and vehicle is up to that much load pivoting so far back.
Image
This is one bike rack option. There are many others.

Brand name "Hitch Haul" and similar are about $100.
Noname versions are often on sale for about $50.
Aluminum version is about 2x price steel, but might be worth it for weight savings.

I built one from free scrap metal, and made it light by building the deck from wood rather than steel. Only cost was a $5 tip to the machine shop guy that lend me the welder. While I'm pretty crappy at welding the rack has still held up for 10 years so far.
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Cargo carrier

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:32 pm

Cargo platform: Good idea jag! I see these 2 Hitch-Haul® models:
Masterbuilt Original Hitch-Haul® Carrier
Masterbuilt Magnum Hitch-Haul®
and there are different brand offering a fold-up design:
Valley Industries Heavy-Duty Cargo Carrier
Bumper Buddy Cargo Carrier

Some have a bike adapter:
Bike Adapter For Draw-Tite and Reese Cargo Carriers
Attachments
s7_521781_imageset_01.jpg
Masterbuilt Magnum Hitch-Haul® Carrier
s7_521781_imageset_01.jpg (15.78 KiB) Viewed 10699 times
s7_521480_imageset_01.jpg
Valley Industries Heavy-Duty Cargo Carrier
s7_521480_imageset_01.jpg (21.21 KiB) Viewed 10696 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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AMC dirt bike carrier

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:48 pm

Another dirt bike carrier (less heavy than the JoeHauler, but tracks will probably need to be narrowed for ebikes):
AMC-600-2 Double Dirt Bike Carrier

Problems I see with dirt bike carriers:
- So far I have not seen a model that folds up (more research needed), so you can leave it on your car and not add length while not carrying your bikes.
- They need to be modified for our narrow tires.

Conclusion: Meets the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes.
Cons:
a) Does not fold up to reduce vehicle overall length when not carrying bikes.
b) Only (understandably) fits 2" receiver (not 1-1/4").
c) Carrier bottom not raised from hitch receiver: More likely to hit ground.
d) Needs further modification to accept bike tire width.
Attachments
double-carrier-1.jpg
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double-carrier-3.jpg
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Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby dogman dan » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:07 pm

the one I have is the xc 2, older version. I have carried two 80 pound ebikes on it with no problems. Well one problem, you can lose stuff off of it, if you don't keep it tight. While driving around with no bikes, I lost one of the wheel loops. Got loose and I didn't notice when it fell off.

The dirt bike carriers can handle any load, but might require the 2" hitch. One thing I've noticed about my swagman, when at the trailhead of the mt bike trails, I am off and riding while everybody else is taking off straps, finding the front wheel and putting it on, etc etc. I'm like click click, see ya.

The swagman doesn't fold and get shorter, but it can be taken off the hitch in about 60 seconds if you use a quick pin in the hitch. The center post folds down so you can open a hatch. For weird bikes, with no place on the frame to put the clamp, you can clamp one bike down by the forks by angling the center post over to the front wheel.
Last edited by dogman dan on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Saris CycleOn Pro

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:28 pm

Manufacturer info: Saris CycleOn Pro and user manual.
Specs:
  • Carries two bikes out of the box.
  • Carries up to 60–pound bikes.
  • Available in 1-1/4" and 2" hitch sizes.
  • Carries 3 or 4 bikes with the optional add–on kits.
  • Fits bikes with 650c, 700c, 26", and 29" tires. But "Overview" section says: Wheel trays accommodate 20"–29" tires, and user manual shows how to adapt to 20" wheels (see attached image) and has a note: Bicycles with 20” wheels should be loaded closest to vehicle.
  • Folds up when not in use.
If I understand correctly:
- Total weight the carrier backbone can handle is 190 lb (2x60+2x35) based on its add-on kit extended capability.
- But each bike must not exceed 60 lb.

Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 60 lb bikes (1-1/4' or 2" receiver).
Cons:
a) If you want to open your car's rear hatch... Change from stowed position involves: Pull cotter pin from clevis pin, remove clevis pin, rotating rack, replacing clevis and cotter pins. Do what you have to do in rear compartment of your vehicle, then repeat steps in reverse order. Makes you think if you really need to access the rear compartment of your vehicle.

plasmadust, 2009/10/4 wrote:We have three of the Saris racks in the "family". Make that four. If you did not get the cycle-on pro, with the the center knob to tighten up against the hitch pin, you can do what we did here. We found a plastic nut holder and inserted a nut inside the rack mount tube, then used a grade 8 bolt to draw up the bar tight against the receiver, then put a nyloc nut on the other side to keep the bolt from backing out. We have done this on 2" and 1-1/4" hitches. One other thing you need to do. Take the carriage bolts out of the wheel cups and dispose of properly. Replace with either stainless steel or grade 8's. We have broken many of the factory installed bolts there and deem that the weak link in the Saris rack. I have hauled TF bikes with the Saris rack for 6 years or more with only the above mentioned probs.
Attachments
4017_4018.jpg
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Weight_Limitations.png
Weight_Limitations.png (73.02 KiB) Viewed 10677 times
WheelSizeAdjust.jpg
Also fits 20" wheels
WheelSizeAdjust.jpg (63.41 KiB) Viewed 10394 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:28 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby dumbass » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:36 pm

Here's the one I have. I normally carry 2 ebikes 65# each but I have carried 4 of them all at 65# each. I have to admit I love the rack with the 2 bikes on it but with 4 I am not crazy how far it sticks our the ass of the car. When carring only 2 bike the secondary section can be removed shorting the rack about 18". I like the fact that the bikes a held by the wheels and the croch bars. http://cgi.ebay.com/2-4-BIKE-SWING-DOWN ... 2ea872e53b
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Piggyback bicycle rack

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:48 pm

dumbass wrote:Here's the one I have. I normally carry 2 ebikes 65 lb each, but I have carried 4 of them all at 65 lb each.
dumbass, 2009/11/5 wrote:The first time I put 4 bikes on this rack I also stood on the far tip of the rack behind the forth bike. I weigh 220+ pounds. So the rack was holding 4x65# bikes and me = 480 pounds. This is a great rack and it's cheap.
Thanks, sounds like a robust rack. But according to ramps.biz and aluminumcarriers.com, the weight capacity is 120 lb.

Manufacturer is in Taiwan (indicated in Instruction Manual), common name is "Piggyback" and here are a few resellers:
a) DiscountRamps.
b) RAGE Powersports.
c) AluminumCarriers.
d) Trailer hitch helper.
e) Tilt-A-Rack.

From DiscountRamps website:
  • Not recommended for 1-1/4" trailer hitches.
  • Powder coated black steel construction.
  • Carries 2-4 bikes & loads easily in a matter of minutes.
  • (8) Velcro straps to secure each bike tire to the rack.
  • Bicycle rack frame swings down and folds up when not in use.
  • (4) Bike frame grabber bars prevent your bikes from swaying side to side.
  • Four adjustable rails accommodate wheels up to 2¼" wide.
  • Secures bikes from 50" to 76" long.
  • Only weighs: 52 lbs.
  • Center of the pin hole to the rack - 6" & 9".
  • Hitch pin NOT included.
  • Click to View Piggyback Instructions.
  • 1 Year Warranty.
Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 60 lb bikes (2" receiver only).
Cons:
a) Only (understandably) fits 2" receiver (not 1-1/4").
Attachments
piggyback_1.jpg
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piggyback_2.jpg
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piggyback_new_arms.jpg
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Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:08 am, edited 15 times in total.
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New model from Thule

Postby Jerome Daoust » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:51 pm

Smart move by Thule to recognize the ebike market... Thule EuroPower 916
It can carry 2 ebikes, and from the specs: "The maximum weight per bike is 30 kg". So 2 x 66 lb ==> 132 lb total.
The world's first bike carrier specifically made for heavy Electric bikes.
Features
  • The 25 cm distance between the mounted bikes makes it easier to position the bikes without interference. A must for loading Electrical Bikes.
  • Our most stable coupling, easy to mount by simply lowering the lever. No adjustment necessary.
  • The bike carrier tilts back for complete trunk access without off-loading the bikes. This convenient tilt mechanism is operated with the foot, leaving the hands free for supporting the bikes while tilting.
  • With unique, detachable bike frame holders that can easily be removed, then returned in position after the bikes are loaded. A feature that makes loading of bikes faster and much more convenient. With rubber surface for protecting the bike frames. Fits all bike frames up to 80mm.
  • With quick-release wheel straps for quick and convenient loading and unloading of bikes, adjustable for different wheel sizes up to 2,5 inches, the wheels are securely fastened.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. Simply roll the bike in place into the carrier by using the EuroPower Loading ramp 9151.
  • Folds flat for easy storage and handling.
  • Load capacity 60 kg.
  • Locks bikes to the carrier and the carrier to car
  • Product uses a 7-pin powerplug for the lightboard.
What I don't know (and will contact Thule) is:
a) Is this available in the USA? Apparently not: Autoblog article: "No word yet on whether the new rack will be offered in North America.".
b) Does it fit both 1-1/4" and 2" trailer hitch receivers? No (see email below from Michel Côté)
Michel Côté, 2009/11/5 wrote:The EuroPower electric bicycle carrier attaches to the European hitch system. The European hitch system is substantially different from the North American hitch system. For this reason there is no North American version of the bike carrier.
The T2 917 would be an alternative 1 ¼ in. rack for this purpose.
Please consult our web site at http://www.thule.com for pictures of the products discussed.
Please do not hesitate to write me if you require any further assistance.
Best regards, Michel Côté, North American Customer Service Representative, Thule Group.
Thule Inc., 42 Silvermine Road, Seymour, CT 06483.
Phone: 1-800-561-0716
Email: michel (DOT) cote (AT) thule (DOT) com
http://www.thuleracks.com
Wikipedia: Tow hitch: Regional variations

But the availability of this model is not important because it can only carry two 66 lb (30 kg) ebikes...
Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Not available + Limited to a pair of 66 lb bikes (no matching Noth American receiver).
Attachments
915000_F_1.png
915000_F_3.png
916000_P_1.png
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Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby dogman dan » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:15 am

Nice touch with the ramp and the brake lights. The brake lights mean you could cover the bikes with a tarp, and stil have signals. One problem I had when taking my ebikes 200 miles north was the preference to drive while it was not raining. In the summer, in the mountains, showers happen every afternoon somewhere. I never got serious about waterproofing my bikes since I live further south where it's drier.
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Re: Piggyback bicycle rack

Postby dumbass » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:20 am

Jerome Daoust wrote:
dumbass wrote:Here's the one I have. I normally carry 2 ebikes 65 lb each, but I have carried 4 of them all at 65 lb each.
Thanks, sounds like a robust rack.
Manufacturer seems to be Piggyback:


I would think the reason a manufacture doesn't recommend a an 1 1/4" hitch is because of the capasity of the hitch not the capasity of the rack. Lets face it the rack doesn't change because you used a 2"x1 1/4" adaptor. Its' the adaptor and the hitch that are the problem. This beingthe case how does it make it better to buy a hitch that lowers it's capasity by using smaller tubes so it can fit an 1 1/4" hitch? Lets face facts these bikes are not light weights. I have a cheap double trunk mounted rack that I used to put 2 non-ebikes on. I use it now for when I ride alone and put only 1 ebike on it and I use extra valcro straps to hold it on. I drive with one eye in my mirror because I am waitting for the day when one of the arms breaks off. Keep in mind that most racks are rated for 30# to 40# bikes. Therefore, most racks built for 2 bikes is only rated for 60 to 80 pounds. You are talking about 130 to 150 pounds. This was my situation and why I bought a 4 bike rack and in most situations use only the first 2 station. By the way the first time I put 4 bikes on this rack I also stood on the far tip of the rack behind the forth bike. I weigh 220+ pounds. So the rack was holding 4x65# bikes and me = 480 pounds. This is a great rack and it's cheap.
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Hollywood

Postby Jerome Daoust » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:42 am

Also considering Hollywood Racks for their Sport Rider and Sport Rider SE hitch racks. They are available for 1-¼" or 2" receivers.
They look similar to the Swagman models (my comments in a posting above).
But for the chance they may be somehow stronger (not apparent though), I am contacting them to know the max bike weight capacities.

Update: Found the max bike weight from the instructions for models HR1200, HR1210 and HR1400 (Sport Rider SE): Weight limit of 45lbs (20 kg) per bike. So this is similar (no surprise) to the limits of the Swagman.
Neil of Hollywood Racks, info AT hollywoodracks DOT com, 2009/11/6 wrote:Jerome: Sorry but the rack is just not strong enough...in your case, it has to do with the wheel holders, not the size of the hitch.
I suggest you look into a motorcycle type hitch rack or cargo platform hitch rack.
Good Luck! Neil

Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 45 lb bikes (1-1/4" or 2" receiver).
Attachments
Hitch_Connector.jpg
Hitch_Connector.jpg (40.97 KiB) Viewed 10455 times
Sport_Rider_4_SE.jpg
Sport Rider 4 SE
Sport_Rider_4_SE.jpg (48.75 KiB) Viewed 10450 times
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:24 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Yakima HoldUp

Postby Jerome Daoust » Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:36 am

From Yakima, the expensive ($415) model, available as either HoldUp for 1-1/4" receiver or HoldUp for 2" receiver. Don't know what to think about the integrated bottle opener.

Contacted the manufacturer, but then found it in the instructions: 60 lb per bike.
Courtney Gould of Yakima, 2009/11/6 wrote:Hello Jérôme, Thank you for contacting Yakima Customer Support.
The HoldUp has a weight limit of 60 lbs per bike, so we wouldn't recommend carrying your electric bikes on our rack system. Modifying the rack would void the warranty and we wouldn't recommend doing that either.
Thank you for your inquiry! Yakima Support
Update, 2009/11/7: Went to a store to see this rack. There was a 2" receiver model on demo (inserted into a demo receiver) and an assistant was nice enough to unbox a 1-1/4" model for me. My first concern was the strenth and rigidity of the hinge: Strength-wise it looked better than my current Thule 990 and also better twist-rigidity wise, although with some free-play tolerances which were acceptable, so hinge looked OK. Went outside to my car with the bottom part of the unassembled rack to see if it would clear my bumper (Suzuki SX4 crossover) and it looked OK. The length beyond the hotch pin seemed short, but this would probably still be OK. That part was surprisingly heavy, felt like forged steel, so strength probably OK too. Back inside, re-boxed the 1-1/4" model, and was left alone to inspect the 2" model. I may have caught the destructive spirit of this forum, or maybe I was just overdue for breaking something, but when I applied a one-side load (guessing at 40 lb) to where a single wheel would rest (wheel wire loop end), I heard a loud ratcheting sound that should not have been heard. Could not figure out the source, so re-applied similar load and before me a bolt popped out and fell to the floor. It was one of the cross-member bolts (see attached image). Inspecting the bolt revealed sheared threads which explain the ratcheting sound as the threads "jumped". Not OK. Other unresolved concerns: Unsure if this rack works with 20" bike wheels, and if it can adjust to different wheelbases because there seems to be no adjustment in the instructions.

Conclusion: Fails to meet the goal of carrying two 75 lb ebikes: Limited to a pair of 60 lb bikes (1-1/4" or 2" receiver).
Cons:
a) Being able to shear a bolt so easily was a disappointment towards vehicle-axis twist strength.
Attachments
With_bikes.jpg
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Folded.jpg
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Load_Limit.jpg
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Bottle_Opener.jpg
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Sheared_Threads.jpg
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Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:37 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby dogman dan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:58 am

I'd go for the cheap heavy steel. My swagman also easily passed the I got on it and jumped around on it, test. My subaru has a good strong version of the small hitch. So the hitch itself is unfazed by 300 pound tounge loads like 2 ebikes. Cheap and ugly, the swagman doesn't stay "Steal me please" like Thule or Yakima would. Aluminum racks are designed for light bikes and might fail with heavy ebikes bouncing on them.

Comon Jerome, by now you know how I am. If my swagman hasn't broken the way I use it, It aint gonna. The road I drive to the trails I ride in the desert requires a 4x4. You betcha the wheel loops have bent some, but not broken. I've scraped the hitch a few times on rocks, but the new version has a bend so the bikes carry higher. Your only other option is going to be a motorcycle carrier. The swagman or similar steel rack will do the job for you. I've been pounding the crap out of mine for a year. The onlly problem I had was losing parts off it through my own negligence. The two bike swagman comes in 1 1/4. And there are adapters to make a 1 1/4 hitch into a 2.
For those that still don't know, I work online, for E-bikekit.com

Frankenbike longtail
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... cing+betty.

bolt on longtail viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74584

The mixte long tail. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74384

Beach cruiser converted to long tail. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67049&p=1045572&hilit=Longtail+beach+cruiser#p1045572
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HITCH LOCK

Postby dumbass » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:32 am

What even carrier you decide to get be smart and get yourself a hitch lock. You can pick them up almost anywhere for $10 to $20. But try to get one the is the TRUE size of your pin hole. A lot of them are made for the small pin holes and give you a bushing if you have the largr pin hole. This is just another peace that gets lost and is a PITA when inserting into the hole. They also make them straight or with a 90 degree on the lock end. I recommend the 90 degree because when you are bent over the rack they are a lot wasier to lock and unlock.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby BVH » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:45 pm

Keep up the good work, Jerome! My goal is exactly the same as yours - 2 ea., 75 lb bikes. I looked all over for that Euro 916 but could not find it for the US market. And even if it could be got, it sounds like the hitch style would not work. Also be sure that the frame support system on any rack you find allows for close-fit front and rear fenders if it relies on cinching down on top of the wheel/tire. My E+ Retro Cruiser has such fenders and that Thule model with the wheel cinch would not work.

I bought this rack a few years ago and love it. It's capacity per bike is around 50 lbs if I remember correctly. It is not marked and I can't remember who made it.

Image

The wheel support beams are 1" x 1/16" square tubing. I bought 2 pieces of 3/16" x 1" flat bar and have installed/bolted one piece to the full length of the inside of each of the sides of the square tubing. I would guess that this is way more than enough to support the E+ Cruiser but I don't know if I'm prepared to take a chance.

Image

Disregard that it looks like the entire tube is filled with flat bar. I can't remember why I stuck extra small pieces in the ends. The two, 4' "thru" flat bars are only on the front and back side of the tubing.

What do you structural engineers think"

Image

I suppose it would be really easy to take it to a professional welder and have them cut off the wheel support beams and weld on some heavier duty tubes and re-attach the wheel troughs.
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It's not easy I tell ya.

Postby Jerome Daoust » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:23 am

BVH wrote:Keep up the good work, Jerome! My goal is exactly the same as yours - 2 ea., 75 lb bikes.
Thanks for that, 'cause I'm depressed at the direction I'm heading if I had to buy something now...
  1. New car and hitch receiver: To have a sufficiently strong and rigid hitch receiver, I need to change my dinky car, for one that can be fitted with a class 3 receiver. Hope is fading towards finding a rack for a 1-1/4" receiver and safely transporting 150 lb.
  2. New bike rack: In that new car, I would feel safe carrying the heavy ebikes on a one capable of supporting motocross bikes. Have not seen yet one that folds up, but need to search more.
  3. Buy a house: Because if the motorcycle-capable rack doesn't fold up, I also need to get a house with a garage so I can leave the rack there while not in use.
And I thought before that ebikes themselves were expensive. So naive of where this addiction would take me.

But even my throw-money-at-the-problem mindset is raising a red flag. This could be a good time to take a welding class and then make my own bike rack (which can fold up) or I could create a bolted Frankenstein rack (I'm real good at drilling and bolting). But I'm not done googling, particularly for folding cargo carriers (with bike support) or fold-up motocross racks.

And if all else fails... Time fixes everything.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby Russell » Sat Nov 07, 2009 6:45 am

Jerome,

What E-bikes are you looking at that are 75 lbs a piece?

Can you remove the batteries to lighten the load?

Heck my ebikes are below 60 lbs with the batteries and when the rear pack is slid off one or the battery is removed from the other that weight falls to about 42 lbs each.

-R
Jeep Comanche Trekking Bike w/YOUE geared motor, 42 lbs + 15 lb rear trunk bag w/12S 16Ah LiPo battery, tools, etc., 21A controller, 700 x 40C tires. 27 MPH.


My other E-Bikes: Nashbar Steel Flatbar
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby voicecoils » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:46 am

Just a thought...

Why not buy a rack that's under rated, and just run the heavier ebikes anyways? One of those racks rated 60-66lbs for each bike for example.

You might call it living dangerously but it's quite likely that they engineer a safety margin into the racks to avoid dealing with pesky customers down the track.
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby docnjoj » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:24 am

In the cheep dept there are always these:

http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisear ... word=cargo

otherDoc
[size=100]E-bike stable at our house

Steintrike Mad Max full suspension trike rear Cute 100H going on: Whoops, Cute wheel broke but I fixed it.
Sun USX delta trike EbikeKit small geared front wheel sort of front suspension for wife

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2x16000 Multisport from HK now gone as they died after 2 years
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Re: Hitch-mounted bike carrier for 150 lb of ebikes

Postby BVH » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:53 am

I just weighed my recently received E+ Retro Cruiser. I find it hard to believe but the bike weighs 79 lbs with everything except the second battery. My weight on scale: 154. Me holding the bike on the scale: 233. I thought the E+'s were around 60 to 65. Add a rack, a center stand and I guess it grows.

Oh, and for the rack requirements - no ratcheting hold-down straps to fuss with. It needs to use a top tube or seat tube/post rigid clamp.
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Heavy rides, under-rated rack, reasonable ebike weight

Postby Jerome Daoust » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:05 pm

Russell wrote:Jerome, What E-bikes are you looking at that are 75 lbs a piece? Can you remove the batteries to lighten the load?
As you see in BVH's post above some are heavy like his 79 lb E+ Retro Cruiser. But there are changes coming (Spring 2010?) from E+ bikes, where we will be able to do away with the front hub battery and use removable battery packs. So that could bring their bikes down to around 60 lb for transport.
voicecoils wrote:Why not buy a rack that's under rated, and just run the heavier ebikes anyways? One of those racks rated 60-66lbs for each bike for example. You might call it living dangerously but it's quite likely that they engineer a safety margin into the racks.
I'm doing that at the moment, living dangerously. My flimsy but modified Thule 990 rack is only rated for a pair of 35 lb bikes and I'm putting a pair of 41 lb bikes (or 53 lb when I forget to remove the batteries). I'm also observing some rack twist deformation, where the worst loading is when I hit a bump on one side of the car and the weight of the bikes will twist the rack. Weak point seems to be the folding hinge in the rack (obvious from when I manually torque the rack). Being a Mechanical Engineer, I'm familiar with safety margins, but I also know that some loads can unexpectedly well exceed what you thought would be a maximum: How big and deep will be that pothole or how nasty the speed bump you didn't see coming?

The whole (bike weight) & (rack strength+stiffness) & (hitch receiver strength+stiffness) is an equation to be solved simultaneously. Attacking the problem at the source (bike weight) is a good approach, but may limit's one's purchasing choice. Having a pair of heavy (75 lb) ebikes to carry, creates a cascading effect of required strengthening in the area of the carrier and hitch receiver (minimum of a class 3). So pushing back on ebike manufacturers, by avoiding purchasing models with a transport weight over 60 lb (keeping both wheels but minus anything easily removable like battery) could become my approach, then get a normal bike rack rated for a pair of 60 lb bikes.
Last edited by Jerome Daoust on Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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