Traveling with an ebike can sometimes be a necessity. Whether securing bikes to an RV for cross country touring or stowing a Portola in the back of an SUV for service at a local bike shop, this article will cover several different topics to equip riders with the proper knowledge to safely transport their ebike. 


Transporting on/in a Vehicle

Consumers spend thousands of dollars when purchasing an ebike or ebikes, therefore it's imperative that the bike(s) are transported properly and safely. This section is going to cover the various methods of transporting an ebike inside or attached to a vehicle.

Hitch-mount Racks

Hitch-mount bike racks are found in many different shapes and sizes. Below we'll cover hitch sizes and give some examples of different models:

  • Hitch information:
    • 1-1/4" hitch (class II): utilized on smaller vehicles; sedans and small SUVs/hatchbacks. Found on vehicles with little towing capacity yet boast enough strength to carry up to two ebikes.
    • 2" hitch (class III):  utilized on mid-size to large SUVs and pickup trucks. Generally used for towing boats, campers, and utility trailers, so they are able to handle up to 4 ebikes.
    • Classes: the most common classes are class II and class III. Classes generally are in regards to weight rating but also commonly reflect the size (1-1/4" vs. 2").
    • Tongue weight: the amount of weight the hitch can support on a vertical axis versus horizontal axis (pulling the weight of a trailer). In regards to transporting ebikes, tongue weight is important to know most commonly on smaller classes (class II/1-1/4") because these are generally utilized on smaller vehicles that aren't designed for hauling heavy loads. Consult the vehicle owner's manual or manufacturer for more information.
  • Hitch-mount racks: two of the main forms of securing a bike to a platform hitch-mount rack is either by holding the top tube of the frame or holding the wheel(s). Top tube securing is favored over wheel securing on bikes equipped with fenders. 

Trunk-mount Racks

Trunk-mount bike racks are used for analog (non-electric) bikes and should not be used for ebikes due to the likelihood of damaging your vehicle and/or bike(s). In the event a trunk-mount rack is to be used for a Roadster V2 or Gravel Roadster V2, be certain the rack is rated for 35 pounds and that the rack will not cause damage to the vehicle. 

In a pickup bed

There are a few options for transporting a bike in the bed of a pickup truck. While it may be tempting to to lay them down, be cautious as to not damage components or the bike frame, and always lie the bike down with the chain and derailleur facing up. Not doing so may damage the derailleur and/or bend the derailleur hanger. Cover the bottom bike with a heavy blanket or large towel to protect it from the next bike lying partially on top of it. If using a tailgate pad, be sure the bike is properly secured and account for the added weight in comparison to an analog bike. Always be conscious of the delicate components on a bike: wires, cables, spokes, brake handles, and shifters.

Inside a vehicle

When transporting a bike inside a vehicle, the number one factor to consider is the driver's safety. Best practice would be to secure the bike to internal cargo mounting points such as the T-shaped mounts on the sidewall of SUV cargo areas or U-shaped loops in the floor area. Just like when lying a bike on its side in a pickup bed, always be sure to have the chain and derailleur side facing up. Always be conscious of the delicate components on a bike: wires, cables, spokes, brake handles, and shifters.

Protection While Traveling

Battery Removal

The bike's battery should always be removed when transporting it except for when it's inside of a vehicle (cargo area of an SUV, inside of an RV, etc. although it's never wrong to remove the battery and secure it elsewhere). When mounted on the exterior of a vehicle this is very important because the battery is kept out of the elements that may be encountered while driving (rain, snow, road debris, etc.).

Covering the battery compartment

After removing the battery from the bike, the next important step is to cover the battery compartment. This can be done with a towel or trash bag in a jam for a short trip, but it's going to be important to get a proper battery compartment cover that will be used for all trips. 

Covering the Bike

The last step to safely transporting an ebike when its exposed to the elements is to cover it entirely. While battery compartment covers do a good job of keeping internal components safely covered, there are other parts of the bicycle that should be kept covered during transportation. This mostly tends to apply to cross-country road trips where avoiding rain is sometimes impossible. A motorcycle cover can be used in conjunction with a large cargo net and/or bungee cords/retainment straps to reduce the amount of wind resistance the cover meets.