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Transporting eBikes

If you live near bike paths, then this post may hold little interest. For others, it can be a challenge to transport your ebike somewhere safe, scenic, and worth riding. There may be more options than you realise.

A common lament among senior riders is how to get their bikes to the interesting rides. Did you know that you can transport a bike on most trains and ferries. On some routes, it is wise to phone beforehand because certain peak-hour services may simply not be able to accommodate a bike. When using trains, pick the front or rear carriage as you will not be blocking passenger thoroughfares. The ferries that I have used had bike racks or a luggage space suitable for a bike.

train transport

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Another option is to invest in a bike carrier. Electric bikes are heavy so are best mounted on a tow-bar. There are several types of carriers but make sure they can handle the weight of the bike or bikes you want to load. A major consideration for me was to have one that had a loading ramp and with good security locks.

I have been very impressed with the Thule Velospace XT.

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The entire rack is only 18kgs and locks onto the tow-bar ball with a single lever action, which is then lockable. I simply click the loading ramp into place and wheel the bike up the ramp. No lifting, no straining.

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Once the bike is on, attach the bracing arm and tighten. Then tighten the strap on each wheel: solid as a rock. One more really cool feature is the foot-pushed plate that allows you to tilt a fully-loaded carrier 45 degrees away from your car so you can access the boot space. Now thats smart.

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Remember to get an auxillary number plate. You can order online for $45 and they take 21 days to deliver to your local RMS outlet.

I had my tow bar and Thule Rack installed by Artarmon Roof Rack World and their expert service was impeccable; the manager Paul could not have been more helpful. So start planning some of the rides that are here on ebikerdiary.com.

RRW

 

25 replies »

  1. Hi
    Thanks for your great information.
    The frustration we have is that we live out of Sydney (Lake Macquarie) and would love to take our bikes into country areas by train. But the railways require you to box your bike (as we do when we fly to ride overseas). This is so annoying. Surely we could store it in the luggage compartment. If the battery is an issue, we could keep that with us.
    Also there is a restriction of only 2 bikes on a country link train, so if someone is already on the train with a bike it means my husband and I can’t both take our bikes. This arrangement seems so ridiculous. It is so easy to take bikes on trains in Europe.
    I’m not sure if you are in a position to try to influence the powers that be to change this archaic arrangement.
    Cheers
    Helen

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are raising an issue that has arisen relatively recent. There has been a huge increase in biking over the past two years as the lockdown has caused a shift from four to two wheels. I’ve never had a problem taking a bike by rail but that clearly has changed. The standard way to influence rules is to write to your local member, maybe emphasising the regional issues that are raised. Bicycles NSW is a non-govt advocacy group and worth writing to. Just copy your post onto their facebook. Good luck

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    • Hi Heather; I cant advise on your setup but the manager of Roof
      Rack & Tow Bar World at Artarmon is a guy called Paul who is very knowledgeable and obliging. Google it or phone 91575512. Good luck, Richard

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  2. Hi Richard, further to my note on 11 April 2020, I have been using my eMTB on back roads and tracks with much joy. I have curtailed my activities to take into account my age-related balance and loss of agility, so that I no longer ride steep and rough single tracks, but just vehicle accessible backroads, firebreaks, etc. I really should have bought my eMTB (full suspension long travel TREK Powerfly 9) some decades ago, had they been available.

    Anyhow, to get to my point about bike carriers: I have BuzzRack eScorpion 2 2-bike platform rack which works fine. It was bought with a view to being able to carry a bike for my partner. It turns out she isn’t able to ride now, so I am looking at a bike carrier that is more compact and lighter for a single bike. In one of your posts, which I can’t locate now, you seem to have purchased a RockyMounts Solo, which looks good for my purposes. However, I am concerned about lifting a 24kg bike vertically on to the rack, whereas with a platform rack one can ramp-load a bike. What has been your experience with the RockMounts Solo? – cheers, John

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    • Good question John, and one that is relevant to all senior riders. The RockyMount Sole is relatively light and compact. When not in use it has a lift and fold feature that reduces its rear footprint significantly. I also do not attempt a vertical lift for my heavy Merida, so I learnt to raise one wheel then secure it with one hand with the other still on the ground. Then lift the second and lock it in. That means you are only ever lifting half the bike weight; it worked for me.

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  3. Good article and very useful information.

    Once comment re cars without existing tow bars. While Roof Rack and Tow Bar World at Artarmon are good, they will get you to buy a Harman Reese tow bar. If you dont want one of these – especially if you have a European car such as a Mercedes – you may want to go to Tow Bars Australia (http://westfaliatowbarsaustralia.com.au/) who can source Westphalia, Steinhof and Auto-Hak branded tow bars desined specifically for your make and model car, as well as having them installed at your home. My quote for an Auto-Hak came in at $400 less than the Harman Reese and $1,000 less than what Roof Rack World wanted to charge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All I can say is that I would not. Its all about safety weight ratings: check the rated weight carrying capacity of your strap ons first. Chances are they are not made for the weight of an ebike.

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  4. Have a Thule bike rack. Can tilt the rack holding the bikes down to access car boot without needing to remove bikes first. Had my regular Avante bike converted to electric some years ago and can recommend that if you already have a bike that suits you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was informed that (in NSW, Australia) if I had my receipt for ordering the auxillary plate then any suitable alternative identification was acceptable pending arrival of the plate. Is this not correct?

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  6. This is what I was looking for, would love to see some reviews on some of the other racks for e-bikes. New to this but a keen motorcyclists that wants to get a bit fitter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Volt Ebikes in Bondi junction make bikes up to order at very reasonable prices. Good quality too. I love mine. Full front suspension and quality suspension saddle make for a comfortable ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great articles – I love your blog even though I haven’t made the transition from a ‘regular’ push bike to an e-bike yet! Rode one in Barcelona & was so impressed, don’t need to be convinced, just a matter of when & what to buy.

    Liked by 1 person

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