Thinking of taking your eBike on a road trip? Make sure it arrives safe and sound so you can have a great ride at your destination. Here are some tips for effective travel with your eBike.
Using a car or truck rack
If you're planning to drive to your destination, you have several options to transport your eBike.
In the trunk of a car
Most eBikes can fit in the trunk of your car, but you might need to remove one or both wheels depending on the size. Removing the eBike battery temporarily can lighten the eBike, making it easier to lift into the trunk.
In a van
Driving a full size van? You're in luck. You can probably fit your eBike in the back with both wheels on, as long as you can lift it.
Using a hitch rack
If you're interested in carrying your eBike outside your vehicle, a hitch rack is a very stable and reliable carrier. Almost all of them allow you to leave both wheels on. You can add a receiver hitch to almost any vehicle, if it doesn't have one already.
If you struggle to lift your eBike onto a hitch rack, some models are available with a ramp - simply roll the eBike up the ramp into position!
Using a roof rack
Use caution before choosing a rooftop rack to carry your eBike; while high-quality brands are reliable, you'll need to ensure your bike(s) don't exceed the weight limit for both the rack and your roof. Also consider that you'll have to lift your eBike overhead to mount it on a roof rack before buying.
In the bed of a pickup truck
Carrying your eBike in the open bed of a pickup truck can be another good option. As with other methods, you'll need to be able to lift the eBike.
A low-tech method is simply to lay the eBike in the bed. If you're looking for a cleaner solution, speciality racks for pickup truck beds are also available that can hold your eBike upright.
Shipping your eBike to a destination
Instead of driving, perhaps you'd like to ship your eBike instead. While it's possible to simply walk into a UPS or FedEx location, you'll pay dearly for this type of service. A better alternative is a service that specializes in shipping eBikes.
Two of the most popular services are BikeFlights and Shipbikes. Both offer a similar business model: they sell you a UPS or FedEx label at a significant discount for less than you might otherwise pay and provide guidance showing how to pack, insure, and ship your bike.
There are special considerations when shipping an eBike. You won't be able to use air shipping methods, only ground. EBikes are heavier than traditional bicycles, and also include large batteries. Don't forget to follow the specific instructions provided for eBikes before shipping.
Taking your eBike on an airplane
Unfortunately taking your eBike as checked baggage during air travel isn't a good solution. The vast majority of eBike batteries are too large to be carried as baggage, both checked and carry-on.