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Brands

E-MTB

E-Bike-Ready Hitch Racks

Heavy haulers strong enough to keep up with the pedal-assist crowd

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When you buy your first e-bike, you need to rethink some things. Where you’re going to ride it, how far you’re going to ride it, and who you’re going to keep it secret from. And that’s just the beginning. E-Bikes have their own Strava settings, their own suspension setup, and as you could probably guess, their own hitch racks. Of course, if you’ve got something as fancy as the Trek E-Caliber, you can use just about any rack. Or if you’ve been toting around your 45-pound Kona Stinky since 2006, your rack is probably strong enough already. Anyone else recently converting to the e-life may need to upgrade. To be safe on the road, e-bike hitch racks have to be able to handle a 50-pound bike (or two), and handle it on bumpy terrain and high speeds. It’s not easy, and it’s not cheap. But with quality contemporary racks, you do get a lot for your money. Not just in weight capacity and durability, but also in design and usability. We’ve compiled this shortlist of five e-bike hitch racks that will handle just about any bicycle, regardless of what powers its rear wheel. To boot, if you’re going to drop a few grand on any new steed, you might as well have some peace of mind when you’re doing victory donuts in the parking lot après, eh?

Kuat NV Base 2.0

  • $650
  • 1-¼” or 2” receiver
  • Two-bike: 60 pounds per tray
  • Optional two- or  one-tray add-on: 50 pounds (3-tray) 40 pounds (4-tray)
  • Front-wheel retention bar, rear-wheel strap
  • Internal wedge system
  • 50″ wheelbase
  • 5″ tire width max
  • Optional TrailDoc work stand add-on
  • 52 pounds

Dubbed by Kuat as a “bad mamma jamma,” the NV Base 2.0 is a powder-coated, work-horse version of their highest-end NV 2.0 rack. Available in 1-¼” and 2” receivers, the two-bike NV Base 2.0 supports 60-pounds per tray, and its 2” variant is expandable to carry three or four bikes, though at a weight penalty. Alternatively, you can install Kuat’s TrailDoc work stand addition, which is basically a collapsible work stand bolted to the end of the rack. In practice, it is actually useful at the trailhead for last-minute shifting or brake adjustments. The NV is the other e-bike rack on this list that uses a tool-free expanding wedge hitch system making installation and removal exceptionally easy. Additionally, the NV uses a foot-activated lever for tilting the rack up and down, the only rack here with that feature. It also sports an integrated cable lock system to keep your steeds safe.

Find it at kuat.com

Thule T2 Pro XTR 2

  • $650
  • 2” receiver only
  • Two trays: 60 pounds per tray
  • Optional two-tray add-on: 40 pounds per tray (160 pound max)
  • Front-wheel retention bar, rear-wheel strap
  • Internal wedge system
  • Integrated wheels to help maneuver the rack
  • 5″ tire width max
  • Integrated cable lock
  • 52 pounds

No rack list would be complete without a Thule product, especially since the near-ubiquitous outdoor-rack producer makes a transportation system to suit almost any specific need. In fact, their Easy Fold 2 is specifically meant to be an e-bike hitch rack, but it uses an antiquated top-tube clamp system. So instead, we’d recommend going with the T2 Pro XTR 2 rack, which still sports a 60-pound weight limit per tray. There’s also a two-bike addition, but that lowers the total weight capacity to 160 pounds, or 40 pounds per tray. In that light, the T2 would excel for a two-e-bike kind of usage. It’s also one of two racks here that sports an internal-wedge system that is tool-free (the 1UP uses a security key), so installation / removal takes seconds. There’s also a set of wheels to move the T2’s 52 pounds around, although we’re not sure how useful those are in the real world. The included, integrated cable lock, however, would certainly get used.

Find it at thule.com/thule-t2-pro-xtr-2

1up 2” Super Duty Double

  • $600 (silver) – $650 (black)
  • 2” receiver only
  • Two trays: 75 pounds per tray
  • Optional two- or one-bike add-on 
    • Four bikes: 50 pounds per tray
    • Three bikes: 75 pounds per tray
  • Dual retention bars
  • Expanding ball hitch retention system
  • 54″ wheelbase
  • 3.1″ tire width max
  • 47 pounds 

1UP has been at the forefront of quality bike racks for the past two decades. Often just known as, “Hey, what kind of rack is that?”, these racks have always stood out with their raw anodized finish and clever dual-retention bar tray system. Unlike everything on this list but the Saris MTR, the  1UP’s design won’t rub the paint off your fork and works with front fenders, but requires a little more customization for kids bikes or anything with small wheels. It’s a design they’ve stuck with with little change over the years because it just works so well. Their Super Duty Double is a contemporary beefed-up offering that sports a whopping 75-pound weight limit per tray. We’re not sure what bikes out there weigh that much on their own, except maybe one of those fully loaded dual-battery jobs prepped for a multi-day bikepacking trip. The Super Duty is also the only e-bike hitch rack listed here that maintains a 50-pound limit per tray when expanded to four bikes, and that’s despite it being the second lightest in its base form. Other noteworthy perks include a max wheelbase of 54 inches (sorry, Grim Donut) and an anti-wobble mechanism that locks the rack into the receiver; no hitch pin required. The downsides? The Super Duty is only available for 2” receivers and can only fit up to 3.1-inch tires.

Find it at 1-up-usa.com/super-duty

Rocky Mounts MonoRail 2”

  • $450
  • 1-¼” or 2” hitch
  • Two-bikes: 60-pounds per tray
  • 2” variant expandable to three bikes: 45 pounds per tray
  • Front-wheel retention bar, rear-wheel strap
  • Threaded hitch pin
  • 36″ to 50″ wheelbase
  • 5″ tire width max
  • Includes cable lock
  • 39 pounds

Rocky Mounts is another long-time cycle-supporter in the rack world, and their MonoRail represents the most economical rack on this list, coming in just about $200 less than the competition. The MonoRail is available in either 1-¼” or 2” variants, both sporting a two-bike capacity with a 60-pound limit per tray. The 2” variant allows for one additional add-on, expanding to three-bike capacity with 45 pounds per tray, enough for most e-bikes, although a few more portly options would tip the scales a notch too far. The MonoRail’s rails are adjustable towards port or starboard, so if you have a set of bikes that don’t play nice, the rack can adjust to avoid any bike-on-bike action. Once you get those bikes strapped down, you can take a run into the store with some peace of mind as the Monorail comes with a simple cable lock. The whole system only weighs 39 pounds, so it’s the easiest to store away or move from vehicle to vehicle. 

Find it at rockymounts.com/monorail-2

 

Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack

  • $800
  • 2” or 1-¼” receiver
  • Two-bike: 60 pounds per tray 
  • Optional two- or one-bike add-on: 60 pounds (trays 1-2) 35 pounds (tray 3-4)
  • Dual retention bars
  • Hitch pin and internal wedge system
  • 53″ wheelbase
  • 5” tire width max
  • Integrated lock
  • 55 pounds

Last, but not least, on our list, is the Saris MTR 2-Bike Rack. You might notice that $800 price tag first, but that’s not all to take note of. First off, the MTR rack is made in Wisconsin, like just about everything Saris makes. Also the MTR is the only other rack here besides the 1UP that uses dual retention bars, as well as accommodating 5-inch tires. It also boasts a 60-pound weight limit on its first two trays, even when a third or fourth tray is added (2” variant only). It’s also available in 1-¼”, a variant that comes with an adapter to use in 2” receivers as well. Why is that noteworthy? It is because the MTR uses a hybrid internal wedge/hitch pin system. The system uses a threaded hitch pin to pull an internal wedge, doubly securing the rack in the receiver (and comes with a hitch pin lock to boot). That pin is also tool-free, making install easy, if not quick. The MTR also comes with a hidden 5-millimeter hex key for adjusting the arms or even your bike’s headset if you forget your multitool. If that $800 is still sounding a bit too rich for your liking, the Saris’ Superclamp EX2 also tots a 60-pound weight limit, but at a $500 price point. 

Find it at saris.com/mtr2