How to transport electric bikes

Loving riding your e-bike? Join the club!


In fact, many of us enjoy e-bikes rides so much, sticking to our local areas just isn’t enough.


At Eco Bike Co. HQ we’ve got trail enthusiasts who regularly head out to find the most thrilling (and generally, muddiest) trails around, while others escape the city to find the steepest climbs - or even head abroad to enjoy the picturesque cycle routes of Northern Europe.


Unsurprisingly, we often discuss how to transport electric bikes. It’s an important subject, given e-bikes are technical pieces of equipment, that need to be handled with care and attention should you want to avoid breakages and malfunctions, or simply to extend their lifespan.


Without further ado, let’s look at best practices for transporting e-bikes.



Safety first: Electric bikes can be on the heavier side


It’s worth noting that e-bikes are heavier than their conventional counterparts. 


This is due to the increased number of components, such as the motor system, which in general will add about eight kilograms to the total weight.


What’s more, to support the extra weight of components while allowing for stability at speed, e-bike frames also tend to be on the heavier side.


With this in mind, pay attention to how you are carrying your electric bike when loading it on or off a vehicle. Seek support if it is too much to lift on your own - for your own safety, and for that of the bike (e-bikes are sturdy pieces of kit, but we wouldn’t advise dropping them needlessly!)


Travelling by car with an electric bike


Perhaps the most common way to transport an electric bike is by car.


Some cars will have sufficient boot space with the seats down to fit an electric bike. However, you may need to remove some parts such as tyres or handlebars which adds time at both ends of your journey.


Furthermore, you lose the option of travelling with additional passengers in the back seats.


However, in terms of safety and security, it’s a great option and for some, preferable to using an external bike rack or roof rack. Indeed, when driving with bikes stored externally, they’re always going to be at risk of damage from flying debris.


In spite of this, bike racks are highly practical when it comes to travelling with an electric bike.


If you do opt to attach a bike rack to the boot of your car make sure your bike(s) do not exceed the width of your vehicle by more than 20 cm on each side. Bikes must not obscure your vehicle’s brake lights or license plate, either. Check out the regulations here.


In terms of rear window visibility, a roof rack can be a better option but do keep in mind the impact on your vehicle’s aerodynamics (increasingly worth noting with the current high price of petrol) and the potential weight of the bike(s) on the roof of your car.


It’s vital you carry out proper due diligence prior to purchasing a bike rack to ensure it is suitable for your model of electric bike. Should your bike fall off while driving not only is it likely to be severely damaged, but other road users may be put at significant risk. 


If you do transport your electric bike using a car bike rack, it is well worth removing the battery and transporting it inside your vehicle. Although e-bike batteries are hardy pieces of kit, were it to become detached from the bike due to road conditions or a loose fitting, there is a risk of damage.



The advantages of folding electric bikes


When talking about transporting e-bikes, it’s impossible not to discuss folding electric bikes.


Non-electric folding bikes have been commuter staples for a number of years, given their portability and the fact that they can be taken on public transport during peak times.


At Eco Bike Co. we pride ourselves in selling a range of high-end foldable electric bikes, that pack a punch akin to a regular electric bike in terms of power, whilst retaining all the benefits of portability.


Indeed, these ergonomic little wonders combine powerful motors, and long-lasting batteries, with light weights, making them the perfect travel companion.  Transporting an electric bike has never been easier, whether you’re putting it in the boot of your car, on a train, or even hopping on a bus.


Can you take an electric bike on a plane?


This question comes up frequently when discussing travelling with an electric bike. 


The short answer is no. This comes down to e-bike batteries. 


There are strict regulations surrounding air travel and lithium batteries. They are considered a potential fire hazard and any rechargeable lithium battery with a capacity of more than 100Wh cannot be taken onto a plane. 


Electric bike batteries tend to be well in excess of this, so if you want to take your electric bike on a plane, you’ll need to leave the battery at home - or send it on ahead of you.


Our preferred option? Rent a battery on arrival. This is increasingly possible across a range of popular cycling destinations.



Storing an electric bike in transit


If you’re taking your bike on a plane (without its battery), shipping it when moving house, or storing it on an overnight train, you will likely want to look at options for protecting it from damage.


There are a number of different types of bike cases available, from hard bike cases (which offer the best protection, but are more cumbersome), to cardboard boxes (lightweight, but typically only suited for one-way journeys.


It generally comes down to personal preference as to which storage solution you choose, but do factor in the fragility of your bike, the length of the journey, and the type of transport you are taking. All will need to be considered when you make your choice.



How to transport electric bikes


There are a variety of ways you can transport electric bikes. And we highly recommend taking your bike further afield to maximise the pleasure and benefit you can derive from it.


Although they are increasingly more portable, there are a range of considerations to take when travelling with your e-bike, depending on the type of transport you opt for.


Safety should always come first, both for you, and your bike - be sure to plan your journey in advance and ensure you’ve taken enough care to secure your bike prior to travel.


If you have any questions or queries about travelling with an electric bike, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Eco Bike Co. team. We would be delighted to answer any questions - get in touch today.


Happy riding!

November 14, 2022 — Jarred Pitout