Hitch bike rack to carry e-bike(s)

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Kathy, Oct 12, 2020.

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  1. Kathy

    Kathy New Member

    I just purchased a Pedego Boomerang e-bike and want to be able to take it to bike trailheads in my 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV. A lot of other Pedego owners talk about using a Thule EasyFold rack (https://www.thule.com/en-us/bike-rack/hitch-bike-racks/thule-easyfold-xt-2-_-903202) which connects to a tow hitch. I don't have a tow hitch, and wondered about getting one installed. I just looked at the owner's manual for my vehicle and it says it is not designed to tow a trailer. I don't want to tow a trailer, just connect a bike rack that is strong enough to carry the weight of an e-bike (or eventually two). Is this possible? Would it void any warranties? Ebikes are too heavy to use truck bike racks.
     
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  3. Tork Lift sells the Eco-hitch for the Clarity. It must be made of environmentally friendly steel or something to earn that monicker.

    Photos and installation tips have been posted previously. Keep an eye on ground clearance on uneven terrain.
     
    Bender likes this.
  4. alecbray

    alecbray New Member

    Installed the Eco-hitch myself. It took around three hours. Not had “bottoming our” issues.
     
  5. The hitch itself doesn’t present much of a problem. A rack that extends out 18” could create an undesirable situation.
     
    insightman likes this.
  6. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    I have two Pedego bikes and the Thule easy fold hitch. The problem I see is that the bikes weigh 60 lb apiece and the bike carrier weighs 45 lb. I would be concerned about that affecting the handling of a Clarity
     
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  8. Probably no more than having a 200lb hostage in the trunk. Stay under the GVWR which allows for approximately 800lbs to be placed in or on the car. Any weight on a hitch is considered on the car.

    The hitch has a tongue weight limit of 300lbs. You’ll be at 165lbs.
     
  9. Kathy

    Kathy New Member

    Do you only use the Thule carrier on another vehicle then?
     
  10. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    Yes, I use it on a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a F150. If Landshark says it will work then I would try it.
     
  11. Bender

    Bender Active Member

    I got my first experience of that. Wrecker pulling the car onto a flatbed trailer ground the hitch against the ramp.

    The ecohitch and a rockymounts monorail served me well for a year and a half. The monorail is somewhat economical and it has a pretty decent weight capacity, should cover most ebikes.
     
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  13. True. This helps a lot for that issue:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Right idea. Some hitch risers, rather than a dual hitch, only extend out 2-3” from the hitch. The dual hitches typically extend out 6-8”.
     
  15. Bender

    Bender Active Member

    Seems like those may add unnecessary instability, especially with a heavier ebike (50-60lbs). It seems like that would add extra torsional stress on the rack and lower capacity. The rated capacities assume you're attaching directly to a stable hitch with the included hardware and assume the bike being within a certain distance from the vehicle.

    Most of the better bike racks already raise the bike from the hitch level. If you raise them even more, how will (usually older with ebikes/e-assist bikes) people easily lift their 50-60lb bike higher to get it onto the rack?

    Even without assuming older people trying to load their ebikes -- yes, (mid 30s) I've lifted my mountain bike onto a roof rack on my prior car and I had no issues. But ease of use was still one of the primary purposes for a nice hitch mounted bike rack for me. Not advising people against going this route, but just to consider ease of use and stability.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  16. Check the rating. I used a drop down/riser on my motorhome to tow a car. It is rated at 10,000lbs. The hitch on the Clarity is only rated at 2000lbs with a 300lb tongue weight. The risers will typically be rated at 4000lbs or more. There are anti-rattle devices available that will stabilize the added component.

    My “high end” Küat rack extends a considerable distance directly out of the hitch and has a knob at the end which jams the rack into the receiver to prevent rattling. Depending on the rack, an owner will need to determine if a riser is necessary to suit their needs.

    What the rack is attached to doesn’t change the rating of the rack. Personally, I’d be comfortable adding a riser to the Clarity hitch and loading a bike rack to it’s maximum capacity, as long as the weight of the rack and bikes did not exceeded the 300lb tongue weight rating of the hitch. I see little to no risk of overloading the hitch or rack, and a greatly reduced risk of damaging the rack or hitch from jamming it into the ground.

    As far as not being able to lift a bike on to a rack that is 4-6” higher than without the riser, I’d say it’s time to hit the gym.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
    Bender likes this.
  17. David Towle

    David Towle Active Member

    That bike rack is crazy expensive and gets a pretty high number of bad reviews. Anyone found something better?
     
  18. Bender

    Bender Active Member

    I've been using a rockymounts monorail solo. It looks like it's out of stock basically everywhere like most things bike are during pandemic (I see one maybe reputable place that shows it for $300).
    https://www.amazon.com/RockyMounts-MonoRail-Expandable-Platform-Bicycle/dp/B076WTCZD5

    Relatively high weight capacity (60 lbs), but the rack itself is lightweight (only 25lbs), easy and quick to install and remove. Best solution I found for 1 bike and lower price than a kuat, which are built like a tank but also very heavy.


    The 2 bike version is around $430-480 and looks in stock at a few places. (I also purchased one of those, got a steal on it at $260 this past February from a 1 day amazon price error).

    There's a 1-bike add on for both of the above, but it looks out of stock everywhere.

    2 x 60lbs bikes would be tough on a clarity, but I'm sure someone could make that work, I don't know the real limits of the hitch, it's probably fine with a sufficient rack that's rated for that heavy of bikes. The 300lb rating of the hitch is not all that matters. The further the weight is away from the crash bar the more it matters (think of how levers work). It's the dynamic forces that are a bigger deal than the 300lbs static weight.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020

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