How to transport an Xtracycle Cargo Bike
Yay! You just got your new Xtracycle and now it's time to get it home from the bike shop or take it on that family road trip. Check on the options below for transporting an Xtracycle.
CARS, VANS, TRUCKS
Please note that before transporting your bike outside a vehicle, we recommend removing anything that could come loose during transport like a PorterPack. We also always recommend removing your battery if possible.
- Using a hitch rack: If you have a 2" hitch, we hands down recommend the Hollywood Sport Rider for Electric Bikes. It is rated to carry two bikes weighing up to 80 lbs. each, can accommodate any wheel size up to 5" in width and it can fit the longer 60" wheelbase of the EdgeRunner.
Having a hard time finding a Hollywood Rack OR looking into buying another rack? Check out our detailed article on shopping for a bike rack for your vehicle. We include guidelines on what to look for when shopping, racks from other brands that are likely compatible and what types of racks to avoid.
- In a car, van or wagon: An Xtracycle with Hooptie, U-Tubes and front wheel removed will fit in the back of many vans and wagons. In the included picture, an EdgeRunner was loaded into a 2011 Toyota RAV4 with one rear seat folded down. This left room for the driver and two passengers. When transporting your bike inside your car, be sure to lash it down to something secure (like a lashing point or handle) to prevent it from moving too much during transportation. We have also heard of customers transporting them in a Prius with the rear seat folded down and accessories removed.
- In a truck bed: Trucks can also carry an Xtracycle. Our team has used a carshare Toyota Tacoma with a standard length bed and we can get 3-4 Xtracycles in there at a time. The key tips are: Tail in first. Pad the back of the bed to keep the tailpiece of the bike from getting dinged. Once the bike is in, secure it with the front wheel on the open tailgate, or with the front wheel turned and the tailgate closed. The seat rails are a convenient place to hook tie-downs onto.
- On a trailer: Some customers have had a lot of success in transporting their bikes using a trailer towed behind their car, in the same way one would transport a motorcycle using their car. Be sure to properly secure your bike in the trailer so it is solidly in there and won't shift or move during transportation.
- On your roof, no rack: With proper padding and cam straps, you can even carry an Xtracycle with no rack! Get help in loading and be sure to remove the bags. This method is only recommended for non-electric bikes that don't have hydraulic brakes.
- The RFA Sport can fit as-is on most bus front carrier racks. Check with the bus driver to ensure e-bikes are allowed.
- The RFA Utility can also fit on most bus front carrier racks but this requires removing the stabilizing spring and turing the front wheel 180 degrees while in the rack. Check with the bus driver to ensure e-bikes are allowed.
- Most bus front trays are too short to easily accommodate a longtail Xtracycle like a Swoop or Stoker. That said, you can remove the front wheel, put the fork in the tray, and secure the bike using the J-bar over the top-tube, as shown above. (Picture credit: "Aaron's Bike Repair - Xtracycle.")
- Bus rear racks (the hanging kind) work great. Just hang it up like you would any other bike.
- Internal bus cargo compartments (like on Greyhound buses) are a mixed bag - some lines will let you bring your bike, others won't, and none will guarantee what shape your bike will be in at the end of the trip. Ask the bus company what their regulations are well in advance.
- The Xtracycle team has been able to transport Xtracycles on the San Francisco area BART train. Note that the RFA must be rolled onto one wheel in BART elevators; Xtracycle longtails are harder to fit on BART.
- Have you had success taking your cargo bike long term on a train? Let us know and we'll update this article to help others!
- Different carriers have different fees, but the general rule is to pack the bike as if you were shipping it via Ground with a sturdy cardboard box, lots of padding, and all pieces well secured. If packed well, an Xtracycle bike can be carried on many domestic and international flights, but again, make sure to check your carrier’s specific regulations for box sizes and weights.
- Note: Electric bikes use Lithium batteries, generally of a wattage that precludes carrying them on planes. Check with the carrier for their specific regulations.
- Most car ferries have no problem taking a bike, electric or not. Check with the operator for their specific rules, and where to board. Passenger-only ferries will often allow bikes, including e-bikes and tandems if space allows. Again, make sure to check with the operator for their rules.
- The Blue and Gold ferry in the San Francisco Bay Area does allow electric cargo bikes.
- The easiest way to transport a cargo bike a short distance is to tow it with another cargo bike!
ONE LAST NOTE:
Many motorcycle towing companies will happily move an e-Cargo bike for you, and the rates tend to be quite reasonable. If you're car-free or car-lite and you need to get your bike serviced, motorcycle towing companies are a great option.
Have additional questions about loading an Xtracycle on or in your car? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do the best we can to help!