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. 

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CARS, VANS, TRUCKS

  • Using a hitch rack: If you have a 2" hitch, we hands down recommend the Hollywood Sport Rider SE that is rated to carry two bikes weighing up to 80 lb each. This rack can also accommodate the longer 60" wheelbase of the EdgeRunner. This rack is available on our website here

Another hitch option that some of our riders have used with success is a motorcycle hitch rack. Black Widow makes a hitch mounted folding motorcycle rack that can hold one bike and comes with a loading ramp. 

  • In a car, van or wagonThe EdgeRunner, Stoker or RFA, with Hooptie, U-Tubes and front wheel removed will fit in the back of many vans and wagons. In the included picture, a 10e 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 EdgeRunner, Stoker or RFA. The Xtracycle team has used a carshare Toyota Tacoma with a standard length bed and can get 3-4 EdgeRunners 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 tiedowns 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, using a tandem tray: This works for standard 2- or 4-door cars but if you have a hatchback, make sure that the rear door will clear the end of a tandem length tray. See Thule and RockyMounts for tandem trays, and Thule, Yakima, or your car’s manufacturer for roof rack availability. The load capacity of the Thule rack is 55 lb so you would need to remove the V-racks on your bike along with the bags and Hooptie as well as any other accessories (like U-tubes). If you have an e-Bike, remove the battery pack and Intuvia/purion console as well. Putting a bike on the roof of your car is inherently risky - use team lift and be careful not to injure yourself lifting the bike. Always remove the bags before driving. 
  • 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.  

Be warned - standard rear mounted bike carriers are not recommended for the EdgeRunner or Stoker! The EdgeRunner and the Stoker are longer than most cars are wide, and strap on rear carriers are generally not rated for the weight of a fully kitted out EdgeRunner, Stoker or even RFA (despite it being shorter). Besides the one mentioned above, most hitch-mounted rear tray style bike racks are also not suitable due to the EdgeRunner and Stoker wheelbase. We have found that a rear cargo basket with an added fork block makes a great carrier - removing the front wheel and reversing the fork brings the bike's length down, and the rear wheel of the bike can be easily secured to the basket.

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BUSES

  • Most bus front trays are too short to easily accommodate a longtail. 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. See full instructions at: Aaron's Bike Repair - Xtracycle (Third party site).
  • 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.

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TRAINS

  • The Xtracycle team has been able to transport Xtracycles on the San Francisco area BART train.
  • 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! 

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PLANES

  • Different carriers have different fees, but the general rule is to pack the bike as if you were shipping it via Ground - 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.

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FERRIES

  • 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. 

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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.

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Have additional questions about loading an Xtracycle on or in your car? Shoot us an email at support@xtracycle.com and we'll do the best we can to help! 

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