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Lifting 25kg electric bikes

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Post by Apple Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:46 am

Greetings from a newbie wave

My partner and I (both pensioners) have recently graduated to a Broadway EB from a caravan so are still in the early stages of motorhome ownership. We are both keen e-bikers and previously carried the bikes on the car, a low lift option. Whilst we can just about manage to lift our current 25kg e-bikes onto the rack it is hard and painful work. I’ve seen the powered lift option but on a pension £650 is a huge extra cost for us. 

Anybody got any ideas to resolve this or on the feasibility of fitting a tow bar . I would be grateful for any advice, guidance or tips.
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Post by Quilter Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:40 am

Welcome to the forum!

We found this made it easier:  position the bike along the end of the bike rack so that the front wheel is nose in to the end of a runner. Person 1 holds the bike in this position while person 2 lifts the front wheel  and tilts the bike so that it is almost upright on the rear wheel. Person 1 holds it steady in that position while person two locates the front wheel onto the runner bar. Person 1 then lifts the rear wheel and pushes gently while person 2 guides the front wheel along the runner. It can then be secured onto the rack and bike 2 dealt with in a similar way.

We always took the batteries off as this made them lighter to lift and have on the back of the van. Less likely to be stolen as well.
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Post by Apple Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:43 am

Quilter wrote:Welcome to the forum!

We found this made it easier:  position the bike along the end of the bike rack so that the front wheel is nose in to the end of a runner. Person 1 holds the bike in this position while person 2 lifts the front wheel  and tilts the bike so that it is almost upright on the rear wheel. Person 1 holds it steady in that position while person two locates the front wheel onto the runner bar. Person 1 then lifts the rear wheel and pushes gently while person 2 guides the front wheel along the runner. It can then be secured onto the rack and bike 2 dealt with in a similar way.

We always took the batteries off as this made them lighter to lift and have on the back of the van. Less likely to be stolen as well.
Morning Quilter thank you for your swift response, I'll certainly give that method a try
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Post by fred1 Tue Aug 02, 2022 1:19 pm

Fit a tow bar and get a tow bar bike carrier not cheap but will solve your problem
Its what i did.
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Post by pagetheoracle Tue Aug 02, 2022 1:53 pm

I had the Broadway EB up until a few months ago. I carried 2 Rockrider E bikes and despite being a pensioner found loading and unloading them v easy. The answer lay in the low height memo Europe rack fitted using chassis extensions (2 metal plates basically). Very very strong and yes, a bit more expensive but remember it’s only 4 bolts each side and it comes off to sell on when you’re upgrading say to the Merc. I’d never hang 50kg + weight of rack off the back of the broadway although some do.
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Post by Quilter Tue Aug 02, 2022 2:16 pm

We eventually fitted a Alko Sawiko Velo 3 chassis mounted bike rack to our Broadway, many years ago. This was before there were many places fitting them so we had to wait until everything was measured up and imported. While we were waiting we were shown the method of lifting our bikes that I have detailed above. 

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Had we not already ordered the bike carrier I think we might have waited a few more years before doing so as it was very much easier and less hernia-inducing than simply hefting each bike up.

The new bike rack was a great success  however so, if you do feel you can stretch to it, then go for one. We had ours fitted by Heart of England Motorhomes and can recommend a vert good CL close by.
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Post by IanH Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:04 pm

My concern wouldn't be lifting them....
You are planning to fit some form of bike rack or towbar, potentially 20+Kg then put 50Kg of bikes on it. The weight will act downwards in the centre of the carrier, let's say 400mm behind the vehicle rear end. This is in addition to the approx 1500mm from the rear axle so the weight is acting the best part of 1900mm behind the rear axle centre line. The Broadway has already a considerable rear overhang relative to the axle.
As a bare minimum I'd have it weighed at a local weighbridge and get 3 weights, front axle, rear axle and total weight.
The manual will quote the max weight for the rear axle, I'd add 70Kg to that and that wouldn't even allow for the distance behind the axle.
As an aside you'll also increase the overall length for ferries.
Your call, each to his/her own as always on here!


Oh, and welcome to this excellent forum BTW!! up!
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Post by Cymro Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:14 pm

Apple, I understand the problem.  Can the batteries be detached from the 25kg e-bikes? Ours can, and that considerably lightens the load. 

We don't have a powered lift option (to which you referred). We have the Fiamma Lift bike rack. Not cheap, but lowers the rack's rails to about 18" and I can manage to put our bikes on the rails at that height. Then a cheap cordless drill easily lifts the bikes up into position. 

We bought folding e-bikes, but it's much easier to carry them unfolded on the rack, rather than folded inside (although inside eliminates the pendulum effect of having the mass beyond the overhang, to which IanH refers.) In practice, on the Nuevo, I really notice no difference whatsoever in the handling when the bikes are on the rack. My NuevoES's rear CP tyres are at 80psi.  Our bikes are stated to weigh 18kg including batteries, though I'd guess that they are heavier. Detaching the batteries is a big help - they are carried inside the van.

I like Quilter's described method of loading the bikes on to the rails, and I'll try that, with the help of the Assistant Bike Loader .... if I can persuade her. (Incidentally, I couldn't see any video in the link in your second post, Quilter, but the earlier description is sufficient, thank you.)

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Post by Apple Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:43 pm

Many thanks to all who posted a reply to my query, very much appreciated, its clear to me that this forum is a healthy source of information, tips and guidance.

Having read all the comments to date I think my way forward is to give it a try with the current 'high' rack but then possibly go for the tow bar option. My son in law can fit this for me at cost as he is a mechanic and I already have an Atera Strada lowball rack that I have used without incident on my car for several years.

I look forward to reading, and hopefully contributing, to this excellent forum as my experience develops.

Thanks again:up!:
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Post by Plymouthwelshboy Thu Aug 04, 2022 10:51 pm

We have a Broadway EB and went for towbar as newbies with Thule rack. So.....our ebikes come in at 55kg. The rack is 15 kg. The tow bar requires the support legs to be removed and then the towbar plates and frame almost weigh 60 kg in themselves. All up we added 130kg + to the rear axle and immediately went over the axle.limit by 60kg when we added in water payload etc. To get around this and to increase the payload slightly anyway, we up plated the van ...which requires five new tyres to take the extra load. We were newbies and didn't see this coming...however, the semi air suspension has made the ride so much better it's like driving a different vehicle. Handling is hugely different and better. The bike rack is low enough that we can almost wheel the bikes onto the rack. We have extra payload capacity although we don't use it and the axle weight isn't exceeded. Search for our blog on all of it on the internet.....wherenexthun...... And then search air suspension and upplating .  As an aside we were horrified at how little.payload we had when we bought it and.out it on the weigh station before fitting the towbar etc etc. A full tank of diesel, quarter tank of fresh water, some.clothes for a week and we were pushing the payload limit pretty quickly.  We learned loads....painfully......but now we have come to realise it was worth it. Until I reach 70 I guess and then the medicals etc as our Moho is now rates over 3.5 tonnes . Hope that helps
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Post by Apple Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:51 am

Plymouthwelshboy wrote:We have a Broadway EB and went for towbar as newbies with Thule rack. So.....our ebikes come in at 55kg. The rack is 15 kg. The tow bar requires the support legs to be removed and then the towbar plates and frame almost weigh 60 kg in themselves. All up we added 130kg + to the rear axle and immediately went over the axle.limit by 60kg when we added in water payload etc. To get around this and to increase the payload slightly anyway, we up plated the van ...which requires five new tyres to take the extra load. We were newbies and didn't see this coming...however, the semi air suspension has made the ride so much better it's like driving a different vehicle. Handling is hugely different and better. The bike rack is low enough that we can almost wheel the bikes onto the rack. We have extra payload capacity although we don't use it and the axle weight isn't exceeded. Search for our blog on all of it on the internet.....wherenexthun...... And then search air suspension and upplating .  As an aside we were horrified at how little.payload we had when we bought it and.out it on the weigh station before fitting the towbar etc etc. A full tank of diesel, quarter tank of fresh water, some.clothes for a week and we were pushing the payload limit pretty quickly.  We learned loads....painfully......but now we have come to realise it was worth it. Until I reach 70 I guess and then the medicals etc as our Moho is now rates over 3.5 tonnes . Hope that helps

Thanks for your help, regrettably I am already over 70 and have lost my C1 entitlement so up plating is not an option I'm afraid.
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Post by Apple Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:52 am

Apple wrote:Greetings from a newbie wave

My partner and I (both pensioners) have recently graduated to a Broadway EB from a caravan so are still in the early stages of motorhome ownership. We are both keen e-bikers and previously carried the bikes on the car, a low lift option. Whilst we can just about manage to lift our current 25kg e-bikes onto the rack it is hard and painful work. I’ve seen the powered lift option but on a pension £650 is a huge extra cost for us. 

Anybody got any ideas to resolve this or on the feasibility of fitting a tow bar . I would be grateful for any advice, guidance or tips

Exploring another option I could perhaps replace the existing Fiamma rack with the Wind down model to facilitate lifting the ebikes on and off. Would I be correct in assuming that the original mounting plate location would be the same for the new dropdown rack and/or perhaps racks from other manufacturers eg Thule. I don't want to have to drill additional holes in the back panel. If that is the case do you know the practicalities of fitting a piece of aluminium section across the whole of the width of the van to spread the weight of the mounts. Hope that makes sense!
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Post by Tintent116 Sun Aug 07, 2022 5:01 pm

I too would not be keen to hang more then 50kg of weight off the back wall of the van. Jolt that up and down over a few potholes and I would expect structural or damp problems.  I think a towbar rack is the way to go.......
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Post by KMRTOPAZ Sun Aug 07, 2022 10:58 pm

I devised a method for Lifting an Electric Bike and this was explained and illustrated in a post of that title dated Oct 12th 2020 which can be sourced by using the search facility.
If it's any encouragement to you, I still use it, I lift using one hand, I will be 90 years young in a couple of months.
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Post by Apple Mon Aug 08, 2022 6:29 am

KMRTOPAZ wrote:I devised a method for Lifting an Electric Bike and this was explained and illustrated in a post of that title dated Oct 12th 2020 which can be sourced by using the search facility.
If it's any encouragement to you, I still use it, I lift using one hand, I will be 90 years young in a couple of months.
Keith

Thanks for this Keith It looks very interesting. I'm going to use your plan to make a similar lift using the pulleys from an old disused garage ceiling lift. Thanks again for your idea!
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