If you have ever tried to hoist 25kg of ebike onto a regular ‘prong’ or clamp style rack, you will know why this product is the answer. If you plan to do any sort of road trip with your ebikes then this really is what you need. The bikes are easy to get on and off — there is even an optional ramp. For me, the deal clincher was that you can swing the bikes out the way to open the boot, too easy, and a trick my prong racks are incapable of.
Since initially publishing this review, I have done some longer trips including one to Rotorua with 2 MTBs on board, and can highly recommend it for stability, safety (lighting), ease-of-use, convenience and keeping bikes apart (no scratches or dents thank you!). In fact, I liked it so much I bought the review unit.
EziGrip is a local brand based in Auckland. They were spun out of the Best Bars brand which makes most of the tow-hitches on NZ vehicles, including our VW and Toyota but now operate independently. So they no doubt know a thing or two about securely fastening heavy things on the back of cars. They make a range of high-quality racks including prongs, other platform racks and boot-mount racks. Of interest too is that they make something called a “Bike Buddy” for those of you who want to put a step-through on a prong rack.
EziGrip sent the review sample in a box, though I imagine you could impose upon your friendly retailer to assemble it for you. It wasn’t hard, which was a good thing as the instructions were confusing so I had to rely a bit on my intuition. In hindsight it all made sense. Assembly took around 1/2 an hour.
Once assembled it was easy enough to fit on the car, and not so bulky as to be a curse in your garage because it folds up to a footprint lightly bigger than a slab of beer. It’s fairly heavy at around 18kg (Thule ones are similar in weight), but is well balanced and has two handles to make it easy to carry. A simple screw knob tightens a chuck around the towball. There is also a plate that seems to have some function for certain vehicles but I couldn’t figure it out from the instructions. Once tightened, you fold out the base and securely clip them in place.
Getting the bike on was also easy. The $60 optional ramp is a help but not entirely necessary unless you have a tall vehicle. If you can lift the front wheel 40cm you can get the bike on the rack without the ramp. The ramp is something that works as an aid rather than a permanent fixture.
There is a clamp that locks onto the seat tube and ratchet straps that secure the wheels in position. Getting the second bike on was just as easy and the rack held them apart. A benefit over some racks is that the bar is between the bikes, so the arm that grips the rearmost bike doesn’t have to go through the first bikes as in some Thule racks. It makes it easier to mount the bikes and to take off bikes independently.
In my observation through the rear view mirror there was no bouncing around. I was happy that the rack had full lighting and place for supplementary licence plate. I was also happy that there is a single key to lock the rack onto the vehicle and the bikes to the rack. The thing with a prong rack is that locking the bikes on is really quite hard to do.
Folding the rack down to access the boot was easy. Folding it back up was easy too. Just make sure it is properly secured and the locking clip is in place — you wouldn’t want it flopping down while driving (we are recently traumatised with my son having watched his pride-and-joy fly off the roof of a mates car, and in Melbourne earlier in the year our tour operator lost a bike off a Thule rack through not being properly secured).
Who should buy this?
- Anyone who plans to move ebikes around on the back of their vehicle. This is a much better solution than other styles of bike rack.
Who shouldn’t buy this?
- If you can’t pick up the 18kg of the rack then it’s not for you. If this is the case however, you won’t be able to lift a folding bike into a car nor will you be able to get an ebike onto a prong rack
- $800 for the rack – a few hundy less than an equivalent Thule
- $60 for the optional ramp
What else could I consider?
- Thule make a similar rack also rated for ebikes with a $1349 RRP
More info please!