Like bicycles themselves, bike racks are rapidly evolving. The proliferation of e-bikes means that many bikes are now heavier, and have frames that may be more difficult to lift and install on traditional bike racks. So instead of adding a ramp so riders can push their bikes from the ground to the rack, Saris just decided they’d drop the entire rack down to the ground instead.
Called the Door County, this rack is a fully-featured and powered bike rack with a cool party trick. Press a button, and the rack lowers to the ground. Push your bike onto the trays, lock it down, and hit the button again, and it raises into position. With the ability to carry two bikes that are up to 60lbs each, the Door County should be adequate for most true e-bikes.
Depending on your vehicle’s hitch height, it may not make it to the ground. But the rack will be low enough that you can roll it onto the trays fairly easily.
Once on the tray, the “lobster claws” can attach to seat or top tubes in a way that avoids fenders or e-bike batteries. Each wheel is held in place at the bottom with a simple wheel strap. One clever detail – these straps have steel cores, and function as locks for each bike. No need for adding an additional lock for quick pit stops. There’s also a lock for the rack to the vehicle with the same key.
Powering the rack is a 7-pin connection, so you’ll need more than the typical trailer light connection.
But that powered connection does mean you’ll have fully functioning tail lights with running, brake, and turn signal lights.
When it’s time to take the rack off your vehicle, the Door County folds up with an integrated handle. Then, once it’s removed from the vehicle, there are caster wheels on the bottom so you can simply roll it into your garage.
Weighing in at 63lbs, the Door County is a heavy rack, but maybe not as heavy as you’d expect. Compatible with 2″ receivers only, the Door County is not approved for RV use. The rack is also only compatible with wheelbases up to 48″, and tires up to 3″ wide, but that should cover a lot of e-bikes. It’s also not cheap at $1,199.99 but if that means you’re able to get out and enjoy your new e-bike, it might be worth the price of admission.
New Traps Thru Axle Adapter
Saris has offered their Traps system for years now, and it’s a great way to secure bikes inside of a vehicle. As an update, they’ve introduced a new Thru Axle Adapter with a clever 4-in-1 design. That means you can use it for 12 x 100, 15 x 100, 15 x 110, or 20 x 110 thru-axles without any additional parts or adapters.
When used on the Traps Single Track, the adapter has to be mounted parallel, but you can use the Traps Triple Track to angle the adapter, which angles the handlebars allowing you to store more bikes in the same space. And while the adapter is designed for use with the Traps Tracks, you could use the mounting bolts to attach it to just about anything. The adapter will be available soon and will sell for $59.