Ebikes are great at replacing cars for short urban rides, but they’re not so great when it comes to driving to a destination in or on the car. Their added size and weight often exceeds the limits of traditional bike racks and makes them difficult or impossible to load inside the vehicle. German startup Pender has made it easier with a roof-mounted hydraulic lift that hooks the bike from the ground and whisks it onto the car roof with minimal effort. Getting a 60-lb (27-kg) bike onto the roof and ready to roll now takes minutes, if that.
Over the years we’ve seen several different roof racks, such as the Norwegian DropRack or the electric RazerLift. These two systems are convenient for mounting gear, but they require the user to raise the gear and place it on the rack.
In contrast, Pender’s slimmer Ebikelifter can be lowered to the bike-level without any manual assistance. The Ebikelifter secures its clamped hook via a separate tube attached to the bike’s top tube by a ratchet. This protects the frame. The user then swings the bike up to the roof with help from the integrated struts. Once the bike is in place, the arm locks in upright position and telescopes down to drop the bicycle tires into the trays. The bike can be ridden after straps are secured around each wheel.
With its base-mounted struts, the Ebikelifter is able to effortlessly handle bikes weighing up to 66 lb (30 kg). It’s designed to work with common wheel sizes between 26 and 29 inches, tires up to 3. 9 in (10 cm) wide and bicycle wheelbases ranging between 35 and 51 in (90 and 130 cm). Pender claims that it can be used with a wide range of vehicles, including SUVs, vans and cars. As the photo at the top shows, the Ebikelifter is designed to keep the bike well clear of the vehicle as it lifts to prevent damage.
Made from aluminum and stainless steel, the Ebikelifter itself weighs in at 26 lb (11. 8 kg) and mounts to rooftop crossbars. When not in use, the lift arm can be removed so it isn’t standing up or hanging off the roof.
To transport two bikes or ebikes you can install Pender Ebikelifts to the right and left sides of your vehicle’s roof. Each bike will be mounted in the same way, quickly, smoothly. It appears that the system saves time and energy compared to climbing up to the vehicle roof to lift a heavy e-bike the traditional way.
Pender introduced the Ebikelifter earlier this summer (Northern Hemisphere) and is offering it for a preorder price of EUR748 (approx. US$820). That’s not necessarily a steal for a single-purpose, single-item carrier that still requires crossbars, but it might be well worth it for cyclists who want to transport their multi-thousand-dollar ebikes safely and securely. Pender plans to begin deliveries in September.
You can watch the Ebikelifter make quick work of loading in the 1. 5-minute clip below.