Hitching a trailer on your e-bike is more than a means of transport.
For many users, having a trailer offers the practicality of transporting cargo, kids, and pets, and at the same time, a sustainable commute system, which could easily replace your family car.
It offers a convenient option for commuting with kids, doing some grocery shopping, carrying cargo, and much more.
However, before turning your e-bike into a workhorse, there’re several aspects you need to consider.
Fortunately, we compiled a detailed guide on everything you need to know about e-bike towing.
Can an Electric Bike Pull a Trailer?
Yes, an e-bike can pull a trailer. With the power of a motor, you can pull a larger load effortlessly and go further without feeling exhausted.
But there’s a caveat;
You need to pick the right e-bike, alongside the right trailer for your towing needs.
Classification of E-bike Trailers
Now, for whatever towing needs, there’s always a trailer for the task.
Let’s look at some of the popular bike trailer options:
Cargo Trailers- Cargo trailers, also known as flatbed trailers, come in all sizes and let you carry the bulky and heavy loads such as a lawn mower.
Pet Trailers- Pet trailers are distant cousins of the cargo trailers, but they're more compact and lighter.
They’re suitable for pets and they feature an enclosing mechanism to keep the pets inside the trailer during a ride.
Kids Trailers- Kid’s trailers are built with comfort and safety in mind, with many of them featuring harnesses for safety.
Components of E-bikes for Towing
We've learned that e-bikes can pull a trailer.
However, not all of them are capable of doing so.
E-bikes for towing have unique features, which we shall look at below.
Most of the standard e-bikes have a motor power rating of 250 W.
It’s a sufficient option for the light riders, who don’t need to tow anything or even ride on the rugged and hilly terrains.
However, if you need to load extra weight, you’ll at least require a high-powered motor output.
Depending on the weight of the load, you might require a motor rating anywhere from 500 W or 750 W and above.
While at it, you must also consider the local laws and regulations for e-bikes because of the different classification of e-bikes, especially those above 500 W.
Mid-Drive Electric Motor
There're three main types of motors for e-bikes (Hub, rear, and front).
Of the three, the mid-drive offers better performance and is suited for the e-bikes for hauling trailers.
Mid-drive motors rely on the existing drivetrain for propulsion.
Unlike the hub motors, they can take advantage of the existing gears, meaning they’ve a higher torque rating, which makes them ideal for towing and riding hills.
With the extra weight and additional power, your e-bike battery is going to get drained pretty fast.
So, consider using a higher battery capacity to deal with the heavier power draw to increase your range.
Finally, consider an e-bike with disc brakes, as these offer consistent braking power with heavier loads.
However, if your e-bike lacks the disc brakes, you might consider upgrading the existing braking system to higher performance brake pads.
Pushing vs. Pulling a Trailer with E-bike
Push trailers are an alternative and a complete opposite of the pull trailers.
They’ve an independent motor, which pushes you and your cargo.
What users love about the push trailers is they're versatile and can be attached either to your e-bike or regular bike.
Are they any better than the pull trailers?
Well, it depends on whether they're attached to an e-bike or a traditional bike.
If they’re attached to an e-bike, they’re the better option, since the rider is getting support from both their e-bike as well as the trailer.
On the other hand, if the push trailer is attached to a regular bike, the rider might be forced to put more effort into pedaling.
Nonetheless, the idealness of either type will depend on several factors, including the power of the motor, your weight, and even terrain.
While none is better than the other on its own, the push trailers have the upper hand, when attached to an e-bike since they double the support.
What to Avoid When Using an E-bike for Towing and Hauling
There’re several things you should always avoid when hauling with an e-bike.
1) Don’t overload
While there’s no legally prescribed weight limit for e-bikes, it doesn't mean you should go overboard and exceed the total permissible payload.
Overloading your e-bike will compromise its performance in the long run and will result in the straining of the performance components.
2) Avoid speed
The heavier you load, the more you should moderate your speed.
High speeds are usually not encouraged on trailer e-bike, especially when going downhill.
3) Failure to Drive Defensively
The riding experience of an e-bike with a trailer attached is vastly different from riding an e-bike with nothing attached.
With the former, you need to learn how to drive defensively, especially if you are carrying your kid so as not to crash with other riders.
Top 3 E-bike For Hauling
D-Class Dual-Motored Scrambler E-bike
The folks at Ariel Rider went all out with this model.
First, the D-Class Scrambler packs two 750 W hub motors capable of delivering a combined 1500 W of output.
The powerful performance is further complemented by robust hydraulic brakes, a smaller wheelbase, and a throttle.
The Scrambler is a comfortable option, too, with the stretched banana seat offering room for an extra passenger and the fat tire taking on any terrain with ease.
Scrambler: Electric Adventure Bike
The Scrambler relies on a proprietary 750W Bafang motor and a high-performance 52V battery for riding performance.
The performance of the e-bike is simply impressive, and the manufacturer claims the e-bike can reach a max speed of 28 MPG.
It’s also a low maintenance option, with the mag-wheel providing a puncture-resistant performance.
RadRunner is both fun and feels playful to ride.
At the same time, however, it comes with a practical side, and this is evident through both the cargo-hauling and passenger-carrying options.
It’s rich in performance features, including a robust 750 W motor and high capacity 48V battery for range.
It’s a comfortable option, too, with the wide tires offering carefree ride style, which greatly helps when towing.