Not everyone has the luxury of riding electric bikes straight from the home to the trail or pathway. This means we need to transport our bikes using our cars and pickups to the trails.
This can be easy for a regular bike but not so much for e-bikes. With e-bikes, you’ll have to do more than open the tailgate and load the bike.
If you are transporting or storing more than one ebike, remember they are quite costly, and repairing one isn’t cheap. Therefore, I’m sure you’re wondering if you can lay an electric bike on its side when transporting or storing it. Well, for answers to this and more, please read on…
E-bikes are quite expensive. I wouldn’t recommend lying it down. Transporting in the vertical position is always best. Shifters, derailleurs, mirrors and spokes are extremely vulnerable to damage when a heavy eBike is lying down. If you can avoid laying it down your eBike will probably last longer.
Laying a bike on its side with the drive side up poses a considerable risk to the e-cycle, especially when left in that position for a very long time. So after doing thorough research, we compiled the following article answering the question,” can you rest an electric bike down on its side?”
RIDE eMTB Tip: If you “must” lay your eBike down, I recommend removing the battery and lying the bike down on the left side. (The opposite side from the derailleur)
Can You Lay an Electric Bike on Its Side?
No, you can’t lay it on the side; however, most cyclists have done it at some point, but it’s not a good idea. You must monitor the right side with a regular MTB when laying the bike down. Therefore, it’s crucial that you lay it down on the left-hand side to protect the derailleur, which is on the right side.
When you press the derailleur against the ground, you may end up realigning the gears; in the worst-case scenario, they may get damaged. (source)
Well, this fact applies to all bikes, and it’s even worse with e-bikes which tend to be heavier than the normal MTBs. The ebike has more delicate parts, including the motor, gears, battery, and throttle. For instance, like a normal MTB, its derailleur is on the right side. So if your kid lays it down on the right side after cycling, it can get damaged.
The derailleur gears are on the outer side of the bike, with the rear one linked to a cable. You can change the gears by tensioning the cable using the shifter on its handlebars. Most e-bikes use the derailleur to change gears; leaving it pressed against the ground can be pretty dangerous to your ebike.
Remember, these bikes are heavy, especially the powerful ones which can press on the derailleur and damage it. In fact, they’re about 20 pounds heavier than conventional bikes. (source) You must be careful when dealing with these bikes, especially when transporting them. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to leave it vertically. When transporting it, you will have to remove the battery.
I’ve got a group of articles explaining why eBikes are Awesome Check Them Out Below 👇
- I love riding eBikes, want to learn why? Read 👉 What Are The (Great) Features of Electric Bikes?
- Are you weighing the Pros and Cons of getting an eBike? Let me help 👉 Electric Bike Pros and Cons
- Interested in how it “feels” to ride an eBike? Awesome 👉 What Does it Feel Like to Ride an eBike?
- What is “Pedal Assist? Let me explain it in this article. 👉 What is Pedal Assist and How Does it Work?
Will the Battery Leak?
Generally, e-bikes use a wide range of batteries, with some having a low likelihood of leaking than others. Therefore, they’re safe to use, but some batteries, like the lead-acid inside batteries, can become a fire hazard when damaged. And that is because dropping them too often can damage them, resulting in the battery leaking when you lay the bike on its side.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you handle your bike with care and always remove the battery before transporting or storing it. If your bike has a lead-acid battery, you should worry about it leaking when the e-bike is on its side. Fortunately, most batteries don’t leak when the ebike is on its side, but it can get damaged if the bike drops on its side.
Ride eMTB Tip: Read about all the reasons a removable battery is better in this article 👉 Is It Better to Have a Removable Battery on an eBike
Easier to Damage Bike When on Its Side
Other than the derailleur getting damaged and the battery leaking, you can damage many things lying the bike on its side. When falling on the side, the impact alone can leave your bike with damage. Leaving it on its side for too long when transporting it can damage the other parts.
The pressure created by the bike’s weight can considerably affect your bike. Some of the parts that can be easily damaged when the cycle lies on its side include:
Break Handlebar Items
First, the handlebars risk getting damaged with the bike on its side, especially some of the essential parts. The handlebars are the steering control of the ebike, with many essential components that help you control the bike. The ebike handlebar is composed of several mounting places for bells, cyclo computers, shift levers, and brake levers. (source)
This component can get damaged when mishandled, which includes when you leave the bike on its side. Therefore, laying these bikes on the side can be pretty dangerous when transporting or storing them.
Another component that can get damaged when the bike is on its side is the spokes. Remember, anyone can step on it and break the spokes. Plus, the best way to protect them is by storing them in a vertical position where it’s protected by the tire pressure and away from anyone’s path.
When in a vertical position, the tire pressure can help with shock absorption and prevent the spokes from breaking.
Leaving your ebike on its side leaves the wheels exposed to accidents. Someone may step on it, or if it’s just left in your garage, your car may run over it, leaving you with a bent wheel. When the spokes get damaged and not fixed on time, the rim may bend the next time you drive it before repairing it.
Did you Know You Can Convert a Regular MTB to Electric?
Bafang a leader in DIY electric bike conversions has a mid-drive kit that will fit on most regular bikes. I’d recommend the BBSHD kit, it’s a complete setup with a huge capacity battery and a 1000 watt motor. Why this setup?
- Heavy duty 1000 watt motor (built for cargo bikes)
- +50 volt 17.5 Ah battery for speed and distance
- Easy installation with provided tools.
If you’re considering a conversion, do what I’m doing get the BANFANG BBSHD 1000w eBike Conversion with Battery
Generally, leaving the bike on its side exposes it to several dangers. First and foremost, the derailleur may get damaged thanks to the pressure from the heavy ebike. Changing the bike’s gears while cycling can be challenging with a damaged derailleur. Some components that can get damaged include the handlebar, spokes, and the wheel itself.
Hi David Humphries here the guy doing all the pedaling behind the scenes with this blog. I’ve been in the MTB world for a while and recently started getting into eMTBs. You can check out more about me HERE and on my other passion project – DIYMountainBike.com
- YouTube contributor, Lay Your Bike On Its Side, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PetNt71FA2U/ Accessed February 20, 2023.
- Larry Gales, Electric Bikes: Fun, Practical, and Ready to Help Save the Planet, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiN5InI9av9AhWMT8AKHTAvAzsQFnoECBAQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fstaff.washington.edu%2Flarryg%2FEnergy%2FLLC-Class5.pptx&usg=AOvVaw0ciSwEJAaCvS2UXjhAIahg/ Accessed February 20, 2023.
- Wikipedia contributor, Bicycle Handlebar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_handlebar/ Accessed February 20, 2023.