Saris Door County Electric Assist E-bike Rack: First Look
A rack purpose-built for carrying heavy electric bikes, the Saris Door County e-bike hitch rack has one feature that makes it stand out from the rest: It does the lifting for you.
The Saris Door County bike rack uses an electric lift to drop the rack 12 inches to 16 inches to ground level, allowing you to simply roll your e-bike onto the tray. After securing the bike, all you need to do is push a button for the rack to lift itself back to the transport position. It’s a rather neat solution to an issue that plagues nearly every e-bike owner who’s ever tried to transport their bike. It’s an often asked for feature that people hope to see on the best car racks for electric bikes.
Matt Hamond, a sales administrator for Saris, walked us through the Door County rack at this year’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California and showed us how the lift system works. If you’ve ever struggled to lift an e-bike onto a rack, keep reading: the Saris Door County may be the solution for you.
Saris Door County features
It’s a back-saving, bike-carrying and, quite honestly, very cool piece of e-bike tech.
The Saris Door County bike rack has a 60 lb per bike position weight limit, so it should be able to handle all but the most heavy e-bikes. Though, you may still need to remove the battery to make the weight limit.
The rack draws power through the same electrical connection you’d use to power a trailer’s lights, and it’s controlled by a touchpad that’s at about waist height. That pad allows you to raise, lower and pause the rack’s up and down motion. The rack drops about 12 inches to 16 inches total, according to Hamond, enough drop to make the trays flush with the ground from the hitch height of most vehicles.
Saris built the Door County around a “lobster claw” clamping system that secures the bike by the frame. This system, in our experience, is super sturdy for heavier bikes. The only drawback is it takes a bit of trial and error to make the clamps mesh perfectly with your bike’s frame the first time you use it. This design is also friendly to fenders or battery mounts.
The rack weighs in at 63 lbs, according to Saris, and it’s only compatible with 2-inch receiver hitches, so those with lighter-duty towing setups may not be able to use this rack. Like many high-end racks on the market, the Door County also sports integrated tail lights, a locking system and a mechanism that tilts the rack forward so you still have access to your rear hatch. It also folds up when not in use and has some suitcase-style wheels to roll around on when it’s being stored off your car.
Thanks for reading our up-close look at the Saris Door County. What are your thoughts about electrically assisted lifts on car racks? Let us know in the comment below.
Boy, OH BOY!
This sounds like a winner from my point of view! Now all I need is a car to transport it, and a trailer hitch for said car, and we’re away to the races! Seriously though, what a great invention this is! My Radrunner Plus just makes it weight-wise, and the ability to get to some of the trails I want to ride is now a distinct possibility. I’ll look forward to seeing this apparatus on my SUV in the spring, because the weather is becoming too unpredictably cool right now to entertain thoughts of jumping right in, as tempting as it is.
Sandra Gudmundsen says
Really really really need an electric or otherwise powered eBike rack. The eBike has been fantastic for my husband, letting him ride again and get fit. But it’s killing his back to lift it up on the Quot rack. Please email further details like where and when it will be available for purchase and price.
At last! Something for people who have bad backs!
I would love to see a detailed review by Electric Bike Report to find out the pros and cons of this under actual use.
Keep up the good work, Guys!
Electric Pete says
One slight omission from the author. While he states that it connects to the same trailer connector that powers the lights, that is not correct. MOST vehicles have the common 4 pin trailer lighting connector that will NOT power this rack. You need the more complex 7 pin power trailer connector that has a connection for 12v power with enough amps to power the motor. These are common on your heavy duty trucks, but rarely on an SUV or passenger car since that connection is typically for trailers that smaller vehicles cant tow safely.
Just trying to save someone from a surprise.
Wayne Moline says
Thank you, Electric Pete, for this (timely and greatly needed) tid-bit of information. The surprise would very likely be a shocker, since the re-wiring required would most probably be an expensive undertaking. I could foresee having to have both the 4 pin and 7 pin connections available so other connections commonly used for lighter travel trailers would not have to be re-configured to accommodate the family SkiDoo trailer more commonly used than the bike lift.
I wonder if Saris Door folks might address this in a follow-up comment?