Bike Rack from Aptera Motors?Posted by marco-landin on May 13, 2022 at 12:01 pm
Are there plans for an Aptera-designed bike rack, attachable to the vehicle for carrying a couple of bicycles?
- This discussion was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Marco Landin.
- 38 Replies
- MemberMay 13, 2022 at 6:02 pm
Not at this time.
There may be a towing capability for a very small trailer (300 pound load) that could be used for transporting bikes. Depending on the size and configuration of a bike it may be transported in the cargo area. There are pictures of a bike in the back of an Aptera. And of course, I am sure there will be third party accessories which most likely will include a bike rack for Aptera
- MemberMay 13, 2022 at 6:24 pm
If Aptera includes a category 1 hitch then many hitch-based bike racks would be an option. Aptera has indicated they planned on providing the light towing capability as mentioned above. That means an industry-standard hitch receiver that opens up all kinds of possibilities. A cat 1 hitch has a 1-1/4 inch receiver… perfect for a light bike rack. There would be no reason for Aptera to include a 2″ receiver as that would be overkill for the intended use and capacity max.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Paul Schultz.
- ModeratorMay 14, 2022 at 7:14 am
Marco, you might consider the option of one or more folding bikes. There are quite a few on the market now. Brompton is perhaps the best known brand, but is more of a city bike than road bike. An online search for folding bicycles will keep you entertained for hours. Good luck.
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 10:16 am
Great response, Ray. My wife and I currently have full sized electric Rad bikes. We are seriously considering selling them and buying their folding bike models. I’m pretty sure we could fit 2 in the back of the Aptera.
- MemberJune 29, 2022 at 11:05 am
Is there any intentions to get a rack or function to store a bike in the vehicle?
- MemberJune 29, 2022 at 11:14 am
You can put a single bike in the storage area depending on its size. Thee are no plans for a bike rack or other device to take a bike along with the vehicle. Such a device, if mounted externally, would significantly degrade the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
However, after purchase you can equip the Aptera as you wish as long as you are OK with the affect of the modification on vehicle performance.
- MemberJune 29, 2022 at 11:29 am
If we get the possible trailer hitch that would allow for bike racks. Alternatively suction based ones could be used. Anything would degrade aerodynamics but that may not be a huge concern depending on the range you are driving with the bikes – even if degraded to the aerodynamics of a normal car (0.3 Cd) the 400 mile aptera would have about 250 miles of range at 55mph; I expect a bike rack would not be that bad.
PS: I think 2-3 bikes could fit in the back safely if stacked with blankets.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Curtis Cibinel. Reason: added speed detail
- MemberJune 29, 2022 at 12:56 pm
I guess I would just like the trunk to lift slightly to place the bike in the back if I had to pick so that it is able to fit if needed.
- MemberJuly 6, 2022 at 5:53 pm
I have a SeaSucker board rack . It has worked well on a Chev Spark EV. ( foil board from Toronto to PEI !) I’m hoping that the SeaSucker will work on the Aptera. I’m guessing that a roof with solar panels won’t be as smooth as a roof with no solar panels.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 9:11 pm
@David MACFADYEN The outer surface of Aptera’s solar panels is absolutely smooth – I believe it’s a polycarbonate material: The solar cells are totally encapsulated beneath it and do not “read” through the surface.
- MemberJanuary 20, 2023 at 10:40 pm
I’ve been wondering about this for a while and looks like there has not been any progress on it. I don’t really see how a class I hitch would work on a tadpole trike configuration, but a trailer with similar aerodynamics to the Aptera seems to me the most efficient solution. It could attach via a yoke-style hitch mount like the Surly Ted and Bill bike trailers use, either attached to a lengthened axle on the rear wheel, or mounting rods protruding from the chassis just forward of the rear wheel. The yoke could have aero shrouds akin to the wheel pants, and the trailer would essentially be a squashed, two-wheel version of the Aptera body profile that could haul maybe 1,000 pounds. Unfortunately… that’s a pipe dream.
So the next best thing would be an aero roof rack. People’s admonishments to “just use the back, stupid” don’t really work for my wife and I. Sure, if you’re a roadie with a 10 lb. carbon-frame bike, that works great. My wife is disabled and rides a tadpole e-trike, which weighs 85 lbs., accompanied by my 65 lb. e-bike. Could we ride traditional bikes? I could sure, but e-bikes are more efficient, and again, my wife is disabled and cannot ride an unassisted bike.
The trike might barely fit if I remove the seat and chain, and remove the adjustable boom to which the crankset is mounted. However, the other e-bike and our dog will not fit with the trike in there. So the next option is to buy a brand-new, folding e-trike for about $10,000, as well as a newer, lightweight e-mtb that weighs about 35 lb., for another ~$8,000. We are not wealthy, so would have to save for a while to do that (especially after saving up for an Aptera), so it’s not exactly ideal. So a roof rack really is the easiest solution–put the trike on the aero roof bars, put an aero shroud on it (they sell these for tadpole trikes), and toss the remaining bike in the back.
We ordered the 1,000 mile version, live in the SF Bay Area so there are boat loads of trail options within a 100-mile radius, and we drive less than 10,000 miles a year, so will probably never need to plug in to charge–so I’m really not horribly concerned about range reduction. Our current car is a 2001 TDI Beetle that runs stock on a locally sourced B20 blend that is 80% renewable diesel, so it emits about 70 g/mi, about the same as a Lucid Air Pure AWD. So another option is just to continue to use the Beetle for those trips. However, it sure would be nice to use the Aptera. Even with its CoD slightly diminished by aero roof bars and an aero-shrouded trike, given that we will never plug in to recharge, or at most use level 1 recharging at home from 100% renewables (we have a PV system with storage), it is likely the Aptera’s g/mi would remain far below 70 (which, until the Aptera ships, is at this time best-in-class in NA).
I would love to have an official Aptera roof rack, but my guess is we will have to wait several years for a third-party option.
- MemberJanuary 22, 2023 at 7:20 pm
Rear hatch has solar panels as well. No sticky there , maybe there is enough surface area after the hatch, but it’s a wrapped section of body. Hopefully it won’t damage the wrap when removing it
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 3:49 am
As others have pointed out, there’s plenty of room under the hatch for a bike. I ride a fat bike, and I’m sure it will easily fit; it’s not a big deal to remove the front wheel to make it easier and lighter to place it back there.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 4:44 am
I reckon you can get several bikes into the back, it’s a pretty big space when you work it out.
Attaching a bike rack to the exterior of the vehicle would absolutely ruin the aerodynamics. Not a problem for short / slow driving, but if you wanted to take your bike on a long trip, the battery would feel the pain quite quickly.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 6:39 am
That’s why god made folding bikes. I still have both of my DaHons from 1984. Not sure why anyone would want to ruin the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Electric vehicles also truly aren’t capable of towing anything without a huge range penalty. Anything to be attached to the back of the APTERA should be as aerodynamic as the vehicle itself.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 10:12 am
As it happens I just bought a cheap folding bike a few weeks ago so I can put it into the back of my current car without having to fuss with taking wheels off etc (the hatch on mine is quite a bit smaller than the Aptera’s hatch).
I rode a friend’s Dahon quite a few years ago, maybe 1998-ish. As far as the ride quality went, I preferred it to the Brompton, seemed less twitchy.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Michael Marsden.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 7:31 pm
Both of mine are in good shape. One of them is stainless steel. I had a side business, I was purchasing 25 at a time from a distributor when I was working at American Airlines, many of my pilot friends were able to put them on their own light aircraft and their boats. They are a hoot to ride and actually quite quick.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 12:23 pm
Apart from a folding enduro e-trike, no folding bike will endure the sort of trail riding we do. I cannot even imagine riding a folding bike on the trail we just rode yesterday, with two-foot ruts washed into a ranching trail by the record rains we’ve had here recently, along with grades sometimes up to as much as 35-40%. We saw a handful of mountain bikers and gravel bikers; I didn’t see a single folding bike with 20″ wheels. Besides which, this is all moot. A folding bike is for urban riding; I can think of no reason to transport a bike in an urban setting to do urban riding–you just ride the bike.
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 10:21 am
Road trips. Drive the Aptera to a destination. Hop on the bikes to further explore your destination.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 5:48 am
I don’t want to lift an E-bike up that high and have to slide it sideways over a wrapped section of body
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 7:11 am
For those contemplating using Sea Suckers to carry stuff on the roof, what’s the chance of damaging the solar cells or lamination?
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 7:14 am
@paul. I don’t think it will stick to the solar cells. They aren’t perfectly flat
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 9:17 pm
@Patrick Liebknecht The outer surface of Aptera’s solar panels is utterly smooth – I believe it’s a polycarbonate layer: The cells do NOT “read” through the surface. There’s no reason that a Sea Sucker wouldn’t stick to them: The suction pads adhere easily to curved surfaces.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 7:17 am
I’d say great enough that I wouldn’t want to risk it…weight/contact patch and lateral forces?
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 1:30 pm
It seems like people aren’t really getting where me and the OP are coming from. If you have a bunch of 10-20 lb. road bikes or a Brompton that you want to throw in the back of your Aptera and that works for you, great. We are not you. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to any domain. This is why there is a huge market in third party accessories for vehicles. What works for you doesn’t work for everyone. We are not committing some sort of sacrilege by suggesting that we mar the perfect aerodynamics of the Aptera. Once we purchase it, we can do with it as we please. Moreover, it has zero environmental impact in my case, because we will probably never to need to charge our Aptera, as we drive less than 10k miles a year, will rarely if ever drive sufficiently far to require charging, and in the case that we do, we have a PV system with storage installed, so any charging that might be required will be 100% renewable via level 1 charging. It’s also more than a little ironic, and amusing, to be green-policed by people riding unassisted bicycles, which are less efficient than e-bikes, on a forum for a vehicle that uses the same technology as e-bikes–electric motors and lithium batteries–augmented with aerodynamic design features.
We are not knocking the Aptera–it is a brilliant example of intelligent engineering that dovetails with our concern to do our part for climate change. That’s why I have replaced 95% of my car trips with e-bike rides for 6 years now, which I will continue to do after we get our Aptera, and it’s also why we want an Aptera, for those remaining trips we have to do by car. What I am saying is, I want/need some accessories to make the Aptera even more utilitarian than it already is, so I can completely remove our Beetle from the equation. To keep it out of landfill and minimize environmental impact, we will probably keep our Beetle indefinitely as a back-up vehicle. Since it runs on a renewable B20 biodiesel blend, it gets better emissions than every other EV currently on the market due to the mix of non-renewables in the US energy grid. However, the Aptera is a game changer in that regard. Apart from emissions at manufacture, for us, and for many people, the Aptera will be truly zero emissions. So obviously, if I need an accessory to switch as many trips as possible to the Aptera to meet my family’s needs, I would want to do that.
On balance, the loss in aerodynamics, which would be much less in my scenario than I think people imagine, is a moot issue, since it would be recharged 100% renewably anyway, compared to the decrease in actual emissions from replacing biodiesel Beetle trips with solar-powered Aptera trips. The aerodynamics of the Aptera is impressive and one of its main selling points, but at the end of the day what matters more is CO2e, not CoD. What I am min-maxing is emissions, not coefficient of drag. CoD really only becomes a factor if either a) you are driving more than an average of 40 miles per day; and/or b) live in a zone with insufficient solar radiation to recharge from the solar panels; and/or c) are regularly driving on road-trips that use more than half of the battery capacity you ordered your Aptera with. In those cases, you might need to recharge regularly; and if you don’t have a PV system from which to recharge, as I do, this will mean your Aptera is emitting above zero. In my case, it makes more sense to utilize the Aptera fully with accessories, even if that means ruining its pristine CoD, to replace low-emitting trips with zero-emitting trips.
There are alternatives, but some of them are quite expensive, like buying two more expensive e-bikes. We aren’t millionaires, we can’t afford to buy infinite e-bikes on a whim. That’s why we have two old e-bikes, one that is 15 years old and one that is 6 years old. And the other solutions mean a reduction in affordance as a user.
I appreciate that Aptera has to limit options at launch in order to succeed as a company. However, I have an intense dislike for the Apple-style culture of one-size-fits-all-and-if-you-don’t-like-it-you’re-a-Phillistine, either from the support end or the fanboy end of things. That’s why I have an Android phone over an iPhone, and despite all the great things about MacOS, and all the problems with Windows and the hassles with Linux, why I prefer using Windows and Linux in my PCs. To be fair, both HP Velotechnik and Riese & Muller, the manufacturers of our e-bikes, take the same Apple-like attitude, but I modded those bikes the way I wanted to anyway, because I own them. If no accessory is made available by Aptera or the market, I will modify the Aptera as I see fit, because I own it. It is my property, period. However, it would be a lot more convenient if Aptera or a third party provided a solution, whether that is a roof rack, a trailer and/or a hitch receiver of some kind. To be clear, Aptera has not made this argument yet, the Apple-style curationism is all coming from the community so far. I can understand why Aptera might prefer that people not use the Aptera in such a way. However, Aptera also supports right-to-repair, which is a decidedly anti-Apple, pro-DIY, almost punk stance, which is one of the reasons I find them compelling as a company and want to support their company. Given that culture at Aptera however, I don’t think it’s strange that people like myself and the OP would want modify the Aptera to be even more effective at meeting our own needs.
What me and the OP are looking for is not suggestions about what would work for you, but what would work for our own needs. If those other ways of using the Aptera work for you, that’s great, but they don’t really address the OP’s post.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 7:09 pm
Aptera has said they are going to be supportive of 3rd-Party companies providing accessories. So you can probably get details from them that you need to have an adapter built to fit the Aptera. Then you can sell it to a manufacturer or sell it yourself.
- MemberJanuary 23, 2023 at 8:00 pm
Gordon, thanks for the heads up. I guess those of us wanting a roof rack should just contact Aptera directly.
- MemberJanuary 24, 2023 at 8:46 am
> a) you are driving more than an average of 40 miles per day;
What we are getting at is that the 40 miles/day + 400 mile range becomes more like 13 miles/day + 130 miles range if you have bikes on the back or roof, and drive at highway speeds for long distances.
If you are only driving locally, or slow speeds (under 50ish) when the bikes are on, then it doesn’t matter.
Nobody is stopping you either way. Just be aware of the practical implications and decide for yourself.
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 7:37 pm
Put your energy into inventing your own. I think you could anchor some nylon rope in the back and place a bar for the front fork on the lowest part of the tail. Take the front wheel off the bike and toss it in the back or otherwise secure it. Take the rope and essentially tie it off with enough tension to keep the rear wheel of the bicycle 10-15″ off the ground, trailing off the back of Aptera like it could roll – except you’ve adjusted the rear tire off the ground.
This places the bike in the slipstream of the Aptera giving you the least amount of drag possible as the placement is in the ‘wind shadow’ of the Aptera.
I also see this setup as being capable of accommodating two bikes with the front wheels clamped and stored in between them.
Just don’t forget to tie a red flag on the back.
I suspect a similar rig could be created for a single Kayak provided the item weighs less than 60 lbs. The rigging for this would be a fair amount of nylon rope and these items would fit straight in to the rear “T”.
The ultimate design would be anchored to the back of the Aptera kind of like a baby car seat. It would mirror the shapes of the Aptera and extend the wind envelope another 30=40 inches where the nylon ropes above are used to suspend cargo weighing less than 100lbs.
- MemberFebruary 15, 2023 at 3:42 am
> “This places the bike in the slipstream of the Aptera giving you the least amount of drag possible as the placement is in the ‘wind shadow’ of the Aptera.”
I’m not sure that to what extent the Aptera will have a noticeable wind shadow. It is likely to be much smaller than on a typical vehicle (the more aerodynamic the vehicle, the smaller the wind shadow).
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 4:59 am
My interest would be to be able to tow a light weight trailer, such as the Yakima Rack and Roll. Kayaks, and bikes for two could all be possible. This would add immense utility to the vehicle in consideration of overall weight issues.
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 1:14 pm
Hmmm, the 66″ version weighs 150 lbs and can carry up to 250 lbs, totaling 400 lbs. The hauling capacity of the Aptera is 500 lbs so that leaves only 100 lbs for the passengers total weight and everything else if you maxed out the trailer load. The maxed out 78″ would be 510 lbs (with the optional heavy duty shocks) exceeding the Aptera’s hauling capacity. You’d need to find a much lighter trailer, probably one made out of magnesium which is 33% lighter than aluminum. Also going for a smaller 250 mile battery would save some weight.
- MemberFebruary 14, 2023 at 4:24 pm
Tow capacity and passenger capacity are not the same thing. Touring motorcycles can generally safely tow 350-500lb. Aptera should definitely be able to do similar which is plenty for me to tow the weight of a trailer and 2 kayaks.
- MemberFebruary 15, 2023 at 7:48 am
So the downward tongue weight won’t be considered as part of the 500 lbs downward load weight? I didn’t see the max tongue weight for those two trailers listed, did I just miss it?
- MemberFebruary 15, 2023 at 8:32 am
Haven’t they stated that they hope 3rd party companies get in on the accessories? The topic came up in one of the interviews, because people were unsure about the tent option accessory that was last shown off.