Pender hydraulic ebike lift hoists bikes onto car roof in seconds
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.
We've seen a few different drop-down roof rack systems over the years, including the Norwegian-designed DropRack and electric RazerLift. Those two systems allow for convenient gear mounting but typically involve lowering the rack down to load level, requiring the user to lift gear up and on.
By contrast, the slimmer Pender Ebikelifter drops all the way down to bike level, requiring no unassisted manual lifting at all. To protect the frame, the Ebikelifter's clamped hook secures via a separate load tube that attaches to the bike above the top tube via a ratchet strap. 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. Straps secure each wheel, and the bike is ready to ride.
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 says it will work with the spectrum of standard-height cars, SUVs and vans. 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 carry two bicycles or ebikes, you can mount Pender Ebikelifts on the left and right sides of the vehicle roof, enjoying the same fast, smooth mounting for each bike. The system definitely appears to save time and muscle versus climbing around to mount a cumbersome ebike to the roof the old-fashioned way.
Pender introduced the Ebikelifter earlier this summer (Northern Hemisphere) and is offering it for a preorder price of €748 (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.