Can an E-Bike Pull a Bike Trailer? (Plus Safety Tips)

The almighty e-bike is an ingenious and efficient tool that offers the ultimate mix of speed and efficiency, while also giving you a reasonable amount of exercise.

If you’re a fan of e-bikes, then you might be wondering how feasible it is to attach and pull a bike trailer with one.

Is it safe? Have people done it before? Is it even possible?

Can you pull a bike trailer with an e-bike?

E-bikes can seamlessly attach and pull a bike trailer with ease, and may even be preferable because of the extra power of an electric motor to pull the trailer. However, e-bikes with disc brakes will likely need an adapter for around $60 to attach to the thru-axle. For safety reasons, it is not recommended to exceed 10 mph (or 16 kph) while pulling a bike trailer. 

If you’re an e-bike enthusiast and want to know exactly how to ride safely and enjoyably while bulling a bike trailer with kids or a dog, then keep reading!

Why your e-bike might not attach to a bike trailer

E-bikes are almost identical to traditional bikes in appearance and features apart from the motor, so they will be compatible with almost any bike trailer. 

In most cases, you will be able to easily attach your trailer to your e-bike right out of the box, with the coupler hitch attachment included.

Specifically, if your bike’s rear wheel has a standard quick-release (skewer that goes through the center of the wheel), then most trailers will attach easily to your bike.

However, some types of e-bikes may require a simple adapter in order to attach the trailer. These exceptions are typically bikes that have thru-axle wheels, bolted axle, or hooded-style dropouts.

Since your e-bike most likely has disc brakes, there is a chance it has a thru-axle wheel. The reason some thru-axle wheels don’t fit standard coupler attachments is that the thru-axle is too large in diameter to fit through the coupler attachment.

If the thru-axle does not fit the coupler, then you will need to get an attachment to adapt your bike. You can find out exactly which attachment you will need in this article.

So now that we’ve established that an e-bike can pull a bike trailer, let’s see if it’s even a good idea for you.  

Also Helpful: What Is a Bike Trailer Coupler Attachment and Do I Need It?

Pros of pulling a bike trailer with an e-bike

There are a host of benefits that riders enjoy when riding an e-bike over a traditional bike. 

1. More power for climbing hills 

Climbing hills while pulling a 40+ lbs bike trailer and kids is probably the single most dreaded task when it comes to bike trailers. Luckily, e-bikes make it a breeze with their electric motors that do most (or all) of the work for you!

Pro Tip: Try not to get too accustomed to letting your e-bike do all the work. The magic of e-bikes really takes place when you find a healthy balance of efficiency and hard work. I recommend pulling purely with your legs until they’re too tired to make it through the rest of the trip, or you just to get up a hill. If at all possible, try to keep your legs moving and don’t let the motor have all the fun. 

2. More power for longer rides

Sometimes it’s just too exhausting to do a 20+ mile ride while pulling a bike trailer. E-bikes make it conveniently easy to cover longer distances than we ever could with our own two legs. Not to mention you’re also pulling 40+ lbs of extra weight behind you! 

Pro Tip: Go as long as you can without any motor assistance, just to give yourself the satisfactory workout that comes naturally with cycling. Then you can turn on the motor to help you the rest of the way. You’ll feel you deserved it and your legs will thank you for it. 

3. More power for stop-and-go riding

Stop-and-go traffic is the most physically challenging part of pulling bike trailers! Unless you’re riding on a greenway or an extended pedestrian-only path, then you will most likely face quite a few stop signs, crosswalks, traffic lights (and squirrels) on your ride. E-bikes make the constant need to accelerate a breeze. 

Pro Tip: Try to anticipate stop signs, red lights, and crosswalks well in advance before even needing to stop. This way, you might be able to slow down and keep on pedaling right on through without even stopping. 

4. Superb braking

Two words: disc brakes. Any half-decent e-bike comes equipped with excellent braking power with the help of disc brakes. Disc brakes are a braking system that uses pads and a round disc to offer better braking than traditional brake pads. Disc brakes really shine in wet weather.

The reason e-bikes usually have disc brakes is because of the higher speeds that e-bike travel at, which require faster braking action. 

The clear benefits of pulling a bike trailer with an e-bike may outweigh the drawbacks, but it is still worth mentioning a few reasons why hitching your precious cargo to an e-bike might not be for you. 

Cons of pulling a bike trailer with an e-bike

1. Moderate to little exercise (if done wrong)

One of the main reasons avid cyclists talk smack about e-bikes (apart from jealousy) is the moderate amount of exercise that it offers.

In fact, a rider could go an entire ride without even one pedal stroke. But that’s only if you let the motor do all the work! E-bikes can be an excellent source of exercise for your legs if you just use the motor when you get tired after a long ride or just to get up a hill.

That is my recommended approach to getting the best of both worlds: efficient transportation and a killer workout. 

2. Higher price range

The best-rated e-bikes cost anywhere from $600 to $1500+.

Although it’s relatively affordable for what you’re getting, that price point is still significantly more expensive than an entry-level road bike or mountain bike. The high ticket price of an e-bike might deter someone from getting one. 

Below are some of the top-rated e-bikes on Amazon to give you an idea of price ranges. 

Pro Tip: Used e-bikes are plenty! Check out Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace for a lower ticket price. 

3. Possible safety hazard if traveling too fast

It is always recommended to not ride with a bike trailer over 10 mph (or 16 kph). If traveling at speeds too high, it becomes more difficult to handle the steering of the bike and bike trailer.

In addition, high speeds mean a bumpier ride for whoever is in the trailer. You will want to keep the speed under 10 mph in order to safely maneuver the bike trailer around corners and on the path.

Braking and anticipating upcoming objects are especially important while pulling a bike trailer because the trailer is adding more forward-moving force in the direction you are riding. 

Tips to safely pull a bike trailer with an e-bike

1. Ride at lower speeds under 10 mph (or 16 kph)

It is not recommended to pull a bike trailer faster than 10 mph due to that fact that the added weight of the bike trailer makes it more difficult to handle the bike.

The slower you ride, the safer you will be with the bike trailer. It is quite difficult to pull a trailer faster than 10 mph anyway, but with an e-bike, it is easy to forget how fast you are going. Therefore, exercise your e-bike use with caution. 

2. Get a tuneup every 500 miles

Just like a car, a well-maintained e-bike is a safe e-bike. God forbid you have a puncture while out with your bike trailer and kid!

It is recommended to get an e-bike tuneup every 500 miles or every 6 months. You can easily do most of the maintenance yourself.

In fact, I recommend learning how to do your own tune-ups to save you some cash, but also so that you have the know-how in the event of an incident while out on a ride. 

3. Pedal, don’t just cruise

It can be tempting to let the beauty of the electric motor do all the work for you. But I’ve found that relying too much on the motor can lead to me becoming complacent and overly confident.

Keeping your legs moving and your body on the edge of your seat will ensure that you’re ready for any incidents that might come your way (squirrel!). 

Prices of 5 top-rated e-bikes on Amazon

To give you a price range for e-bikes, these e-bikes are all rated with at least a 4-star rating on Amazon. 

ANCHEER Electric Mountain Bike 350W

Price: Around $650 (check price on Amazon)

Brakes: Disc brakes

ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Mountain Bike

Price: Around $600 (check price on Amazon)

Brakes: Disc brakes

ECOTRIC Fat Tire Electric Bike Beach Snow Bicycle

Price: Around $920 (check price on Amazon)

Brakes: Disc brakes

Hicient Electric Mountain Bike

Price: Around $600 (check price on Amazon)

Brakes: Disc brakes

ANCHEER 350/500W Electric Mountain Bike

Price: Around $755 (check price on Amazon)

Brakes: Disc brakes

Conclusion: Are E-bikes Even Safe? 

E-bikes are usually met with a bit of skepticism when brought up in casual conversation. 

“That doesn’t sound very safe” is a common sentiment.

But what people don’t realize is that e-bikes are designed to give the rider a great deal of control over the throttle, motor, and movement of the bike handling. Pedal-assisted e-bikes in particular feel almost like a regular bike but with less effort. 

Although there have been many arguments to say that biking and e-biking are in fact very safe, I’ll just mention here that whatever gets you outside and enjoying a nice bike ride with your kids or dog in a bike trailer is ultimately what will be the healthiest lifestyle choice you can make.

But if “it doesn’t sound very safe” is your primary concern, then it is perfectly fine to get a road bike or mountain bike or even cruiser bike to hitch up a bike trailer. 

Many avid cyclists bash on e-bikes for being a wussy’s choice, but any form of exercise is good exercise if it means you’re getting outside and enjoying yourself (especially if done together as a family)!

If an e-bike helps you get up a massive hill or cover long distances, then I completely support those reasons. But if you’re just letting the electric motor do all the work, then I’d recommend changing how you use the e-bike to give you more of an assisted pedaling situation. 

Need help finding the right bike trailer?

If you need help finding the right bike trailer for you, my recommended trailer for most people is the Swhinn Joyrider, which is an affordable double-seater that converts beautifully to a stroller. Check out my full review with photos here.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Buying a Bike Trailer for more help with choosing a trailer. I also have compiled a list of the top bike trailers for every common situation, which you can check out here.

Ride on!

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Benjy Suzaki

Hi, I'm Benjy Suzaki and I love cycling with my kids. Biking has been a big part of our family life ever since I decided to bike everywhere instead of drive, including to my job in NYC from New Jersey. is all about how to make biking a priority in your daily life through bike commuting, bike maintenance, and riding with kids.

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