New frame “grip arms” have improved soft-frame friendly coating to protect bike’s finish
Now with new push button ratcheting arms
Easily adjust to all frame sizes
Rack folds up for easy storage when not in use
Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear of vehicle without removing the rack
Includes new & improved wheel straps
Customer Rating:4.4 stars based on 5 reviews
Very glad I bought this
By R. Mimbs
Whether you specifically buy the Swagman or not, my strongest recommendation is to get a bike carrier that attaches via a hitch and has the bikes sit on their wheels rather than hang from a bar by a strap. You just feel more confident that your bikes are secure. You feel more secure while you are driving and you feel more secure when you have to leave your car unattended (assuming you use a locking hitch pin and lock for the bicycle hook arms). If you are going to need a bike carrier more than once, buy one of this type. It's also the best option for women's bikes, which don't have the top bar. (I never trusted aftermarket bars that attached to the seat post and handlebars.)
Things to know (in general):
> Don't go to your car dealership for a hitch. It's the most expensive option. You can get a hitch online for $150 or less and installation should be approximately $50 at any mechanic or auto body shop. The hitch can also be purchased at your local auto parts store, but will be slightly more.
> You want ratcheting bike hook arms (like the swagman). It is so much simpler and faster.
> You might need a can of Rust-Oleum to cover any places where the "protective powder coating" has been scratched off. A can is less than five bucks at any hardware store and you don't want to allow exposed bare metal, which can rust.
Things to know (about the Swagman specifically)
> holds bikes quite tight and you do not worry at all that they will fall off.
> The anti-wobble hitch pin works.
> Would be difficult (but not impossible) to steal if you use both locking hitch pin and barrel lock for the bike arms.
> Accommodates any size bike, even very small or women's bikes.
> Folds up into very tiny space when not in use. Does not obstruct view out back window.
> Easy to remove and re-attach with say... teenage boy strength required.
> I can open the trunk on my Mazda 3 with it installed (so long as there is no bike on it).
> Very nicely priced as compared to the models from Tule and Yakima.
> Sometimes the bike arm for one bike will be in the way of you installing a lock on the other bike arm. This would leave one bike unprotected. (This is my one star reduction)
> The little rubber covers for the bike arm hook release lever like to slide off. This is a minor annoyance and does not warrant any reduction in the rating.
> If your bikes' top bars are of similar height, you can likely get by with only one lock for the bike arms. If the bikes are the same height, the top bike arm will likely sit so close to the bottom that the bottom one could not be lifted high enough to remove the bike anyway. However, if the two bikes are of dissimilar size, you might need two locks.
> Buy the locking anti-wobble hitch pin (sold separately). It's worth the piece of mind. Also buy a RATCHETING 7/8in crescent wrench to tighten it.
> The Hollywood Racks Sport Rider seems almost identical to this product. Check out both before purchasing.
Nice, but some improvement possible
By Jason Davidson from Clinton Township, MI
I bought this to use on the back of my 2008 Dodge Caliber for my two Comfort Bikes. The main issue I have with the rack is that while the bar is supposed to tilt sideways to make it easier to put the bikes on, I am pretty much unable to do with the two hooks in place - it doesn't give me the clearance. Secondly, the bikes seem to wabble when driving, but I am confident they are not going anywhere (especially after I drove 12 hours each way from Detroit to Minneapolis with them).
Other than those to issues, the rack is very nice and it securely holds the bikes in place. It is FAR easier to use then the truck mounted one that we have for the other car, and the adjustable tire slots allows you to customize the hold for your bike.
Once slight addition I made was buying a coated security cable (the one that seems to have a plastic coating with a loop on either end - be sure that it is not too long). I put one loop on the main up right bar of the rack, then put it through the tires of each bike then locked it to the hitch (it just gave me the added comfort of locking everything together.
Fantastic- Greatly Relieved
By "Miles G." from Libby, MT
What a relief! I spent many a hour looking/researching/contemplating on the next rack I should get after my last one suffered an epic failure.
I have a Mazda 3 sedan and my concerns were:
-I have an expensive and heavy freeride bike.. which bent my last rack.
-My bike is oddly shaped (2007 KingFisher) and hangs on those "racks" very awkwardly... maybe this lead to the rack bending in the first place?
-With the sedan, the bike isn't shielded from the wind like a SUV.
-I drive 45 min on a regular basis to the trails I like at 65+ mph.
Putting it all together was easy peezy. Impressed with the construction. Went for the XTC since I have a semi steep driveway and was skeptical whether the XC would scrape.
Once you have the wheel slots lined up. Putting the bike on is so simple its stupid. Makes you feel like you should do something more.. but that bike isn't going ANYWHERE! Enjoy the ratcheting system and the fact you can lock your bikes in. (locks not included)
Set my two wheeled, 40lb, 8" of travel fun onto the rack and set off for the trails. Cruising along at a cool 65 I was soon satisfied with it's stellar performance. Very little movement. Mozied along going 75mph now. Within 15min of arriving there was the infamous bridge crossing that when taken at the speed limit 65mph will make a noticeable bump up onto the bridge followed by a vicious bump off.. (did my last rack in)
In the spirit of science I took it at 85mph. Very impressive! Very sturdy indeed!
Kept a ratchet in the trunk to take it off once I got to the trails, I would advise getting a lock washer when putting the threaded bolt through.. I'm sure it won't come loose without one.. but it provided peace of mind for me.
Final Note: Great bike rack, very glad I got it! I used other bike racks and always found myself looking in the rear view mirror to see how the bikes were doing... not anymore! They're staying put!
This Style of Bike Rack is the Way to Go
By 10-2-Go from Beaumont, Texas United States
I have a 1-1/4" Class I hitch on my 2003 Toyota Camry, and the Swagman XTC2 is great for carrying my and my husband's mountain bikes. The XTC2 comes with an adapter for use with a 2" hitch that seems very sturdy--two pieces of metal that sandwich around the rack's 1-1/4" shank and are secured using the supplied bolt. I didn't need the adapter, though, for my Class I hitch. Putting it together and attaching it to my hitch took about 20-25 minutes. I bought Swagman's locking anti-rattle threaded hitch pin to use instead of the supplied threaded hitch pin. Adjusting the wheel hoops to fit both mountain bikes was not as easy as I thought it would be. Luckily, I only have to do that once since I'll only use it to carry our two bikes! My problem was positioning the bicycles so that the ratcheting bike hook that is in the lower position on the center post was far enough down on the center post so that the upper hook could in turn be pushed down far enough to securely hold down the top tube of the other bike (the padded bike hooks that ratchet to press down on and hold the top tube of each bike are situated one on top of the other on the center post, one hook pointing toward the trunk, the other pointing away from the trunk). I hope that makes sense. Because both of our mountain bikes have top tubes that slant downward from the head tube (at the base of the handle bars) to the seat tube, the only way (after much experimentation and adjustment) I could get both bikes secured was to position them facing in the same direction but with one further forward and the other further backward in relation to the center post. This way, the lower hook is at the lowest point of Bike A's top tube (close to the seat tube) and the upper hook contacts Bike B's top tube closer to the handlebars, where the top tube is higher. Again, I hope that makes sense! And maybe I'm the only one who had this problem, but all the pictures of the bike rack that I could find showed the front wheel hoops relatively close to each other and the back wheel hoops relatively close to each other, which is not how I had to adjust mine. And, I could not find clear pictures of the rack with two bikes on it. The reason I chose the XTC2 over the cheaper XC2 is because the XTC2 has a shank that angles upward from the hitch receiver, allowing extra ground clearance since the Camry is not very high off the ground (the XC2 appears to have a straight shank). So far, I have not had it scrape the ground, although I am careful to avoid really steep driveways. Once I got the wheel hoops adjusted, it's been a breeze. Place the bike wheels in the hoops, lower the ratcheting bike hooks (each hook has a place for a lock--not included--to prevent the hook release from being pressed), hook the supplied sturdy rubber securing straps over each wheel, and off you go--takes a minute or two at most! Watch out to make sure you don't scratch your car with a bike pedal. No more dangling bikes blowing in the wind like the standard bike rack design. The rack folds up easily so it can be placed in the trunk when not in use. It's made of very sturdy powder-coated steel and weighs 33 pounds according to Amazon; 34 pounds according to Swagman. All in all, I could not be happier with this purchase and recommend it to anyone looking for a two-bike, hitch-mount bike rack.
Added 5/13/2009: I forgot to mention that there were two small silver screws (about 1/2" long) included that were not mentioned in the assembly instructions0. I discovered on another website that one goes into the hole on the end of each arm to prevent the wheel hoops from sliding off the ends.
6/11/2009 Update: Took a 5-day, 1100-mile road trip with my husband and the two bikes. The bike rack performed like a champ, even at hubby's standard 80+ mph driving speed! Just wanted to note a couple of things: the road vibration does loosen the wheel hoop knobs, so I got in the habit of checking them regularly. The two round screws on the underside that attach the rack to the shank also loosened, but they only had to be tightened once (make sure you keep the supplied hex wrench easily accessible so you can tighten them--the wrench fits into the center of each hex screw). I did notice that one of the padded hooks became more difficult to remove--the hook release would not depress. We had to use a key to put upward pressure on the bottom of the release and wiggle it a bit. Once it was depressed, the hook was difficult to slide off. I am going to try WD40 to see if that helps. We only scraped the ground twice, both times on very steep driveways (where others had also scraped--you could see the gouges in the asphalt). All in all, a super enjoyable mountain biking trip made more enjoyable by this easy-to-use bike rack!
I like it, but construction is "ify",
By "KEB" from KS, USA
I'm going to try a do two different ratings here, so bare with me.
BIKERACK (5 stars): the bike rack has some issues, that seem to be standard with these "import" models (Swagman/SportRack); however, that being said: the bikes are very well secured and very well protected. The ratcheting arm clamps go down tightly and stay there. No friction knobs to keep checking. Once you push them down, they stay there, and there is a place to put a pad lock on each for anti-theft security. The hooks are also padded and did not mark up the bikes even in the slightest. Due to the flexibility of the rack I was able to get a large men's bike and small woman's bike loaded and was able to arrange them so everything made good positive contact; hooks, wheel straps, etc.. Overall, I'm not the least bit worried the bikes will come loose during transit. Excellent design and so very easy to use.
CONSTRUCTION (3.5 stars): this is where all these import models seem to fail; but it's due to their flexibility of use. The entire rack is made from 1-1/4" steel tube. This was done so you could use the rack on a 1-1/4" receiver hitch. With this light steel there is some inherent "flex" that allows the rack to wiggle. It would have been much better to use bigger steel that fit a standard 2" receiver, then have an adapter to go down to the 1-1/4" receiver. I'm going to use the rack a few more times as is, but I may make some modifications to it to help sturdy things up a lot more. The anti-wobble bolt, while a great idea probably works well on the 1-1/4" receiver, but with the supplied "adapter" it doesn't do a good enough job on the 2" receiver. In review of both Swagman & Sport Rack, they're made exactly the same, except for the following: Swagman has ratcheting locking support hooks which are excellent; the Sportrack uses a friction lock, don't like that. Both racks use metric hardware, so if you think you're going to replace a bolt with standard hardware, no dice, the threads are different, etc. The Swagman can also be used on Class I hitches and above, whereas the Sportrack is for Class II and above. Packaging of this Swagman rack, finish, easy of assembly and use were nice.