Swagman XC Bike Rack – 1yr Review

3 03 2010

Swagman XC Bike Rack in Moab

I posted a review of the Swagman XC bike rack about this time last year.  Having been through quite a lot of abuse throughout the last 12 months I thought I would report back on how it’s doing.

Well this rack has been to Burning Man and back as well as to southern tip of Baja Mexico and back without any significant problems.  It will fit pretty much any two bikes you care to mount and holds them quite securely even when bouncing down some ugly roads.

I guess there are 3 downsides to this rack I should mention:

  • the extra length [especially with the extender I’ve got installed] makes the vehicle uber long which can be a challenge in parking lots or when trying to tackle steep off-road sections.
  • the clamp that holds the bikes’ top tubes is hard to undo without a wrench to bang it with!
  • the bolt that installs the rack tightly to the receiver is long and hard to install so you are not encouraged to install/remove the rack frequently – although this works as a plus for bike thieves!

Given the cost of this rack [less than $200 with extension] I can’t really complain and I’m happy to use it.  If I know I’ll be doing some serious off-roading I’d carry the bikes inside.  I like using the extension because it lets me open the tailgate of my pick up truck and get inside without messing with the racked bikes.

I should also point out that the bikes I carry on this rack are 30-40lbs – not light at all so this rack has been well tested.

If you are going to only use the rack occasionally you may want to replace the stock receiver mounting bolt with a QR version.  The rack won’t be as secure, but you’ll be able to throw it on in 10secs and remove it just as fast.

One last point I should make – with this rack you can turn any vehicle with a receiver hitch into a bike hauling machine in about 10mins.  That’s cool and something you can’t do with a Thule roof rack!



8 responses

3 03 2010

“One last point I should make – with this rack you can turn any vehicle with a receiver hitch into a bike hauling machine in about 10mins. That’s cool and something you can’t do with a Thule!”

I don’t understand this comment. I’ve got a 2 tray Thule hitch rack, it takes about 2 minutes to install it. If that.

3 03 2010

Hi Monte…I left out the two words “…roof rack…” after Thule…sorry for the confusion!

3 03 2010

I thought that might be what happened. It’s all cool!

4 03 2010
gary sherck

Hi Vik,
I have a Thule receiver rack for two bikes, but this one interests me. Amazon has the following for $139 USD w/free shipping (maybe US only) Before I order, is this the hitch, and will it accommodate Larry Tires?
“Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver)”
I believe it is, but I want to be sure. Thanks for the review.

4 03 2010

Sounds like the same rack and I fit two Pugsleys into mine with Endomorph tires so I can’t see why Larry’s would be any different.

21 03 2017

I just bought this rack to lug around my first expensive bicycle purchase (Giant Anthem X 29er Advanced). A note in the instructions for this rack reads, “The hook should always be mounted at the lowest part on the top tube. This is at the intersection of the top tube and seat tube (diagram 6). Failure to do this can allow the bike to release from the rack.” I noticed in the image you posted for this article, you’ve done this for the outside bike, but not the inside bike. I can’t get the hook anywhere near the seat tube on my bike. Have you had any problems carting a bike in this rack with the hook nearer the middle of the top tube than the seat tube? I’d hate to blow $3k because my bike is a bad fit for this rack.

21 03 2017

Nope. Never had a problem.

21 03 2017


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