Have a bike? Need to transport it?
When we started looking at bike racks, we did a great deal of research to try and find the better deal in the bunch, focusing in particular on hitch mount bike racks. There’s an astounding amount of choice on the market. Personally I think there is a little too much.
We finally settled on the Swagman XC Cross Country 2-bike hitch mount rack. In this review we are going to list the reasons we chose the Swagman XC Cross Country as one of the better deals out there and we will share our research on hitch mount bike racks in general so you know what to look for when choosing the right bike rack for yourself.
What to Look for in a Hitch Mount Bike Rack
When the market is completely saturated with a product like hitch mount bike racks, I always recommend you start by looking at the well known brands, focusing on the ones that have rave reviews surrounding their product. It is almost impossible to go wrong if you start this way.
That was the case in this instance and I noticed very quickly that this particular Swagman bike rack had an abundance of good reviews and the price was definitely right.
There are several important questions you should also consider:
- How many bikes can it carry? Or how many bikes do you need it to carry?
- Is it able to support a wide variety of bike frames and sizes?
- How easy is it to attach and secure the bikes?
- Does it have special coating to protect your bike from getting scratched?
- Does it tuck away nicely when not in use so that it is out of the way?
- What’s the cost and the warranty?
- Does it consistently get good reviews?
Below I will answer each of these questions as they relate to the Swagman XC Cross Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack.
Number of Bikes
Unless you are a family with children who love to cycle together, a bike rack that can support 2 bikes is quite ideal. It is great for solo biking and perfect for bringing along a friend’s or partner’s bike. If you need to transport 3-4 bikes at a time, than you will want to get the 4-bike rack, but it will cost a fair amount more. The good thing about this Swagman module is that it has an extension that can be purchased separately, so that if your family grows and you need to attach more bikes at a later date, you can do so.
The Swagman Cross Country is compatible with both a 1 ¼ and 2-inch receiver hitch, which fits most people’s needs.
Versatility for Size and Shape of Bike
You may not always be transporting the same style of bike so it is important to get a bike rack that is versatile enough to accommodate different styles of frames and different sized bicycles – including adult bikes and children’s bikes.
The Swagman Cross Country bike hitch mount rack has upright ratchet arms that can be easily adjusted to support different bike frames. It can accommodate bike frames up to 59cm and tires from 20” – 29” in size.
It is able to accommodate:
- adult bikes
- children’s bikes
- downhill bikes
- full suspension bikes
- cruiser bikes
- BMX bikes
- Y frame designs
I think is very important that it is able to accommodate all these styles of bicycles without the mega hassle of having to remove the wheels.
The center arm of the bike rack folds down so that you can easily access the rear of your vehicle without removing the rack. The top arms and the base also folds up so it can be conveniently stored away when not in use.
Ease of Use and Protection
This bike rack comes with instructions for attaching to your vehicle, and it isn’t hard but you will need an Allen wrench to get the job done. If you have any trouble with the installation, you can also download instructions directly from the Swagman website. This bike rack is sturdy and you will feel that once it is attached to your vehicle.
This bike rack model features adjustable quick-release tire hoops, which allows you to adjust the rack for different sized bike frames and it secures your bike at 3 different points.
The frame grip arms have a soft-frame coating to protect your bike’s finish. That’s important. No matter what bike rack you get, always make sure it has a means to protect your bike and not leave scratches. You want to damage your bike on the trails and the road, not on your rack.
The bike hooks are easy to fasten and securely grasp the bike to keep it in place. Once your bike is attached, it does not budge. It has a simply push button system for bike removal.
You are able to lock the bike rack with a padlock through a ¼” hole. At this point you are good to take your bike anywhere you want to go with absolutely no worries.
Other Important Details to Know
The other important features and specs to know about this Swagman XC bike rack are:
- It will not work with recumbent bikes or those with an extra long wheel base.
- It can accommodate wheels up to 3-½” wide.
- It has a powder coated finish for corrosion resistance.
- It can be used on the back of cars, trucks, campers, RV’s and trailers.
- The distance from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the first wheel hoop measures 10-½” long.
- It has a weight capacity of 70 lbs. or 35 lbs. per bike.
- It includes threaded pin and clip with anti-rattle to secure the rack into the trailer hitch.
- It can be locked with Swagman’s anti-rattle lock S64029 – which is sold separately.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
Does It Include a Warranty?
Swagman offers a limited lifetime warranty to the original purchaser of any Swagman product. The warranty covers manufacturer’s defects – not normal wear and tear.
I like a company that will stand by their products. It says a lot for the quality of the gear.
What Others are Saying…
The Swagman XC 2-bike hitch mount rack has truly received excellent reviews from most consumers on the net with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars by over 250 reviewers on Amazon. That is what caught my attention in the first place!
Here are some of the comments to date:
- “Bike Rack Exceeds Expectations”
- “Outstanding Value and Features”
- “Sweet hitch”
- “Safe and Steady”
- “Awesome value for the buck”
- “Compact & Customizable”
- “Really thought out”
I have found very few complaints for this bike hitch mount rack, especially in the last couple of years. I think they might have done some upgrades to it over the years as any complaints I found earlier on all seem to be fixed.
You need to be a little careful with the ratcheting top clamps as they are quite tight and your fingers can get pinched if you’re not watching.
If you want to be able to lock your bike onto your bike rack to avoid it being stolen while you are away, you will need to buy a Locking Hitch Pin. Some consumers did not like that this pin is sold separately. However the pin is cheap if you want to get it.
Where Can You Buy the Swagman XC Cross Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack?
You can buy this Swagman XC 2-bike hitch mount rack from Amazon. At the moment they include free shipping and from researching other online retailers, I have not found it cheaper elsewhere. They do currently have the best deal especially with the free shipping option. Click here to view on Amazon.
Where Can You Read More Reviews for this Swagman Bike Hitch Mount Rack?
The best place for more reviews from people who have actually used this product is Amazon. Click here to read more reviews.