In order to safely transport your bicycle to the camping site with your car, you need to use a swing-away bike rack. This type of bike rack allows you to bring your bike back to the rear of your car without taking up any inside space or the top of your car. One of the best things about this product is that you will be able to slide it away when you open or close the hatch. As a result, you do not need to take your bike and bike rack out of the car to access the cargo space.
This article will provide you with some of the best swing away bike racks that would allow you to do just that. At the end of this article, you will gain a thorough understanding of all the aspects of this equipment. I have sorted out all the relevant information based on my own experience, thorough research, and precise comparisons.
5 Top Review of Swing Away Bike Racks
This product has many brands and models to choose from, so it can be quite overwhelming to choose the best from there. Here are the top 5 swing bike racks that stood out among the others and made their way to the list of the best ones, so you don’t have to do it yourself. But don’t worry! I’ve done the work so you don’t have to.
1. Thule Apex XT Swing Away Hitch Bike Rack
Taking the top spot in this list of the best swing away bike racks is none other than the Thule Apex XT, which is one of the most popular bikes racks out there. Let’s take a closer look at whether it really deserves to be one of the top 5.
A product like the Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack has a premium feel at first glance. The rack is a hanging hitch bike rack that is designed to handle heavy loads. The frame is constructed with durable metal and it has an ergonomic shape that does the job perfectly. The bike rack is made up of a sturdy construction that is intended for heavy-duty use.
The dimensions of this bike carrier are 42.2 x 11 x 40.2 inches (Length x Width x Height) and it weighs 42 pounds. In spite of the size, the weight may seem like a small issue, but in reality, this isn t the case at all. Through the sturdy build of this carrier, I would say this is only a normal amount of weight.
I have to say that this particular bike rack was designed and built specifically for the purpose of carrying four bicycles at once. It is estimated to have a load capacity of about 150 pounds, but don’t worry, you won’t feel any strain while driving your car with this amount of weight carried.
The question now is whether or not it is capable of carrying four bikes at the same time safely.
You can be sure that your bikes will be safe and secure all the way through the process. This bag was designed to have a space between the bikes of 7 inches, even when you are carrying four bikes at a time. This space is larger than the others. Because of this extra space, the loading process for bikes is much easier.
It is equipped with ratcheting cradle straps that ensure great stability. As a result, you will not have to worry about your bike’s frame slipping while it rests on the rubber cradles. Also, you will be able to carry bikes of various frame sizes as the straps will be able to hold the bikes tight no matter what. Additionally, the integrated cable lock prevents the bikes from colliding with each other.
The swing-away feature of this bike rack is smooth and easy to use. It allows you to move the rack away with the bicycles still on it as well as let you do it all the way to the back. This means you will be able to open your trunk just like you did before you had the bike rack.
There are also a few additional advantages to this bike rack from THULE, such as the fact that it is a compact attachment. You can easily fold the arms of it when you are not using it. You also don’t need any special tools to attach the carrier to your car’s hitch.
I would like to mention that the Thule swing away bike rack is compatible with all of the vehicles that have a 2-inch hitch receiver. You also don’t have to worry about nuts and bolts when it comes to installing the bike rack. Simply position it in the right position, twist it, and lock it.
The question is whether it deserves to be one of the top 5 or not and I hope you have been able to answer that question yourself. Well, if I had a family of four who loves going on bike rides together, I would definitely consider this one. In short, this is a product that is well made and well worth your money.
2. YAKIMA – FullSwing Hitch Mount Bike Rack Review
YAKIMA – FullSwing Hitch Mount Bike Rack is on our list of the best swing away hitch bike racks. If the list of the best swing away hitch bike racks did not include the YAKIMA product, I would not call it complete. There is no doubt that this brand is the world’s premier manufacturer of racks and other stuff that goes along with your life’s adventures.
It’s highly likely that you already know how a brand will be able to gain a reputation of that stature based on a quality and performance combination. But we’re going to take a closer look at this particular product here to see if it can meet the general expectation of what a reliable bike rack should look like.
While it seems that this carrier weighs 56 pounds, it has dimensions of 43.5 x 26 x 17.5 inches (L x W x H). Although this may seem like a cons, you should keep in mind that it is a rack that accommodates four bikes. As a result, having such a heavy load on a structure that has to carry the weight of four bikes is nothing short of normal.
It should be noted that we are talking about a load that is almost 160 pounds. Yes, that is right! The maximum weight of each bi-cycle is 40 pounds. However, for safety measures and in order for the product to last longer, it is recommended that the weight remains within 150 pounds.
It has a sturdy steel construction that allows it to endure all types of weather conditions and environmental catalysts as well as the high-gloss black powder coat finish on this rack gives it a really premium and shiny appearance. Moreover, Yakima swing-away bike rack features a sturdy steel construction that ensures durability.
The Yakima bike rack has been designed with 25 inch long, fully padded arms on which your bike frames rest. This rack has been built to ensure the safety and security of your bike. It has some extra padding to make it more secure and safe. These fully padded dual arms minimize any possible damage to your bike to a great extent.
It is possible for you to keep the bikes in one place using the anti-sway cradles and the ratcheting ZipStrip straps. There are three different ways the straps will hold the bike, and each of the straps can be adjusted from side to side. You can tie the frames anywhere on the arms, and this allows you to provide optimal space between the bikes.
It is possible to use these bike racks with all kinds of bikes that have traditional geometry frames. However, in some cases, you may need to buy a TubeTop adapter that is not included with the product. You can buy it separately from your local bicycle shop.
You can keep your bikes safe with the ‘SKS – Same Key System’ locks. A cable lock keeps the bikes secure to the rack, while a SpeedKnob lock that secures the rack to your vehicle has this same feature. In case one of the locks is lost, a spare key is provided for you as well. In case you lose one of the keys, you can open both of them with a single key.
Due to the swing away bike rack, you will have full access to the rear cargo area of your vehicle. You can even do that with the bikes on. When the rack is not in use, you can easily fold down the arms of the rack. It has an easy-to-install and tool-free installation system that allows you to attach or detach the rack at any time.
As a whole, this bike rack is surely worthy enough to be on the top of the list of the best bike racks on the market and is likely to be able to serve you well with its quality performance and extra security features that come with it.
It is important to keep in mind that these are all the best bike racks out there. Each of them has its own pros and cons, and you can pick the one that matches all of your basic requirements. If, however, you are unsure what you should be looking for when looking for the right bike rack, you can follow the next part to find out what to look for.
3. RockyMounts BackStage 2″ Receiver Swing Away Bike Rack
It’s no secret that RockyMounts makes some of the highest quality car and bike rack accessories on the market. As for its reputation, RockyMounts is well known for its high quality cars and bike rack accessories. This brand has been around for almost two decades, and it’s growing at an impressive rate.
This is the only platform bike rack on this list and you might think it looks like a standard competitor in comparison to the other ones, but let me assure you that if you give it a chance, you will discover that it has its own unique features that the other ones lack.
The Rocky Mounts bike carrier has a weight of 63 pounds and it has dimensions of 46 x 22 x 8 inches. This is one of the heaviest bike carriers on this list, weighing in at 63 pounds. There is no doubt that this carrier is the heaviest of the two bike carriers on this list. However, the other specifications don’t make this weight thing seem like a big deal at all.
Unlike the ‘hanging rack’ that the bikes hang from the arms of the rack, the platform bike rack actually carries the bikes like a tray as they hang from the arms of the rack. Some people actually prefer this type of rack as they think it is safer and much more durable than a hanging rack.
As far as the construction of the rack is concerned, RockyMounts Backstage bike rack is one of the most durable. The entire structure is made of aluminum, which makes it thicker than most other bike racks. This ensures this rack will last a long time and provide great service to your bikes.
It is time for us to discuss the features that make this bike so unique. The large wheel trays along with the extra-long straps allow you to carry fat bike tires up to five inches in diameter and up to 29 inches in diameter. By holding your bike firmly by its front wheel, the ratcheting hooks ensure your bike is kept safe.
In addition, the arms of the carrier make sure that the bikes’ frames don’t come into contact with each other. Rockymounts have also added adjustable bike trays to the feature list in order to enhance the security of the bicycle. Using these trays, a distance of 12 inches between bikes can be maintained as they slide side to side.
A pivoting rear-wheel cradle on the carrier allows you to carry a bicycle with a wheelbase between 34 and 49 inches in diameter. It should be able to accommodate all sizes of bicycles and all of them will fit well without any difficulty. Also, each part of the rack has a weight capacity of up to 60 pounds per bike; so that’s also an added bonus!
I would like to add to this fact that the carrier can also be tilted away from the rear of the car as well as swung away from the rear of the car. In order to have a convenient gap to access the cargo space, you can tilt this bike rack 30 degrees from the rear part and swing it all the way to the side for as much as 67 inches.
All of the vehicles that have 2-inch hitch receivers are compatible with this attachment; be it a car, SUV, van, minivan, or truck. This rack is designed with an anti-wobble system that prevents it from rattling when in use. You can also fold the rack against the vehicle when you are not using it.
There are plenty of convenient features that make the rocky mounts backstage rack a great choice for anyone who is looking for a platform bike rack with a host of useful features all rolled into one.
4. SportRack Ridge Hitch-Mount Swing Away Bike Rack
It is time for us to bring you another worthy contender to our list, and this time, it is none other than the Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack from SportRack. The Ridge Hitch-Mount Bike Rack seemed the perfect fit after a careful comparison and thorough research. It’s now time to dig a little and see why it is ranked among the top five bike racks.
A bike rack with a length, width, and height of 39 x 17 x 11 inches is the perfect size for your bike, and it weighs just under 42 pounds. This is not a heavy-weight bike rack when you consider the sturdy rubber construction it has. As a result of the rubber construction, this rack is extremely durable and will last for a long period of time.
I have come across a hanging bike rack that is designed to accommodate 4 bicycles side by side. It has a load capacity of 180 lbs., which makes it a safe and reliable means of carrying your two-wheeled companions to a distant place without causing any damage.
Furthermore, the soft rubber cradles make sure that your bikes’ top tubes and frames are protected from scratches and dents. In my opinion, it is definitely a plus factor for any bike rack. Because, in some cases, the bike rack & frame come in constant contact with each other, which results in serious damage to the bike’s paint and frame.
Also, there are these ratcheting straps that keep a tight grip on the cycle while the frame rests on the cradles. If your bike’s frame is too loose, it won’t remain steady while you’re driving the car, so it’s not good for both the bike and the strap. The frame should be perfectly fit within the straps.
It is for this reason that SportRack has designed its straps so that, in order to prevent this from happening, every frame size can fit perfectly. There are a few holes in the straps which ensure to this. It is pretty much the same mechanism as the belt that we use to wear our pants.
As an additional feature, this bike carrier also comes with anti-sway stability cradles, which prevent any form of contact between bikes or between bikes and vehicles. There is also a very decent gap between the bikes, which helps to avoid bike-to-bike collisions.
With the swing-away feature provided in it, it is very easy for you to access the cargo space of your car. If you want to access the whole rear space of your car, you simply need to slide the rack with bikes whenever you want to use it.
To secure the bike rack to your car there is this anti-rattle hitch pin, which also prevents the rack from wobbling during driving. It also prevents the rack and the bikes from wobbling during driving. It is designed only to fit on two-inch receivers. Therefore, it will cover most of the vehicles.
This one here is nothing short of a great purchase at a budget-friendly price, and I think it is safe to say that it will be nothing short of a great investment.
5. GUDE Heavy-duty Swing Away Hitch Bike Rack
Here is a GUDE, Swing Hitch Rack. The name of GUDE is one of the most reliable and trustworthy names in the world of sports equipment. It has gained worldwide recognition for its consistency and innovation in the field of different sports equipment. In addition to this bike rack, GUDE also offers a number of other products of the highest quality, all of which are A1 in quality.
With dimensions of 24.7 inches by 13 inches by 26 inches, and weighing only 11 pounds, this product is compatible with all kinds of vehicles that have 2-inch hitch receivers on their rear parts. It does not matter if it’s a car, SUV, pickup truck, sedan, van, or even a minivan.
In order for a product like this to be a true success, the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is the durability of it, since it has to go through all the rough phases just like the car itself. Keeping this in mind, the engineers at GUDE have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the durability of the product.
A steel frame with 2.5 mm thick carry arms ensures that there is enough strength and abrasion resistance to handle heavy-duty workloads and the anti-rust injection molding arm and leg of the structure ensures that the structure is protected from rain, dust, and other environmental catalysts.
The mounting saddles can be rotated around the supporting arm of the bike to ensure that the bike is securely mounted. There are five holes in this strap so that you will be able to fit bike handles of different sizes with ease. These saddles can easily be attached or detached if needed. The durable rubber straps ensure a tight and secure grip for excellent protection.
As the name suggests, GUDE 2 has a 16.5 inch carry arm which can carry up to 86 pounds of weight and two bikes at the same time. The arm can be folded easily when it is not being used. This convenient design proves to be helpful when you are parking your car in a small area. Because sometimes the extra length of the arm can really get in the way.
This bike rack has a lot of advantages, one of them being that it is easy to put on and take off. Additionally, it doesn’t interfere with the opening of your trunk. You can simply pull the rack away from the rear part of your car, open the trunk easily, and move your luggage out without any issues.
Besides its anti-shaking feature, this bike carrier also has an anti-rattle hitch tightening feature. This is commonly seen in racks that make a disturbing rattling sound when you drive the car. However, this tightener ensures your rack won’t have too much wiggle.
It seems to me that I haven’t told you about the red reflector feature yet. Even though it may seem trivial, the red reflector is actually very important. It is the little reflectors that help to ensure that the vehicles behind you know to maintain a proper distance when the arm of the carrier is stretched and you are carrying your bike at night.
There is no doubt about it, this one seems like a great deal for the price that it comes in. It has all the necessary features to carry your bike safely to any place, and there isn’t much doubt about that either.
A Complete Buying Guide for Swing Hitch Bike Racks: How to Choose the Right One for Your Vehicle
Having already provided you with an in-depth description of the five best swing away bike racks for you, you still have the difficulty of choosing one out of these five. Choosing one of these five might seem really simple at first, but it becomes really difficult once you have all these features, individual characteristics and differences to deal with.
Therefore, I will give you some tips & tricks that I have up my sleeve in this part of the tutorial. When you make a purchase such as this, you need to be aware of some basic things that you should take into consideration. If you follow these tips, you will be able to save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the long run. You should consider the following when buying a swing away bike rack.
Choosing a starter type will be the first step in the process
In situations where the details seem complicated or twisted, I always begin by selecting a type. When you begin with this step, you will be able to narrow down the whole process. Each type serves a specific purpose, and if you can determine what it is that you are looking for, the entire process becomes much easier.
As you can see from this section, I will be discussing only swing away hitch bike racks in this particular part of my article. When it comes to swing away hitch bike racks, there are only two types. They are:
It is important to note that the platform swing away bike racks are the ones which secure your bikes by their wheels and some of these racks come with cradles that are designed to act as a tray for both of the wheels. The only platform bike on this list is the ‘RockyMounts BackStage 2′′ Receiver Swing Away Rack’.
The pros to this type of bike are that they are easier to load and that they remain secure at both the wheels and the frame while the cons are that they are heavier when it comes to weight and that they are difficult to store when they are not in use.
There are four types of hitch bike racks listed in the following order: swing away hangaway bike racks, which hang from the arms of the rack. The ratcheting straps are used to keep the bike fastened to the rack while the frame is resting on the cradles. The RockyMount bike rack is of this type, but the other four are not.
Taking a closer look at the pros, there would be a number of benefits involved, such as easier to load and store because of the lightweight design, and a convenient installation method. On the other hand, the cons would be a bit troubling for loading the bikes since you need to get them higher from the ground, and some bikes need an adapter to fit well.
It is essential that the product is durable
I would say that durability should be the number one priority when it comes to a product like this. Since this attachment will remain outside your car, which means it won’t be enclosed. So, it will be exposed to almost all of the elements that your car will experience, such as rain, dust, mud, heat, and other variables.
Occasionally, the rack has to endure the pressure of constant jumping of the car as you drive along an off-road road or a road with a lot of potholes. Also, you cannot entirely rule out the possibility that another car may slam into you while the rack is installed!
Therefore, you will want to make sure that the entire structure is very durable. But especially take these points into account. Make sure that the whole structure is made of durable materials. In addition, you should ensure that the parts holding your bikes are thick enough to take the pressure and that the straps won’t easily tear.
Check for compatibility every time you purchase a product
Despite the fact that it is essential to test for compatibility before making any purchase, in this case it is more than that. Because, if you do not check to make sure that this is done properly, you will have to suffer in every step of the way. Specifically, you need to make sure to ensure the following compatibility issues –
There are a few things you need to consider when it comes to the bike rack. The primary thing is that you have to get a hitch receiver in order to attach the bike rack to your car. While most bike racks come with 2” receivers, some racks also come with 1.5” and 2” receivers. Well, most of the times, at least. In spite of this, almost all vehicles can be fitted with 2” receivers.
In case your bike rack has the capability of swinging away from the vehicle, you should make sure that it extends all the way to the side of the vehicle if it has that feature. If your chosen one is unable to cover the whole distance, then it would be a pity for you. But if your chosen one does not cover the whole distance, that would be a problem.
The tilt away angle is basically the same as before; it is important to make sure the tilt away angle is enough to allow you to open the trunk with ease. There have been times that even after tilting, the trunk cannot be opened due to the rack getting in the way.
There is no doubt that extra security is worth a few extra dollars
Honestly, I wouldn’t call it a ‘must-have’ feature for your bike rack, but if I were you, I would not hesitate to pay a little extra to have this feature installed as it is a very precious accessory for you. Just as any other valuable thing you own, it is only right that it is protected.
It’s inevitable that you will have to wait for a long time in traffic or some other place. At times, you might even get to go by a store on the way to your destination. Who is going to watch over your bikes in those cases? It’s very likely that your bikes will be stolen from the rack in these situations.
It is really evident that having some extra security features will be a great advantage to you, since you don’t have to worry about the bikes or the bike rack all the time. The bike rack from Yakima is equipped with some built-in security features, both in the rack arms and the speed knob.
The importance of fuel economy cannot be overstated
The fuel economy of a vehicle is an issue that appears to be a problem when buying a bike rack. The aerodynamics of a vehicle can change as a result of the bike racks and bikes, and sometimes the extra weight is also an issue. When you use roof mounted racks, you can expect a fuel increase of up to 30%.
The rear swing away hitch bike racks, however, are not coming in the way of causing any sort of distress to the aerodynamics of your vehicle, so it won’t be a problem for you to worry about. Furthermore, this much weight at the rear part would be hardly noticeable to you at all.
Here are a few questions that you might want to ask.
Throughout this little segment, I will try to answer some of the most common questions that people have about swinging bike racks. You should have a question about such matters because you would not want to make a purchase without having a clear understanding of the matter. In this case, I have chosen to address some of the questions that you might find helpful as well.
Swing Away Bike Racks – What are they and what do they do?
In simple terms, a swing-away bike rack is simply a bike carrier that can be pulled away from the rear of a van or pickup truck. Basically, it is an attachment that allows you to transport your bicycles at the back of your vehicle. You do not have to worry about the safety of your precious two-wheeled companion while you are riding your car.
How does Swing Away Bike Rack Work
When it comes to understanding how this product works, it is best to think of it as a wheel tray. If you’ve ever seen a cycle stand in a high school compound or some other place, you’ll have an easier time figuring out how it works. Bicycle stands are found as displays in bike shops, so if you want to check one out, you’ll find one there.
Basically, the mechanism for keeping the bicycles steady in a cycle stand and in a swing away bike rack is pretty much the same. Speaking of the mechanism, the fact is that if the two wheels of a bike remain steady, then the entire body will remain steady as well. Both of these tools come equipped with wheel casings that make sure that this is the case.
A swing away bike rack is basically a cycle-stand, but it is much more modified and better developed and a lot more durable, because it has to keep the bike steady while being attached to a vehicle that is in motion. Therefore, a swing away bike rack is basically a cycle-stand, but it is a lot more developed, more sturdy and safer.
Moreover, if you want to open or close your car’s rear hatch or the hatch of your SUV, you will be able to slide it aside when you are doing so.
The other basic thing you should know is that a bike rack is installed on your car by attaching it to the hitch of your vehicle with a few bolts and nuts that are attached to it. It is possible to purchase a good trailer hitch in a shop and have it installed at any nearby automobile repair shop if your vehicle has no hitch gear on it.
Do you think you will be able to open your trunk with a bike rack on it?
You can, of course,! There are several features that bike racks have to make sure that you are able to do so. One, you can swing the bike rack away from the trunk. Another feature is that you can tilt the bike rack away from the trunk. Some bike racks have both of these features. You can even open the trunk while the bikes are on the rack.
What is the best way to prevent my hitch bike rack from swaying when I use it?
If you are looking for a bike rack that has an anti-swaying feature, I would recommend you get that one. In this case, you can use the anti-rattle hitch tightener to prevent your bike from swaying.
Are swing-away bike racks compatible with all kinds of cars? Can a swing-away bike rack be fitted to any car?
We are quite sure that almost all cars are compatible with swing-away bike racks. All you need to do is make sure that the hitch receiver on your car and the bike rack are the same. Regardless of whether you own a private car, SUV, pickup truck, sedan, van, or even a minivan, there is nothing to worry about.
Before I wrap up, I would like to say a few words.
The goal of this article is to provide you with a clear understanding of all of the things related to how to choose the best swing away bike rack. As a final note, I’d like to give you one piece of advice. Don’t let thoughts get enmeshed too much. First, set your priorities, and then you will be able to see what options are more suitable based upon them.
In order to make the detailed information easy to understand and process, I have done my best to arrange it in such a way that you would find it easy to process accordingly. I understand that if you find none of the racks on my list up to your standard, it is okay. That is why I have included a buying guide with these racks. I hope you have found everything you need in this guide.
I would be happy to listen to any input you might have regarding the topic. Let’s discuss this further in the “Comments” section of the post.