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Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: October 11, 2021

Swagman XTC2 Review: A Great Hitch Bike Rack for Any Kind of Weather

By
Reviewed by
Reviewed by
Last updated: October 11, 2021
Ideal for:
  • Cycling enthusiasts with multiple bikes
  • Those looking for a platform hitch rack with excellent stability and convenience
  • Anyone who is weight-conscious.
Key features:
  • Lightweight and durable alloy steel build
  • 2-bike capacity
  • 70-pound weight capacity
Editor's Rating
9.7
out of 10
  • Functionality 9.8
  • Weight capacity 9.5
  • Durability 9.8
  • Installation 9.8
Users’ Rating
4.3
out of 5
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Hitch bike racks are an easier way of transporting multiple bikes on your vehicle. They are deemed expensive, but they are worth every penny. They are incredibly easy to use as you only need to attach them to your vehicle's receiver hitch. There are two kinds of hitch racks; the platform models, which are the most expensive, and the hanging racks preferred for their maximum carrying capacity. The Swagman XTC2 is a platform model.

The rack offers all the advantages of a hitch-mount rack, like keeping the bikes away from the vehicle to prevent any damages while keeping them secure. However, it distinguishes itself with its mounting system. Instead of the common vertical system used to mount bikes, it uses hoops that secure the bikes' wheels with rubber straps to offer more stability. We have provided more information about the rack in this detailed Swagman XTC2 review. Read on to see if it is what you are looking for.

Specifications

Material
Alloy steel
Bike capacity
2
Weight capacity
35 lbs. per bike
Foldable
Yes
Dimensions
6.5 x 40 x 11.5 in.
Weight
29.7 lbs.
Warranty
Lifetime

Review

The Swagman XTC2 is a popular hitch mount rack for all the right reasons. It is designed to help you transport 2 bikes on your car securely. It has all the features that make it easy to use and guarantee your bikes’ safety and stability.

Design and functionality

Swagman XTC2 Review: A Great Hitch Bike Rack for Any Kind of Weather

Swagman XTC2 system incorporates a unique horizontal hoop design and a built-in anti-wobble hitch device

The Swagman XTC2 comes in a uniquely stylish and functional design. It is sturdily built with alloy steel for solid durability and powder coated in a premium finish. Besides giving it a good visual appeal, the finish prevents it from corrosion. This means you can transport your bikes in any kind of weather without worrying about the unit getting damaged.

Unlike other hitch mount bike racks, the Swagman XTC2 doesn’t use the vertical system to mount bikes. Instead, it incorporates hoops in its design that secure the bikes’ wheels with rubber straps for maximum stability and security. Furthermore, the rack has a built-in anti-wobble hitch device that prevents the bikes from wobbling when you are on the move. This means that the rack is able to keep your bikes away from the vehicle so that neither of them is compromised while keeping the bikes intact in the mount.

Moreover, the rack adjusts easily to all bike frames. You can even fit fat bikes if you buy the fat tire trays sold separately. Plus, you can access the rear of your vehicle even after mounting the bikes by folding the center arm of the rack.

Weight capacity

According to expert reviews Trusted Source Bike Car Rack Guide | Tredz Bikes Our car rack guide will show you how to choose the best car rack for your needs – roof, boot or towbar. Click here for car rack compatibility information www.tredz.co.uk , it is important to consider the bike rack’s weight capacity before purchasing. Once you know how much weight the rack can bear, you check your bikes’ weights. The Swagman XTC2 can bear a maximum weight of 2 bikes weighing 35 pounds each.

Compared to other platform bike racks, 70 pounds sounds a bit limiting. However, based on its weight, it’s quite surprising that it can actually carry 70 pounds. The carrier is only 29.7 pounds heavy. The lightweight design is favorable when it comes to installation and uninstallation.

Swagman XTC2 Review: A Great Hitch Bike Rack for Any Kind of Weather

This bike rack can fit 2 bikes weighing 35 pounds each

Bike compatibility

Bike compatibility is another crucial consideration. The best news is that you can transport any type of bike with the Swagman XTC2. You can choose to mount either one or two bikes. When you are going out alone, you can adjust the rack to fit just one bike without compromising its quality.

Also, it doesn’t matter how big your bikes are. You can carry any bike with any kind of tires because the rack’s rubber straps are adjustable. They can be resized to accommodate a wide range of tire sizes from 12-inches to 29-inches.

Vehicle compatibility

Before getting a hitch rack, you must ensure that it is compatible with your vehicle. You have to check that your vehicle’s receiver hitch size is compatible with the rack you intend to get. There are 2 main receiver hitch sizes: 2-inch and 1.25 inches. The 2-inch hitch receiver is likely to handle more weight than the 1.25-inch one.

For instance, if you intend to haul a heavy platform rack along with 60+ pound bikes, you must check that your vehicle has the 2-inch receiver hitch. Even the 2 bike add-ons offered on some platform racks are only compatible with the 2-inch hitch receiver. If you only intend to carry standard mountain or road bikes, then the 1.25-inch receiver will suffice. With a platform rack, you must consider the receiver hitch size, but with hanging racks, you can always get an adapter. With the Swagman XTC2, a 1.25-inch receiver will do because it is lightweight.

Durability

As mentioned before, the Swagman XTC2 is built to stand the test of time. It is ruggedly built with alloy steel that can hold up well to frequent use. Moreover, it is powder coated in a premium finish that gives it an aesthetic appeal and prevents it from corrosion. The unit can be used in any kind of weather without worrying about it getting damaged or putting your bikes at risk of getting ruined.

Wheel mount

Swagman XTC2 Review: A Great Hitch Bike Rack for Any Kind of Weather

You can mount your bike without taking its wheels off

This feature allows you to mount your bike on the rack without taking off the wheels. All you have to do is rest the bike’s wheel into the wheel hoops, then ratchet down the hooks.

Accessories

This is where the Swagman XTC2 loses points. It doesn’t come with as many accessories as some of its peers. The only accessories provided are an optional locking hitch pin and a 10mm security cable for increasing the safety of your bike, and they are sold separately. The incredible features the bike rack has justify its limited accessories, though.

Warranty

Swagman offers a limited lifetime warranty cover for the rack. If you encounter any manufacturing defects either in the materials used to make the rack or in workmanship, you can return it for repair or replacement. If Swagman approves your warranty claim, they will repair the damaged parts or replace the product with a similar model or a comparable substitute.

The warranty doesn’t apply to the soft products like straps, cables, and bags. The warranty cover against manufacturing defects in production and materials is valid for a year from the original purchase date.

Price

Hitch mount racks, especially the platform kind, are considered pricier than other types of bike carriers. That’s not the case with the Swagman XTC2. It offers excellent value for money with its reasonable price point of 205 dollars. This is pretty fair considering all the features it comes with, as the prices for hitch mount racks range between 100 and 800 dollars.

Installation

Swagman XTC2 Review: A Great Hitch Bike Rack for Any Kind of Weather

Assembling the rack before installing it takes a bit of an effort

Installing this rack is pretty simple, but the main challenge is in assembling it before the installation.

To assemble it:

Attach the receiver bar to the main assembly with a washer, nut, and bolt. Put the 3/8-inch lynchpin and lanyard on the bolt before inserting it.

Use an 8mm Allen wrench to insert and tighten the folding guide bolt. Ensure you insert the bolt correctly. The guide bolt head should fit into the slot.

Insert the lynchpin into the hole before attaching the spring clip. It is this lynchpin that is removed when the bike rack is folded away from the vehicle.

Next, slide the hooks onto the upright portion alternating the direction.

Unfold the 2 sidearms, then insert 2 lynchpins and ensure they go all the way in. Slide the hooks onto the upright portion alternating the direction.

Slide the 4-wheel holder trays onto the bottom arms, alternating their direction. Do not tighten them at this point, as you will have to adjust them to fit each bike you will be carrying.

After installing the wheel holders, screw in the metal screws at each arm’s end. The screws are meant to secure the wheel holders in place.

To install the rack:

After you are done assembling the rack, insert it into the 2-inch or 1.25-inch receiver. Install the 1/2 –inch threaded locking hitch pin and tighten it. Put on the lock head and ensure it is securely attached.

If your car has the 1.25-inches receiver, then you will have to remove the Allen bolt that holds the spacers. Use a 6mm Allen wrench for this.

When installing the rack, keep in mind that it is only designed to carry a maximum weight of 35 pounds for every bike. You cannot carry a bike that weighs over 35 pounds. Here Trusted Source INSTRUCTION SHEET Assembly Instructions cdn.shopify.com are some more details on the installation process.

PROS CONS
  • Offers excellent stability and security for your bikes
  • Easy to install
  • Can carry 2 bikes
  • Compatible with various types of bikes
  • Durable build
  • Allows easy access to the hatch
  • Relatively affordable
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Releasing the holding mechanism on the rack can be a challenge
  • Needs assembly before installation
  • Not robust enough to withstand the tension of driving over rough terrains
  • Lock hitch pin, fat tire trays, and security cable have to be bought separately

 

Conclusion

Our detailed Swagman XTC2 review depicts the hitch-mount rack as a reliable means of transporting your bikes from one point to another. It is ruggedly built with high-quality material and premium finishing that will not ruin the overall aesthetics of your cool car. Plus, it is compatible with various kinds of bikes with different tire sizes. Also, it is likely compatible with your car as it works well with both the 2-inch and the 1.25-inch hitch receiver.

References

1.
Bike Car Rack Guide | Tredz Bikes
Our car rack guide will show you how to choose the best car rack for your needs – roof, boot or towbar. Click here for car rack compatibility information
2.
INSTRUCTION SHEET
Assembly Instructions
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