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  1. #1
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    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)

    Geeze, that's a lot of "R's"...

    Well, I waited a really long time for this rack.
    ...and, unfortunately, I'm disappointed.

    Disclaimer: I have only used one other commercially available bike rack (the kind that clamps the downtube, and only for a kids bike). I have mostly used my own contrivances and fork mounts to carry bikes, in addition to a Thule roof pod, and a kayak rack.
    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-100_0253.jpg

    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-fatrack.jpg
    ^^^NOT the new rack.

    The Skyline was renamed "Race Ready".

    Short version:
    The rack holds any bike, with wheels on, quite securely from 20x1.75 to 26x5.0 (or 29x3.0) just fine, but it had some issues:
    - The included wheel straps were too short even for 26x4.0. Swagman sent out longer straps in a blink. Why I received short straps on a rack marketed to fit fatbikes I'll never know.
    - The rack is advertised as "no frame contact", but it never said "no fork contact". If you have a carbon fork on your fattbike like I do, you'll need a cut up pool noodle to protect your fork from the retention hook, or it will wear the finish right off the fork.

    Long Version:
    As a roof rack or over-the-bed truck rack, it is quite high. Probably no worse than any other, but higher than what I'm used to (I'm 6'-3").
    If you install multiple racks, you will need a full size truck bed to get the bikes close enough together to optimize your space. Reason being that the trays are just long enough for a bike, but the bike position is dictated by the crossbar/load bar - to which the front wheel stop is bolted. There is no adjustment away from the crossbar, so if you want 2 bikes side-by-side, they will either be far apart (about 1 handlebar width, making the inboard bike more difficult to load), or they will have to mount forward/backward, which requires about 1 wheel length outside of each crossbar. That's longer than the bed of my compact truck - which used to hold at least 3 bikes + 1 kayak before I installed the Race Ready racks. The forward bike hits the cab, so no-go - they both have to ride backward.
    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-20170509_193655%5B1%5D.jpg

    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-20170509_193534%5B1%5D.jpg

    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-20170509_193617%5B1%5D.jpg
    ^^^Notice that if the green bike were a full size bike (this one is a 15" 27.5+), the handle bars would interfere and the racks would need to be even farther apart.

    If your bike has a front fender, this rack will not work.

    I have a mountain tandem that sat on a boom tube saddle on the rear crossbar.
    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-100_5012.jpg

    Because the crossbars are as far apart as they can be, but still not far enough for the boom tube saddle or for the wheelbase of a regular bike, this complicates carrying those bikes. The tandem is now unweighted at the fork mount, and single bikes want to pull backwards - which, of course, is not really the fault of the new racks, but they don't leave much room to wiggle.

    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-20170509_194118%5B1%5D.jpg

    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-20170509_195023%5B1%5D.jpg

    Bottom line: Is the bike secure? Yes. It rides steady even above the maximum recommended 60mph. It even has a lock on the hook. However, the rack itself is almost too easy to remove from the vehicle (6 large wing nuts requiring no tools). Some security hardware is in order, I think, lest you lose your rack with the bike on it.
    The rack design is not very flexible, IMO, when considering other crossbar attachments/accessories. Switching the hook from one side to the other requires about 3 pages of instructions and the included spanner tool in addition to some allen wrenches. Save those instructions!
    It seems to have a lot of pieces, but this may be common to this rack design.
    It does look good.

    I would not really recommend it, unless you've done your homework and found it beats other racks, or really fits your application.
    I think I am going to have to invent my own bike rack based on my old fatbike carrier in the picture.

    -F
    Last edited by Fleas; 05-10-2017 at 05:20 AM.
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  2. #2
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    Your old fatbike carrier is more similar to the 1upUSA type than it is to the Swagman, which looks a lot like the Thule Sidearm type carriers (Kuat also uses this style of arm). And yes, that style of arm does touch the fork.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    ...And yes, that style of arm does touch the fork.
    This makes me wonder if it would work on a Lefty. I'm guessing not.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  4. #4
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    This makes me wonder if it would work on a Lefty. I'm guessing not.

    -F
    It works fine. It isn't that it has to touch the fork. Just that it usually winds up doing so

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    In my experience the hook just needs to be past the high point of the tire rather than flat against the fork. It also helps if you're running low enough pressure to pull the hook down a click or two without forcing it so far that the lock cylinder is hard to turn. FWIW there is a short extension at the front of the tray that pulls out to accommodate longer wheelbase bikes. All of the new racks being shipped should come with the longer straps, a few of the early ones didn't but that should have been corrected quite some time ago. I've had the rack on the roof of my tight riding sports car many times on long highway drives and it has been stable and secure at all sorts of speeds

  6. #6
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    Swagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-kimg1005.jpgSwagman Race Ready Roof Rack Review (includes fatbikes)-kimg1004.jpg

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