swagman bike rack quality is it good or junk?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    swagman bike rack quality is it good or junk?

    i am curious cause the swagman xc is such a good price i am wondering if its junk, remember you get what you paid for...i would like to hear from swagman owners....

  2. #2
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    huh?

    they've been in the market for 20 years, that's hard to do "making junk"

    that rack has been on the market for at least 4 years in Canada, it's light duty, that is, it's aimed at no more than 90lb loads for all the bikes.

    I personally think others are overpriced, rather than Swagman being lower priced. Tell me why a Thule roof system costs more than a plasma TV? It's just stamped metal. go figure.

    Jim ('94 Swagman still in use.... as good as new.) C

  3. #3
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    Yup, we have the spare tire mount one on my wife's Jeep.



    We also have the ski & snow board attachment for the rack.



    Both work well. We just had the bike rack repainted as it was starting to show a little surface rust after ~5 years of continous use.

  4. #4
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    this is the swagman rack i am really interested in, is it junk or what? its not exactly overbuilt but i am only hauling my cannondale prophet not crazy heavy downhill bikes....

    http://www.premierhummer.com/swagman...bike_rack.html

  5. #5
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    that one works very nice, if you have a 2" hitch it'll hold a lot of weight. it tends to sway a bit, so you would want some straps to the roof or similar to keep it steady.

    swagman racks are not junk, they last a surprisingly long time, and they work! (they just aren't fancy)
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  6. #6
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    this might help

    instead of reading the "Hummer" page, try reading Swagman's own site; it has all the info you need as well as customer testimonials.

    Jim

    "Swagman pioneered trailer hitch mounted bike carriers 15 years ago. The past 15 years have resulted in a range of bicycle carriers second to none. Our mandate is to build tough, durable racks, with a model for everyone. Over the past 15 years, we have created lasting products for active people to carry their bicycles and skis.

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    yeah thanks i saw that link originally but i used the hummer link because of the large picture of the rack...now about that sway, how bad is it, does it come from the hitch, or is it from the rack itself?

  8. #8
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    the sway comes from the hitch, it's not the tightest fit (it's not horrible, just noticable). they sell an anti-sway gadget, but it's a piece of crap IMO. i just run a bungee on either side up to the roof rack on my jeep and it solves the problem fine.

    the only racks made that won't sway are roof racks.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  9. #9
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    when i had my saris rack i had it with a threaded bolt which kept it from swaying and it was rock solid but i was afraid of some stealing it so i brought a hitch lock that wasnt threaded and it began to sway, maybe a threaded hitch lock would work better... how about that arm that clamps down on the frame, i know its padded but doesnt scuff the frames at all? do you have any pics of your rack loaded?

  10. #10
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    i use the frame adapters (check the site for pics, i don't have any on the work machine). none of my bikes will fit in the TT clamp. even if they did, i would use a frame adapter anyways. i imagine any type of clamp will scratch.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  11. #11
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    which rack do you have exactly?
    Last edited by david8613; 03-24-2006 at 05:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    any other swagman xc hitchmount owners out there care to comment on this rack?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimC.
    they've been in the market for 20 years, that's hard to do "making junk"

    that rack has been on the market for at least 4 years in Canada, it's light duty, that is, it's aimed at no more than 90lb loads for all the bikes.

    I personally think others are overpriced, rather than Swagman being lower priced. Tell me why a Thule roof system costs more than a plasma TV? It's just stamped metal. go figure.

    Jim ('94 Swagman still in use.... as good as new.) C
    I've driven behind Jim while his Knolly rests safely and comfortably on the Swagman, I think.

  14. #14
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    can you elaborate a little more, does it sway at all? whats the good and bad about this rack? how well does the arms hold the bike, is the bike loose or tight, how about the wheel trays are they big enough to hold 2.3 tires. how is the clearance from the floor? i know its alot of questions but i am about to pull the trigger on one and i am still very confused, i mean i like the swaymans price, it can hold up 4 bikesl, and how it folds away and its lightness, but at the same time everyone is crazy about the thule t2, but its price is a little more than i want to spend...

  15. #15
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    well

    David it's just a bike rack. It sways a very little. It holds bikes fine. 2.5's

    The decision is yours, release yourself from analysis paralysis.

    Hey gonzo, you coming back this summer?

    Jim

  16. #16
    FM
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    Performance is selling the swagman racks under there own name- I just bought one. $229 USD for the 4-bike and $179 for the double this weekend!

    On the box and manual, "made in Canada", it's obviously a re-branded swagman. Weird since hollywood racks also has a model that appears to be a re-branded swagman. The double they had in stock looked awesome, simple, but I'm getting the 4-bike.

    Mine should arrive in a week or so, I'll post a review. I'm sure it will be awesome.

  17. #17
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    thanks guys for all your help, i ended up playing it safe and picked up thule t2 with snug tite hitch lock and 2 lock cores for the arms. with so many people who raving about this rack they cant be wrong, plus it has some pretty cool features that i liked, locking arms, tilt feature, fore and aft adjustments, and lifetime warranty plus the thule name. i paid over 2 grand for my cannondale prophet 1000 and felt she deserved an above average rack...the thule t2 is spendy but i think its better to spend some money now rather than spend more later...incase you guys wanted to know i got a killer deal from this site... http://www.racknroad.com/ great people to do business with...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Yup, we have the spare tire mount one on my wife's Jeep.



    We also have the ski & snow board attachment for the rack.



    Both work well. We just had the bike rack repainted as it was starting to show a little surface rust after ~5 years of continous use.
    I bought the Spare Tire Mount a few years ago (on Craig's recommendation, thanks again man!) and its bomber. I can carry three bikes with zero issues. If all of their products are as well made, I doubt you'd have any problems.
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  19. #19
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    My opinion is that it depends on the rack.

    I got a Swagman folding rack to replace a rack damaged in an accident.
    The replacement rack was this one:
    http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/me...gory_Code=BR3B

    marketed by e-trailer but plainly marked Swagman.
    I sent it back. It was not built as well as the rack that was damaged and I ended up with a Hollywood rack instead.

    Swagman does make some good stuff.
    The rack you were looking at usually has good reviews here.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte
    (on Craig's recommendation, thanks again man!)
    You're welcome!

  21. #21
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    i dont mean to beat up on the swayman xc rack but i saw one today on someones car in the parking lot at local trailhead, and to tell you the truth i am glad i didnt get this rack, it looks as though it might barely do the job, but it looked very flismy to me, too many bolts and joints, the trays looked very thin, even the bar entering the hitch looked as if it was on the light side not something i think would last very long, next to that was a car with an older sportswork rack, it was a day and night difference, way more burly and stronger looking. the swagman xc might be good for someone who just wants to take his bikes to the local park and who doesnt ride too often or far away, but if you ride very far and alot you should look elsewhere....

  22. #22
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    .the swagman xc might be good for someone who just wants to take his bikes to the local park and who doesnt ride too often or far away, but if you ride very far and alot you should look elsewhere....
    Hm, well if it's strong enough to haul JimC's Knolly V-tach around then it can't be too flimsy! Thats easily a 40lb bike.

    I think the question is, "how much rack does it take to safely haul bike(s) on a car from A to B?" Sure the swagman/performance/hollywood racks look wimpy compared to a sportworks. But, people have used strap-on trunk racks and all kind of crappy roof-racks for years w/o too many problems... persoanlly I used a fork-up and roof rack for my free-ride bike for 2 years, finally the drop-outs on the fork broke, the cheapo roof rack trays never gave me problems.

    Anyways I have a performance (re-branded swagman) 4-bike showing up this week, with a money back guarantee. We'll see how it looks but i would be suprised if it's not up to the job. Anythings better than a spare tire-mounted rack that uses rubber straps, but that woudl still get the job done.

  23. #23
    FM
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    Just an update- I got my performance 4-bike hitch rack last night. (it looks to be a re-branded swagman). $250 after tax. The rack looks really good to me. Assembly was easy, instructions were clear and well thought out (I'm a drafter and I think manuals are often a good insight into a companies overall attention to quality). The hardware is all good, with zinc-plated bolts and nylock nuts with plastic caps to keep everything clean and safe. The 4-bike rack is 2" hitch only and looks plenty beefy.

    it's definately a simpler design compared to the sportworks, and lighter duty, but also lots beefier than my current yakima roofrack system. I'll be hauling 4 FR bikes from Seattle to Moab and back in two weeks, that will be the real test.

  24. #24
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    i got my thule t2 yesterday and i was not impressed at all, its going back. the saris cycle on rack i had prior was way better, i will post a review soon, FM can you post some detailed pics of your rack loaded, unloaded, folded and unfolded that would be cool...

  25. #25
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    i got my thule t2 yesterday and i was not impressed at all, its going back. the saris cycle on rack i had prior was way better, i will post a review soon, FM can you post some detailed pics of your rack loaded, unloaded, folded and unfolded that would be cool...
    will do... I'm getting the hitch installed tomorrow so it may be 2-3 days.

  26. #26
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    fm how about those pics? i would really like to see how your rack looks on your ride...

  27. #27
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    fm how about those pics? i would really like to see how your rack looks on your ride...
    Sorry about the wait, no pics yet. Things are a little crazy right now- bought the new van and rack, hitch installed, everythings good to go, I'm leaving for Moab next week and I still have my old car which I will sell when I get back. But I drove that to my ride this weekend since I was solo and it gets better milage than the big van.

    I probably won't get the rack loaded with bikes till next week at this point, since I need to get my work, family stuff & bike tightened up before the moab/fruita biking trip.

    I did go to G.I. Joes and spent $7 on fancy high-end bungee cords, got some 4" ones that are perfect for securing the wheels to the trays, and a longer 4' one for the frames. They're all black with rubber coated hooks so they look very stock on the swagman rack. These will add 2 minutes to my load & unload time, but it's good to have that added security. Picked up a locking hitch pin too. I did do some dry-fitting of bikes and everything looks good.

  28. #28
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    Anyone ever use a Swagman with these style clamps? How good are they?


  29. #29
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    Rack works fine, but not perfect

    I was replying to a similar thread last week. I own a Hollywood rack which seems identical to the swagman.

    Other thread for more info

    My post there:
    I have the swagman. Actually, I'm not sure if it is that brand but it looks absolutely identical. It is quick and easy to use. The padded hooks have worn some paint off the bike frame. I wasn't keen on the threaded bolt hitch pin for holding the rack in the hitch. I take mine on and off frequently and I wasn't about to have to bust out a wrench to do it. I had to drill the hitch pin hole in the rack a bit bigger to fit a standard trailer hitch pin. It is my understanding that the threaded bolt hitch pin eliminates rack sway and I had an issue with that at first. the rack swayed pretty bad. then I bought a little device online that helps that out. This is the device. I use it on my pickup truck and I load dogs in and out of the back frequently. The bikes need to be removed to do it. the hoops on the ends of the "arms" that hold the tires in place make me very nervous about a dog leg getting stuck in there. The two arms are hinged to swing up and out of the way, but I can only swing one side up with the tailgate open. It has to do with the location of the hoops. So I swing one side up and block the other side of the tailgate with my body for loading dogs in and out. I have never once used the feature where the vertical post swings downward. The bikes also need to be removed to do that. HOpe that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions about it.

  30. #30
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    sounds good fm, enjoy the new rack. i just ordered mine today from a dealer on ebay, 4 bike carrier 239.00 shipped, i should see it by thursday, good deal i think. i will post a review and pics when i get it. in the mean time check the links for reviews and a close up pic...

    http://www.autoanything.com/bike-rac...customerReview

    http://www.cargogear.com/infolib.asp...&image=xc1.jpg
    Last edited by david8613; 04-10-2006 at 05:01 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by david8613
    sounds good fm, enjoy the new rack. i just ordered mine today from a dealer on ebay, 4 bike carrier 239.00 shipped, i should see it by thursday, good deal i think.
    yeah putting it on tonight for these photos, I was stoked. seems a lot more solid after I spent some time getting to know the adjustments. The short rubber straps for the wheels seem like a good idea. anyways here's pix- btw the tires are micheling DH 2.5's so this rack can handle big ones....
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  32. #32
    FM
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    More pix....
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  33. #33
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    wow those pic look really good fm, thanks...those bungie things look like they were made for the rack. check out the newer version of the swagman... its funny how there are different versions of this rack, its like they are fine tuning it. i wonder how long this rack has been around....

    http://www.swagmanbikeracks.com/64665.html

  34. #34
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    I picked up the same exact rack from Target on discount for $45-60, can't remember. Then it went on super discount for like $30. I use the threaded bolt it came with, no sway other than normal flex. It is pretty damn solid and I am glad I did not get anything else. Of course I had to buy and install hitches but I don't count that into the price. It is solid, strong and simple, and if you get it from target under the coleman name you can get it for a song.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM
    ... Sure the swagman/performance/hollywood racks look wimpy compared to a sportworks. ....
    My Hollywood Boomer is three times the weight and a much better rack than the Swageman I mentioned above. It doesn't look wimpy if you are looking at it. My previous no-name e-trailer badged rack was perhaps more solid but had fewer bells and whistles, larger tube diameter but much thinner tube walls.

    In my opinion you have to examine each rack regardless of manufacturer to determine the quality and usability. Lumping all the somewhat off brands together under 'looks wimpy' probably paints a false picture.

  36. #36
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    i dont think target sells this rack anymore, i heard about the great price they had so went to check it out but none to be seen....i noticed there are slight differences in the different brands like the swagman has some kind rachet system for the arms, but the export has knobs that you tighten instead, and noticed theat the export, coleman, hollywood versions have a slight rise on the main tube, were the swagman doesnt i hope i dont have any clearance issues....i cant wait to get mine...

  37. #37
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    Works Great

    I have used this four bike Swagman Extreme XP for the past three years and it works great. I bought it for two reasons, security and flexibility to hold different types of frames.

    As far as security, I have a lock for the hitch that secures the rack, then another locking knob that clamps down the outer most bike carrier. So, I can load up all four bikes, then lock down the last one so that none of the bikes can be removed. Well not without a saw, some tools and time, or a lot of noise.

    The other thing I like about the small clamps is that it will hold many different types of frames. For example, I can clamp in my Santa Cruz Heckler, even though the top tube is bent and the shock connects to the top tube.

    Overall, I would say I have seen other racks that are faster to load, such as some of the tire mount racks, and have also seen what looks to be higher quality racks, but for flexibility, price and security, the Swagman rack works well.

    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Anyone ever use a Swagman with these style clamps? How good are they?


  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kansasflatlander
    I have used this four bike Swagman Extreme XP for the past three years and it works great. I bought it for two reasons, security and flexibility to hold different types of frames.

    As far as security, I have a lock for the hitch that secures the rack, then another locking knob that clamps down the outer most bike carrier. So, I can load up all four bikes, then lock down the last one so that none of the bikes can be removed. Well not without a saw, some tools and time, or a lot of noise.

    The other thing I like about the small clamps is that it will hold many different types of frames. For example, I can clamp in my Santa Cruz Heckler, even though the top tube is bent and the shock connects to the top tube.

    Overall, I would say I have seen other racks that are faster to load, such as some of the tire mount racks, and have also seen what looks to be higher quality racks, but for flexibility, price and security, the Swagman rack works well.
    Great thanks.
    I already ordered it, so I'm using it no matter what. Security wasn't much of my concern as my hitch pin is locked and I can always cable lock the bikes. My biggest concern is how secure are the clamps? Being a single clamp, as opposed to a 2 arm design, do they ever spin or move?

  39. #39
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    got my swagman xc 4 bike rack, its a little different than yours fm. i absolutely love it, its stronger than it looks, held 4 bikes no problem. i will post an in depth review and pics as soon as i can. everyone was stopping me and asking questions while i was driving around with it, one guy was like damn you turned your 2005 chrysler 300 in to an suv with all those bikes! happy easter to everyone....

  40. #40
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    finally here is my mini review with some pics, love everything about the swagman xc rack, its light, portable, affordable, and she does here job very well here the link....

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=183686

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg
    Anyone ever use a Swagman with these style clamps? How good are they?

    I have one of these and works great. The advantage these have is that you can rotate the clamps to fit your bike's frame angles and therefore gain distance to the ground. This is needed if you drive a car but is probably pointless if you have a truck or SUV. I bought this one to replace one of the basic Sawagman that used to put the bikes too close to the ground.

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