I just bought this bike for a bike trip I took with a friend of mine. I drive a Toyota 4runner, 4wd, with a two inch hitch receiver. I was nervous about buying a bike rack online, but the price made me take the chance.
When I got the rack and opened it up, I was immediately impressed by the welded, heavy metal construction of the rack. However, the instruction manual had me nervous: it said the rack should be used on paved or gravel roads only. Well, I was going to be driving through some pretty hairy 4-wheel drive situations and needed something with stability. I decided to go for it anyway, hooked up the rack, and was on my way.
After 3 days of two-track, dirt track, steep inclines and muddy sliding, the bike rack is in perfect condition. My bikes were protected, secure and safe. Loading and unloading was a breeze. For today’s price you could not do better. I’m willing to bet you couldn’t do better with the other $300 – $500 models out there anyway.
Now, a little bit about why this Swagman model is better than the cheaper Allen version. The SWAGMAN you see here is equipped with a bottom carrier. In case you hadn’t noticed, the bottom carrier attaches to the wheels and wheels on bikes are ALWAYS ROUND. Crazy, I know. The Allen version (with the top straps) is common amongst bike carriers (trunk mounted and hitch alike). These bikes wrap around the top frame of the bike. Here is the rub: NOT ALL BIKE FRAMES ARE THE SAME. I have a V-frame bike and those straps do not wrap around. Other bike frames are very narrow; some are very thick – the point being that those straps are not going to work for every bike. The Swagman does. Its wheel base supports are adjustable. The locking center clasp simply applies pressure to the center of the frame. It can’t go wrong.
In conclusion, save yourself a lot of money and buy the Swagman version here. Save yourself a headache and opt for the bottom, wheel attachment carriers over the other varieties. For a few dollars extra over the Allen, you’ll be riding pretty – guaranteed.
- Transports up to 2 bikes
- Built-in anti wobble hitch device
- Upright ratchet arms easily adjust to different bike frame sizes
- New frame “grip arms” have improved soft frame-friendly coating to protect bikes finish
- Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear of vehicle without removing the rack