Swagman XC2 Bike Hitch Mount Rack – Review 2017

Finding the best type of bike rack to suit your needs can be a real chore. Furthermore, after you have decided upon a specific type of rack, then you must delve into the pros and cons of the different models in that category. The decision process alone can make one lose quite a bit of hair (at least you'll be more aerodynamic right?). This review will hopefully make it easier to decide whether or not the Swagman XC2 Cross-Country will work for you.

Quality

Price

Our rating

FEATURES

  • Carries up to 2 bikes
  • Fits a 1-1/4" and 2" hitch reciever
  • Max load capacity: 35lbs per bike
  • ​Upright ratchet arms easily adjust to different bike frame sizes, will accommodate bike frames up to 59 cm.
  • Center arm folds down to allow access to the rear of the vehicle without removing the rack.
  • Fits 20' to 29" tire sizes.

Platform Style Racks

The XC2 Cross-Country is a platform style hitch mount rack. Like traditional hitch mount racks, it locks into your trailer hitch of your vehicle. Where it differs is the manner in which it supports your bicycles.

Typical “hang and dangle” hitch mounts brace bikes by use of plastic cradles placed around the frame. Platform racks support your bike around the tires and usually clasp or tighten down on the top cross bar to secure it in place. Some advantages of this kind of rack are:

Low to the ground requiring less lifting to load (less risk of hernia prior to your ride)

Bikes sit further away from vehicle, minimizing the threat of damage to them as well as your car

Easy installation and removal

Securely supports a higher weight capacityAccessibility

The last thing you want to do after a long, tiring ride is power clean a couple of bikes above your head to clasp down on your roof. Having a rack that is easily accessible to load and unload your equipment is paramount to a pleasurable riding experience.

The Swagman XC2 provides about just as much accessibility as you could expect. It’s low to the ground so that it is effortless to load. Also, the rack extends far enough from your vehicle so that you can access each side easily.

The Swagman XC2 not only makes accessing your bikes easy, accessing your car or truck is easy too! Of course, you've got a life outside of riding, so you’re going to need to open that back hatch or tailgate sooner or later. That’s why, when empty, this rack folds down neatly, ensuring a clear path to the rear of your car.

Versatility

A key feature of the XC2 Cross-Country is its ability to fit lots of different bikes. From cruisers to mountain bikes, big and small tires alike, this rack can adjust to suit all of them.

Since the wheel platforms adjust to fit various sizes of bikes, there's no need to hassle with removing tires. The upper arms of this unit slide to suit different bike heights as well.

Security

With buying a hitch pin lock, it is possible to rest safely knowing your beloved rack won’t end up on someone else’s car. You wouldn’t leave a hundred dollar bill sitting on your bumper for anybody to take, so why would you with a bicycle rack worth much more?

In addition to securing from theft, the Swagman XC2 also offers an anti-wobble pin to secure the rack for your hitch. This fastens the unit to your vehicle tightly, keeping your bikes stationary. Drawbacks

Now that I have pumped your expectations up about this rack, it’s time to take them down several notches. Swagman has come up with an awesome rack with this model, but along with the good comes the bad.

In fact, some the very features that make the XC2 Cross-Country desirable, can also prove negative.

While the stretched frame and low clearance height provide easy access for loading and unloading, they can also contribute to dragging or scraping. Since its lower to the ground, the rack may rub asphalt on sharp inclines or dips in the road.

Another undesirable aspect of this unit is its weight. Coming in at a hefty 31 pounds, it’s a bit portly in comparison with other models. This may or may not be of major concern to you though.

The additional weight is due to the fact it’s designed very well, and the platforms also add a bit more mass than what you get with a traditional hanging hitch or rear wheel mount.

Short video overview

Wallet Friendliness

The Swagman XC2 may have a couple of drawbacks, but one place it does not disappoint is at the checkout stand. It retails at approximately $150 on Swagman’s site.

At Amazon you can usually shave about $20-$30 away from that. At either price point, it is still very competitive.

Wrap It Up

After it’s all said and done, the Swagman XC2 Cross-Country does have a couple of negative aspects, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons in my book.

There are lots of great features on this rack, and based on your car type or target destinations, the drawbacks may very well have little or no impact on your choice.

The aggressive pricing makes this model very attractive for somebody who is looking for an easy rack to install and use at an affordable price.

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