Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack Review

Need a sophisticated but hassle free way to transport your bikes? The Swagman XC2 2-bike carrier may be the perfect rack for you. The hitch mounted bike carrier features an intuitive construction that lets you adjust it to fit a range of bike frame sizes and types.

While some people might find this rack’s 2-bike carrying capacity somewhat limited, it is one of the most secure hitch bike racks you can buy. Each bike is firmly secured at the frame and both wheels, making the prospect of theft nearly impossible. You can also augment your bike’s security with a separately bought locking cable and hitch pin.

Below we delve into the full details of the rack’s features.

Overview

Swagman XC Cross-Country 2-Bike Hitch Mount Rack 1

The XC2 Cross-country bike rack offers the same versatility and style that Swagman racks are renowned for. It carries both children and adult bikes with ease.

The XC2 has two upright ratcheting arms that hold the bikes in place and easily adjust to accommodate various bike frame sizes. Bike frames of up to 59cm will fit on this rack. The arms are cushioned with a soft coating to protect bike frames from scratches. The entire rack setup has a powder-coated finish to protect the metal from corrosion.

Assembling the rack and mounting the bikes takes a bit of work but it’s not overly complicated. Once you have the bikes firmly secured onto the rack, you’ll transport the bikes with as little wobbling as possible.

The XC2 is built for cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. It is not compatible with RVs, motor homes, and trailers.

Features & Setup

The Swagman XC2 2-bike rack is a cross country carrier built especially for mountain bikes. It comes with all features that provide for worry-free bike transportation on cross country adventures.

The XC2 fits hitches of 1-1/4 by 1-¼ and 2 by 2 inches.  It has a 4-inch shank rise that allows for ample ground clearance and prevents your bikes from touching the road unnecessarily. It fits a maximum tire width of 3.5 inches but you can buy separate tire trays for larger tires if you have a big bike. The XC2 takes a maximum weight of 70lbs, which is 35lbs for each bike.

Installing the rack is not complicated but does take a couple of minutes. First, you need to setup the grip arms on the ratcheting mast; simply slide them down and they’ll snap securely in place. The push buttons on the arms allow for the bikes to be released To release the bikes for removal, slide the grip arms up the ratcheting mast by pressing the push buttons.

Once the grip arms are firmly secured onto the ratcheting system, place the rack into the receiver hitch, with the right adapter for your receiver – either for the 1-1/4 by 1-¼ or 2 by 2 inch receiver.

Next is to fasten the anti-wobble bolt through. As its name clearly tells, this bolt prevents wobbling between the rack and the hitch when you hit the road. The bolt should be firmly tightened before inserting the clip in place. Your setup should now be in stow position, which creates space when rack is not in use.

The rack is now ready for loading your bikes. The grip arms should be at a reasonably good height, so raise the mast before loading the bikes. Once the arms are readied, get the wheel cradles out and loosened up to receive the bike wheels.

You may now place the bike onto the rack; place the wheels in the respective wheel cradles and tighten them up. Next is to hook the grip arm onto the bike’s horizontal frame. You’re now all set for your journey.

Depending on frame design, some bikes may be trickier to position but most times, it should work out perfectly with a bit of tinkering.

Pros

 

  • The Swagman’s eye catching design adds to the rack’s aesthetic appeal and your car’s too.
  • The rack features a sturdy design that’s carefully crafted for smooth rides regardless of the bumpiness of the road. The supplied anti-wobble bolt secures the rack firmly onto the hitch receiver to prevent wobbling.
  • The soft cushioning on the grip arms protects your bike frames from damage.
  • The rack provides a secure way to transport your bikes. Two gripping points at the frame and wheels make it difficult for burglars to remove the bikes. Moreover, you can separately purchase a locking hitch pin and cable to add to the security of your bikes.
  • The center mast easily folds down to allow access to your trunk, when rack is fully loaded.
  • The XC2 can accommodate larger bike tires using separately bought tire cradles for larger tires.
  • The hitch mount system used on this rack offers more stability, thanks to the grip arms (hooks) and the wheel cradles that hold the bike. Other hitch systems provide a single point of connection and often leave bikes swinging.

Cons

 

  • While the setup is fairly easy, it takes a bit of time to get right. The process mainly entails securing the rack into the hitch receiver and ensuring a sturdy connection.
  • When bikes are mounted, they may block the driver’s rear view through the rear-view mirror especially on sedans.
  • The push button system used to change grip arm positions is not easy to actuate.
  • While there’s some cushioning on the grip arms that hook onto the bike’s frame, they will rub some paint off the frame with time if no extra padding is used.
  • Some bike frame designs are not easy to position on this rack.

Conclusion

The XC2 cross-country 2-bike hitch mount rack is an excellent bike carrier that accommodates a wide range of bike frames, types, and wheelbase sizes. It provides unmatched stability and security, which you can even bolster using separately purchased accessories.

With a maximum load of 2 bikes, the XC2 is obviously a little limited especially for families with more than 2 bikes to transport. That said, this is an amazing rack for the price and the market for which it is made.

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