Top 5 Best Swing Away Bike Racks | 2020 Reviews

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Every biking adventure will always be more convenient if you have the best swing-away bike rack. It is essential for every biker, especially if you want to travel long distances and bring your bikes. Although there are different types of bike racks available on the market, the swing-away bike racks are among the best kinds.

Our Top 3 Choice

RockyMounts Backstage Swing
RockyMounts Backstage Swing
9.5/10
  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 2 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 60 lbs per bike
  • Wheel diameter: 20″ – 29″
  • Maximum tire width: 5″
  • Carrier weight: 60 lbs
Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack
Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack
8.9/10
  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 160 lbs
  • Length of Rack Arms: 25”
  • Cradle width: 1 ¾”
  • Carrier weight: 56 lbs
Thule Vertex Swing-away 4 Hitch Rack
Thule Vertex Swing-away 4 Hitch Rack
8.3/10
  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Carrier weight: 42 lbs
  • Distance between bikes: 5.5”
  • Made in the USA

In case you want to purchase a swing-away bike rack, this article might give you the ultimate guide on choosing the best swing-away bike rack for every adventure-seeker.

Every biking enthusiast needs a bike rack for their weekend biking trips. Whether it is a trunk-mount or a swing-away bike rack, there is nothing more convenient than having one to carry all your favorite bikes.

Swing-away bike racks are one of the most convenient and functional bike racks in the market today. The design of the rack allows the user to fully access his/her rear cargo without having to worry if s/he needs to unload the bikes. There is also no need to worry about any sway when the vehicle is in motion because swing-away mounted bike racks can prevent that.

With the many options of swing-away bike racks in the market, it is quite a headache to choose one with the best features and of the highest quality. However, to make your choices shorter and better, we compiled a list of the best swing-away bike racks currently trending for this year.


Top 5 Best Swing-Away Bike Racks

1. RockyMounts Backstage Swing

No. 1
1.  RockyMounts Backstage Swing
9.5/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 2 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 60 lbs per bike
  • Wheel diameter: 20″ – 29″
  • Maximum tire width: 5″
  • Carrier weight: 60 lbs

RockyMounts know the struggles of every outdoor enthusiast well that they created a line of gear carriers for every biker’s needs. With their range of high-quality outdoor gear racks, they will complete every outdoor lover’s dreams of going on adventures.

Among their line of great products is the Backstage Swing-away platform hitch rack. The bike rack lets you carry two bikes per travel using the hitch of your car. The swing-away design allows you to access your rear cargo area fully without even unloading the bikes from the rack. It is because of the hinged arm at the base of the vehicle that swings back from the car. The swing-away rack can extend up to 67 inches away from the hitch to get full access to the rear cargo area.

With Backstage’s versatile design, you can load most bikes into the rack, like fat bikes up to 60 pounds in weight. The front-mounted, easy-release lever of the rack allows anyone to tilt and fold the rack whenever accessing the rear cargo area.

The Backstage has ratcheting hooks that hold the bikes securely on the front wheels, which means that the bikes will not collide with each other.

Thanks to the large front and rear wheel cradles, you can quickly load and unload your bikes. The rear-wheel cradles with the ratcheting straps can easily be adjusted to fit bikes of different lengths. The deep wheel cradles also have extra-long straps that can fit fat tires of up to 5 inches wide.

The swing-away bike rack has adjustable bike trays that can slide to 3 inches side to side to make bike spacing more available. To adjust the trays, you can easily loosen the four bolts attached to the bottom of the rack, then slide the trays left or right and then tighten the bolts again.

Installing the Backstage is quick and easy. Because of the threaded, anti-rattle hitch pin of the rack, you can simply slide the shank into the hitch receiver and insert the pin then tighten using the tool included in the package. The anti-rattle hitch pin will reduce the noise and the movement of the rack.

Pros
  • Versatile enough since it can mount to hitch receivers up to 2”
  • Industry’s first 18p degree swing-away rack
  • Compatible wheelbases can go up to 49”
  • Ideal for vans and truck campers
  • Easy to install
Cons
  • Very heavy
  • Expensive

2. Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack

No. 2
2. Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack
8.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 160 lbs
  • Length of Rack Arms: 25”
  • Cradle width: 1 ¾”
  • Carrier weight: 56 lbs

The Yakima FullSwing rack has the best value for your money. The rack can accommodate up to four bikes on your vehicle’s rear area. With the swing-away technology of the FullSwing, you can easily access the rear cargo area of your car without unloading your bikes.

The hinged arm at the base of the rack lets you swing it away from the hitch receiver while your bikes are still loaded. It gives you the convenience of not unloading your bikes anymore when you open your rear cargo area. To open the hinged arm of the rack, you need to loosen the T-bolt and pull the spring-loaded pin then swing the rack away. It will lock in place once the rack is in full extension, so you don’t need to hold it while opening your rear cargo.

To put the rack back in its place, just press the hinge release lever and pull the pin to swing it again back to the original position. You will know that the rack is in place if the spring-loaded pin will click. Then, tighten the T-bolt to secure the rack in place.

If you are worried about your rack not being able to support four bikes, don’t fret because FullSwing has dual arms with TPE padding that absorbs road shock and vibrations on the rack, offering excellent bike support. With the quick-release TriggerFinger lever, you can quickly fold the arms of the rack for storage.

Don’t worry about your bikes and your rack being stolen because the FullSwing has a Same-Key system that can deter theft on both rack and bikes. The SpeedKnob secures the rack to your vehicle, and the integrated cable lock secures the bikes to the rack. With the SpeedKnob and the AutoPin, you can easily install the rack to the hitch receiver without any tools. The SpeedKnob also controls the vibrations and rattles of the shank to the hitch receiver.

The AutoPin is a spring-loaded pin that clicks when it enters the side pinhole of the hitch. The thumb-release button disengages with the AutoPin so the rack can easily slide out of the hitch.

The FullSwing is made with the highest quality steel construction coated with a black powder finish for a chip-resistant and rust-resistant rack.

Pros
  • Versatile since the rack uses the hanging system instead of wheelbases
  • Can carry up to four bikes with different sizes and types
  • Tool-free installation
Cons
  • The rack is less stable since it is a hanging type
  • The rack is hefty

3. Thule Vertex Swing-away 4 Hitch Rack

No. 3
3. Thule Vertex Swing-away 4 Hitch Rack
8.3/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Carrier weight: 42 lbs
  • Distance between bikes: 5.5”
  • Made in the USA

The Thule Vertex Swing-away is a hitch rack with a unique arc design that can support up to four bikes. This hitch rack is the best swing-away rack if you and your family are into cycling and adventure.

Like other swing-away racks, the Vertex Swing-away lets you access your rear cargo without unloading the bikes. With the hinged arm at the base of the hitch, you can swing the rack back and forth with ease. You can also efficiently operate the swing-away with the help of the spring pin and the hand knob.

The HideAway anti-sway cradles with the cushioned straps make bike loading and unloading easier. You can fold up the rack against the arms, so it’s easy to slide the bikes over the cradles. You can carry different sizes of bikes with the 7-inch space of the rack along with the arm rotation. The rack also holds at three points to prevent bike-to-bike and bike-to-car contact.

No need to worry about theft because the One-Key system can deter if the rack and the bikes are being stolen. With the locking hand knob, you can secure the rack to the vehicle. The built-in cable lock also secures the bikes to the rack.

The SnugTite stinger and hand knob provides a smooth, tool-free installation. With the anti-rattle hitch pin, you will not hear any noise and movement in the hitch receiver.

Thule only uses the highest quality materials to build its bike racks. The Vertex Swing-away is made of durable steel construction coated with black powder to resist corrosion and rust. Plus, you are sure that your Vertex Swing-away will last long since it is made in the USA.

Pros
  • The arched design allows the better spacing between bikes
  • The no-sway feature keeps bikes from colliding 
  • Can carry up to four bikes
Cons
  • Does not have tools for installation and removal
  • Does not come with hitch receiver locks

4. Thule Apex Swing-away Bike Rack

No. 4
4. Thule Apex Swing-away Bike Rack
7.9/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 35 lbs per bike
  • Carrier weight: 42 lbs
  • Length of arms: 28”
  • Made in the USA

The Thule Apex XT Swing-away rack is one of the premium racks of the Apex XT line. The only difference is its swinging feature, which will allow you to access your rear cargo area without even unloading the bikes.

The Apex swing-away rack has dual arms that will hold your bikes securely while providing ground clearance during vehicular movement. The HitchSwitch lever also allows you to fold the arms if not in use.

You are sure that the cradles can secure the bikes with the HideAway anti-sway feature. The cradles have two straps that will hold the bike – one on the top tube, and another along the seat post. It also reduces the collision from one bike to another and from bike to the vehicle. Each strap is also dual-molded and durable. The cradles can also rotate along the arms to accommodate different bike frames.

Every cradle has a 7-inch gap, allowing more space between bikes and preventing it from tangling with one another while on the rack. It also has grooves on the surface to prevent the brake and the shifter cables from getting pinched.

Thule is known for the fast and tool-free installation of its racks. With the Apex Swing, you can easily install the rack using the knob at the front of the shank. You can slide the shank into the hitch and then turn the knob using the snug. The knob will then deploy an anti-rattle wedge in the shank to secure the hitch connection. With the SnugTite hitch pin, you will know that the connection is already in place when you hear it tick.

Every Thule product has a One-Key system that locks the bikes to the rack, and the rack to the vehicle. The integrated cable lock locks the bike frames through inserting it on the end of the left arm.

The hand knob of the rack’s arm has a lock that secures it to the vehicle. The knob will freely spin when it is locked so that when a thief tries to steal the rack, s/he could not operate on the knob. Also, the locks have the same keys, so you can use any of it to open both locks.

All Thule products are made with the highest quality materials, using durable steel construction for all racks and coated with black powder to resist corrosion and rust. Plus, you’ll be happy with the fact that all the products are made in the USA.

 

Pros
  • Fast, easy, and Tool-free installation
  • Can accommodate 16” to 20” bikes
  • Big space between each bike
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Need to have a top-tube adapter for most women and kid’s bikes
  • Expensive

5. SportRack Ridge Swing Bike Rack

No. 5
5. SportRack Ridge Swing Bike Rack
7.5/10 Our Score

Specifications:

  • Application: 2″ x 2″ trailer hitch receivers
  • Carrying capacity: 4 bicycles
  • Weight capacity: 140 lbs
  • Carrier weight: 58 lbs
  • Length of arms: 25”
  • Distance between arms: 13”

If you are looking for a swing-away rack with excellent features but not pricey, then the SportRack Ridge Swing bike rack might be for you. Like any other SportRack products, the Ridge Swing is made with the highest quality materials but affordable enough for every adventure-seeker.

The Ridge Swing is a swing-away type of rack that can carry up to four bikes and can mount on sedans, trucks, SUVs, and vans. The swing-away design can easily swing outward and locks in place to access the rear cargo without unloading the bikes.

Swinging your Ridge Swing is simple. You just need to loosen the knob to the anti-rattle bolt and then pull up the black handle and turn the rack away from the rear of the car to get your cargo. To lock the rack in a 45-degree position, you have to insert the pin in the rack’s arm joint. The pin will allow you to access the cargo without the need to hold the rack. To fold the rack back to the original position, just remove the pin.

The swing-away rack also has anti-sway cradles that will prevent collision between bikes and the vehicle. The cradles assure the steady hold of the bike by grabbing the seat posts at two points on the top tubes. The cradles can also rotate and slide along the arms to make the proper spacing between bikes. The rubber straps of the cradle also hold your bikes in place securely.

Some racks cause noise and rattle whenever the vehicle is in motion. But with the Ridge Swing’s anti-rattle hitch pin, you won’t have to worry about noise and movements of the rack to the hitch receiver.

SportRack believes that their products are all of the best quality despite the affordability. With the steel construction of the rack and the black powder finish, it will last longer and resist rust and corrosion. Plus, the rack is made in the USA, so you don’t have to worry about low-quality materials. 

Pros
  • Well-constructed and well-designed
  • Easy to operate once installed
  • Affordable

Cons
  • Cradles are not as secure when there are four bikes
  • Instructions on the manual are a little confusing
  • The rack is cumbersome

Top Pick – Best Swing-away Bike Rack

Nowadays, there are already many innovations in bike racks. Many types of bike racks have been created to give more convenience to multi-sport lovers. The swing-away bike rack is one of the best types of racks because of its design and its durability.

The swing-away rack design gives the user a more convenient way to access the rear cargo area without unloading the bikes. If anyone does not see how this feature could be any more convenient, imagine having to load and unload up to four bikes every time you want to get gear or luggage out of the rear cargo of your vehicle. With the swing-away, you only need to unlock a pin to swing the arms of the rack and fully extend it so that you can access your cargo.

The best swing-away bike rack has to have the highest quality, excellent features, and great value for money, which is why our top pick is the RockyMounts Backstage Swing-away Platform Hitch Rack. The rack has the highest quality of materials and is versatile enough to carry almost every bike size without the need for a rack adapter. Also, since it can only carry two bikes maximum, it has enough space for each bike, thus avoiding collision with each other or clashing with the vehicle.


How to Get the Best Swing-away Bike Rack – Ultimate Buyers’ Guide

There are certain things that you must consider if you want to pick the best swing-away bike rack for your vehicle. Many features make up the best swing-away bike rack, and with our ultimate buyers’ guide, you will know how to distinguish the best one for your vehicle.

6 Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Swing-away Bike Rack

#1. Types of Hitch Mounts

All swing-away racks are hitch-mounted, but there are two types of hitch mounts that you will come across. The first type is the platform hitch-mount, and the second type is the hanging hitch-mount. The best hitch mount type for the swing-away is the hitch-mount type since the bikes can comfortably sit on the wheelbase as it swings away when the arm is extended, making it stable enough as the arm moves.

#2. Weight Capacity

Many swing-aways can load up to 160 pounds depending on the number of bikes that it can carry. The best swing-away rack will usually accommodate about 100 – 140 pounds but should not go within 160 or the limit. It is because some racks might not last longer than it should if the users always use it in its weight limit.

 #3. Number of Bikes to Carry

 The maximum number of bikes that swing-aways can accommodate is four. But other bikers do not usually recommend this since the bikes might collide with each other or even collide with the vehicle. The best swing-away bike rack should carry two bikes to have enough space in between.

 #4. Rack Weight

 Many racks can weigh up to almost 60 pounds because of the features and the materials used to construct it. The best swing-away must be light enough to be lifted when installed but still durable and reliable enough when used.

 #5. Installation and Removal

 Usually, installation is the longest part of using swing-aways. And for some racks, it is the most challenging part. But the best swing-away rack must be fast and easy to install and must already provide the tools for installation. Since installation is already easy, removal of the rack when not in use must also be easy breezy.

 #6. Materials

Like all other racks, the swing-away must have the highest quality of materials used for its construction. Since swing-away bike racks are known to be less stable than other racks, it must have the most durable construction to allow its full operation and life span.


Conclusion

If you are looking for the best rack that can fit your SUV, truck, or van, you might want to consider buying a swing-away bike rack. Aside from the convenience that it carries when you access the rear cargo area, it gives you the ease of loading and unloading your bikes because of the bigger space.

There are many options for the best swing-away bike racks in the market. But if you have read our product reviews and buying guide, you might already have a bigger picture of what to choose. You just have to make sure that you don’t extend your budget for the best swing-away bike rack since it does not need to be very expensive. It only has to be durable, easy to install and use, and, most of all, have the best value for your money.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What type of cars can the swing-away bike racks be used?

Swing-away bike racks can be used for sedans, SUVs, trucks, or even vans. Any vehicle that is on class III can mount the swing-away rack. Class III hitches are usually vehicles that can pull up to 8,000 pounds of weight.

Do I need to prepare other tools when installing my swing-away bike rack?

Other bike rack brands have tool-free installation for their products, and others already provided tools in their products’ packages. So, it usually depends on the brand that you want to purchase.

How do I make sure that my swing-away bike rack is in good condition?

Swing-away racks are very easy to clean and maintain. You can hose down the dirt and mud from the rack or use soapy water for a better wash. If you think that there are other areas that you can’t wash while the rack is mounted to the vehicle, you can remove it and wash it separately. You also need to check the contact points for signs of wear and tear. Check if bolts or other parts are missing on the rack and immediately ask the manufacturer if you could have a replacement for the worn parts.

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