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Comparing Swagman Trailhead Hanging Bike Rack to Platform Style Bike Rack

Question:

What is the advantage of the swagman over a platform type bicycle rack?

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Expert Reply:

Some benefits of using a hanging bike rack over a platform bike rack are cost, weight of the rack, and bike capacity.

Typically, a high quality hanging bike rack will be more budget friendly than a high quality platform rack. Even on the more economic end of the spectrum, hanging racks are more budget friendly than platform racks.

Platform-style racks can be quite heavy. More material is required to make a platform rack than a hanging rack. A lighter bike rack can give you more room in the vehicle's tongue weight capacity for the weight of the bikes.

It is quite common to see hanging bike racks with 4 or even 5 bike capacities. There are a few platform racks with a 3 or 4 bike capacity, but typically they have a capacity of 2 bikes.

The Swagman Trailhead # S63360 that you referenced has a 2 bike carrying capacity. This bike rack weighs approximately 25 pounds and has a capacity of 35 pounds per bike. One of the best features of this bike rack is the anti-sway cradles that help secure the bike rack and limit bike-to-bike contact during travel. The Trailhead # S63360 also comes with an anti-rattle threaded hitch pin and clip to help eliminate rattle of the bike rack in the trailer hitch. If you're going to carry any women's or children's bikes, you may want an adapter bar like # 64005.

A comparable Swagman platform-style rack is the Swagman XTC-2 Bike Rack # S64670. The XTC-2 has a 2 bike capacity, weights approximately 30 pounds, and has a weight capacity of 35 pounds per bike. By securing the bikes at both wheels and the upper frame bar, the bike is secured at 3 separate points rather than only at the upper frame bar. This rack also comes with an anti-rattle hitch pin to eliminate rattle of the carrier in the hitch.

If you only need to carry 2 bikes, I recommend using a platform style rack, like the XTC-2 # S64670. The platform rack will be easier to load your bikes on because the bike will set in the wheel loops and the arm hook will come down on the frame bracket, rather than having to work the bike on the arms of the hanging rack. The bikes will move less when secured at the wheels and frame bracket with the platform rack.

I have attached review videos of both of these bike racks for you to see how they install and what they look like when in use.

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Victoria B

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