Comparing the Swagman Quad 2+2, Hollywood Racks SportRider SE4, and Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Racks

Question:

I have a 2010 Subaru Outback and Im trying to decide between the Difference between Swagman Quad 2 + 2, Hollywood Racks Sports Rider SE4 and Kuak NV 2.0 4-Bike Platform. I am looking for 1 durability 2 ease of placing bikes and taking them off. Im 52 with two pre-teen daughters and we all have adult sized bikes. Also, I prefer that the clamps and such be part of the rack, so we have as few little pieces that we might lose en route. If cost wasnt a factor, which rack would you pick? If cost was a factor, which one would you pick? Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

I will be happy to help you out with the 3 platform bike racks you are looking at. I will go over each one for durability, ease of use, and what I would recommend. I might even throw in a surprise 4th option!

In terms of durability there are a couple of things to look at. The Swagman Quad # S64692 and Hollywood Rack Sport Rider # HR1400 are primarily steel. Steel is strong but also heavy and susceptible to corrosion. These racks also use hand knobs to move the wheel cradles and those can wear out if they are over tightened.

The Kuat NV 2.0 # NV22G-NA22G is primarily aluminum with some steel components. Aluminum is strong and light weight compared to steel. being a 4-bike rack with a steel spine though still makes it heavy. But aluminum won't rust so corrosion is much less of an issue. This rack does not have hand knobs so the adjustments won't wear out like the others. All 3 racks have limited lifetime warranties.

As far as loading and unloading bikes the Quad and SportRider are on par with each other and tie for second place in this category. To load bikes you would lower the center mast, lift the bike into place, hold it there, lift the mast back up, and lower the hook. While not all that difficult it can be awkward; especially when loading the 2 bikes closest to the vehicle.

The NV 2.0 is similar but the wheel hook is easier to operate and there is a decent amount of space between the bike trays so it is a bit easier to load bikes.

All of the parts of the bike racks stay fixed to the bike racks so there is nothing on any of them you would have to worry about losing.

If cost was not a factor I would go with the Kuat NV 2.0 hands down every time. If cost was a factor I would choose the SportRider because people I know who have them or a similar Hollywood Racks bike rack like them and they perform well. I have linked video reviews of these three racks for you as well.

My dark horse candidate is the new Let's Go Aero BikeWing # B01458. This rack holds the bikes at the wheels and weighs just 41 pounds. It does have just a 1-year warranty. Loading and unloading is similar to the Quad or SportRider though a little easier since once both sides are on you don't have to raise a center mast while hold the bike. It is also inexpensive and easier to store than the others.

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Michael H

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