Recommended Platform Bike Rack for Use With 2013 Jeep Wrangler

Question:

HI! First time purchasing a bike rack and confused. Looking to use it primarily on a 2013 Jeep wrangler with spare rear tire standard tire, not oversized. and also on a 2012 gmc terrain and a gmc sierra 2500 pickup. The 1-1/4 -2 inch will work for all vehicles. I just purchased a new specialized women's pitch sport mountain bike, with 2.3 inch tires, according to website, and we have another mtb with smaller tires. We would like to travel with it. Some of my concerns are clearance for spare tire, stability, quality, price, and safety theft. I would really not like to spend more than $250 max. I think we would prefer the platform bike racks. I used the filters and narrowed it down to a small list 17 or so the ones that stand out the most to me anyway are the Swagman XTC-2 S64670 and Swagman XC-2 S64650. They have amazing reviews. Everyone seems happy. I do see that with the xtc2 you have to watch the tire size, mine should fit, seem to be just under. But it does have the handy straps for tires which the other does not. I also was looking at racks with locks but it seems that they get really expensive if you want a bike lock and hitch lock. But I'm not sure if just a cable lock they can cut with bolt cutters is a good idea if we are traveling? I see i can purchase the kit from you or should i just get one where all is included? So confused! Any help would be great! Im so excited to get it that I wanted to purchase one right now but afraid of making a bad choice. Thank you so much for any help!

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Expert Reply:

I can certainly help you out choosing the right bike rack to fit your needs. The first step for you to take is to measure from the center of your Jeep's hitch pin hole to the outermost edge of the spare tire. For example, on a 2013 Wrangler, Curt hitch # 9883544 measures 10-1/2" to the edge of the spare. You would need your bike rack to extend past this at its closest point if your Jeep has a similar measurement.

The Swagman XTC-2 # S64670 is 8 inches to the first wheel hoop, and the Swagman XC # S64650 is 10-1/2 inches, so they would not work in the example I gave, though they may work if your Jeep had more clearance, and would be very good choices. You were correct about the reviews; there are hundreds of them and the praise is nearly universal. I'm confident you would feel the same way.

If it turns out you needed something that extends further than 10-1/2 inches, I recommend checking out the Hollywood Racks Trail Rider # HR200Z, which is 12-1/2 inches to the closest edge of the wheel loop, comes with great ratings, and can be secured with an anti-rattle hitch lock and cable lock set made for the rack # HRLHPTC and still keep you under budget. Your tires will fit the Hollywood and it also has the handy tire straps you referenced. I've added a photo showing you how this rack looks when installed and with a bike on it.

In terms of security, the anti-rattle hitch lock that comes with the Hollywood Racks Locks # HRLHPTC or Swagman Rack Locks # S64031 not only locks the rack to your hitch, but also helps keep the rack stable in the hitch, which was something you are looking for. When it comes to preventing theft, there is not going to be a foolproof system that will completely protect your bikes and rack. However, a cable lock is a pretty large deterrent; you would have to be really unlucky and come across people with bolt cutters specifically looking to take bikes, whereas without a cable lock a theft becomes much more opportunistic.

I have added a link to video reviews of these racks and products for you to take a look at as well.

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Kyle S

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