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Kuat Transfer 2.0 vs Swagman XTC-2 for a 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Question:

I have a CURT 11412 Class 1 Trailer Hitch mounted on it 2015 VW GTI. I am interested in a platform rack for 2 bikes max. I think i have narrowed it down to two racks: Kuat Transfer #TS02G as my first choice Swagman XTC-2 2-Bike #S64670 Second choice. I like the design of the kuat in that it keeps snug to the back of the car more than other racks. I feel this will keep the system more stable. I also like the design of the kuat in that the hitch assembly quickly rises from my hitch. Again, with my cars low clearance i prefer the rack to sit as high as possible and not sit in the same plane as my hitch. 1 Has the Kuat Transfer been successfully mounted on my configuration? 2 Is the Kuat Transfer currently avail in stop and ready to ship as my understanding many sources are back ordered. 3 Many positive reviews on the Swagman, but i cant tell the height from the hitch hole to the base of the rack which would tell me how much more clearance ill get 4 Other than what my picks, are there others that you recommend: * I would like to keep the bike rack sub 40lbs * I dont require a rack for tilting * I prefer a fast rise from the hitch to keep the rack closer to my car.

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Expert Reply:

You've narrowed it down to two extremely good racks.

You are right about how the distance of the bikes on the rack interacts with their stability. The closer the bikes are to the vehicle, the less sway and bounce they experience as they travel.

I have not seen a Kuat Transfer, part # TS02G mounted on a 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. I did go out to our warehouse and measure the Kuat Transfer and the Swagman XTC, part # S64670 to give you an idea of their clearances.

We use a stacking rack system to store the assembled racks, so I've used the information in our install video for your vehicle and hitch to give as close to real world numbers as possible. I've included the video below so you can verify my numbers against those provided in the video.

According to our install, the Curt Class I, part # C11412 has the top of its receiver at 9-1/2 inches off the ground. Adjusting for the 1-1/4 inch height of the receiver, the bottom of the receiver is about 8-1/4 inches off the ground.

The Kuat Transfer is a two-tier design, so the step mechanism that activates its tilt rides at that 8-1/4 inches behind the vehicle, while the bottom of the arms holding the bikes ride closer to 16-1/4 inches off the ground. Its a fairly sharp rise, thanks to it being stacked on top of its tilting mechanism.

The Swagman XTC rides lower to the ground and its bike cradles are about 11-1/4 inches off the ground. Remember that the lower part of the rack will ride level until the rise, and the Swagman's rise starts much earlier than the Kuat Transfer's, though the Transfer's rise happens all at once.

These are actually my go-to recommendations for shorter, sportier vehicles for their ground clearance and ease of use.

Out of the two, I recommend the Kuat Transfer between the two of the bikes, as the advantage of the U-shaped bar holding the bike cradles, plus the ability to roll bikes into the cradles make it edge out the XTC in my mind. I've included a video review of both racks on a 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek for you to make a more in-depth comparison.

With the Kuat Transfer, I do recommend adding the lock set, part # PTSCLK12 which includes two cable locks that will integrate into the Transfer, plus a hitch lock for added security.

Remember that since you're using a Curt Class I hitch for a non-trailer load, you'll need to use a stabilizing strap, part # 18050 in order to keep in the terms of your warranty.

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