Swagman Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2020 Mazda CX-5

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Review of the Swagman Hitch Bike Racks on a 2020 Mazda CX-5


Evangeline: Hi, it's Evangeline from etrailer.com. And today, we are looking at our Swagman E-Spec Two Bike Platform Style Rack here on our 2020 Mazda CX-5. This is a great bike rack, especially if you have your heavy E-bikes. It has a huge weight capacity and I think it also looks pretty good. The way our bike is mounted to this bike rack is by two wheel straps in a frame mount over here. If you look down at the wheel straps, you can see how it fits bike tire widths of up to three inches.

If you do have a fat tire bike, you don't have to worry because then you can also purchase a separate cradle which can fit tire widths of up to five inches.This is a free mounted bike rack so you can see how they have these hooks with this light, light padding here, just to protect your bike. These mounts are lockable, so these are keyed alike and keyed alike as well to the hitch locks. You only need one key to use your whole bike rack. To dismount the bike, I start with the wheel straps, so just press that lever and pull the ratcheting wheel straps out. And from here, it just folds away which makes it easier to take off the bike.

From here, you can just lift the frame mounts out of the way but what I actually like to do is just take them off completely. That way I can then lower the mast and then I don't have to worry about lifting my bike up and over. I just need to bring it out. Bring down the mast by pulling this lever and pushing that down. And from here, it's so much easier just to lift this bike a little bit and you're ready to go on your trip.Putting the frame mounts back, you can hear how they really ratchet down and secure the bike to the bike rack.

So with your bikes dismounted and your mast down, you can then open up your hatch. You can see here, there is plenty of clearance in order to put your groceries in, take your bike helmets out, whatever you need to get out from your rear cargo area. This bike rack does not tilt away so you definitely want it in this position if you want to access your cargo area.These cradles do move back and forth to accommodate your bikes of different wheel bases. These are really strong metal cradle so you can feel how sturdy they are. Over here, let's go look at these straps.

These are actually one of the nicer strap designs I have seen because they have this padding here that really protects your bike tire from those extra scuffs and scratches, as well as secures it well against your cradle.This bike rack has a weight capacity of 70 pounds per bike, so you really need heavy duty cradles to keep them secured. When you are carrying a bike rack, you do have to remember that some length is added to the back of your vehicle. Exactly how much on our Mazda CX-5, let's see. From our back bumper to the back of the bike rack, which is actually over here by the cradle, it is two feet, so 24 inches, which is actually really good compared to other bike racks I've seen which are a little further out. You just have to keep this in mind when you're backing into your garage or parking in a tight spot. Now, as for ground clearance, the closest point is actually over here by the end of our shank. It is 10 inches, definitely something to think about when you are driving up a steep driveway or up a steep incline.To fold it up, it does have this pin and clip here. This will look different if you are installing it on your RV. But if it's just your car like this, you only need this one clip. You take that clip out and you pull the pin out like that. You may need to move your bike rack up a little bit as you do so just to get it loose. And from here, you lift it up and against the vehicle. Make sure to put the pin back into place when it is folded up. It goes right there. Again, it is a tight fit so you might need to wiggle the bike rack a little bit to get it through. But with this in place, you know for sure that it's secured when it's folded up. With it folded up, let's just see how much length it adds to our vehicle now. From our back bumper, again, to the back of our bike rack over here, it is 14 inches, big difference compared to when it was folded down. You definitely want it in this position when you're driving around town.Now for closest point to the vehicle, you can see these cradles do get. That's the closest point. From our back bumper to the end of the cradle, it is three and three-quarter inches. We can see since it has an anti-rattle bolt in there, it's not getting any closer than that. This fits into two inch hitches. This alignment collar does not come with this bike rack but I found it super handy, especially since this bike rack is on the heavier side. If you have this in here, you can push it straight in and you don't have to always be checking if you're lined up with your hitch pin hole. This has an anti-rattle bolt and a lock that comes with it. This lock is keyed alike to our frame out. In our test course, we'll start by going through the slalom. This is going to show us the side to side action. This simulates turning corners or evasively maneuvering.Once we get to the full speed bumps, we'll see the up and down action. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, parking garage or driveway. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps, we'll see the twisting action. This will simulate hitting a curb or a pothole or driving over uneven pavement. Evangeline: Final thoughts about this bike rack is I'm really a big fan of how much weight capacity it does have. It has 70 pounds per bike, which is great. It also works with your RVs and motor homes, so if you do have one of those and you need a bike rack that you can use on your driving car or on your RV, this is a great option. It does not tilt away though, so if you want access to your cargo area on your Mazda, you might have to take off your bikes off so that's just something to keep in mind.That was a look at the Swagman E-Spec Two Bike Platform Rack here on our 2020 Mazda CX-5.


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