Swagman Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon

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Review of the Swagman Hitch Bike Racks on a 2011 Subaru Outback Wagon

Dustin: How's it going Outback owners Dustin here at etrailer.com. Today, we have our 2011 Subaru Outback, and we're going to be showing you the Swagman XC two bike platform-style rack. The XC is an entry-level two bike rack. It holds your bike in place in three locations. We've got our ratcheting frame hook that puts down pressure on our top tube, and that secures our wheels into the hoops. And the hoops are adjustable along the arm.

This allows it to fit many different shapes, styles, and sizes of bikes. You'll just adjust it to the width of your bike, tighten it back down, do the same for the second hoop, and then you're ready to load up your bike.The ratcheting hook, here up top, is operated with this lever right here. It lets you securely move it down and up as needed. You can really get some good downward pressure on your bike with it. And then as you can see, our bike is in place.

It's not going anywhere. When you are ready to remove your bike, you can press in, lift it up. Some people prefer to take this off all the way, gives you more clearance to remove your bike. I agree with those people. So we just take our bike, lift it off, and then don't forget to put your hook back in place when you're done.

Just ratchet it down.With our bike out of the way, we can go over a few additional features. You can see here, get a closer look at our frame hook. It is padded, so it's not going to cause any harm to your bike while it's securing it in place. And while we're here, I'd like to point out the center mast, I did mention it's an entry-level bike rack and because of that, we're not going to have any movement on our center mast. A lot of other bike racks have the ability to tilt your center mast out of the way, so you can gain full access to the rear hatch while you've got the bike rack in place.

Unfortunately, in this instance, we're not going to be able to do that.Now we've got some measurements, so you can see how the bike rack is going to interact with your Outback. Just a few things to keep in mind. The closest part of the actual rack itself is going to be about 12 inches away here at this bolt. But your hoops are going to be a little closer, that's about eight inches away, but as you can see, there's plenty of clearance here. There's no room for any contact whatsoever. And you saw it, even with our bike in place, we had plenty of room. We didn't have to worry about our bike, contacting our vehicle either.Another measurement I'd like to give you is the ground clearance here. That's about 16 and a half inches down to this bolt right here, but it does have a raised shank, so that's even higher than the ground clearance on our Outback. I don't think you're going to have any real issues unless you're backing up against something that potentially is that high, but other than that, no worries there. One final measurement I'd like to give you, really important to keep in mind that you've added some distance to the back of your Outback. So whether you're pulling into a tight parking spot or your garage overnight, just keep in mind you've added about 22 inches here to the back of the rack. So any clearance issues you have in those parking situations, you'll want to keep that in mind.The XC does have one more trick up its sleeve. You can pull the pins here on our arms and they fold up. This reduce the overall footprint of the rack, making it much easier to store in your garage or even in your apartment when it's not in use. You can see now we've got a nice little package here. We call this the suitcase position. That's going to make a great storage option for you. The bike rack is designed to work with two inch by two inch receiver hitches. It'll also work with your inch and a quarter hitches as well. So if you happen to have another vehicle in the family with a smaller hitch, this will be a great option for that as well. It is secured in place with a three-quarter inch threaded anti-rattle bolt. And once you have that in place, you can see here, it makes a really secure connection between our hitch and our bike rack. There's no play or movement in there at all. In fact, I'm shaking the entire Outback and that's going to create a safe, secure ride for your bike rack, as well as your bikes going down the road.We've previously had this bike rack out on our test scores. So why don't you follow along now and see what it looks like in some real-world situations. Here on our test course, we'll start by going through the slalom. This is showing the side to side action, which simulates turning corners or evasive maneuvers. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps, we'll see the twisting action. This simulates hitting a curb or pothole or driving over uneven pavement. Once we get to the full speed bumps, we'll see the up and down. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, garage or driveway. Dustin: And that completes our look at the Swagman XC platform-style two bike rack on our 2011 Subaru Outback.

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