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Benefit of Swing-Away Bike Rack Over Tilting Bike Rack for Cargo Access

Question:

Im in the market for my first bike rack and have my eye on the Thule Apex 4-bike, but wondering is it worth the extra money for the Swing feature of does the tilt feature work well? Obviously, Id like easy access to the back without having to remove any bikes and tilt feature looks like it brings the bikes pretty close to the ground. Thoughts?

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Expert Reply:

The Thule Apex 4 Bike Rack for 1-1/4" and 2" Hitches has been discontinued by the manufacturer. The most similar option that I recommend as an alternative is the Yakima RidgeBack 4 Bike Rack - 1-1/4" and 2" Hitches - Tilting # Y02458. The tilting racks do bring the outermost bike too close to the ground when tilting, so it is not recommended to tilt with bikes in place. If that is a concern you may want to go with the swing away model which will keep the bikes vertical and loaded. I've attached a photo of the rack tilted so you can see the clearance.

The Yakima FullSwing 4 Bike Rack - 2" Hitches - Swinging # Y02465 is my recommendation for you. It is a little bit more difficult to install in your hitch as it isn't balanced as well due to the swing away when not installed. The really nice aspect to this rack is you have complete access to your hatch or trunk because the loaded bikes are to the side of your vehicle. There is no stepping around while loading or unloading cargo.

I believe you will be satisfied with the quality and function or this carrier. I recommend using the Swagman Deluxe Bike Frame Adapter Bar for Women's, Children's, and Alternative Frame Bikes # 64005 to allow level transport of any bike without the top frame rail. This allows for proper ground clearance as well.

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