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Swagman Chinook 2 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Swagman Chinook 2 Bike Rack


Hi, everyone. It's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today we're gonna take a look at our Swagman CHINOOK 2 bike platform rack here at etrailer. So whether you have an inch and a quarter hitch receiver or a two-inch hitch receiver, this will fit with that. Now the way this stands out among the other class 1 bike racks is that this has a weight capacity of 45 pounds per bike. So if you're looking for an affordable bike rack with a good weight capacity that can also fit your smaller hitch receivers, this might be the best option for you.

So there are a bunch of different features with this bike rack. This can be compared to the Hollywood Racks trailer rider, very similar in price, as well as appearance or function. as well as appearance or function. Now, one thing this has that the other bike rack does not have is this can tilt away. So let's take a look at that process.

Over here, there's gonna be a lever. So you may need to push in on the bike rack a little bit in order to lift up on that lever. a little bit in order to lift up on that lever. Once that lever is lifted, you can then tilt the bike rack down. You'll want to use this tilt away feature if, let's say you have a hatch on your SUV or you have a truck with a tailgate that comes down, and you want access to your trunk or to your truck bed.

So as you can see here on our RAV4, we can open our door, grab whatever we need from our trunk, and close our door again without ever having to take our bikes off. So you just push it up to bring it back into position. And now we can take a look at how our bike is mounted to this bike rack. So we have two cradles on each side, So we have two cradles on each side, so these can carry two bikes. And notice how each cradle has a strap that goes around that wheel, and tightens down so it ratchets down to secure that wheel.

Holding the bike down by the frame are these ratcheting hooks. are these ratcheting hooks. So this is a frame mounted bike rack, so if you have your lighter carbon fiber frame bikes, this may not be the best fit for you. But for most of your other bikes, this is perfectly fine. Notice how your frame hooks have integrated locks. So once you have this tightened down, you just lock it into place, and then no one can lift back up on that hook. Now, depending on your bike's frame, let's say you have an alternate frame bike like a women's bike, a children's bike, or a step-through bike, what may happen is that these hooks may not go low enough. Or if your bike is on the other side, you might not get the correct fit. So what you can then do is use a frame adapter bar. You can find them here at etrailer. They go around your frame and create a level surface to use these hooks with. Now you can switch the order of these hooks, like maybe have this shorter hook here on the bottom, and this longer hook here on the top is just gonna be a mix and match since I know you have bikes with different frames and different shapes and sizes. So that will be up to you to figure out the best fit for you. So now we have our bike rack fully loaded up with two bikes. That way, we can see the bike rack in action as it goes over our speed bumps and around our slalom here on our test course here at etrailer. Here on our test course, we'll start by going through the slalom. This is going to show us the side to side action here. This simulates turning corners or evasive maneuvers. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps, we'll see that twisting action. This will simulate hitting a curb or a pothole, or driving over uneven pavement. Now, if you wanna take your bike off, the first thing you do is you start at the wheel straps. So you just press this lever in and you pull that strap up and out. I do like how that strap swings away. That way, it's not caught up in my spokes when I wanna take the bike off. Your next step here is to release your frame mount. So once you have it up, one option is that you can just tilt this away, then over your mast. But I'm gonna show you another trick I like to do, which is to take off the hooks completely, and then I lower the mast. So lift this lever up So lift this lever up and then push that mast away. Once that mast is lower, notice how it's only a slight lift. And then we're ready to go on a bike ride. Don't forget to put your hooks back once you've taken your bike off. And now, let's take a closer look here at our bike rack. So here, we have our sturdy metal hoops and these can accommodate tire width of up to three inches on the inside. of up to three inches on the inside. You also have these grooves which are for your smaller road bike tires. And notice how we have this strap that goes around your bike's wheel, and has a cushion here at the top. That's gonna, one, help support your wheel while it's in transport. And two, help cushion it while it's in place. On the end of each of your cradles is gonna be this knob. Now, once you have that knob loosened, you can then move your cradle back and forth. This is gonna help out with your different bikes so that your pedals and your handlebars aren't colliding with each other. But also the maximum wheelbase this can then accomplish with this style is 50 inches. Now, don't forget to put your straps away into their cradles even if your bike is not mounted. That way, they're nice and secure, and they last longer. Now, for ground clearance, that's gonna be different, again, depending on where your hitch receiver is. But I'm gonna give you the shank rise, which is a difference from where that shank is. And the rise, meaning, your bikes are gonna sit a little bit higher up. So as a frame of reference, underneath our shank to the ground is 12 inches. Then underneath this cradle to the ground is 20 and a half inches. So that's about eight and a half inches of shank rise. Now, with your bike rack folded down, this will add a different amount of length to the back of your vehicle, depending on where your bumper and your hitch receiver is. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna measure from the center of our hitch pin hole to the back of the bike rack. So right over here where that mast is, it's gonna sit at 25 inches. Now our cradle does sit out a little bit further, so that's gonna be 30 inches away. But if you want your bike rack to be in a more portable position, you can fold it up. So the first thing you need to do is to lower this mast is to lower this mast by lifting up on that lever and then pushing this mast down. Now, at your first use, once you first have it assembled, this may be a stiff fit, this may be a stiff fit, but that's okay. You're just gonna have to put a little bit of extra muscle before you have it folded down. Now, to fold it up, you have to go back to this lever. So lift up on that lever and then just fold it up against your vehicle. Now with it folded up, the length of your bike rack from the hitch pin hole from the hitch pin hole to the end of the bike rack right over here is gonna be about 18 and three quarter inches. Now the closest point is gonna be right where that mast folds up against your vehicle. So from the center of the hitch pin hole to that point, it's gonna be about seven inches away. Now, let's talk about how this fits into our hitch receiver. So right here on our RAV4, we actually have a two inch hitch receiver. But this can fit inch and a quarter hitch receivers as well, class 1, class 2, and class 3 two inch receivers. So this comes with an anti-rattle bolt and a lock. Now, that lock is keyed like to the locks you can find here on the arms. That way, you only need one key to access the whole system. Now, for the anti-rattle bolt, you can use the wrench that is included with this bike rack, but I personally recommend taking up a socket wrench with a three quarter socket, just 'cause that's gonna be so much easier and faster to tighten down with. So most of the bike rack is made of a durable steel construction. So that is actually really heavy duty, which I can tell because it's gonna be extra heavy compared to your other bike racks at 46 pounds. You're gonna have to make sure you have enough strength to lift it. And it also has these steel cradles. If you do have larger bikes, you may wanna check out our bike adapters where you can carry up to five inch wide tires. Same strong steel construction though. Now that you do have these padded hooks as well, but one thing to note is that these are mainly a stabilizing feature just to keep your bike upright. The real work is done by your straps. So these really cinch down your bike to the bike rack. So you wanna make sure these are super tight, and these are just lightly over your bike just to keep it upright. Now, if you do have heavier electric bikes, yes, this has an impressive weight capacity of 45 pounds. If you have light bikes, you may wanna check out the Swagman XT2 which is even more affordable, but has a lower weight capacity. Or if you wanna go up in weight capacity, check out the Swagman CURRENT. Now, that is only for class 2 bikes, but then it also has a heavy duty capacity for your electric bikes. So my final thoughts about this bike rack is I'm really impressed by how I can get 45 pounds of weight capacity, even on a class 1 hitch. even on a class 1 hitch. Now, it does use or does have integrated locks which I appreciate. Now, a downside to that is if you do need to use a frame adaptor bar, I also recommend picking up a cable lock just to make sure your bikes are secure. But other than that, if you have a class 1 hitch, you're looking for something that fits an inch and a quarter, and you have slightly heavier bikes and you want a heavy duty bike rack to match, but at an affordable price, this might be pretty good for you. And that was a look here at our Swagman CHINOOK 2 bike platform style rack here at etrailer. here at etrailer. My name is Evangeline, and I hope you enjoyed the journey..


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