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Swagman E-Spec Electric Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Swagman E-Spec Electric Bike Rack

Zach: Hey guys, Zach here at And today we're going to be showing you the Swagman E-Spec two bike platform style bike rack. This is going to be a really nice way to carry your electric bikes. As you can see here, I have a traditional mountain bikes, so it carries regular bikes as well. And my favorite part about it is, it's so versatile. So I have it on the back of this SUV here today, but it's also going to work out with your RVs, your bumper pull campers, fifth wheels, and even flat tow setups.

If you're doing it with a flat tow setup, we recommend putting it on the back of the vehicle that's being flat towed, and not between the two, even if you do have the double hitch back there. And it just creates maybe too close of a contact area, where if you're making a tight turn, that your bike rack may interfere with your towed vehicle.If you have an E-Bike, you know they're heavy. So you need a bike rack that's going to hold up to that. This has a weight capacity of 70 pounds per bike. So, even this bigger one that we have here today is still well underneath that do remove the battery though.

That's not only going to save you weight, but it's going to save a lot of stress when you're going down the road. And when it comes to carrying that much weight on the back of your vehicle, and especially like your motor home or a fifth wheel, you want it to be solid. And this bike rack is pretty solid, you can see there's a little bit of movement right there, but that's just because this bike rack can tilt up against the vehicle. So, there is definitely going to be a little bit of play there, but that's going to be an every bike rack out there. If it moves at all, it's going to have a little bit of play there but over than that, customers love how solid this bike rack is.This is a really solid metal rack.

It has a few plastic pieces like these knobs here, and a couple of customers have commented about it, they don't feel super confident with that. We've never had any issues of those coming undone. They eventually over time may wear out, but you can pick up replacement parts for this bike rack. But I think it's going to hold up for a long time. And if you're worried about those sliding around like those customers, there is a little screw in the bottom here, so it doesn't allow these cradles to fall off gone going down the road.

But even the cradle, this metal has really durable straps to hold it in place. I think this is going to do a really good job of holding your bikes.This is a frame out design and what that means is that these hooks up top, grab onto that tap tube, and hold it in place and then it rests down in those wheel cradles that we we're talking about earlier and then we have those nice straps holding it in place. Now, with this style bike rack, it's not really recommended to put a carbon fiber bike on here, but if you're buying this bike rack, you're looking for something that's heavy duty. It's going to carry a lot of heavy style bikes, like our E-bike and this mountain bike doesn't weigh a lot, but it's definitely a little bit easier than a carbon bike. Now, if you're wanting to carry fat tire bikes, this isn't equipped out of the box where it, you can't pick up an adapter and basically you're just going to get some wider trays and a longer strap, but it's still going to be capable of holding fat bikes if you pick up that wheel set.And when it comes to holding our bike down into the cradles, I like this style strap. It has a really nice pad there on it. Kind of has a little bit of give to it that is going to protect our wheels so we don't have to worry about those getting scratched up. You can see it just kind of moves they're in place to get a better fit. And then it holds on and those metal cradles. Now, these are going to only work with tires up to three inches in width. If you have something that's wider than that, that's when you'd pick up that Swagman fat bike adapter kit that we have.Now, when it comes to how these hooks go on, they're just clamped down, they have these releases right here and they just slide in place. So, they're making contact with your bike. You can see this bike rack here is pretty scratched up. This one's an older one. It's seen some abuse in its days, but when we get that down, that padding right there is going to do a good job of holding it in place, but also protect it. It may scuff it, but it's not going to scratch it like you see on here.And what I see what these electric bikes style is, this top tube kind of slopes down a lot. We've seen that a few times, a couple of customers have talked about this style rack kind of create an issue if you don't get it in there just right, it may be a little loose. This is held in place pretty good, but you can see part of that isn't making contact. So it's not my favorite way, but it's definitely, it's definitely going to hold it in place. It's just might have a little bit of movement right there. Even with it ratcheted down, as far as we can get it.Now, when it comes to the bikes, you definitely don't want them to go missing. So if you make a stop at like a rest stop or you want to leave them on while you're at the campsite locks are included, which is really nice. So, they just are keyed alike with each other and then also the lock that's down on the hitch that we'll show you here in a little bit. Let me see those, can't be squeezed to release those. And they're pretty tight, but I like that they're tight other than being loose, because I don't want that to be easily disengaged to allow that to loosen up. So I like that those locks are included. Give you a little bit better peace of mind whenever you're not keeping an eye on your bikes and you're out doing something else.If you're looking for an E-bike carrier and you're just driving around on a regular passenger vehicle like this Explorer, this probably isn't your best option. It'll work, but we can't tilt this away, we can't open this hatch up right now. There are definitely options out there, like the Swagman CURRENT, that's going to give you the same capacity, but it allows you to tilt it away. They'd beef this up by eliminating the tilt away feature so you can put it on RVs and campers. So, if you're looking for just that, I would go with something different, but if you're looking for something that can go up on the camper and the car, this is a really good option.So, this only works with two inch hitches. So I'm going to take this outside, I'm going to put it on an RV, see if it will work with any of the campers that we have here in the parking lot and get a better idea how this works with those as well.So, here we have it on the back of our motor home and you can see, we don't have it set up in an ideal situation. If you're just carrying one bike, you want it to be on the inside and your heaviest bike, like I said, is always going to be on the inside as well. But we actually had some clearance issues and that's something I wanted to point out to see if this is going to work out for you. When we had this bike on the inside, we're having issues with our ladder there, but also how far out this sits. Our hitch isn't that far under for a motor home, it's underneath there for sure, but not as much as some of the fifth wheels that we had in our parking lot. So I was not able to get my handlebars on multiple bikes to fit on here. It was either touching the body or the glass, depending on where I had it and its configuration.So, something I want you to be mindful of is how close this sits. From the center of my hitch pin hole to the center of this first cradle right here was 16 and a half inches. So, for ours here today, it's sitting a little too close to my body or the RV to really feel comfortable about using this bike rack. I wouldn't want my handlebars being that close to it because he hit a bump, it's going to move. No rack is steady enough to keep it from moving that slight inch or two. And I think that we'd have to find another solution for this RV here today.So, even though this doesn't work out here today, I just wanted to give you guys a good example as to how this bike rack is actually going to work with RVs. It still holds in place real nice. It moves around a little bit, but you're going to get that when you have a big, heavy bike on here. Now we did check out the Hollywood Racks RV rider a couple of months ago, and we we're able to put a couple bikes in both positions on this exact RV.So ,if you have a hitch that sits a little bit further underneath there, that one gives you a little bit better clearance, brings out a little bit further. So, that's a really good option worth checking out. Something else I want to point out is, if you're putting this on a fifth wheel or a bumper pull trailer, you will want to remove this pin here that allows it to tilt up against the vehicle and then you would just replace it with this bolt here. You just want to take out any of the moving parts whenever you're adding that much leverage to the back of your vehicle.So, I brought it back inside and I left my bikes off because I want to give you a closer look at some of the features, give you a couple of different measurements. One thing that allows you to fold this up is that you can make it or this mask goes down. So then, if you have this on a regular vehicle like this, you can get into a hatch, which is really nice. Or if you just want it to be a little bit cleaner, look on the back of your motor home. If you don't have it on that fifth wheel or camper, I'll show you how we can tilt this up.So we'll come down here to this pin and clip that we talked about there outside. So, then we can just pull that clip, take that keeper off And remove the pin. And we can just tilt this up and then instead of going in that hole we just remove that from, we'll go to this bottom one, we'll get that inserted all the way, make sure that's lined up. It's kind of a tight fit through there. There we go. Pretty snug fit, but get those reinserted. You can see how tight that is. So it is a tight fit getting that in, but there's no room there.So if we weren't hauling our bikes for a trip, we could leave this on and we wouldn't have to worry about that rattling around, which is really nice. So tie that in with that anti-rattle bolt and we've got a really solid rack on the back here, but I think this is going to be a really nice way to keep your campsite a little cleaner. You don't have that bike rack sticking out, or if you're just using it on the back of your vehicle, you can leave it on all the time like this. So you don't have to take up as much space in the garage. If you look right here, this is reinforced. It's a good example of how sturdy this bike rack is.A lot of bike racks are going to have just a little bit less material down here, and you need all of this here to just give it more support because that's a lot of leverage on the back of your RV or your camper. And then we have the string shank design that goes into our hitch and then only works with two inch hitches, which is going to be most of your hitches any way on the back of bumpers. I've never seen an inch and a quarter on anything like that. And then we have this included, anti-rattle bolt that threads into the nut that's on the inside of this shank and then that included lock. So we don't have to worry about this bike rack going anywhere, which is really nice. And you can see, I am moving this whole car that is in there and it's held in place really nicely.So now I'm going to give you some more measurements like that one I gave you outside and I go from the center of the hitch pin hole to the furthest out point of this bike rack when it's folded up like this and that is 16 and three quarters of an inch. So it's pretty compact. I think that's when we're going to run into that issue of working with hitches that are a little bit further under the bumper. They want a nice compact fit on these so they just provides a little bit more strength, the more material and further out you get with that, the less likely it is to hold heavier weights. So I'll bring this back down and we'll get a measurement there of how much this is going to add to the back of your vehicle or tow set up, then with it folded down, think to the furthest out point would probably be the edge of those hooks are these wheel cradles right there and that is 29 inches. So, we're not adding a lot of space to the back there, but it's definitely something to be mindful of.Another measurement that you may find important is center of cradle, the center of cradle, just so know how much space you're going to be putting there and that is nine and a half inches. Now, we did find that this is going to work with tire sizes from 20 inch up to 29 plus, and it will work with some kids' bikes. We we're able to get one on here today. We we're definitely able to get it ratcheted down. I think some of the smaller bikes though, you would need maybe some sort of adapter bar for that.Now one of the downsides to this rack is, it's only a two bike rack. You're only going to be able to carry two bikes. Now, if you're a family of four or more, there are definitely options out there, but you're not going to be able to carry four E-bikes. That's just a difficult thing to do. It's a lot of weight on the back of a motor home. If you're just looking for something for an SUV, there are definitely options out there. But for motor homes, RVs, there's a lot of different variations out there. If you just need a four-bike the Yakima HoldUp is got a pretty good capacity. It's not going to get you up to this one. There are definitely a hanging style rack. So if you've got a few more people that are going along with you, there are options out there, but finding something for that many e-bikes is going to be challenging.Now I'm going to get this bike loaded up, show you a couple of different ways you can do it. E-bikes are pretty heavy, you know that. Tooley makes a really nice one that can work with some different vehicles that has ramps on it, but that comes with a pretty hefty price. So, I'm going to show you some ways to get this going. We'll get this strap out of the way. I already had that back one prepped. You can go about this couple different ways. You can feed it around like this. This bike is pretty heavy and it's going to be really awkward to try to get it through there, got a tight fit, especially like on our motor home out there, you didn't see him kind of struggling to get it on there. I keep pushing that down. We'll get that held up, you can do it that way and get that ratcheted down. That's one way to do it. Or we can get this released. I'll take this off real quick and show you another way.Another way that you can do it is you can lower your center mass using that little pull tab down there, and I'm going to take my hooks off and I set them down right there, and then we're going to put our bike up in place. So we don't have to go around that center mass.Now, it is definitely advisable to have your heaviest bike closest to your vehicle. And if you're just hauling one, you want it closest to your vehicle as well. So we'll get that mass up in place and I'm going to take this hook and I'm going to slide this down in place and then I've got that in place. I can get all my straps are in. And I think that that has its awkward part to it. But I think it's a little bit easier. I don't have to like reach and have the 60 pound bike being real close to my glass on this Explorer today. We're scratching my RV or colliding with a ladder. So it's just a little bit easier. It's going to be some work though, because it's a heavy bike. So we'll get this put down in place. Get ready to get going down the road. I think we're good to go. I'm going to get that locked up. I'm going to do that top one too, even though I'm not carrying a second bike today, but overall we're ready to go.I think that this is going to be a really good bike rack, if you're looking for something to serve a couple different purposes. You're using your E-bike when you're not out on your trips so, you want something that can work with your car, but you also want something that's going to be able to be used with your camper or your RV and this is going to be a good way to do that. You may run into that issue that we had with our RV, where it sits a little too close. That's when I would consider maybe that Hollywood racks one, but overall people are really confident. They feel good about their bikes getting to where they need to go and I think you're going to be pretty happy with it. But that's going to do it for our look at the Swagman E-Spec, E-bike, platform style bike rack..

Questions and Comments about this Video


Great review on the E-spec bike rack. We do have a bumper pull travel trailer with a chasis-mounted hitch. Likely, we'd want to add a 10" extension in order to comfortably carry two e-bikes. Do you see a safety problem adding this extension to the E-spec rack? Thanks.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Yes. Adding a length of extension would mean that any bumps and movements would be exaggerated to the bike rack. That and usually an extension will lower the tongue weight rating of the hitch as well. From the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest edge of the bike rack is 10". If your hitch receiver is past your bumper then you should be okay, but it would still be worth measuring from the center of your bike out to the edge of the handlebar just to make sure.

Reply from Steve

@JonG Thanks for the good advice.


Can you tell me if the hooks will lower enough to secure a step through style of ebike on the swagman e-spec? We have a Emmo VGO. Thanks!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

From the top of the small hook to the wheel cradles where your tires are going to rest is about 18". If your step-thru frame is lower than that you will need an adapter bar (see attached link) to give the hook something to attach to.


Will this product the Swagman 66689 E-Spec rack work well with a 2020 Jeep Wrangler unlimited with a spare tire on the back door and hold 2 x 65 lb ea e-bikes ?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The Swagman E-Spec # S94FR can handle up to 70 lb bikes so you'll be just fine when it comes to that side of things. Keep in mind that you will want to remove the battery off of your bikes. When it comes to fitment with your spare tire you will want to measure from the center of the hitch pin hole to the farthest edge of your spare tire. If that is more than 15-1/2" then the rack won't fit. You can also fold up the rack if that measurement is no more than 10-1/2" but I kind of doubt that.


I find my eBike too heavy to try and put on the cradles closest to the car. So I have been hauling my one eBike on the cradles furthest away from the car and no issues. This rack is meant to haul 2 eBikes so hauling just one on the furthest cradles away from the car shouldn't be an issue. In fact, I carried my eBike this way last winter on a 3000 mile round trip and found the bike and rack were solid in that location.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I've definitely heard of people doing what you're talking about and being just fine. We try to stick to what the manufacturers say in our videos just to be on the safe side of things, especially since more pressure is put on the trailer hitch the further out the load sits from the receiver.

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