bing tracking image

Thule Apex Swing XT 4 Bike Rack Review

content loading

Customers compare TH9027XT to these similar products

Products Featured in this Video

Review of the Thule Apex Swing XT 4 Bike Rack

Jake: Jake here with etrailer. Today, we're going to take a look at and I'm going to show you some of the cool features on the Thule Apex Swing XT 4 Bike Rack. This is going to be a hanging-style bike rack that's going to get your four bikes safely to and from the trails.Now, my favorite part about this bike rack is that I'm not going to lose any functions of my vehicle that I might use frequently when out on the trails. You can swing it open and use your car as you will. The main thing that's going to set this bike rack apart from others is that it's going to swing away from your vehicle rather than tilting away. A lot of bike racks that tilt away you can't tilt them away with your bikes loaded.

Thule designed this bike rack so that you can keep your four bikes loaded. You won't have to unload them to gain rear hatch access.So even when a bike rack does tilt away from your vehicle, you're going to have the bike rack still directly behind the vehicle. So you can show that it can fully open, and there's nothing in the way here to impede us from using our vehicle like we would without a bike rack. If you need to sit down on the rear of your vehicle to put your biking shoes on and gear up for your ride, you can still do that. You're not sacrificing anything by having your bike rack on your vehicle.So what's really cool about when it opens up all the way, you're not going to have to worry about it swinging back if you're on a slight incline because it has a locking pivot point.

So when you open it all the way, you're not going to be able to pull the bike rack back into the closed position. If you're on that slight incline where your vehicle's facing up, it's going to lock your bikes on the right corner of your vehicle. It'll lock here and here at the front pivot point.Another nice thing about this bike rack is that when tilting a bike rack away from your vehicle, you're going to have to lift the four bikes back up to lock it into place, which can be a lot of weight. For example, this bike rack can hold about 37 pounds per bike, which is close to 147 pounds. That's a lot of weight to exert yourself to lift up to snap it back into place, whereas on this bike rack you can see that it's virtually effortless to swing it back into place.Now, when it comes to safety while on your trip, you want to make sure your bikes are safe when you're not attending them.

If you have to run into a store or something to get some groceries for your crew, you want to make sure your bikes are going to be safe in the parking lot while you're not there. On this bike rack, you're going to have two different points of security. A cable lock you'll see here that locks up at the end. To secure all of your bikes, it'll stretch out of this center post over all your bikes' top tubes and into the end of the two support posts. That'll lock your bikes to the bike rack.Here's how you lock your bike rack to your vehicle.

You lock this knob up and the knob will freely spin, so that nobody can loosen your bike rack from your vehicle and take the whole thing. So with your bike rack you're going to get two keys; that way you can keep one in each vehicle or you can have multiple people have them. You're going to have them keyed alike to both the cable lock and the hitch lock. So with the combination of the cable lock and the hitch lock, you know that your bikes are going to be locked to your rack and that your rack is going to be locked to your vehicle.With any hanging-style rack, you may have a little bit of bike-to-bike contact depending on what style bikes you have. You can see we have four completely different style bikes on our rack just to show the variation of bikes that you can carry with this. The cradles are 7" apart from each other center on center, so that is quite a bit more than other carriers are going to have. If you have four of the same style bikes, such as four road bikes, they many fit a little better. With a hanging-style rack, you may need to pick up a bike adapter for any bikes, like our kids bike here, with an irregular frame. It's not quite large enough to carry our bike inside this gap, so we had to use a bike adapter bar. We do have plenty of those here at etrailer.Now with some of our bikes removed, you can take a better look at what our straps and our cradles look like. On the inside of our straps, you're going to have these rubber strips that are going to not only grip your bike so that your bike doesn't move around too much, but it's going to make sure the top of your top tube is not damaged by the strap. On our cradle, you're going to have these integrated grooves, there'll be three of them, to help to preserve and not damage your brake cables. So your brake cable will sit down in that groove and be okay.Now, for each bike you're going to have an anti-sway cradle. This is going to keep your bikes from making too much contact with each other when driving down the road. Now, one thing I like that Thule did is you can pull these straps out of the anti-sway cradle, if you're not using them, and fold them up and clip them into place, and then they're out of your way. For safely securing your bike, you're going to have two straps that cinch down on your top tube to keep it locked into the cradles, and then one on your down tube. This is going to be our anti-sway to keep that bike from shaking too much.We can go ahead and unload our bike to take a closer look at some more features. Now, one tip I would give you guys is that it's a lot easier to get the bike off if your straps are not up like this. So you just want to cinch them down to get then out of the way, so that you can slide your bike off. We'll go ahead and remove our bike. And you could set your bike to the side.So anytime using a hitch-mounted accessory, you are going to have added length to your vehicle. From the center of our hitch pin to the outermost point of our bike rack is going to be about 40", so that's quite a bit of space you've added to the back of your vehicle. Now, we can conserve on some of that space by tilting this down to our vehicle by pulling up on this lever up on the top and that's going to cut it down to 15". So that's going to be very, very important for when parking in a parking garage or in your personal garage at home. Our closest point is going to be our tightening knob. That's going to be about 7" from the center of the hitch pin hole.When placing this in your vehicle, it's going to be very, very simple. You're not going to have to have any tools to install it, unlike all those anti-rattle bolts that you're going to have to tighten down to take away the shake and play. Our bike rack does come in at about 42 pounds, so it's not too heavy to get into place. You want to slide it into place with this automatic pin open, pop that pin down into place, and then slide it in and lock that pin in. I always like to pull out a little bit till that pin touches the further part of the hitch pinhole. Then when tightening it down, simply turn the knob and you'll feel it slowly getting tighter and tighter. What you'll need to do to get all that play out, you want to shake the bike rack back and forth just so you can get all of the play out. There you go.Our shank is going to be a 2" x 2" shank, so it's only going to work for your 2" x 2" hitch receivers. One thing I really like that Thule did is they went the extra mile and they put this lip on the back to deflect anything you may bottom out on from hitting your knob.I will like to point out with any vehicle that has a rear-mounted spare tire, you may have some issues with clearing the top of our first pivot point. So you can see we have an extended hitch on our Jeep Wrangler; that's helping us get our rack out past our spare tire. So even though we can fit the rack, we still can't operate it because when we open up the rear door, it hits that knob. So if you really like the Apex Swing, you may have to remove your spare tire in order to use it.We'll go ahead and show you how it performs on our test course. First up is going to be our solid speed bumps. This is going to represent going in and out of your driveway or going over a speed bump in a parking lot. Next is going to be our alternating speed bumps. This is going to represent going through a pothole or a bump in the road. Now, next onto our slalom, this is going to represent driving down a winding back road or making evasive turning. Well, guys, with all that being said, that's going to do it for our look at the Thule Apex Swing XT Bike Rack.

Questions and Comments about this Video

Will this bike rack fit a 2021 Airstream Interstate 24GL as far as swinging to the side of the vehicle?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'm not sure of the dimensions on your Airstream motorhome but I'm attaching some links to some Q&A pages that we've written to address questions about fitment.

Will this rack work on the back of a pick up that has a camper sitting in the box ?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

As long as you have no more than 7.3" from the center of your hitch pin hole to the back of your in-bed camper the Apex XT Swing will fit and work great. If it measures more than this let me know what that measurement is and I can see if we have something that will work.

Info for this part was:

Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Chris R
Video by:
Chris R
Employee Jacob H
Installed by:
Jacob H

At we provide the best information available about the products we sell. We take the quality of our information seriously so that you can get the right part the first time. Let us know if anything is missing or if you have any questions.