Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack Review

A premium hitch bike carrier which swings away from SUV with bikes loaded to provide easy access to rear of vehicle.

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Yakima FullSwing hitch mount bike rack is a heavy duty carrier that is designed to help transport your bikes in style. The rack can carry most traditional-frame bikes including fat bikes, kid bikes, and mountain bikes. One of the rack’s outstanding features is the full swing design that allows you to open the trunk or hatch while fully loaded. The carrier is also lightweight, easy to install, and comes with theft protection features.

HIGHS (+)

Sturdy ZipStrip cradles

Fullswing for unrestricted rear hatch access

Lightweight

Solid and compact build

LOWS (-)

Short cable lock (can only lock the frame leaving tires unsecured)

No enough distance between bikes

Max. nr of bikes

Hitch size

Load capacity

Weight

Ease of Assembly

The racks arrive in a box with individual parts partially disassembled. All the tools you need to complete the assembly are provided. Speaking of tools, you also get a bottle open as a freebie.

It takes around 10-30 minutes for assembly and installation on the hitch. What’s more, at just 56 pounds, the Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack is light enough for you to complete the installation alone. You get a wrench with a soft rubber-coated handle to use for the installation.

After you are done with the assembly, the FullSwing becomes a tool-free hitch rack. Attachment to the hitch receiver only requires you to press down a button and slide the rack until the pin connector pops into place.

Known as an AutoPin, this is a foolproof design with a green tab indicator that shows when the pin is in position. There is also a knob (SpeedKnob) at the opposite end of the mast which helps you tighten the rack without the need of a wrench.

Versatility

The Yakima FullSwing rack is a versatile hitch rack that helps you carry 4 bikes of up to 150 lbs. The maximum weight per bike is capped at 40 lbs with the rack holding the bikes by the frames. With padded arms, the design ensures that the frames are not scratched plus ample clearance between the bikes and your car.

Whether a bike has a smooth, wide, or flat frame, the rack features dual-sided straps for fast attachment to a sturdy standard cradle. Moreover, the straps also attach the frame to an anti-sway ZipStrip cradle. This unique design makes sure your bikes don’t bump into each other during transport.

As the name suggests, this 2” hitch rack is designed to fully tilt away from the vehicle. This invaluable feature makes it easy to access the rear hatch with the bikes staying put. The full swing is made possible by an articulated hinge that locks the arm 90º off the original setting. And when unloaded, the arms can be folded by just pulling on a lever.

Security

Security for your bikes and car is enhanced by both the SpeedKnob and AutoPin locks. Nevertheless, rocking the rack gently as you tighten the knob ensures better leverage.

Once there is no play on the hitch receiver, you get to disengage the SpeedKnob via a Single Key System (SSK), making removal of the rack basically impossible. The same key is used to lock an in-built cable lock that fastens the bike frames to the arm.

Safety

The Yakima FullSwing Hitch Rack provides a perfect balance between safety and usability. Starting with short arms, the design ensures optimal support for the bikes and less strain on the hitch receiver. Additionally, the rack is compact making it lighter than its competitors.

Even with the compact build, locks, and the SKS, safety for your vehicle and bikes is pegged on proper installation of the rack, loading bikes, and driving carefully.

Most importantly, the product comes with a vehicle fit guide that directs you on proper usage. So, before installation, ensure that the rack clears the spare tire and that at the full swing position it also clears the side of your vehicle. More to this, lower your speed on bumps and never exceed 70mph.

Why the Yakima FullSwing is a Best Seller

Some of the features that get the Yakima FullSwing favorable ratings include lightweight, FullSwing, easy installation, sturdy build, durability, and secure locks. The carrier weighs 56lbs which is considered light compared to most 4-bike hitch carriers.

That said, the rack has a lesser load capacity (150 lbs) unlike competitors such as the KAC Overdrive Sports K4 that carries 240 lbs. However, its full-swing capability makes it preferable than the common backwards tilting feature that makes accessing the rear hatch a bit burdensome. At the same time, actuating the swing is a one touch operation without the need for supporting the rack.

The rack is also exceptional due to its tool free installation plus SKS locks and ZipStrips that are easy to operate and nearly impossible to break. Lastly, your bikes are held on an anti-sway cradle that is padded to ‘hug’ the frame, reducing shaking during transit.

Verdict

The Yakima FullSwing rack gets points for tool free easy installation and compact build. Positioning the rack onto the hitch is nearly automatic with a pin that aligns and pops into position without hassle. Also, locking the hitch receiver only requires you to turn a knob and your bikes’ security is assured with a cable lock that is secured with a keylock.

The rack’s compact design, however, reduces its versatility. First off, it is nearly impossible to carry 4 bikes with fat tires without the tires touching. Secondly, since the rack holds bikes by the frames, you’ll find it ineffective when it comes to oddly-shaped frames.

Nonetheless, the rack is versatile enough to carry 1, 2, 3, or 4 diamond frame bikes. Luckily, for bikes without a top bar, such as some kid’s and lady’s bikes, Yakima has a top tube adapter ready (sold separately). And when it comes to fat bikes, the rack can carry 2-3 bikes easily plus.

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