When you think of bike racks, Swagman probably isn’t one of the first brands that comes to mind. That’s not because the company doesn’t have a history however, as Swagman claims to have brought the first hitch mounted bicycle rack to North America. Originally from Australia where everything in nature is out to kill you and you have to drive burly vehicles to survive the outback, the founders got the idea and brought it back to North America in 1989. After a good run the company was sold to Perry Grago in 2008 which started the process of refining their product and returning to a competitive place in the market.
Now with 17 new products, 2015 is their biggest launch of new models yet hinting towards great things to come. Based in Penticton BC, Canada, Swagman is expanding heavily with a new line of what they consider class leading roof mounts, truck accessories, and more…
There are basically two categories when it comes to roof racks – wheel-on and wheel-off. To satisfy the wheel-on requirement, Swagman is offering their new zero frame contact Skyline mount. Holding the front wheel in place with a ratcheting arm, the rack will fit wheels from 20-29″ including 5″ wide fat bike tires. All of the racks shown here were still prototypes, but the final version will have an integrated locking cable to keep your bike safe. Thanks to a universal mounting system, the Skyline and other premium roof mounts from Swagman will fit everything including round, square, and 2.5″ oval bars but will not fit the Nissan roof racks with the large round bars.
Ratcheting straps at both end of the rack keep everything in place and also will have no problem fitting around fat bike tires. Available in April, the Skyline has a 35 lb max bike weight and will retail for $200.
In the same family of the upright, Swagman’s new Enforcer provides a smart solution for fork mounted bike transportation. Also a prototype, Swagman pointed out that all of the production racks will be black with green straps similar to the look of the Skyline, not the silver and black shown here.
While the Enforcer’s fork mount does not lock like some other racks on the market (the QR will be able to lock, the thru axle will not) , the design does include a simple but effective adapter system to fit QR and 15mm thru axle forks and will have a 20mm adapter sold separately. The aluminum tube spacer is held in place with a set screw in the center channel which makes changing it a breeze. This of course means future axle standards are easy to adopt which includes fat bikes. Swagman’s sales director Dave Michael tells us that fat bike adapters are planned, but they are still trying to decide on what size to produce.
Also fat bike compatible and universal in fit (45 lb limit), the Enforcer will come in at $150 and starts shipping in April.
If you already have a fork mount rack that doesn’t adapt to thru axles, Swagman has you covered with their new Spire. The Extruded aluminum design is super stout and fits right in to most fork mount carriers. Instead of choosing a single standard, the Spire uses threaded adapter cups which allow you to change from 15 and 20mm with future options available for fat bikes, etc. The Spire and 15/20mm cups will sell for $65.
Those of you looking for something to mount to your truck bed may want to check out the new Patrol locking fork mount kit. The telescoping design quickly fits to your truck bed and then is able to be fine tuned with the locking rotation dial. Once dialed in to nearly any size truck bed, the lock prevents it from being removed and the Impakt fork mounts have their own 9mm locking skewers which should keep your bikes safe (they also use the same adaptable design as the Enforcer for thru axles). All four locks are keyed a like, and while the rack includes two Impakt fork mounts, depending on the size of your truck additional mounts can be added.
The production Patrol will be black, and available in April for $240.
Prefer to just toss your bikes in the truck? Anyone looking for a feature packed tailgate pad should check out the new Tailwhip. Available in mid size or full size, the Tailwhip offers improved coverage over other designs and features an oversized access port to reach the lift gate handle on most trucks. The waterproof outer is made from ballistic tarpaulin and the underside will have a soft finish to protect the paint as much as possible. Inside you’ll find high density foam to protect your truck from dents and the pad uses Nylon webbing instead of Poly for better durability.
If you plan on getting rowdy up the shuttle road (or off) the Tailwhip even has a built in daisy chain with Velcro straps to keep up to 5 bikes in the truck. Available in March, the well thought out Tailwhip will retail for $100.
Swagman will also have some new options for more casual riders including the new Gridlock trunk rack. With a focus on ease of installation, the 3 bike rack has new anti-sway cradles and will retail for $140. Elsewhere in the line Swagman will be beefing up their fat bike compatibility with new trays for the Quad 2+2, G10, and XTC2 in March.