Some of the more notable standouts from this year’s show are the small but growing number of hitch racks that hold bikes in a vertical orientation, rather than in trays.
The benefit of this arrangement is that the bikes take up less room behind the vehicle, though the rack itself is taller and a better match for SUVs and hatchbacks than sedans.
Softride and Swagman both had vertical hitch racks on display. Softride’s new Hang 5 and Hang 2 racks hold bicycles by the handlebars, rather than by the wheels, as is common with vertical racks such as North Shore Racks’ design.
Swagman’s Jackknife design uses cradles to hold the front wheels. Unlike the Softride Hang series or North Shore Rack’s design, the Jackknife 2 and 4 position the bikes opposite each other, with the tires facing inwards.
It’s an interesting layout. We look forward to testing the Swagman Jackknife 4 in the near future.