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Thule Apex Swing Away Bike Rack - 4 bike


Item # THU0363

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Item # THU0363

Keep the snacks in the back.

Thule's racks are trusted the world over, but the Apex Swing Away Four-Bike Rack is even awesomer than the company's numerous other offerings. Sure, it has the same Soft Touch anti-sway bike cages, Thule Road Dampening Technology, and integrated locking cable as many other Thule racks, but those aren't what set it apart. The real moneymaker is the Swing-Away hinge, which lets you tilt the rack away from the hatch--even when it's fully loaded—so you can reach in and pull out the potato chips that Uncle Jimmy accidentally left sitting on top of the cooler—no more sending the kids on missions into the trunk while you're on the highway.

The Apex is easy to use, for sure, but it's also bomber. Thule's EasyMount system and Locking Receiver Knob secures it solidly onto any two-inch hitch receiver, and the reinforced cradle straps are 25% stronger than past iterations, so you don't have to worry about your bikes breaking free. There's also a Hitch-Switch, so you can fold down both the arms and the rack body to keep it out of the way when its unloaded, and an integrated handle at the back that makes the Apex easy to move when you're taking it on and off the car.

  • Swing-Away hinge
  • Hitch-Switch folding design
  • EasyMount hitch-mount system
  • Locking Receiver Knob
  • Soft Touch anti-sway bike cages
  • Thule Road Dampening Technology
  • Reinforced cradle straps
  • Integrated locking cable

Tech Specs

Bike Capacity:
2-inch receivers
Locks Included:
Recommended Use:
transporting your bikes
Manufacturer Warranty:
limited lifetime

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Unanswered Question

We have a Nissan Frontier and are traveling cross country. We were wondering how far out does the rack swing out? Does it swing out far enough so we can open up the truck bed without having to remove the rack/bikes? Also, How far out does the rack extend from the truck hitch?

4 rubber straps broke on first trip

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

To begin with, my box was missing the assembly instructions and the safety strap. My first trip with the rack was a 6 hour drive on vacation with 4 bikes attached. During the trip out, one rubber strap cracked and another broke entirely. By the time I returned home again two more straps had broken through the holes and one cracked all the way through the rubber. I like the other features of the rack such as the swing away arm, but the rubber straps need a re-design.

Good for the family car

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Putting this rack together was simple. I was concerned about the adaptor for the 2 inch hitch but has not been an issue. The cam system that tightens the rack in the hitch works well and is secure. While tightening the knob it helped to gently rock the rack so the corners of the adaptor found the corners of the hitch. (Compared to the Yakima Swingdaddy, the Swingdaddy would not secure itself in the hitch despite cranking down on the knob to the point it wouldn't even turn or loosen). There is also a lever that clicks into the hole in the side of the hitch for added security.

Swinging the bikes aside is easy and there are some locking pins to prevent it from swinging back on you (one is semi- automatic and one needs to be put in place by hand).

A lock for the hitch and a lock for a small cable in the rack are included. If you want further security purchase a long cable and u lock.

I haven't had any issues with the adaptor as the previous reviewer.

This rack is good for the family lower end kid bikes and adult hardtails. Full suspension bikes have a difficult time being mounted on these style racks and a lot of the high end carbon bikes do not recommend using a rack like this.

Good for the family car

Expected more from Thule

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

We had the old version of this rack and there were a couple things that weren't optimal, but the back of our car was smashed and we had to pry the old rack off in pieces. This rack seemed the most similar but when we got it realized Thule now uses an adapter that fits both 1 1/4 and 2" hitches to cut costs. Installed it and 3 days later the pin broke inside the plastic piece at the base. PLASTIC?! Thule used to use metal. They've made a few small improvements, but overall this is a terrible product from a company who is clearly relying on its name and not quality. Backcountry was cool enough to handle the return.

same thing happened to ours - would only by 2' product, not the adaptable one. Ended up getting it off with a hack saw...
But the swing function is essential, so buying a 2' receiver product.

Thule Apex Swing Away

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great experience ordering from BackCountry. I ordered the carrier and it arrived 2 days later. The bike carrier is outstanding. I put it together in about 10 minutes and its very easy to load, secure, and unload all of our bikes quickly.

Is this a rack that I can buy other...

Is this a rack that I can buy other accessories so that in the winter season I can use it as a ski rack?

Unfortunately, that's not how this works. It doesn't really disassemble, so if you want a ski rack you'll need a whole new setup.

Check this out Murp!