Yakima Swingdaddy vs Thule Revolver
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:36:27 AM America/Denver
When it comes to the fully-featured, swing-away bike racks, both Thule and Yakima have heavy hitters. They're both well made, feature laden, carry four bikes and look pretty good for something sticking off the back of your car or SUV. There are a few differences though so let's take a look at them individually.
Let's start with the most notable difference, which are cosmetics. They look different and looks matter to a lot of people. Arguably, Yakima has a cooler looking bike rack. It's a bit sleeker, curvier and has the signature Yakima graphite and red appearance, making it stand out a bit more which can be good for other people not running into your rack or bikes.
The Thule Revolver is squarish and mechanical looking with less plastic coverings making it look tough. Its all-black finish implies rigidity and simplicity. This is all opinion so let's move on to the more important differences: features, functions, and security.
The Yakima SwingDaddy is a re-design of an earlier model the FullSwing. One of the major upgrades is the narrower, more versatile bike arms, which will accommodate a larger variety of bikes with unique frame geometries. The next advantage the Swingdaddy has is the one of a kind Sliding Switchblade Cradles, which makes it easier to load bikes onto the Yakima. They move effortlessly along the bottom of bike arms and fold up and out of the way with no resistance making it super easy to load up multiple bikes. After loading your bikes the Cradles fold down to attach to the bike and lock into place assuring you that your bikes are completely stable.
The Swingdaddy offers great security with a fantastic locking cable that locks the bikes to the rack and a Hitchlock to lock the rack to the vehicle. The Lockdown locking cable attaches to a pin that is conveniently located on the end of the bike arms, which also contains two bottle openers for that end of the day brew. The Hitchlock attaches to the end of the hitch bolt that secures the rack to the receiver hitch, and uses the same key as the Lockdown Cable.
Thule's Revolver still uses the more traditional individual T3 cradles with the No-Sway Cage, anti-swing cradle attachment that attach around the traditional tube-style bike rack arms. While this is a traditional style, it still works well with most bikes, but does involve quite a bit more work, needing to re-position them when loading and unloading bikes from the rack. The Revolver's security goes hand in hand with the Swingdaddy, offering a cable lock for bikes to rack security and a hitch lock for rack to vehicle security both utilizing the same key. The only difference being that the Revolver's cable lock stores in the bike racks' arms instead of the bike rack mast. Thule's cable lock being built into the arm of the rack has been an issue in the past for many people though. In fairness to Thule, this is really an operator error issue, but one that a lot of people mistakenly do. The lock cable has a rubber strap that secures it into place, inside the arm. What happens is when the rack is not in use and the arms are folded down, people forget to secure the lock cable end with the attached rubber grommet, and it ends up dragging on the ground for miles, wearing it down, rendering it useless. While this is primarily the users fault, it is something that could use a little redesigning on Thule's behalf and looks to be a near future change.
Both bike racks swing-away ability are exceptional and have equal quality of operation. They both utilize a pull-pin style release with a back-up security bolt that needs to be unscrewed before the rack will swing away from the vehicle. It is important to remember to use and tighten this bolt again before driving to ensure the rack doesn't swing out as you are cruising down the highway, and this goes for both the Thule and the Yakima. Both racks offer a safety pin that secures the rack when fully extended to prevent it from swinging back into the vehicle. Both racks offer a lever-style switch to fold the bike rack arms down when not in use and they perform flawlessly every time.
When it comes down to the brass tacks, the Swingdaddy is easier to load, will fit more bikes, looks nicer, and will open your beer at the end of the day. Yes this may sound similar to your dream girl, but it is actually your dream bike rack and it's sold everyday at 10% below retail at Cracks & Racks.