Best Truck Bed Bike Racks – 2020 Round-up

Anthony
| Last Updated: February 23, 2021

Bike's Terra is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Putting a bike in the back of your truck is a convenient way to transport. However, you risk damaging both the bike and the truck as it shifts and moves. When driving to a picturesque location for a bike ride or when traveling, you need a safe way to bring your bike along. 

A truck bed bike rack is the perfect solution for this problem. A quality rack will keep your bikes secure for the ride. Keep reading to learn more about these racks.  

Our Top Picks for Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

  • Easy to attach
  • Long warranty
  • Durable, strong
View Latest Price →
  • Quick installation
  • High carry capacity
  • Sturdy construction
View Latest Price →
  • Best for the Money
  • Complete package
  • Easy installation
View Latest Price →

Comparison of the Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Can be attached to any surface
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Made from strong materials for better durability
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Quick and easy no drilling installation with extending rod
  • Easily carry 2 bikes of up to 35 pounds
  • Solid stainless steel used for a sturdy construction
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Everything needed for complete installation included
  • Very easy to install on truck
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack
  • Holds bikes of up to 50 pounds easily
  • One-key lock system to keep the bike secured
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Yakima Truck Bed Bike Rack
  • Velcro cradle closure prevents scratching your bikes
  • Will hold up to 6 bikes at a time
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

What is a Truck Bed Bike Rack?

A truck bed bike rack helps a biker transport and store their bike at the back of a truck. With the increasing crime rate, public places, both in urban or rural settings, have become unsafe places to park or keep the bike. Especially for professional bikers who invest heavily in their bikes, there is no mindset for leaving your bike in the middle of nowhere. 

This is where a truck bed bike rack comes in. It helps in easy loading the bike at the back of your vehicle and securing it in place using multiple locks so that it does not cause harm to itself or the bedding or other surfaces of the truck while in transit. 

How Does a Truck Bed Bike Rack Work? 

A generic truck bed bike rack connects itself to the bike's front or rear wheel using two metal bars, which are angled. It is sold with a lockable cable, which means you don't have to worry about your bike’s security. The installation is a very simple process, only requiring a couple of minutes, after which the rack is held down with the use of wing-nuts between your truck's bed walls. The installation does not require any additional tools. 

Apart from this method, it is also popular for another style, which allows the user to mount it to the wheel. This saves the user from the added effort of having to remove the front wheel and only require an armbar to hold it down securely. For another layer of stability, straps or a bungee cord can be used before the bike is placed inside the truck. 

Quick Take - Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best truck bed bike racks:

  1. Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block
  2. Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack
  3. INNO RT201

Review of the Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

Before you go on to decide on the best truck bed bike rack, it is imperative to know your options inside out. This is why we have compiled the best truck bed bike racks below, so you find one that is best suited as per your individual bike parking needs. 

Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block 1 Bicycle Fork Mount

pros

  • Can be stored easily
  • Overall structure is very lightweight
  • Capacity to hold about five bikes at a time 
  • Does not require a lot of tools for installation
  • Most inexpensive option on the list, considering the high-end features it includes

cons

  • May damage the tailgate if not used as per the instructions 
  • Some strength might be needed to carry the bike over the tailgate

What Recent Buyers Report

Many buyers consider this to be one of the best bed bike racks they have come across simply because of the way it is designed while retaining all functional aspects that a good bike rack should have. Professional bikers like the fact that they can transport about five bicycles using this at a time. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This one differs largely from all others, probably because of how it utilizes the truck’s tailgate as a bike rack. This efficiency in design has landed it a light-weight structure that is easily portable and manageable, especially for long trips. Another benefit the user gets is more storage space at the back of their truck.

This rack works by connecting the bike’s frame with the closed tailgate. Meanwhile, the front wheel can be suspended over the back bumper. Since this is not made to provide more permanent mounting solutions, it attaches and detaches itself easily and can be stored under the car seat when not in active use.

Bottom Line

Designed as a heavy-duty but light-weight rack, it is extremely suitable for beginner and professional bikers alike. Plus, the quantity it can cater to while leaving out space for additional storage is something yet to see in any other truck bed bike rack in the market.

Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack

pros

  • Provides security for the front fork
  • Compact size for storage when not in use
  • Very simple and easy to install without tools
  • Lightweight design that can be transported easily
  • Designed to prevent damage to the truck during transport

cons

  • Calls for the removal of the front wheel for installation 
  • Pressure-fit mounting is known to degrade over time if not maintained properly

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users consider this Swagman bike rack to represent the future of truck bed bike rack design. They are in awe of the stainless steel bar with rubber end pads. This gives the rack the ability to grip the truck’s bed rails, which acts as a sturdy element for when the bike is in transit; this is what most professional bikers look for.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Manufactured using the sturdiest material, the dual-coated marine-grade vinyl, Swagman has landed the mark on the future of all truck bed bike racks. Its simplicity and elegance have attracted even those who don’t take bike parking or storage seriously. 

The foam padding, along with the four straps, ensure that the bike is connected to the tailgate, and in case of any sudden movements during transportation, no harm would come to the equipment stored near it or to the truck itself. The capacity it has for holding up about 35 pounds per bike means that you can carry professional bikes on it as well.  

Bottom Line

If you are looking for something super straightforward to install, this is your best bet. It is also lightweight and can be tucked away when not required. Moreover, the fork blocks that can be relocated to include any third protective accessory is a major plus for all users.

Best for the Money:
INNO RT201

INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack - Bike Mount for Standard Pickup Truck

pros

  • Comes with a free bike-to-mount lock 
  • Includes a cover for protection against dust 
  • Can accommodate even fat bikes very easily
  • No drilling or bolt installation required for mounting
  • Arm connects itself with the wheel, limiting any risks of frame damage

cons

  • Security is limited to trucks with locking tailgates
  • More suitable for multiple bikes rather than a solo bike 

What Recent Buyers Report

One thing that all users agree upon is the value for money that they have received with this, along with the high-end security features. Regular bikers also enjoy the fact that its usage does not call for any drilling to be done in the truck.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Not only is the INNO truck bed bike rack suitable for the vast majority because of its budget-friendliness, but it is also pretty good for those who require it frequently and on a more permanent basis. It provides ample security against theft without the user having to fit it into any holes using nuts and bolts. 

Its design also allows the user to save a large chunk of their cargo space. The two mounts come with D-rings and ratcheting holders that can be used to connect the tie-down straps. Its mounting process does not require the biker to climb inside the truck or the bike. 

Bottom Line

Due to its versatile nature when it comes to design, this rack is commonly preferred by all professionals. It is suitable for securing heavy loads and preventing any form of damage to your truck bed.

Best Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack:
Thule Insta-Gater Pro

Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack , Black

pros

  • Quite simple in terms of usage
  • Installation does not require any tools
  • Include locks to offer security against thefts
  • Made of sturdy material which ensures durability
  • Functionality exceeds design to give value for money 

cons

  • Security feature can only be used it the truck has locking tailgates
  • Might seem a little pricey to some, as it includes some high-end features

What Recent Buyers Report

Known as the truck bed bike rack industry giant, Thule has some of the most efficient truck racks, with the Insta-Gater Pro being one of them. It is chosen by most for its innovative style, which makes use of the pickup truck bed’s surface to reduce design mass. It also presents multiple opportunities for the user to orient and place the bike rack. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The unique design makes use of clips that can be connected using the negative space between the tailgate and bed floor, thereby locking the bike in place as soon as the tailgate is closed. After this, the user only needs to link it to the webbing to avail a heavily secured mount in no time.

With multiple security features, such as a ratcheting grip and clips, this rack has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to user feasibility. It is so reliable that once mounting is done, you can completely forget about it until you reach your destination; there is no running back and forth to check up on it to tighten any security elements. 

Bottom Line

The only thing you need is a locking tailgate, and if you have that, you don’t need to look elsewhere for a better purchase. This rack can attach itself to the tailgate to allow for multiple opportunities, such as efficient storage of additional equipment and mounting of another rack side by side.  

Best Yakima Truck Bed Bike Rack:
Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad

Yakima - GateKeeper Tailgate Pad for Full-sized Truck Beds, Carries Up To 6 Bikes

pros

  • Made to last a life-time 
  • Includes a keyed locking security
  • Low-profile design repels any potential theft
  • Suitable for those looking for a permanent installation
  • Design offers the possibility of various mounting options

cons

  • If multiple units are secured, they all will have their own unique key
  • Installation may require drilling into your truck bed, depending on the style of mounting you choose

What Recent Buyers Report

For those who have protection against bike theft as their main priority and want aesthetics, this could be a very good choice. Most buyers have found this one to provide an adequate amount of security along with a lot of flexible features that are usually not offered in bed bike racks of this range. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Yakima has designed this truck bed bike rack to be permanently bolted to the truck as a permanent solution. Rather than being a bulky design, it acts as a compact frame that you can bolt to the surface of your liking, whether it’s a floor, a rail, or even just a handle of a door using only two bolts. 

It is great as a solution for a more lasting setting of your bike's parking, storage, and transport needs. A unique feature is the keyed locking mechanism, which uses nine-millimeter forks and just two keys to provide ample security. 

Bottom Line

As this bed bike rack by Yakima calls for some drilling or retrofitting, it is a more suitable option for serious bikers who don’t mind altering the surfaces of their truck for the sake of their bike. Users also get to take advantage of the multiple bike racks having individual keys for added security.

How Do I Choose a Truck Bed Bike Rack? 

Choosing a truck bed bike rack does not require just purchasing any unit with good aesthetics and a lock. It calls for several considerations to be made, such as the ones highlighted below; 

Budget

The price of any bike rack varies, depending on its style and manufacturer. If you are a professional biker, you may assume the most expensive option might be the best to go for, while in reality, many affordable options offer the same high-end functional and safety features. 

For beginners, there is a completely different category that should be looked into, such as trunk-mounted bike racks that are usually the most inexpensive. Regardless, it is important to check if you are getting value for money. 

Frequency of Use

If you only need a bed bike rack for one-time usage, investing in more inexpensive options should be your goal, that too, if you are unable to rent or borrow one. But if you require it every other week or so, you need to consider its durability, which comes for a price. Make sure to look into truck bed bike racks that are easy to fit and take off when need to be tucked away. 

Number of Bikes You Carry

This is important to consider as it depends on the aspect mentioned above and the number of people accompanying you. For example, if it’s just you and your friend, you need one that can cater to two bikes. But in case there is a whole group of people traveling together, you may require one that can cater to multiple bikes, such as a hitch rack. 

Security

Each truck bed bike rack style has a different security feature to offer. For example, there is some that lock into the back of your truck, which makes theft almost impossible. Other styles call for simply locking the bikes to the rack, while some have zero locking features. The unit you go for depends on the degree of security you need and where you live, i.e., your city's crime rate. 

Multi-Functionality

The most basic function of any truck bed bike rack is to carry bikes, and anything else that the brand offers is an added feature. The more useful features you get, the higher the value for money! For example, bar-type truck bed bike racks are pricier, but their support bar-like design allows the user to use it to hold additional items in place throughout the journey. 

Types of Truck Bed Bike Racks 

When you start looking into the currently available bed bike racks, you will come across two main types, fixed and adjustable. These have been expanded on below so you can understand which one would suit your needs better.

Fixed Racks

These are usually more common. They make use of a longitudinal metal rod to make sure that the bike is held in a secure manner through transit. This process calls for the removal of the front wheel. Such units come in various designs.

Adjustable Mount

This consists of extendable arms to tie down the frame of the bike, and with these, the front wheel does not have to be removed as it holds onto the rubber for support. However, these are a bit more tedious to set up than the fixed ones and also tend to have a heavier frame. 

These can be broken down further into three subcategories as per the number of bikes you will be in transit with;

  • Side-clamp mounts: designed for mounting two to four bikes together 

  • Wheel mount racks: good for catering to two to three bikes at the same time

  • Tailgate pads: for securing up to six bikes at a given time

INNO RT201

Number of Bikes vs Truck Bed Size - Comparison Overview 

As mentioned previously, to select a bed bike rack size, you need to be aware of the number of bikes that you will be carrying. However, along with this, the truck bed size that you are dealing with also becomes an important consideration. 

A normal bike length is 82 inches or 6.8 feet. With a truck bed being 84 inches long, a bike measuring five and a half feet in length can be kept easily. Make sure to check the size of your bike’s wheelbase before choosing a rack as most can fit normal-sized wheels, but sizes larger than 29 inches can pose some issues of storage. 

Since they directly correlate with one another, some aspects that you should take note of are highlighted below;

Width of Truck Bed

The size of the truck bed determines the number of bikes it holds. The capacity of storage increases with the width and length of the truck bed. 

Added Features 

The latest truck bed models come with cable locks that are built for easier access to the trunk area. The only downside is that they may not be able to provide adequate storage capacity for larger bikes. Plus, if you try to enforce those onto the bed or improperly keep them, they may scrap the surface of the truck bed if the truck experiences rough turns or is on a bumpy road. 

Type of Truck Bed

Pickup trucks are made to carry cargo, but a sturdy, well-designed rack can help retrofit about five to six bikes in it without damaging any interior surfaces during transit. Then there are ones made specifically for bikes, such as tow hitch bike racks that are very popular amongst professional bikers as they allow for up to six bikes to be kept and make loading and unloading easier.  

Conclusion 

Even though selecting a truck bed bike rack can be an overwhelming process, you will find it easier if you know exactly what your expectations and needs are. This is why this guide has been designed to bring forward some important considerations you must make before choosing a rack. So don’t get swayed away by advertisements or marketing tactics, and have fun shopping! 

People Also Ask

Apart from the factors that have already been highlighted, there are still many important aspects that will manifest themselves in the minds of most buyers once they purchase and start using a truck bed bike rack. To save the potential buyers from any trouble, we have answered some of these below;

How Do You Transport a Bike in a Truck Bed?

There are a multitude of ways in which an individual can transport a bike using a truck bed. For an inexpensive option, consider using bungee cords or straps that are a little soft to avoid them scratching the bike's surface. However, if you are looking for something that would ensure complete safety and protection for the truck's inner surfaces, investing in a truck bed bike rack is a better option. 

Will Bike Rack Mounts Fit in a Short Bed Truck?

Yes, bike rack mounts can fit in a short bed truck. The only possible issue you may face is adjusting it a little as the size and length of the bike, in addition to the rack, may not sit well together. In this case, you can secure the front wheel while positioning the bike at an angle.

Anthony

"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "