Are you looking for the best truck bed bike rack? You may be an avid cyclist who lives nowhere near the trail that you want to cycle on, and as such, you have to drive there. But throwing your bicycle in the back of a truck can be heart-wrenching. You can easily ruin the paint job on your bike this way. That is where truck bed bike racks come in handy.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the top picks on the market today. You may not even know what this product is, or that you need it, stick with us, and you'll see how they can make your life easier. We will go into construction and mounting issues as well as compatibility, amongst others. We will also look at what could be better with each model and what they’ve done right. Let's take a look, shall we?
In a hurry?
Time may not be a luxury that you have so we will help you get to the juicy bits fast! What to look for in a good truck bed bike rack. Look at how the frame gets mounted on the truck's bed and ensure that it is compatible with your truck. Then also check on how it secures your bike. You want something comfortable to mount, but also secure. There are different types of racks, which we will look at in detail.
Also, consider whether you prefer a permanent or temporary fixture in your truck. It should be able to keep your bike safe as well. Now let's look at which rack takes the cake for us.
Our top pick
We have done our research, and come across many truck bed bike racks, but none quite took our attention, like the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack, Black. We like that it can easily fit up to four bicycles, making this rack family-friendly, or team-friendly.
Also, we like the fact that you don’t have to remove the wheels to mount the bikes. It is common in a lot of models, but I find it tedious when you have to remove the wheels and fit them back on every time that you want to go cycling. It's an easy and straightforward rack to use.
Best Truck Bed Bike Racks
OUR TOP PICK
A truck bed bike rack needs to have certain features. The Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack, will take up to 4 bicycles at a time. That is great, especially if you are looking to ferry bikes for a team of cyclists. You can easily use this rack even if you are not mechanically inclined.
The wheels on the bicycle do not need to be removed for you to put the bike on the rack. It is a common issue, especially if you don’t know how to put them back. It extends in length from between 54.5inches and 66.5inches. That is when you don’t have a spacer between them. If you have a spacer, then, it will extend up to 72.5inches.
- It can hold up to four bicycles at a time.
- You don’t need to remove the wheels to place the bike on the rack.
- You can quickly assemble the rack.
- It has soft padding so as not to scratch the bike or the truck for that matter. The scenario that you don’t want is metal rubbing against metal.
- The bike comes with a spacer.
- It is not compatible with step side trucks.
- It can not be used for every bike.
Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier is another highly ranked bike rack. It's made for one bike at a time and will fit wheels with a diameter between 20inches and 29inches, with tires up to 3inches wide. The rack uses a hook to grab the front wheel and keep the bike in place, and no part of the frame comes in contact with the bike frame, thereby reducing the occurrences of potentially ruining the paint job.
This rack needs to be used on trucks that have a tailgate bed gap not wider than 1/2inch. This rack is temporarily fixed onto the truck, meaning that it may not be as secure as the permanent ones. You may need to rely on the locking systems that come with the vehicle to keep your bicycle secure.
- The bike rack locks in place
- It's easy to load and offload the bike from this truck bed rack.
- The bike is locked to the rock, using the Thule one key lock cylinder.
- It’s a good temporary option, especially if you will not want to have it in your truck all the time.
- You will not need to drill any holes into your truck.
- It holds one bike at a time.
- The one key lock needed to lock the bike in place is sold separately.
- It can not be used on a truck with a tailgate ga greater than 1/2inch.
The Saris Kool 2-Bike Truck Bed, Mount Rack, is made to help you transport two bicycles at a time. One of the great things about this rack, and possibly why it is so popular is that it is versatile and will fit almost any size bike. Also, it is made of weather-resistant material. It is excellent if you will be driving through rain, snow, or any elements that could potentially cause your rack to rust.
At first glance, it looks just like a bar that is fitted across the width of your truck. It keeps your bike stable by grasping the forks on the bike. The maximum width of the truck bed that it can fit on is 74inches. That is a temporary fixture that is fixed onto your truck using rubber pads. This way you don’t scratch your vehicle with metal rubbing against metal. It also has a hydraulic pump for easy pumping.
- It mounts 2bicycles
- It can take almost any size bike.
- It has quick-release skewers.
- It's temporary, so you can remove it when you need to.
- The rubber feet, keep it firmly in place.
- You can use the bar to secure s many other objects that you may want to ferry.
- It only takes two bikes at a time.
The Rage Powersports Apex TBBC-4 4-Bike Pickup Truck Bed Bicycle Rack is made to fit multiple bicycles. Four to be exact. Your truck bed will need to be between 52.75inchws by 73inches wide, maximum. Whilst this is usually the size you want for several trucks, you don’t want to take it for granted and wind up with a rack that won't fit, so buy, with your truck bed size in mind.
Each compartment has foam padding which protects the bicycle spokes, as well as the gears. You will not need any tools to put the rack together; it’s relatively simple. The rack is made of steel tubing, which is durable and can easily hold up the bikes. The black coating on the tubing of the rack adds to its aesthetic appeal.
- It is secure
- It's easy to set up
- It has slots to fit up to four bicycles.
- It looks good
- It comes with adjustable bolts and stoppers.
- It won't easily fit 700 CC wheels.
- It can only be used in a truck that is between 52.75 inches and 73 inches wide.
The pipeline racks truck bed bike rack, holds up to four bicycles at a time, with a maximum tire width of 2.8inches. With some bike racks, you need to remove the wheels so that you can place the frame on the stand. It will take up a lot of your time which you most probably don’t want to waste when you park and get to where your cycling trail will start.
However, with this rack, there's none of that. All you will need to do is place the bike, as is, in the rack. It is also lightweight and as such can be carried by just about anyone. The easy installation, and that you don’t need to be a mechanical genius to use this rack is one of the things that makes this rack a good buy.
- You won't need to remove the front wheel to store it.
- There's no need to drill any holes.
- It holds four bicycles.
- It's easy to store
- It has a simple design.
- It could be more secure, to ward off thieves when you are parked.
- The truck bed needs to be at least 58.5inches
It is one of the racks that can easily confuse a customer. It doesn’t look like a rack at all. In this case, I guess it’s a duck even though it doesn’t look or quack like one. That is a great mechanism, especially if you are worried about the bikes being stolen from your truck. It is more secure than a lot of models. However, each rack comes with two keys.
It is a permanent rack that has to be bolted into your truck (that means holes in your vehicle if this is something you can't handle, steer clear). It can be bolted just about anywhere on the truck. It is designed to accommodate most 9mm forks and uses two keys to keep the bike secure. This mechanism is for one cycle. If you want to ferry another, you'd need another mechanism, which also means that you will wind up with different keys.
- It is secure
- It is permanently fixed
- It will fit most 9mm forks
- It is small and low profile
- It is durable
- You have to drill into your truck (this makes me cringe)
- You have to remove the front wheel of your bicycle to mount it.
- Each rack has two keys that you will have to carry around.
This is one of the most accessible racks to set up, with the least technical know-how required to set it up, especially when comparing it to other models on the market. It is as it sounds, a pad for the tailgate on your truck. The “science” behind this, is that it uses, is to make use of the already existing tailgate, to hold the bicycles, the pad, protects the tailgate and the bikes, by avoiding the two metal surfaces from rubbing against each other.
The pad will only need a few minutes to be attached to the truck. When you're not using it, simply fold it and place it perhaps behind the seat or anywhere else in the car. It will take up the same space as a small blanket. This bike rack is made to let you ferry up to five bicycles at a time. On the downside, this type of rack doesn’t have a way of locking the bikes in place.
- It can ferry up to five bikes at a time.
- It's easy to store
- It's lightweight
- It's easy to set up
- It is affordable
- It doesn’t have a locking mechanism
- Because it's made of a material that stretches, it can be warped out of shape easily.
This bike rack is made to carry two bicycles at a time. One of the reasons why it has made our list is because it is so easy to assemble. The fact that it can only accommodate two bicycles at a time is a disadvantage if you often go cycling with more than one other person. However, it's affordable, so this is an excellent reason to keep it on your list as well.
We also like that it is a durable rack and that it can protect the bike as well as the truck from getting damaged. The other great thing about this rack is that it takes up little space, and as such can be stored just about anywhere. Also, you will not need bed liners to use it. If ever there was a favourite advantage, ours is that the Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack for 2 Bike Carrier, can accommodate any size bike.
- It fits two bikes
- It's easy to assemble
- It's not cumbersome
- You don’t need bed liners to use it.
- It has a security system.
- It is lightweight
- It only fits two bikes.
This rack uses a clamping system to keep your bikes in place. Weighing only 4 pounds, it is made of a blend of different materials. It will save you a lot of space as well. As someone who isn’t a fan of drilling my truck for the sake of installing a bike rack, this particular make does an excellent job of avoiding this. It can accommodate two bicycles.
The package it comes in also includes mounts that you can use to attach the tie-down straps. Another advantage we like is that you will not need to remove the front wheel for you to be able to place the bicycle on the rack. One of the downsides, however, is that the top bolts will sometimes come loose and hence you will need to tighten them, especially after a bumpy ride.
- It’s a space saver
- You don’t have to drill holes in the truck to install the rack.
- Also, you will not need tools for installation.
- You don’t have to remove the front wheel to place the bike on the rack.
- It comes with d-rings as well as ratcheting holders which make it easier for you to use mounts so that you can attach tie-down straps.
- It doesn’t come with a locking mechanism.
- The top bolts can loosen due to vibrations.
The RockyMounts LoBall Track quick-release bike rack pick up truck, will be able to accommodate 9 by 100mm fork frames. It is specially made to have a quick-release handle for the forks. If you're worried about your bike's safety, don’t. This rack comes with a built-in lock system. You will also be happy to know that it is compatible with Toyota, Chevrolet, Nissan, and GMC.
Whilst this rack comes with a locking system, which includes the keys you will need, it is not easy to use. It is one of the downsides that you will find with this rack. You will have to find just the right tension spot for you to lock and unlock it. But it's not all doom and gloom. This rack is lightweight and durable as well.
- It comes with a built-in locking system.
- It is strong,
- It is lightweight
- They are simple to use
- They are sturdy and will not need any additional support.
- You have to remove the front wheel to stack it on the rack.
- You will need to know how to assemble it yourself.
- The locking system can be hard to work with and isn’t compatible with all trucks.
This is another popular bike rack because it's so easy to use. You are spreading it on and lining up your bikes. It’s a pad that will protect the tailgate on your truck, and also the paint job on your bike. One of the reasons why these are popular is because they easily fit more bikes than other racks. This model, in particular, will fit up to seven bikes.
It is 62 inches wide in total and has a 3/4inch foam pad, which is then covered in vinyl which is water and weatherproof. Since this pad fits over the tailgate, it is crucial that you also have a way to reach the handle of the tailgate. This rack has a flap that lets you do that. And you also don’t need to worry about how the pad will stay in place. It has straps to do that.
- It can hold up to seven bikes at a time.
- It has a pocket for you to put in any tools that you may want to use.
- It has a flap to allow you to open and close the tailgate without having to lift the entire pad.
- It has straps to keep it in place.
- It is versatile and will hold up almost any bike.
- It may not fit well on all truck types, as such, it’s a good idea to cross-check dimensions before you buy
Why do I need to get a truck bed bike rack?
Whilst it may not be top of your list, this is a necessary cyclist accessory if you are going to be driving from one place to the other with your bicycle, you want to be able to transport it safely. That goes both ways. You want to protect the paint on the bike and also the paint on your truck.
A bike rack also keeps your bike secure when you hit bumps in the road. It will keep your bike from being thrown from left to right and even out of the truck. A truck bed rack serves the purpose of easy transportation—safe mounting and security.
Several different factors influence the truck bed bike rack that you buy. This device is made to keep your bicycle in place as you transport it. It's almost like a parking bay in your truck. But because you will need to be in transit, it helps to know how to mount it and also how you can keep your bike safe and secure till you get to your destination.
Let's take a look at some of those.
Does the number of bikes I will be carrying matter?
The rack that you get will also be determined by the number of bicycles that you intend to be carrying. It is because the racks available come with different slots and ways to secure bikes.
Is it multi-purpose?
Truck bed racks are made to carry bicycle racks. Their use is not limited to that. You can be creative and utilise them for other purposes. Who doesn’t like to get a bargain? If your truck bed bike rack can do more than just hold your bicycles. Racks that usually have more than one function are permanent ones that are typically fixed to the base of the truck and are a simple bar.
The lack of classic bike shaped slots means that you can use the bar to secure other items in transit.
However, if you are looking for a rack to hold your bike, that should be your main priority rather than other possible functions.
How much space does it take up?
You will need to look at the size of the rack to make sure that you can store it when it's not in use. It applies to those that are temporarily fixed. After your bike trip, you get home and need to store the rack somewhere for when you're not using it. The design of the rack, and whether it can be taken apart or not, will determine if you can store it in a small space, or if you will need a dedicated corner in your garage.
Should I get a brand name truck bed rack for my bike?
What's in a name? Well, quite a lot. There's a reason why certain brands are more trusted than others. They probably have a track record of producing a particular style and quality. And as such people keep going back and they stay in business. If the brand that you want to buy is relatively unknown or new, you may want to do a bit of digging around first to make sure that you know what you are getting.
How important is security for a truck bed bike rack?
It is an essential feature for a bike rack in the back of a truck. You want to ensure that your bicycle stays in place as your drive, even across some of the most rugged terrain. But this is not the only reason. You also want to make sure that no one can snatch your bicycles out the back of your truck when you are stopped. Check on the locking mechanism.
Should I get a permanent or temporary truck bed bike rack?
This is a question best answered by the frequency of your bike trips. It also depends on what else you use your truck for. If you only go cycling and need to use the truck once a week perhaps, and then use the same truck to go to work during the week, then you may want to get a temporary fixture.
Also, think about how you use the truck. If you use it to carry other things, the rack may take up space that you need. If, however, you're an avid cyclist and are often on the trail, or you have another car and only use the truck for outdoor excursions, then perhaps you can have the rack mounted on permanently. How often you will use it should also guide you in how much you will be willing to spend on the rack.
What types of racks are there?
There are various ways of mounting a bicycle in a truck. You must know how a particular rack will be mounted in your car. It also has a lot to do with the shape and space available in your vehicle. These are some of the mounts available:
Wheel mount racks-these can hold up to three bikes. This rack holds the front wheel in place, securing it using a padded hook.
Fork mount bike racks- these can hold up to two bikes. These pose very little interference and as such are great if you use your truck for more than transporting bicycles.
Tailgate pads- these truck bed bike racks are made to accommodate up to six bikes. With this system, the bicycle frame is usually cradled in Velcro. It keeps the bikes apart, but also keeps them secure.
Side clamp mount-this will also take up to two bikes. These are great if you don't have a lot of storage space to spare. They are not cumbersome. Also, they are easy to install
How do I keep my bike's components protected as I transport it?
You must choose a rack that will protect your bike's components and paint job as well. If the rack is made for more than one bike, make sure that there is more than enough space between bikes. Also, make sure that there is no contact of metal against metal or any harsh abrasion that may damage the paintwork.
A bike rack is made to protect your bike and save it the trauma of being thrown in the back of the truck. A good quality one will do this.
That may not be an accessory that you’ve given a lot of thought to, but it can make transporting bikes a breeze, and also keep them looking great, as you avoid unnecessary scratches on your way to where you will be cycling from. A bike rack can make a welcomed change.
Given all that we've found out, we still like the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack, Black. We like how easy it is to use and also that you will not need to be an expert to fit it in your truck. It is our top recommendation. Ultimately, the one that you go with will depend on the car that you want to fit it in and the amount that you are willing to spend on the rack. We hope that our list of recommendations helps you find your best fit. Happy shopping!