It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to take your bikes with you on a family vacation or simply want effective transport to get them to your local trials; you need the best truck bed bike rack possible. You’ll want something that is easy to load your bikes into and holds them both safely and securely.
The key with this style of bike rack is that you know your bike is safely secured; there is no risk of damage in transit from a poorly fastened rack or through other vehicles and pedestrians damaging your bike. They are protected by the truck bed as well as the straps and other cushioning material you use.
Ultimately the best bike rack for you will depend on your personal situation. Many people like the convenience of a hitch mounted rack. While there are some advantages to this method of carrying your bikes it may seem a little pointless to add a hitch rack when you have plenty of space in your truck bed. This actually is the perfect space for carrying 4 or even 5 bikes and, let’s face it; it looks pretty cool too!
There are a variety of different truck bed bike racks on the market which can make it very difficult to know which the right one for your needs is. Fortunately, this guide will not just show you the best bike rack for truck bed; it will also guide you through choosing the best one. You’ll even find a useful reference section to ensure you understand the key terms when choosing a truck bed bike rack.
The majority of truck bed bike racks available can be put in your truck and left there without affecting your load capabilities. This means that as long as you have the right locking facility the rack doesn’t need to come in and out; ensuring it is ready whenever you want to use it.
It is worth noting that the best truck bed bike rack will help you to stay clean even after a muddy trails ride; you barely need to handle the bike to secure it for transport. In addition, the truck bed can be easily hosed out to make it as good as new. You have space and with the right rack the ability to load your bike in minutes; it simply doesn’t make sense not to get a truck bed bike rack!
Truck Bed Bike Rack Terms You May Need To Know:
Before you start deciding the best truck bed bike rack for you it is likely that you’ll find the following terms useful:
This type of bike rack sits in your truck bed and engages with your forks; you’ll need to remove the wheel in order to use this type of best truck bed bike rack.
Raised Fork Racks
These styles of racks raise your forks to allow handlebars to sit at different levels. This is essential if you wish to fit several bikes into your truck bed.
Raised fork generally refers to the fact that you’ll need to drop your front wheel as the rack clamps to your forks, not your wheel.
Truck Bed Size
This usually refers to the length of your truck bed from behind your cab to tailgate; it will tell you whether the bike will fit in whole or if the wheel needs removing.
These are simply the fastening mechanisms that hold your bike in place while you’re in transit. They come in all shapes and sizes depending on your truck bed and the rack you wish to use. The sturdier they are the better to ensure your bike doesn’t wobble while in transit.
This is the mechanism that prevents your bike or bikes from moving while you’re in transit. In essence, they prevent swaying.
The ball mount is simply the ball-shaped part of a rack which slots into the tow hitch on your vehicle. This isn’t usually relevant for a truck bed bike rack but it is still useful to know what it is.
A bike cradle is an apparatus that ensures your bike is separate from the one next to it. There are a huge number of different options used by manufacturers. It is difficult to say that one is better than another; they simply perform differently.
Here is the best truck bed bike rack list:
This rack is designed to allow you to carry up to 4 bikes in safety. It can be used in your truck bed or as a stand alone rack in your home or garage. That makes it very versatile and you can be certain you’ll never lose it!
It weighs just 8 ounces making it easy to install and ensuring it has minimal effect on your fuel consumption; even if you leave it in the truck.
The Heininger 2025 comes with a spacer to allow you to mount the rack away from the rear of your cab; effectively protecting your vehicle.
It can extend from 54.5 inches to 66.5 inches when used without the spacer. If you use the spacer it goes from 60.5 inches to 72.5 inches.
You’ll also be pleased to note that padding is included; helping to ensure your bike or bikes are well protected; as is your truck.
There is a lockable cable included which allows you to lock your bike securely to the rack; it is 72 inches long. The rack itself can be assembled in minutes. It has non-slip feet to hold it in position and adjustable lateral stabilizers to ensure the rack cannot move. These are rubberized to ensure your truck is protected and secured in place with wing nuts.
There is no need to drill your truck bed; this is in common with any of the best truck bed bike racks. The beauty of this is that you can use it with a bed liner or not; the choice is yours.
It is important to note that this truck bed bike rack does not require you to remove the wheel. You simply roll the rear wheel into the allocated slot and then latch the securing bar across. The bar is adjustable to ensure it fits perfectly.
You’ll also benefit from a limited lifetime warranty. This only applies to the first owner and covers manufacturing defects. However, this is at the discretion of Heininger Holdings LLC.
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is important to note that the lockable cable supplied does not come with a lock! You’ll need to buy this separately. This is a little disappointing when spending your hard earned money on a quality bike rack.
While the securing bar will prevent your bike from rolling out of its rack and potentially out of your truck, it is not going to stop your bike from swaying as you drive. To avoid it making contact with other bikes or your truck bed it is advisable to strap the bike down as well. You should have load points in your truck bed to attach a strap to.
Another issue which needs to be noted is the trend for new trucks not to have square truck beds. You’ll need to have flat sides on order for the suction cups on this rack to take effect properly and hold your bike in place.
There is also a question regarding how well this truck bed bike rack will stand up to the elements if you decide to leave it in your truck. Although easy to install it is not really designed to be taken in and out on a regular basis; making the weather tolerance a relevant issue.
This is simply a block that can be fitted into your truck bed and support one bike without damaging your vehicle. It is possible to add more than one block in order to take several bikes; if you wish.
Unsurprisingly this firm is based in Hollywood but you may be surprised to learn that they have been trading since 1973; although their contribution to the best truck bed bike rack only started in the 1990’s.
The fork block weighs just 12 ounces and measures 7.3” x 3.2” x 3.6”.
This is an aluminum mount which explains why it is so light. This means that it is easy to carry with you and even to transfer between trucks. You can even adjust the mount if your forks are not traditional size.
The distance from the centre of one bolt hole to the other is 1.5 inches.
The mount has a skewer that goes through the middle of this. It has a quick release lever allowing it to be removed and the forks to be positioned each side of the mount.
The skewer is then pushed back through and tightened to stop them moving. Of course for it to be effective the mount needs to be bolted to either your floor or the side of your cab. It takes 4 bolts; you will need to drill holes in your vehicle.
It will fit onto any bike with front wheels up to 100mm; that’s the over-locknut dimension.
Again there is a limited warranty available to the first owner against manufacturing defects.
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is worth noting that the manufacturer has created the Hollywood T970 to hold your bike in place during travel. But, you may find that it is beneficial to purchase 2 per bike. This will help to ensure it really does not move while in transit. The second one will need to be mounted higher and moveable so that you can connect it to the forks on the rear of your bike without interfering with the gearing on your bike.
There is a limited range of movement in this truck bed bike rack mount. You will probably need to mount it onto some wood first to ensure it is in the right place and allows complete movement round it. This means it is not something that you want to take in and out on a regular basis.
Of course the fact that it is relatively small does mean it is unlikely to be in your way in your truck bed.
It should be obvious from the fact that this is fork mounted that you’ll need to remove the wheel before you can clip your bike in position. This does increase the time it will take you to load your bike before a journey. It is also very likely that you bike will sway from side to side unless you strap it down into place.
It is also important to note that this bike mount does not have a locking system. You’ll need to purchase a cable to allow your bikes to be locked into your cab.
Available at: Amazon
This is another great option if size is a serious consideration. The INNO rack consists of several parts that simply connect to your truck bed and your bike to hold it in place.
The company has been making car racks since 1976 although they originally started manufacturing car seat headrests in 1966; in fact they actually invented the car seat headrest!
They’ve been available in the US since 2003 and have proved exceptionally popular; they are worthy of a place on the best truck bed bike rack list.
This mount is designed to fit into any flat bed and you will not need to remove your tire to secure the mount into position. You should be able to use it no matter what type of bike you own.
The simple clamp with rubber inserts attaches to the edge of your truck bed; over the lip. Ideally you want to attach this to one side of your truck bed. There are two clamps which is enough to do one bike. The clamp is secured by twisting the easy grip handle of the thread. This allows the clamp to fit onto any size truck bed edging.
You can then thread the attachment part through the clamp and secure the loop round the frame of your bike. It can be adjusted to fit virtually any size frame. The thread on the attachment is 5 inches long; that should be enough to allow any bike to be attached without touching the side of your truck.
It is possible that one clamp will be enough to hold your bike but 2 clamps will help to ensure it doesn’t move no matter how bumpy the road. You can then mount a second set of clamps on the other side of the truck bed.
At the top of each clamp is a D ring. This is designed to allow you to use a cable lock. It can secure the clamp to the vehicle or the clamp to the bike; or even both!
You don’t need any tools to mount this clamp, you will not damage the truck and you can take it on and off in moments if required. This makes it an attractive option for anyone who regularly uses the space in the truck bed for other things as well as carrying bikes.
These mounts are surprisingly secure but it is important to be aware that the bike still has some potential to move. You should place padding between your bike and the side of the truck; this will protect both of them from being damaged.
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is worth noting that these mounts must go on the side of the truck; this means you can only accommodate 2 bikes at a time. If this is all you intend to carry that’s not an issue but if you want more then this is probably not the bike rack for you.
You should also be aware that the clamp sits very snugly round the bike frame; it is likely to rub off any stickers you have or even the paint on your bike. Depending on the size of your frame you may not be able to add a cushioning layer to prevent this.
Available at: Amazon
The Saris Kool 2 bike rack is designed to take two bikes in the back of your truck and still leave you space for some luggage or other essentials. The rack is a simple bar designed which enables you to choose where to mount it and you can easily remove it for storage if necessary.
The bar weighs 7.2 pounds and measures 47 inches x 5 inches x 3.1 inches.
Providing your truck bed is between 50 inches and 4 inches the Saris Kool 2 bike rack will fit. This is another best truck bed bike rack that comes with a limited lifetime warranty, protecting the first owner from manufacturing defects.
The rack consists of a single bar with soft pads on each end. These push up against the walls of your truck to hold the bar securely in place.
You’ll need to hold the bar in position and then pump the large handle on the bar. This slowly extends the bar until it connects firmly with the sides of your truck. Of course ,you need to be carefully not to over pump this as you could damage the side walls of your truck. You can extend the bar manually to roughly the right distance before using the pump handle.
When you need to release the bar, simply press the red button and the bar will slide back into itself.
There are two clamps on the bar which are designed to hold your bike forks. These are 9mm skewers so won’t accommodate a bike that has skewers larger than this. Simply release the lever and slide the forks onto the skewer; then tighten to hold your bike securely in place.
The real beauty of this truck bed bike rack is that these mounts can be moved according to your needs. If you place one o top and one at the side you’ll have different heights for your handlebars; ensuring they don’t collide when in transit. It is also useful to note that the mounts can be slid along the bar even after the bike is clamped into position; ensuring you get them just where you want them to be.
It is also important to note that this bar is made from 100% recycled materials and it will not rust!
Issues To Be Aware Of
This is another truck bed bike rack that requires you to remove your front wheel before attaching your bike. This not only adds an additional step to the loading process it also means you have to keep the wheels somewhere. If they are put in the truck bed then you’ll need to be careful that they don’t keep bashing your bikes.
The clamp only holds the front of the bike steady; this means the back still has the potential to move although this does not normally happen. To ensure your bike is safe it’s a good idea to strap the rear wheel in position as well.
Available at: Amazon
This complicated looking bar is actually very well designed. This shouldn’t be surprising considering it is made by Thule; one of the most well-known designers in transport accessories.
It weighs just 9.9 pounds and uses a ratchet system to ensure you can quickly and easily load any bike into your truck bed.
The first thing to note is that this is a rack for just one bike. You can purchase additional ones in order to mount more than one bike in your truck bed. It should work with most truck beds.
It will be of great interest to anyone who doesn’t want to spend time removing wheels from their bike; it’s not necessary with this best truck bike rack.
It can accommodate wheels between 20” and 29” with tires up to 3” wide; the bike must be no heavy than 50 pounds. Most importantly you don’t need to drill your truck or damage it to install this. In fact, it is surprisingly easy to install in your truck. In contrast to many of the truck bed bike racks the Insta-gator mounts to your tailgate. It has two supporting arms that slot each side of your front tire, preventing it from moving. This also prevents any part of the rack from connecting with your bike and potentially causing damage.
The main bar of this rack simply drops into the gap between your bed and the tailgate of your truck. This ensures it cannot move once your tailgate is shut. That makes it exceptionally simple to fit, use and even remove when you don’t need it. However, it should be noted that the gap between your bed and tailgate should not be any bigger than ½ inch. If it is then the Insta-gator will not fit snugly and may move during transit.
As well as the supporting arms you’ll note there is a bar that comes diagonally upwards. This slides in and out to allow you to hook it over the top of your bike tire and then slide it down onto the tire. The result is your bike cannot move. This is the part that can be locked to fasten your bike to the rack securely.
Issues To Be Aware Of
This is a premium product but you still don’t get a lock with it. This is disappointing as your bike is vulnerable, especially if your tailgate doesn’t have a lock. It is possible to purchase a Thule one key lock cylinder and secure your bike to the rack, but this is sold separately.
This is a well designed and easy to use rack, hence why it’s on the best truck bed bike rack list. But, this is also one of the most costly products you can buy and it only does one bike. Even if you purchase more than one rack you’ll be limited by the width of your truck; the maximum you can carry is 3 which may not be enough.
Available at: Amazon
Sunlite produces in excess of 5,000 accessories for your car; many of these focus on carrying loads safely. It was only natural that they would start to produce a truck bed bike rack. What may surprise you is how elegant and simple, yet effective this best truck bed bike rack actually is.
It weighs just 8 ounces.
The first thing to note is that this product is very similar to the Hollywood rack T970. Having said that it doesn’t appear to have quite such a high shine finish and there are a few subtle differences in the products.
Of course, this product is one of the cheapest on the best truck bed bike rack list. It is easy to install and extremely discreet. This makes it perfect if you use your truck bed a lot; you can leave your block fork mount in place and work around it.
In fact, the cost is part of the appeal; especially if you are relatively new to the world of biking and don’t want to spend a fortune on your new hobby. It is possible to add several mounts to your truck to carry more than one bike at a time.
There are 2 different size mounts, a 100mm, and a 135mm. This allows it to accommodate the whole range of bikes on the market. Once you’ve bolted the mount into your truck bed you simply remove the front wheel and slide the wheel slots over the loosen bolt on the mount. This can then be tightened into place; securing your bike.
The mount is made of alloy which is why it is so light but also strong enough to handle your bike over and over again.
You can fasten the mount onto the floor of your truck or the wall behind the cab; either will allow you to securely fasten your bike in position. You can even add some wood and create your own unique DIY truck bed bike rack if you wish; for your truck or even your car roof.
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is important to note that this needs drilling into your vehicle; you will be making permanent holes. This also makes it difficult to change the position of your mount; you need to get it right first time.
The Sunlite QR bike block mount securely holds the front of your bike in place, but it doesn’t do anything for the rear of your bike. You will need to invest in some good quality straps to hold the bike in place.
You should also be aware that while the mount s securely fastened to your truck, the bike is not locked into position. You’ll need to add a chain with lock and secure it through your bike and to your truck; if you don’t you may not want to leave your truck unattended.
The fact that this requires you to remove the front wheel means that there is an extra step in prepping you and your bikes for transport. While this shouldn’t be a deal-breaking it is something to consider. When you’ve finished your ride you just want to put the bike in place and go home.
Available at: Amazon
Swagman describes themselves as the leading supplier of value-added bike racks. It’s certainly true that they’ve got a wide range of products covering truck bed bike racks, pieces for DIY truck bed bike racks and even hitch mounted, roof mounted and traditional style racks.
The adjustable truck bed bike rack may not have the most impressive name, but it does say exactly what it does! That’s what the company has been doing since the early 90’s with a lot of success.
The adjustable rack comes with two clips; allowing you to add two bikes to your truck bed. Each bike must be no more than 35 pounds in weight.
The bar has rubber pads on the ends and a quick release bolt mechanism at one end. The swings undo and allow you to push each pad against the side walls of your truck. You can then easily tighten the bolt mechanism to ensure the bar stays outstretched. The pressure of the bar against the side walls of your truck will prevent it from moving as you drive.
You will be relieved to know that the bolt mechanism uses a barrel lock that ensured it can’t lose pressure while you’re in transit.
The beauty of this is you can mount it at either end of your truck bed; depending on what suits you best. The rubber pads prevent damage to your truck and no holes need to be drilled.
The two mounts are clamped on to the bar with bolts; these can be loosened and adjusted if required to get the best possible position for your bikes. Each clamp has a quick release 9mm skewer.
To lad your bike you’ll need to remove the front wheel and slide the forks of your bike into the 9mm skewer on the mount. Then tighten the skewer into place and your bike is secure.
Each mount and the bar are made from steel; they’re built to last. A good tip is to set the bar approximately 5 inches from the back of your cab; this will give you room to slide your wheel between the bar and the cab; helping it to stay securely in place; you can even cable tie it to the bar.
The bar extends from 52” to 69”; it should fit most truck beds but it is best to check before you buy!
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is worth noting that the bar is only held in place with pressure and without a locking mechanism on the bar it is possible to release it and take it with your bike.
As standard, there is no lock for the bike to the mount, if you don’t use a chain lock you’re likely to find your bike goes missing when you leave it unattended. This also applies to your wheels as they are not attached to the bike; you’ll need to put them somewhere safe.
Of course, having to remove your wheels can be a chore when you just want to get going…
Available at: Amazon
Yakima is one of the most well-known manufacturers in the car accessory and bike carrying industry. This means you’ll be purchasing a product that has had years of experience and research building it and turning products into the best they can be.
Of course, it is designed to accommodate just one bike but it weighs just 13.6 ounces and you can add multiple mounts to your truck. It is possible to get a BedHead version of this truck bed bike rack; this does not require drilling as it will clamp onto the bed rails on your truck. This helps if you don’t want to drill holes in your truck.
You can use this with bikes that have wide forks but you will need to purchase an adaptor to go with it.
This offering secures to the front fork of your bike and can actually be used in any position you like. All you need is a flat surface in your truck; this can be the floor, a bed liner or even the wall of your truck.
The mount is well padded to protect the paintwork on your truck and your bike. But, you will need to bolt it to your truck; this means drilling several holes. You’ll need to choose your position wisely; you don’t want to have to keep moving the mount;
Once you’ve bolted the mount in you simply remove the wheel from the front of your bike and slide the forks into the 9mm skewer provided. You can purchase SKS core locks and keys from Yakima if required.
The mount measures 7” x 4” x 2. That’s small enough to fit anywhere in your truck bed and easy to overlook when loading with other items.
It’s made from anodized aluminum which is corrosion resistant. In fact, the Yakima truck bed bike rack is backed by a lifetime guarantee; although this only applies to the first owner of the mount. This mount is not just designed for truck beds; you can use it on your boat, RV or any other flat surface!
Issues To Be Aware Of
Again this mount does not come with a locking mechanism. Although it is bolted to your truck there is no security holding the bike to the mount. You’ll need to either spend more on the SKS locks from Yakima or use your own chain to secure the bike.
It is also worth noting that the back of the bike is likely to hop while you drive. It is advisable to secure it with a ratchet strap or similar; you don’t want it hitting the side of your truck and damaging both your truck and your bike.
Although not surprising it is worth remembering that this style of mount does require you to remove the front wheel of your bike and store it elsewhere.
It is worth noting that the space on the top of the mount is not enough to slide along bolt through; you will need to bolt from the bottom and have the nut visible on the mount. This may not be an issue but you should be aware of it before you start mounting your Yakima blockhead truck bed bike rack.
Available at: Amazon
The fact there is a second Thule on this best truck bed bike rack list simply serves to confirm that Thule remains one of the best bike rack producers in the world. This rack is designed to accommodate 2 bikes via their front forks. It measures 53.2 inches by 7.8 x 2.8 inches; making it exceptionally easy to store anywhere when not in use.
It weighs just 9.25 pounds.
The Thule Bed Rider is made from aluminum; that’s why it is so light but remains strong. It is a telescopic bar that can be easily fitted without having to drill holes in your truck.
Simply place one of the rubber feet on the side rail of your truck and then pull the bar outwards until it reaches the other side. You’ll need to pull it out enough to ensure the bar is under pressure but not so hard that you risk damaging the side walls of your truck. The fact that it attached to the side rail and not just the wall of the truck emphasizes how securely this will lock into position.
The padded feet on both sides will protect your paintwork and help the bar to grip securely. Once you’ve got the position correct you can lock the bar in place with the Thule one key lock provided. This will prevent anyone from being able to remove it.
The bike mounts are fastened to this bar and also use the Thule one key locking mechanism. This ensures your bikes are safely fastened and cannot be removed without the key.
Of course, you’ll need to remove the front wheel of your bike in order to slide the forks into the skewer before you lock it. The skewer can be adjusted on just one side; making it easy to get the right tension to hold your bike in position. You can even slide the mounts along the rail to get the bike or bikes in the right position.
A great feature is the ability to use a locking Bed Rider add-on block; this will allow you to add an extra bike; the only limit to the number you can carry is the space in your truck bed.
The fact that the bar adjusts means it should fit almost any truck bed, but it is worth checking first.
Issues To Be Aware Of
This bar is designed to fit onto the side rails of your truck. As such it is not possible to fit it if you already have a bed liner that goes over the rails. It is possible that your bike will bounce in the back when you’re driving. This could result in it moving and potentially damaging your bike, other bikes or your truck. For this reason, it is advisable to use an extra strap to hold the rear of the bike in position.
If you have a through axle bike you may need to purchase an adaptor to allow this truck bed bike rack to work properly; unfortunately, these are expensive extras.
Available at: Amazon
If you’ve got a truck and you need to transport between 1 and 4 bikes this could be the perfect solution for you. The Saris Unique Triple Track Mount takes a different approach to all the other bike racks on this best truck bed bike rack list, but it works.
Saris make a large array of bike racks. They are an American company that has been trading since 1989 and many of their original racks are still in use today; a testimony to the quality if their build.
They believe bikes are the answer to a complicated transport problem and that the right product can make a huge difference. All Saris bike racks are born from this concept.
The Unique triple track will support 4 bikes. It is laid directly onto the floor of your truck bed and is exceptionally easy to put in or take out. This makes it the perfect solution for weekend warriors while keeping your truck usable during the working week.
The rack is designed to sit across the width of your truck; it is 35 inches long and simply sits on the floor of your truck bed. You then add bike mounts in one of the three rail slots. Using different slots will allow you to set the bikes further back from each other and ensures the handlebars do not tangle.
Because the clamps are designed to operate on the wheel of your bike there is no need to remove the back wheels; if you wish to secure them this way. At the same time, your bike paintwork and your truck’s are protected. Alternatively, you can add fork mounts to the rails and attach them to the forks on your bike; but this will mean you need to remove the front wheel.
This bike rack could even be used in an SUV as it doesn’t need to be bolted down. However, you’ll need to measure the width of the vehicle; the rack is 35 inches long.
The rack doesn’t appear to slide if you have a bed liner. However, if you don’t it is likely to move and could mean that your bike becomes damaged against the side of your truck.
Issues To Be Aware Of
It is important to note that this is simply the base; you’ll need to purchase Saris traps and wheel holders to ensure your bikes are properly secured in the back of your truck.
The rack is actually surprisingly good at holding your bike in position; you’re unlikely to need a separate system to secure the rear of your bike. However, if you go off road a lot then the bouncing may dislodge your bike. In this instance, you’ll need to strap it down or even use a second Saris unique triple track truck bed bike rack!
You should also be aware that this truck bed bike rack is very light. Although it shouldn’t slide it does have the potential too; you may prefer to add fastenings or even bolt it down; assuming you don’t plan to take it out of your truck very often.
It is also important to be aware that there is no locking mechanism with this bike; the rack can be easily removed by anyone and the bikes do not lock to the rack; making it possible to take them. This won’t be an issue if you never leave your bikes unattended in your truck. But if you do you need to consider a chain lock.
Available at: Amazon
Your Ultimate Truck Bed Bike Rack Buying Guide
To ensure you choose the best rack for your needs it is important to consider several factors. You may have your heart set on a specific rack but you need to ensure practicality is considered before style.
Size Of Your Truck Bed
The first thing you need to consider when purchasing a truck bed bike rack is “Will it fit?” The majority of the racks on this list will fit a standard truck bed and many are adjustable to ensure they can fit almost any vehicle.
But, that doesn’t mean the one you pick will fit; check the dimensions of your truck on the inside, especially the side rail to side rail width. You can then look at the various bike racks and decide which one works best for you.
Knowing the width of your truck bed will help you to decide which style of bike rack is best for you.
The price of a bike rack or mount can vary dramatically. It is possible to purchase a fork mount for approximately $20. Equally you could pay several hundred for the top end products.
Before you start looking you should evaluate your current financial position and decide how much funds you can realistically afford. Although choosing the best truck bed bike rack is important it is not worth borrowing funds to get the right one.
Once you’ve established a budget you can then look at which bike racks are in your price range and choose the right one for your needs.
Obviously, if you’re not in a rush for the bike rack you can simply look and choose the best truck bed bike rack and then find the funds for it. This is the best method but not one that most people find is realistic.
There are some big names in the world of bike racks and other bicycle related accessories. Thule and Saris are perhaps the first two that spring to mind.
However, this does not mean that other manufacturers are not worth considering. There are many relatively new firms that are working hard to produce truck bed bike racks which are as good, if not better, than the major manufacturers.
While the name of a manufacturer should carry some weight you also need to look at their reputation. If they are dedicated to supplying high quality products that will do the job and last then you should definitely consider them.
Of course, if their reputation is lacking then you must approach with caution; you want a truck bed bike rack that will do the job over and over again; not break on your first outing.
Number of Bikes
Another consideration is the number of bikes you usually carry and the maximum you are likely to carry. In most instances, your truck bed will only allow you to comfortably carry 4 or 5 bikes; although this is not always the case.
If you know you need to carry 4 bikes regularly there is no point in looking at the best truck bed bike rack for two bikes! Many of the fork mount systems can be adapted to add extra bikes but some of the bar and other fixed methods are limited.
Knowing the number of bikes you generally carry and could carry will help you to secure the right truck bed bike rack for your needs.
Ease of Installation
The best truck bed bike rack should be easy to remove when you’re not using it. However, in reality, even the best ones are often left in your truck.
They are only removed when you need to load something else in. There are two issues with this that you should consider:
Ease of Theft
If you leave your bike rack in your truck and it doesn’t lock then, even without your bike; there is a good chance that it will be stolen. It doesn’t matter how often you use your rack if you think you’ll leave it in place even once you need to make sure it is adequately secured to prevent this from happening.
The FBI estimate in excess of 1.5 million bicycles is stolen every year in the US. You need to make sure your bike and rack are secure.
Ease of Mounting
The manufacturer may tell you that it is simply a case of pushing one part of the bar against the side wall and then extending the bar until it locks into the other side wall. In theory, this is easy but when you’re rushing to get out on time any delay can be costly and frustrating. This is often why bike racks are left in place.
You need to evaluate how easy it is to install when you’re in a rush. After all, if you don’t have a locking mechanism you’re going to need to remove it while you’re riding.
This may then lead to storage issues and a wish that you did have a truck bed bike rack that was bolted or locked into the truck. Sometimes it’s better to take a little longer with one installation and keep the rack in place!
How Often Do You Use It?
This is very much tied to the ease of installation. The more you use the bike rack the more likely it is that you want one that you can securely lock into place. But, you need to consider what else you put in your truck on a regular basis. Will your chosen truck bed bike rack interfere with this loading? If t does then you need to be able to remove the bike rack quickly and easily.
Of course, this will lead to the issues addressed above and may prompt you to look at the fork mounts that simply bolt to your floor; they are unlikely to cause an issue with the daily use of your truck bed.
It is important to verify what security is in place with the racks you are considering. The best truck bed bike rack will have locks incorporated to ensure the rack is secured to your vehicle and the bike is locked to the rack.
If this isn’t an option then you’ll need a cable lock and you may have to decide how practical this is and how effective it will be.
The reputation of the manufacturer is important. But, you should also consider the feedback from actual customers. These are people who have used the bike rack you’re considering. They can tell you whether it is as good as it appears to be. It may be better, or much worse.
It is best to take a look on social media sites and dedicated truck bed bike rack sites. You’ll find honest opinions and not all will be positive; it’s impossible for a manufacturer to keep every single customer happy.
When looking at these reviews what is important is the overall picture. If they are more positive comments than negative then you’ve found a decent rack. But you should be aware of the negative points made; to ensure they don’t affect you.
Finally, most of the racks on this best truck bed bike rack list come with a good warranty; even though it only applies to the first owner.
However, not all warranties are created equal. It is important to check first before you buy. That way you’ll know exactly what is covered and what isn’t. This can actually help you to decide if the bike rack is the right one for you or not.
DIY Truck Bed Bike Rack
It is important to note that you can always make your own DIY truck bed bike rack. After all, you already have the space for your bikes; you just need to make sure they stay in position. This is not necessarily as easy as it sounds though; most will probably find it easier and less time to consuming to just purchase one our list above, but if you want to do it yourself here’s how:
Disclaimer: With a DIY bike rack your bike is much more likely to get damaged, so do this at your own risk.
The Bottom Line
A truck bed bike rack is a great solution. It uses space you already have available and leaves your towing hitch free for a trailer, caravan or anything else you need.
This type of rack is also generally cheaper than a hitch bike rack and more secure than a car style rack; which is probably not an option on your truck.
But, it is important to consider what is best for your needs. The fork mounts are excellent for holding your bike steady but do require you to remove your front wheel. In contrast, the bar style racks are generally not quite so good at preventing your bike from moving because they position the center of gravity higher.
What really matters is choosing one of the options on this best truck bed bike rack list after you’ve reviewed the ultimate buying guide and chosen for practicality; not just because the rack looks good.