Bikes are a great way to get some exercise, but you can’t always bike around town. Sometimes you need to take your bike with you on the road. For this reason, many people invest in truck bed bike racks so that they can transport their bikes without hurting them or driving recklessly through traffic. In this article, we will discuss how choosing the right truck bed rack for your needs is crucial to protecting your investment and maximizing safety for both drivers and bicyclists alike!
Best 6 Truck Bed Bike Racks
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1. Thule GateMate PRO Tailgate Pad
The Thule GateMate Pro is like no other tailgate pad on the market. It provides padded protection for transporting your bikes in truck, protects both bike and truck tailgate with durable material, offers specially designed “knock-blocks” to prevent bikes from sliding around on the tailgate end causing damage to vehicle or other bikes, has a handle hood allowing easy access to strap anchor points without you ever having to remove the pad itself from your vehicle’s belly or hindering any of its ability. The integrated “Knock Blocks” will keep your cargo safe while you’re motoring down the road!
The Thule GateMate PRO Tailgate Pad allows you to transport your bike with the peace of mind that it will not move from its original position. This heavy duty pad has multiple position strap anchors and a secure, fleece-lined storage compartment for small items such as lights and water bottles. With just one simple release, bikes can be removed without having to open up the gate or put it back down on the side of the road after passing through our chain link gate! Openings in this tailgate pad allow driving visibility while keeping everything safe and secured inside. It offers flexible padding that adjusts easily across different surfaces – meaning no matter which way you drive, the tailgate pad is sure to fit perfectly over your truck’s bumper.
2. Thule Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block
The Thule Racks BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block is an accessory attachment for mounting to the Thule 822XT Bed Rider pickup truck bike rack for carrying an additional bicycle. Thule BRLB includes all hardware for attachment anywhere along the 822XT BedRider extension bar. Thule lock and keys included.
The Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block is an optional accessory attachment for mounting to the Thule 822XT Bed-Rider pickup truck bed bike rack for transporting an additional bicycle. The Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block is exactly the same as the fork mount blocks included with the Thule 822XT Bed Rider pickup truck bike rack. All hardware included for immediate attachment to the Thule 822XT Bed-Rider anywhere along the extension bar (rubber spacer included for optionally mounting to the smaller part of the extension bar), no tools or drilling required.
Also includes Thule lock and keys (inserts into quick-release skewer) to secure bike to the Thule BRLB. Tamper proof screws and wrench also included for securing the BRLB to the extension bar. Optional cable lock (not included; see accessory add-ons below) can also be passed through the access hole to further secure bicycle to vehicle. Premium easy-adjusting quick-release skewer accommodates all disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles (see accessory add-ons below for fork adapters to use with other styles/sizes of thru-axles, Cannondale Lefty, Maverick etc).
- The Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block is exactly the same as the fork mount blocks included with the Thule 822XT Bed Rider pickup truck bike rack. No tools or drilling required.
- All hardware included for immediate attachment to the Thule 822XT Bed-Rider anywhere along the extension bar (rubber spacer included for optionally mounting to the smaller part of the extension bar).
- Includes Thule lock and keys (inserts into quick-release skewer). Tamper proof screws and wrench also included for securing the BRLB to the extension bar.
- Premium easy-adjusting quick-release skewer accommodates all disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles (see accessory add-ons below for fork adapters to use with other styles/sizes of thru-axles, Cannondale Lefty, Maverick etc).
- Easy-to-follow Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Block installation instructions manual included.
- Thule Racks Lifetime Warranty!
3. Thule Bed-Rider Bike Rack
This easy to install and easy to use truck bed bike rack option for carrying two bikes features locking fork blocks mounted to a telescoping bar that fits and locks into virtually all truck beds, even those with liners.
The Thule 822XT Bed-Rider pickup truck bike rack transports two bicycles safely and securely in the back of virtually all full-size and compact pickup trucks. The bikes are carried in easy to use fork blocks mounted to an aluminum telescoping bar that spans the bed and wedges between the bed rails directly behind the cab, so no drilling or bolting is required. Additional bikes can be carried by adding one or more Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Blocks (sold separately). Works equally well with all types of bicycles, from skinny tire road bikes to fat knobby tire mountain bikes. Accommodates all disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles, and can accommodate bikes with thru-axle forks with the use of a fork adapter (sold separately). Full locking security is provided with Thule One-Key locks which lock both bikes into the rack and the 822XT into the truck bed.
- Thule 822XT BedRider bike rack features a telescoping aluminum bar to fit full-size and small compact pickup truck beds and is compatible with most pick-up truck bed liners
- Expanding cam mechanism and generous rubber feet hold the Thule 822 XT Bed-Rider bike truck rack in place without drilling and without damaging truck bed
- Includes two fork mount blocks with locking 9mm skewers for carrying two bikes; optionally add additional Thule BRLB Locking Bed Rider Add-On Blocks (sold separately) for transporting more bikes
- Each fork block includes a premium locking 9mm quick-release fork mount skewer (Thule locks & keys included) that holds bicycle fork in place for a stable secure ride
- Disc-brake compatible (see accessory add-ons below for optional fork mount bike rack adapters to use with other styles/sizes of axles, Cannondale Lefty, Maverick etc).
- No drilling or bolting required for installation
- 822XT Bed-Rider locks to the truck with the included Thule lock cylinder & keys
- Thule Racks Lifetime Warranty!
4. YAKIMA BikerBar Truck Bed Bicycle Rack System
The all-new Yakima BikerBar truck bed bike rack (8001141) is designed for use in the cargo bed of compact / mid-size pickup trucks (8001141 includes one 66″ crossbar to span across truck bed; also available is the 8001143 Yakima BikerBar with a 78″ crossbar to span the cargo bed of full-size pickups). The BikerBar truck bike rack transports two bicycles conveniently and securely, preventing bicycles from rattling around in and sliding about truckbed, as well as causing any marks, scratches or damage to the bikes and pickup cargo bed. No drilling or permanent bolting required, simply mount the included pair of proprietary Yakima Racks BedRock clamping mechanisms on the truckbed side rails.
The BikerBar system installs and removes effortlessly using the quick-release lever integrated into each BedRock bed rail mounting mechanism. Fits virtually all pick-up trucks including those with most types of bed liners. Even includes mounting adapters for pickup trucks with bed rail tracks / c-channel systems etc. The 8001141 Biker Bar bike rack model includes a single crossbar with endcaps that attaches to the BedRock side rail mounts and is ideally sized for spanning across any compact / mid-size pickup truckbeds. Simply measure the distance from outer edge of truck bed rail to the outer edge of the bed rail on the other side of the truckbed to determine if the 8001141 Yakima Biker Bar bike rack w/ 66″ crossbar is the right BikerBar version to select (8001143 BikerBar truck bike rack version w/ 78″ crossbar also available.)
Also included are two Yakima BOA fork block assemblies with premium, locking quick-release skewers for easily mounting the front wheel bike forks on all sizes, styles and designs of bikes using common/standard 9mm skewer axles (virtually all bicycles with bike wheel quick-release skewers use the 9mm axle size.) The two BOA bike fork mounting assemblies attach anywhere along the Yakima BikerBar cross bar. Also fully compatible with any disc brake / suspension systems using 9mm axle quick-releases.
Additionally, any bicycles with 15mm, 20mm, 24mm, 25mm thru-axles, Cannondale Lefty fork, Maverick, and any other non-traditional fork mount skewer designs can be transported by simply attaching and tightening in place any various bike fork adapters to the BOA quick-release skewer mechanism (all bicycle fork adapters sold separately; see accessory add-ons below). The 8001141 Yakima BikerBar truck bike rack also features full-system locking security using the included four-pack of Yakima SKS locks and keys, which lock each bicycle to the BikerBar bike rack, as well as locking the entire BikerBar system, itself, to the pickup truck.
5. Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack
Quick loading bike carrier for pickups carries one bike without the hassle of removing the front wheel and fits 20” to 29” wheel sizes.
The Thule 501 Insta-Gater bike rack for pick-up trucks is the quickest loading bike rack available, using the SecureHook ratcheting tire hook that grabs the front tire behind the fork to securely hold one bike in place with no contact to the frame. The 501 InstaGater easily installs in the bed of your pickup truck by simply opening the tailgate, setting the carrier on the pickup truckbed with the Insta-Gator tailgate anchor between the tailgate and the bed, and closing the tailgate. The ratcheting straps easily secure the bicycle carrier in place.
Lock your bike inside the bike rack using a Thule lock cylinder (sold separately). Room enough in truck beds for multiple Insta-Gaters, carry two bikes in smaller sized pickup truck beds and up to three in a full size truck bed. The InstaGator accommodates all types of bicycles, even single front forks like the Lefty, bikes with disc brakes, BMX bicycles, road bikes and downhill mountain bikes including 29ers. Fits any bike wheels from 20″ to 29″ (virtually all bikes fit within this measurement range). Please note: truck bed must be long enough to fit bike standing up with front wheel on.
6. Thule Locking Low-Rider Bike Carrier
The Thule 821XT Low-Rider locking bike rack features a premium locking 9mm quick-release skewer for total security as well as bicycle transport stability. A versatile permanently mounting bike rack for all kinds of flat surfaces including pickup truckbeds, RV’s and campers, boats, trailers etc. Compatible with any disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles. Fork adapters also available. Lock & keys included.
The Thule 821XT Locking Low-Rider bike rack features a premium locking 9mm quick-release skewer for total security as well as bicycle transport stability. Thule lock cylinder & keys included (inserts into quick-release skewer). The locking Thule 821XT Low-Rider is a permanently mounting bike rack for all kinds of flat surfaces including pickup truckbeds, RV’s and campers, boats, trailers etc. Also ideal for attaching to wooden 2 x 4 and mounting to wall for a cheap and easy bike storage rack. Locking Thule 821XT Low-Rider bike rack accommodates all disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles (see accessory add-ons below for fork adapters to use with other styles/sizes of thru-axles, Cannondale Lefty, Maverick etc). Recommended mounting hardware: 1/4″ or 6MM bolts or screws, fender washers and locking nuts. Thule lock cylinder & keys included (inserts into quick-release skewer).
- High-quality, corrosion-resistant heavy duty metal construction.
- Includes a premium locking 9mm quick-release fork mount skewer that both locks the bicycle and firmly holds bike in place for total stability during transport
- Accommodates all disc-brake / suspension combinations with standard 9mm axles (see accessory add-ons below for fork adapters to use with other styles/sizes of axles, Cannondale Lefty, Maverick etc).
- The locking Thule 821XT LowRider is an ideal permanently mounting pickup truck bike rack. Besides mounting to pickup truckbeds it is also ideal for mounting to all kinds of flat surfaces including RV’s and campers, boats, trailers etc. Also great for attaching to wooden 2 x 4 and mounting to wall for a bike storage rack.
- Recommended mounting hardware: 1/4″ or 6MM bolts or screws, fender washers and locking nuts.
- This application requires drilling holes into the mounting surface. A drill and drill bits are recommended to tighten down the screws and nuts or bolts, whichever you prefer for mounting to your intended surface.
- Thule lock cylinder & keys included (inserts into quick-release skewer).
- Easy-to-follow Thule 821XT Locking Low-Rider installation instructions manual included.
- Thule Racks Lifetime Warranty!
Truck Bed Bike Rack Buyers’ Guide
There are many different types of truck bed bike racks on the market, so it’s important to do your research and find out what will work best for you. You should start by deciding how often you plan to use your rack, as well as how much storage space is available in your vehicle’s trailer hitch receiver. If you need something more heavy duty that can be used frequently or if you have a large truck with lots of room in the rear bumper area then an aluminum model might work better for you than a cheaper steel one. Weight capacity also plays into this decision because heavier models typically support higher weight capacities, but they may be larger which means more limited trunk space when not in use.
Number Of Bikes You Can Carry
You need to first figure out how many bikes you can carry with the truck bed bike rack that you are planning to purchase. Most racks can only carry one or two bikes at a time, however there are also some that can hold up to four.
Maximum Weight Capacity
Secondly, you need to figure out what the maximum weight capacity of the bike rack is. This will be an important number that you should know before purchasing because it can help ensure your investment in a new unit won’t get destroyed when carrying bikes with too high of weights.
Most racks have capacities between 100-150 lbs., but there are also some models that support up to 200 pounds and more for those who want their truck bed bike rack to last as long as possible without breaking down from heavy use or overloading.
The truck bike rack should be made from only premium quality materials otherwise it will break down and fall apart sooner than you might have anticipated.
The best material to look for is stainless steel because it’s strong, sturdy and won’t rust or break down anytime soon. Other materials such as aluminum may be more affordable but they are not nearly as durable and will deteriorate much quicker than you might think.
So when shopping around make sure the bike rack is made from quality grade stainless steel that can hold up to heavy use over time without breaking down like other types of metals would do in only a few months.
The rack should have mechanism in place that makes it difficult for potential thief to steal it that easily.
Some racks will have locks that require a key to release the lock and open up the bike rack for use. Others are more sophisticated with an electronic locking mechanism that requires a code or password of some kind in order for it to work.
Most likely, you should invest your money into one of these higher-end models if security is important to you because they tend not be as easy for potential thieves to steal from.
Locking mechanisms provide peace of mind knowing your valuable bikes won’t just disappear when locked on there all day long while you go about your daily business at home or work – plus this also prevents someone else from stealing them off the back end of your truck bed.
This is a no-brainer and should go without saying, but when it comes to choosing a truck bed bike rack for your vehicle, you should always do some research on the manufacturer before buying.
In doing so, you can avoid purchasing an inferior product that may not last very long or work as advertised – which will just leave you feeling frustrated in the end.
Many of these companies have websites full of reviews from their customers who are often more than happy to share their experience with using each product they purchased from there.
Another option would be to look up customer service contact information like phone numbers or emails where people could potentially get answers about concerns related to an individual model’s durability or functionality issues in general.
How frequently, you are planning to use this truck bed bike rack is going to play a big factor in what type of model you should buy. For example, if you plan on using it for a lot of heavy duty purposes like hauling surf boards and kayaks, or even transporting motorcycles to the local dirt track every week without fail, then something that is strong but not too expensive would be your best bet since there will be no room for anything other than what you’re advertising.
If you only use this once a month when camping with some friends who have bikes they want take along as well; then an inexpensive model may suffice based on its infrequent usage profile.