The bicycle, invented as early as the 1800s, has long been an important means of transportation. It helps decongest traffic and also helps the environment. But apart from helping you go from Point A to Point B, cycling is also an excellent recreational activity.
When it comes to riding your bike for leisure, a lot of people prefer exploring the great outdoors. There’s only so little you can go to if you live in the city or in the suburbs. The trouble now is, how do you go to a National Park though? You might be up to the task of riding your bike but before you can reach the area, you’d probably be winded already.
The next problem now is how to transport your bike. You can always use your pick up truck, it’s got a huge bed. Yes, you can definitely use your truck but it’s not going to be as easy as placing your bike onto the bed like any other item. Not to worry, there are many options for safe bicycle transportation on pick up trucks.
Choosing the Right Option
Before you get started, you need to consider several factors when thinking about how to transport your bike in a pick up truck. This includes the specifications of your pick up truck to your bicycle. Here are some things you need to take note of:
Not all bike racks and mounts are created equal. You might end up with one that can make you think it was made to frustrate you. Be sure to check how user-friendly the mount is before you purchase it, read reviews of other cyclists.
Again, mounts are not the same when it comes to usage. Some are easier where you just need to place your bicycle tires in slots while others are a bit complicated and might require a bit of disassembling (such as removing the bike seat).
Will you be cycling on your own or with your family and friends? Some mounts and racks can accommodate a limited number of bicycles, one to two, while others can handle up to 5. And you might think that choosing the highest capacity is the best choice since it gives you the option to handle a single bike or more, it’s not always the case.
You have to understand that some mounts or racks will have a stability issue if it’s meant for 6 and you only put one. It can put your bike and rack off-balance and might not be the safest choice.
Remember that bicycles have different weights. A mountain bike will definitely be heavier than a road bike or hybrid bike. So, just make sure that the rack or mount you choose can actually handle the weight of your bike.
Bike Mounts and Racks for Pick Up Trucks
Now that you have considered the important factors when choosing how to transport your bike in a pick up truck, it’s time to get to business. You can choose from the following mounts and racks for your truck and bike:
Also known as a wheel mount, the roll-on mount is a secure and stable option for pick up trucks. It has a clamp that goes around the sides of your bicycle’s wheel and it is positioned on your truck’s bed. The only trouble with the roll-on mount is it’s quite bulky.
Although rail mounts take up little space in storage, they can take a lot of time to install on your truck’s bed. It’s not ideal if you want a grab-and-go situation when going on cycling trips. Some models even require permanent installation on your truck. There are 2 horizontal rods attached to your bed where the rail mount will be attached. You’ll definitely see your bicycle in your rearview mirror when driving.
A little elbow grease is required with the fork mount as it will require attachment to your bicycles axle. This means that you need to remove your bicycle’s front tire. Also, fork mounts only work on a specific type of bike axle. The good thing about the fork mount is it’s quite small and will require little space on your truck.
Unlike the central roll-on mount, the side clamp is attached to the side of your bed. It is easy to install, usually just by clamping and can work on pretty much different styles of trucks. The drawback to the side clamp is only a maximum of 2 can be installed on your pick up, one on each side. So, it’s definitely not ideal for families and groups.
This is a no-fuss solution on how to transport your bike in a pick up truck. The best tailgate pad is just thrown or draped over your truck. How it works is the pad is placed on the tailgate or the backdoor of the bed. You can now place your bike onto the pad, one wheel inside the bed and the other wheel outside.
There’s also the option of DIY-ing your bike transportation. You can do a makeshift of one of the following bike mounts or racks mentioned or think outside the box. It can be as simple as using tie-down straps.
Best Way to Transport Your Bike in a Pick Up Truck
Now that you know the different options on how to transport your bike in a pickup truck, you can now make an informed decision. For bike riders who are on the go and want something hassle-free and at the same time secure and won’t require truck alterations, a tailgate pad just might be your best bet.