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Many of the best bike trails are at least an hour drive away from the big cities, so if you want to get there, you need a solution that lets you haul your bike on your pickup truck. One of the best ways to do this is with a bicycle rack for pickup trucks.
After all, truck beds are great tools to transport big and bulky things, such as bicycles. A pickup truck bed is strong, has a high carrying capacity, and offers lots of possible mounting spots to install a truck bike rack.
To help you find the best truck bed bike rack, we surveyed the market and came up with a list of the best options. We also provided a helpful buying guide at the end so you can make an informed decision as to which bike rack works best for your needs. Let’s start!
Key Features of a Truck Bed Bike Rack
First of all, what makes for a good truck bed bike rack? For us, the best bike rack for trucks is one that works for all your needs in terms of:
- How many bikes you need to carry
- How often you will be using the bed bike rack
- The level of security that it offers
- Where you want to store it
- Its build quality, functionality, and versatility.
We will talk about all of these important points in more detail later on so you can find a truck bed bike rack that works well for you. But for now, let’s take a look at the best bike racks for pickup trucks in 2021.
Top 10 Truck Bed Bike Racks
Here’s a review of the top ten truck bed bike racks we found:
Swagman Pickup Fork Mount Bike Rack
Our top pick is the Swagman Pickup Fork Mount Bike Rack, which is a simple yet elegant pickup truck bike rack that features an innovative design with a stainless steel bar that is made to be telescoping and comes with rubber end pads in order to grip the truck bed rails.
This rack features two bicycle fork mount blocks that are spaced along the steel bar with 9-millimeter quick-release skewers. This means you only have to remove your bicycle’s front wheel, then mount your bike fork to the bar block, and it’s perfectly ready for travel. You can even reposition the fork blocks if you want to add another accessory block.
All in all, it’s a simple and easy option that can be installed in a straightforward fashion without the need for special tools. It’s also compact, lightweight, and easy to store when you’re not using it.
- Simple and easy installation
- Lightweight and compact construction
- Designed for securing the front fork
- Can accommodate most bikes
- Prevents damage during transport
- 35lb capacity per block
Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier
In second place is the Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier, which comes from a reputable brand when it comes to truck and car racks. This truck bed bike carrier is styled elegantly, built to high standards, and features an innovative design that really makes the most of your truck bed’s unique qualities- aka the bottom hinge tailgate and flat load floor.
It features clips that easily slip through the gap between the bed floor and tailgate when it’s open, and locks in place when it’s closed. You just have to snug up the clips with webbing to make for a secure mount. And since this makes for a compact arrangement, you can fit up to three racks in a full-size pickup if you lay them side by side.
With the way this is designed, you can mount your bike by fitting the front wheel in a chock by the bottom part of the rack, then secure it with the use of a ratcheting grip which grabs the top part of the wheel. Meaning, there is zero rubbings or frame contact.
- Elegant and simple function and design
- Easy tool-free installation
- Lockable security with One-Key system lock
- Allows for multiple bike rack usage
Rage Powersports Apex 4-Bike Truck Bed Bicycle Rack
Taking the third spot is the Rage Powersports Apex 4-Bike Truck Bed Bicycle Rack, which can conveniently accommodate up to four bicycles, making it the ideal choice for a family of cyclists. It’s made with a strong steel tube with a black coating to make the rack durable and give it a nice, high-quality finish.
It’s not a lightweight bike rack by any means, but it’s easy to install since you don’t need to do any drilling. It also measures 15 by 15 by 25 inches, so it will fit inside a lot of truck beds that are between 52.75 to 73 inches in width. It’s also suitable for trucks with and without liners.
What we really like about this, however, is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can return it without a hassle for just about any reason. Not to mention, there’s also the one year manufacturer’s warranty that protects your investment.
- Exceptionally easy installation with bolts and stoppers
- Can easily accommodate 4 bikes
- Foam padding for security and protection
- V-bracket shaped clamp to secure each bike
- Can be used with a tie-down strap
Here’s an article about how foam pads are made from polyester through foam fabrication.
Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block 1 Bicycle Fork Mount
If you want a much simpler and space-saving solution, we highly recommend the Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block 1 Bicycle Fork Mount, which is highly versatile thanks to its practical and simple design that lets you use it as a truck bed bike mount, wall mount, floor mount, or inside car rack- whatever suits your fancy.
It’s heavy-duty and durable, from the skewer down to the frame and the bolts that are used to hold down the mount. That said, the entire setup measures 7.3 by 3.2 by 3.6 inches, and weighs only 12 ounces, mostly due to its lightweight steel construction.
This mount comes pre-assemble, meaning, you simply have to fix it to any surface you prefer. All this makes the mount easy to install and easy to adjust.
- Secures your bicycle by its fork
- Makes use of 1pc 9mm skewer
- Works for bikes with detachable front wheel
- Excellent grip and movement prevention
- Highly affordable, value for money option
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack
Ranking fifth is the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack, a drop-in above truck bed bike rack that boasts of a four-bike capacity. It looks a lot like bike racks in front of public establishments and works pretty much the same way, too.
That’s because this rack is designed to securely hold the front or rear tire of your bike in between angled metal bars, and it comes with a reliable lockable cable that you can use to secure your bike to the bike rack for a reasonable level of protection, especially against theft.
This is a versatile bike rack that you can also use as a garage floor standing bike rack. Of course, you can simply disassemble and store it if you’re not planning on using it. Either way, this rack is quick and easy to install and take apart without having to use any tools, since it only makes use of finger-tightened wingnuts to secure the rack between your truck bed walls.
- Simple, straightforward design
- Easy tool-free installation
- Can fit up to 4 bikes
- Reliable security with lockable cable
INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack
Now, the Heininger may be a little too big for many of us who need the space for other cargo, so if you want a more compact option that won’t sacrifice cargo space, one of the best options is the INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack, which is designed to mount to the bedside rail of your truck- all without the need for tools and drilling holes.
It’s a highly economical option that comes as a pair of grippers which you only need to mount once before promptly forgetting that they exist. Though, to be fair, you do need to regularly tighten the top bolt since it may get loose due to vibrations.
What you’re getting here are two pieces of mounts with a set of D-rings and ratcheting holders for each mount. These are what you’ll use to attach the rack to the truck, and you can use the D-rings if you want to attach extra tie-down straps to better secure your bicycle (and plenty of other cargo as well).
- Exceptionally versatile design and construction
- Also works for securing heavy load and cargo
- Convenient space-saving solution
- Easy to mount and use
Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack
Another promising option is the Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack, which really pushes the limits of conventional design in terms of both aesthetics and functionality, which are two really important things in the limited space of a truck bed.
This pickup bed bike rack is one highly modifiable system that grips your bike frame rather than the wheels or fork, meaning, there’s no need to remove your wheels before securing the bike to your truck bed. Plus, it’s super versatile- the two-bike rack, for example, lets you affix extra pieces for as much as four bikes.
All you have to do is attach the rack to either side rail of your truck bed using a firm clamp. It works for over-the-rail liners, and you can pivot and rotate the arm to let the outside clamps easily grip any part of your bike frame. This single attachment point may seem flimsy, but the reality is far from that- this rack is as stable as it gets.
- Quick and easy to install without mounting tools
- Fits any size and type of truck
- Relatively lightweight construction
- Highly affordable, value for money option
- Lockable cable included
Saris Kool 2-Bike Truck Bed Mount Rack
You might also want to consider the Saris Kool 2-Bike Truck Bed Mount Rack, a classic, no-frills truck bike mount archetype that doesn’t overload you with lots of bells and whistles. Instead, it gives you a tried and tested solution that gets the job done at all times.
This classic design means you can secure your bike through the fork itself, and it comes with one rock-solid attachment for transport. It also has a two-bicycle capacity, which is great for two-seater pickup cabs. Besides, you can easily add optional mounts to carry additional bikes.
Perhaps the only issue we have with this rack is that it requires you to remove your bicycle wheels prior to mounting, which just means extra labor while you’re prepping for transport. That said, it’s not really a big issue since most modern bikes feature quick snap on-off wheels.
- Adjustable bar accommodates different truck bed widths
- Environmentally-friendly construction with recyclable materials
- Easy mounting with quick-release skewers
- 2 high friction pads for drill-free installation
Titan Ramps Pickup Truck Bed Box Mounted Carrier
Don’t forget to also check out the Titan Ramps Pickup Truck Bed Box Mounted Carrier, an exceptionally high capacity truck bed bike holder that you and your family or friends can use for up to four different sized bicycles.
Much like most, if not all, of the other truck bed bike racks, we reviewed above, this model also installs within minutes and doesn’t require you to use any tools. It also conveniently fits into small and full-size truck beds alike.
Plus, it’s sure to keep your bicycles protected from the bike rack, truck bed, and each other thanks to the foam padding that effectively stabilizes the wheels while also protecting the frame. All in all, it’s a superior option that’s a definite must-try.
- Steel tube frame construction
- Adjustable width design
- Can fit in various sized trucks
- Made with removable spacers
- Suitable for road and mountain bikes
Pipeline Racks Truck Bed Bike Rack
Finally, we also have the Pipeline Racks Truck Bed Bike Rack, which is one quickest and easiest to use pickup bike racks available today. All you have to do here is to roll the bike’s front wheel onto the rack, then attach a few straps. That’s it!
This convenient model has a two-bicycle capacity, where you can load your bikes side by side. You can also adjust it to accommodate 0.75 to 2.8 inch wide tires, making it a great option for road bikes, mountain bikes, and even modest fat-tire bikes.
Not to forget, the aluminum channel rail construction is also commendable, which is quite similar to today’s bike rack systems for bed rails. It’s also easy to install, doesn’t necessitate the use of tools or drills, and fits truck beds with cabs that are at least 50 inches wide.
- Easy tool-free installation
- Can mount bikes without removing the front wheel
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Easy to remove and store
Truck Bed Bike Rack Buying Guide
Truck bed bike racks offer lots of benefits:
- You can take your bike anywhere by conveniently loading it up and hauling it on your truck bed, thereby allowing you the freedom of hitting faraway bike trails without having to bike all the way.
- It’s a safer and more solution to simply propping the bike in the trunk bed without any support. Truck bed bike racks protect your bike and your truck so the bike doesn’t toss around, fling out, fall down, or scratch the bed, or get scratched.
- Since this truck rail is mounted on the truck bed, it frees up your trailer hitch, which means you can haul other equipment and gear around the bike, or pull an RV, camper, or small trailer. You can carry more than one bike, too.
- The beauty of truck bed bike rack is they can be removed and used elsewhere, such as inside the garage by mounting the rack on the floor. Therefore, it can function as a bike stand for repairs or storage.
All that said, there are some things you need to factor in when buying a bike rack:
Type of Truck Bed Bike Rack
There are two types of bike racks for truck beds: fixed and adjustable.
Fixed racks, as the name suggests, are fixed in place in order to hold your bike. These are popular options that typically consist of an extended metal pole or rod spanning along the width of your truck bed so it securely holds.
Using this type of rack typically means having to remove your front wheel in order to insert the rack into grooves where your tire would go. Although, some racks directly attach to one side of the truck bed in order to hold your bike frame. There are many different designs available, in varying bike capacities, most of which are easy to set up.
Meanwhile, adjustable racks feature extendable arms that are used to lock down your bicycle frame or tire. Since these are designed to clasp onto the tire rubber, there’s no need to remove the wheel. The only downside is that an adjustable rack is often bulky and tricky to set up.
Frequency of Use
You also have to figure out how often you are likely to use the bicycle rack, mostly since you wouldn’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a bike rack that you might only use once a year, or even once in its entire lifetime. While we don’t often advocate for cheap products, you really don’t have to worry about durability if you’ll only use the bike rack once.
That said, if you want to visit trails and paths every weekend and drive the way there, you’ll need a higher quality bike rack that will last for quite a long time. It should also be resistant to corrosion and rust if it will be a permanent fixture on your truck bed, or easy to remove and fit if you will take it off often.
Number of Bikes / Carrying Capacity
This one’s a no-brainer. If you want to carry more bikes, such as when going on family trips or going on an adventure with your friends, you need a bike rack with a matching capacity or at least a rack that you can modify to accommodate more bicycles.
Realistically speaking, your bike rack should at least have the capacity for two bicycles to allow you to spend time with a cycling buddy.
Security is also an important factor to prevent your bicycle from getting stolen during the time that it’s sitting on the truck bed. There are different levels of security, and the right one for you really boils down to how likely you are to leave your bicycle unattended, and for how long.
For instance, some bed bike racks lock your bike to the rack, while others take it further and lock into the back of the truck, making it quite difficult to steal both the rack and your bike. You’ll also find racks that lock your bike in position, lock to the truck, or with no locking features at all.
Even if you buy a pickup bike rack with little to no security features, it’s always a good idea to at least use a locking system, like a cable bike lock, to secure the bike to your truck, especially since most bicycle trails are isolated or secluded, meaning thieves don’t have to worry about someone spotting them while they try to lift your bike.
One of the things that will determine whether a bicycle rack is suitable for your truck and bike, as well as how easy the rack will be to install, is its mounting mechanism- particularly, the truck bed mount and the bike mount.
Truck Bed Mount
For the truck bed, there are many different ways of mounting, but some of these may not work for your truck. To give you an idea, some truck bike racks will extend from one-bed side to another in order to secure the rack, some slide in that tiny gap between the tailgate and truck bed (in which case you’ll need a tailgate lock as anti-theft protection).
Moreover, some racks are only intended for beds without over-the-rail bed liners, and others require drilling holes for installation.
Now, when it comes to the bike mount, there are pretty much two ways this can happen: either the bike is held by the wheel or by the fork. Both of these are secure methods that prevent your bike from swaying or tipping during transport.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is that wheel-mounted racks let you haul your bike without removing the front wheel since these make use of armbars that clamp to the wheel. On the other hand, fork-mounted racks are intended to fit into the fork grooves, meaning, taking off the wheel is a must.
Range of Applications
Now, while a truck mount bike rack is mainly intended to carry bicycles, it’s always a great thing if you can also use it for other things, such as securing extra cargo. For example, bar-type bike racks that use force to keep its position or secure to the bed lining are essentially just support bars that you can use to hold belongings in place during transport.
That said, it’s only beneficial if you will often use the truck bed for other functions, and are willing to keep the bike rack inside the truck at all times, in which case you need better security features and better weatherproofing.
As you have seen above, some pickup bed bike racks are big, some are small. Bar-type racks and bike mounts, for example, take up little room, allowing you to carry more cargo, then conveniently store the rack in the truck, or somewhere in your garage. Meanwhile, bike stands are considerably bigger, and more often than not are fixed in place.
If you plan on regularly removing the bike rack from the truck bed, you need to have a plan on where to store it, meaning, you have to consider storage space.
Brand and Reputation
When it comes to bicycle racks, the brand is always a good indication of quality. Established bike rack manufacturers are backed by their stellar reputation, which means thousands of stratified customers that are happy with good quality products.
We listed down some of the most popular bike rack brands, but aside from that, a good way to tell whether the bike rack you’re planning to buy is worth the investment is by reading customer reviews on online forums, selling sites, and social media.
Keep in mind, however, that not everyone will be happy with even the best products on the market, so you need to set your expectations straight, and weigh the good and the bad.
The Thule company was founded in 1942 in Sweden. This brand specializes in accessory mounts for bicycles, kayaks, and skis. They also have a wide collection of backpacks, tents, and other outdoor gear.
Yakima is a USA-based company that started as a small machine shop in Washington, before soon getting purchased by two businessmen who redirected the brand’s focus onto cycling. Today, the company manufactures a wide range of bike racks, cargo pads, roof racks, and many other carrier accessories.
Swagman has its roots in British Columbia, more specifically in the Okanagan Valley. Ever since its foundation in the early 1990s, the brand has designed a wide selection of products that allow customers to transport equipment for outdoor adventures.
Bicycle racks for pickup trucks are available in a wide range of prices. The cost is dictated by a lot of factors, such as the style and size of the rack, along with the popularity of the brand. Generally, truck-mounted bike racks are the cheapest, but even so, you need to set a budget of how much you’re willing to work with, then start from there.
Again, you also have to consider whether you really need to buy a bike rack and if you can make do with a cheaper model. And remember, you need to make sure that the rack can actually fit in the truck bed and securely hold your bicycle.
To give you an idea, bike racks under $100 are smaller and feature simpler designs. These usually have a 1-bike capacity and may require drilling holes for installation. At the $100 to $200 price range, better quality racks start to pop up, which are made with robust frames, feature enhanced locking mechanisms and can carry more bicycles.
Finally, at the higher end of the spectrum, you’ll find larger, sturdier, and more durable mounts that have a higher weight capacity and can even carry other large equipment like rooftop tents, surfboards, and kayaks.
Other Types of Bike Racks
What if a truck bed bike rack doesn’t quite work for you?
For example, if you drive a vehicle that doesn’t have a truck bed, or you own an SUV that has a trailer hitch, or maybe a Jeep with a spare tire, even a compact sedan that doesn’t have a roof rack or a hitch, what then? The good news is, there are plenty of other solutions, such as spare tire bike racks, trunk bike racks, hitch bike racks, and roof mount bike racks.
Hitch Mount Bike Racks
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to haul your bicycles is with a hitch cargo trailer that is designed to attach to your vehicle’s 1 ¼ or 2-inch hitch receiver. It’s easy to install, and more often than not, can carry up to five bicycles.
There are even a few options that mount around the receiver or onto the trailer ball mount, which means you can have free access to your hitch, thereby allowing you to mount other accessories or pull a trailer. Some models also feature swing-away or tilt down designs, also to offer full access to your cargo area, hatchback, or trunk.
Roof Mount Bike Racks
Another popular option is the roof mount bike rack, which allows you to mount your bicycle overhead, giving you full use of the vehicle’s receiver hitch. You might not even have to buy a specially designed bicycle rack if your car already has a roof rack; you’ll just need some padding and lots of tie-downs to secure your ride.
That said, a specialized roof rack will either secure your bicycle by the tires, frame, or front fork, so in some cases, you might have to remove the front tire. One downside is the limited space, which means you only get to carry one bike at a time, although you can mount several roof bike carriers on the vehicle roof.
Trunk Mount Bike Racks
Since roof racks and hitches are not available on all cars, you also have the option of using a trunk-mounted bike rack, which is a versatile bicycle carrier that you can mount to pretty much any type of vehicle, from minivans and SUVs to compacts and sedans.
This type of rack is easy to install, assemble, and mount to the rear of the car in just a few minutes with the use of padded backrests and adjustable straps. It also comes in different variants, from simpler and more economic designs to top-end models with superior features.
The best part, however, (aside from the ease of use and the universal design) is that a trunk mount rack typically has a three-bike capacity.
Spare Tire Bike Racks
If your car or SUV has a rear-mounted spare tire, you can make the most out of it by adding a spare tire bicycle rack. This is designed to securely attach to your vehicle by bolting through the spare wheel.
Installation is, for the most part, snug and secure, plus it keeps you hitch-free for accessories or trailers. Moreover, a spare tire bike rack can usually carry two bicycles at a time.
Finally, there are also conversion bars, which let you carry full-suspension bicycles with Y-frames, as well as step-through women’s bikes. This is something that a trunk-mounted or hitch-mounted bicycle carrier has difficulty doing since these two types are intended to grab the bicycle frame by its top bar.
Whereas, a conversion bar bolts to your seat post and gooseneck in order to form a temporary top tube that the bike carrier can easily grab. Basically, it’s easy to install since it hangs cleanly between the seat and handlebars of the bike. It can also be adjusted to fit a wide variety of bicycles, from kids’ bikes to rock hoppers and fat-tire bikes.
Bike Rack Comparison: at a glance
Each of these options come with their own pros and cons. For instance, roof racks come in different sizes, but all alter your vehicle’s aerodynamics and affect upper clearance, making it problematic to enter some garages. Besides, a roof rack makes it difficult to reach your gear and cargo, since you need to do a bit of climbing.
Trunk carriers and fold-up bike racks are better for this, but they still present a few disadvantages, like perhaps limiting access to the cargo door.
A spare tire bike rack would address this issue, but it will also make the door heavier, which is problematic if the rear door is designed to open vertically. Another solution would be to use hitch mount carriers that swing away from your cargo door to give you full access to trunk space, meaning you can carry more luggage.
Finding the right truck bed bicycle rack can be a difficult task. For one thing, there are literally hundreds of different options on the market, all of them promising the best, but not all capable of delivering the level of quality and functionality you expect.
As such, it’s important to keep in mind a few important factors so you can make an informed decision as to what’s really important for you when it comes to a bicycle rack. Thankfully, with the wide range of available options, finding the best truck bed bike rack that perfectly suits your needs is not impossible.
Just remember that you base your decision on what you need and what works for you, not for other people who won’t be using your rack.