Gone are the days when transporting your bike from the garage to the trailhead meant potentially damaging your bike or pickup truck enroute, or when loading and unloading. Thankfully, there are plenty of truck bed bike racks that allow a secure and safe transport for your bike.
Many truck bed bike racks are simple to use and help prevent damage to your bike or your vehicle. We scoured up the best truck bed bike racks for your truck bed and rounded up our top ten picks for racks that hold one bike, four bikes, or more. Read on for useful information you need for the best of the best truck bed bike racks which will help you make an informed decision about your next bike rack purchase.
Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier
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Heininger Automotive BedRack
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RockyMounts LoBall Track Locking Truck Mount
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9 Best Truck Bed Bike Rack Reviews In 2023
1. Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier – Best Overall
The Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier is a durable, expertly designed, and simple-to-use bike rack. It fully fastens a single bike by securing around the front wheel. Any bike with a wheel that measures between 20” – 29” in diameter and 3” wide are the perfect fit for this unit. This rack all but eliminates any potential damage to the bike frame with its no-frame-contact design. Simply lift or lower the ratcheting arm over your front wheel and you’re ready to roll. The rack features an easy, no drill instal and the simple loading and unloading process paired with the flawless design meets most of our needs. Depending on the width of your bed, you can install up to three Insta-Gaters, making it a great option for solo and group riders alike. Although a lock is not included, a Thule lock cylinder is compatible with the rack and will help prevent your bike being stolen. With a lifetime warranty, you’ll have this rack for the long haul.
Features: front-wheel hold, ratchet arm, durable design
- Tool-free instal
- Easy to load and unload
- Eliminates potential for frame damage
- Sturdy design
- Secure hold
- While the rack doesn’t have a lock, it accommodates the Thule One-Key lock cylinder which is sold separately
2. Heininger SportsRack BedRack – Most Versatile Rack
For those looking for a simple install and versatile rack, the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack holds up to four bikes, and extends from 54.5” to 72.5”, you’ll just need to use the included spacers. Featuring rubber, non-skid, and adjustable components, the rack fits firmly in most compact and full size trucks and is simple to install without any tools. You don’t have to remove your wheel to use the rack, so loading and unloading is quick and easy. Heininger Automotive thought of everything because they designed the rack so it can also be used as a freestanding bike rack and holds bikes with rim sizes up to 28” securely in place. The rack comes with a lockable cable to protect both your bikes and the rack and has padding to prevent scratches to the vehicle and the bike. The unit was built to last and the lifetime warranty will ensure you enjoy the rack for years to come.
Features: extendible from 54.5” to 72.5”, tool-free assembly, easy loading and unloading, and can be used as a freestanding rack
- Multi-functional with the ability to use it as a freestanding rack
- No tools assembly
- Includes lockable cable
- Easy to use
- It can take up a lot of space, so keep that in mind if you have less than four bikes
3. RockyMounts LoBall Track Locking Truck Mount – Best Lockable Mount
The RockyMounts LoBall Track Locking Truck Mount attaches to your truck channel system to secure one bike. The unit is easily installed and comes with all the required hardware. One of our favorite things about this rack is the locking feature, which few other bike racks incorporate into their design, so we appreciate the inclusion in this mount. The rack is made with rugged stainless steel and is corrosion- and UV-resistant so you don’t have to worry about leaving it attached to your truck for months on end. With strict attention to detail, this mount was built to last and firmly holds most bikes with a 9mm fork mount and is easily installed with the included hardware. Bikes attach quickly and securely ensuring a smooth trip to the trailhead. If you have two bikes or more to haul, additional units can easily be installed.
Features: functional lock and key, weatherproof, durable, required hardware included
- Includes lock and key to help prevent theft
- Comes with all necessary hardware
- Easy to install
- Will withstand most weather conditions
- Since the mount attaches to channel systems, double check the requirements to make sure it will accommodate your vehicle
4. Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount – Most Customizable
The Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount is a sturdy, stainless steel, telescoping bar mount that can hold up to two bikes and fits into most compact and full size trucks. Weighing just over 13 pounds, it’s not the lightest bike rack we’ve seen, but it is the easiest to reposition your bikes to accommodate extra gear or other bikes. The fork blocks can slide up and down the main bar so you can position and reposition your two bikes as needed. The durable rubber padding on the mount helps prevent scratches to your truck during the instal and the mount fixes easily to the walls while the rod remains firmly in place. To use, remove the front wheel of your bike and attach it using the fork mount and you’re ready to hit the trail head. The rack is sturdy, well designed, and leaves plenty of room in the bed for additional cargo if needed.
Features: durable andadjustable rod, easy installation, repositionable fork blocks
- Can shift bikes along the bar
- Fits into most trucks
- Fast and easy to install
- Simple to use
- It accommodates most bikes, but be sure to check out the specs to make sure your bike will fit
5. YAKIMA Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad – Best Tailgate Rack
The YAKIMA Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad comes in two sizes to carry either five or six bikes depending on the model you choose. With a secure, integrated strap management system, the durable and rugged over-the-tailgate bike rack holds the front wheel outside of the pickup truck and secures the frame and rear wheel safely in the bed. The thick nylon pad is weatherproof, abrasion-resistant, and helps prevent your vehicle and bike from getting scratched or damaged when loading, unloading, and transporting. The bike frames rest in cushion cradles while the durable neoprene straps hold it securely in place. When not in use, the pad can be folded and easily stored. If you have a backup camera, simply tuck the flap and you’ll be in the clear.
Features: velcro closure system, cushion cradles, neoprene straps, weatherproof
- Helps prevent damage to your truck and bike
- Easy to use
- Simple, tool-free instal
- If you have trouble lifting your bike to shoulder-height, you may want to enlist some help from a friend to hoist your bike into your truck
- The back tires may shift during the drive, so securing them with rope or cords may help prevent damage or movement
6. Demon Tailgate Pad – Most Affordable Tailgate Pad
The Demon Tailgate Pad securely holds up to five bikes and is an affordable alternative to other midsize truck tailgate pads. Since it can accommodate most bike frames, you can bring your entire crew along without having to remove wheels or install multiple racks. Additionally, the over-the-tailgate cover comes with two interior pockets to hold tools and other equipment you may need before hitting the trail. The plush ¾” padding with a durable vinyl exterior helps protect both your vehicle and bike from scratches and holds firmly in place with strong web cinch straps that thread under the tailgate. A flap in the middle of the pad allows easy access to the tailgate handle so you don’t have to worry about not being able to open and close your tailgate.
Features: durable vinyl, ample padding, tool pockets, and velcro holds
- Helps prevent truck and bike damage
- Easy, tool-free instal
- Simple loading and unloading
- Tool pockets
- There is no cradle for the bike frame to securely rest in, but the durable velcro straps hold the frame in place nicely
- If you have trouble lifting your bike to shoulder-height, you may want to enlist a friend to load your bike into the truck
- The rear tires may shift during the drive, so securing them with rope or cords can help prevent damage or movement
7. INNO Racks RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack – Best Dual Hold Rack
The INNO Racks RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack easily attaches to the side of your truck and secures one bike from the front fork and seat stay. The dual hold results in a super secure grip for most bikes. Each versatile truck bed bike rack holds one bike and does not require the removal of your front wheel, which makes hauling multiple bikes easy. Thanks to its durable ratcheting straps, most bike models are compatible with this rack. Installing the units can be done from outside the vehicle with no drilling required and is simple and quick so you can be on your way to the open road in no time. Once installed, the racks are sturdy and keep bikes firmly in place. With a small profile, the rack leaves plenty of room in your truck bed for two bikes, cargo, and more. You can install more than one set to haul multiple bikes and can easily reposition the mounts if needed. We like this unit for the easy install and functionality.
Features: sturdy, durable design, adjustable rods, ratcheting straps, and simple installation
- Takes up very little room
- Easy, no-drill installation
- Holds most bikes
- A few reviewers have noticed minor scratches from the clamps, but were rare occurrences
8. INNO TR202 Truck Bed Bike Rack – Best Clamp Rack
Similar in both name and features to the previous bike rack, the INNO TR202 Truck Bed Bike Rack will securely mount your bike upright to the side of your truck bed. The low profile racks do not take up much room and leave ample space for extra cargo or additional bikes. The rack is built to last and is made specifically for trucks with C-Channel track systems and includes two durable mounts with ratcheting straps: one to attach to the bike’s front fork and the other intended for the seat stay. Since all hardware is included and no tools are required to install the components, the simple yet effective clamp design makes it easy to attach to your truck and can be done from outside the vehicle. Additionally, you can leave your front tire on when safely securing the bike to the rack. Each clamp features built-in D-rings to allow cable locks to further protect your bike from theft.
Features: durable, adjustable, simple installation, D-rings, small profile
- Easy, tool-free installation
- Doesn’t take up much space in the truck bed
- Accommodates most bike frames
- A lock is not included, but each clamp has space for you to add your own
9. Hollywood T970 Fork Block – Most Durable
The Hollywood T970 Fork Block is a lightweight, durable, heavy duty, single mount rack that can hold most bikes with 100mm front wheel axles. Don’t let its small size fool you, the mount was built for endurance and easily drills into your truck bed with the included hardware. With its 9mm quick release skewer, you’ll waste no time making your way from the truck to the trail head. The low profile, adjustable mount securely holds the bike fork in place and is safe to use when traveling long distances. Made from aluminum to make it as durable as it is light, the racks are expertly designed to withstand harsh elements and have a lifetime warranty, ensuring you will be using this for many seasons. Since the block is fairly small, you can install multiple units in your bed while still having plenty of room for other cargo. While this is a more permanent rack solution, you can attach it to a piece of wood and secure that to your truck bed if you don’t want to keep the rack in your truck.
Features: quick release skewer, durable and aluminum construction
- Easy installation
- Quick release skewer
- The mount attaches to the truck bed using bolts, which some may not want, however, mounting it to a slab of wood and securing in your truck bed can make it easier to remove
10. MBP QR Fork Mount Bike Block – Most Affordable
For those seeking a more permanent bike rack solution in their truck, the MBP QR Fork Mount Bike Block mounts into your truck rail, securing one bike firmly in place. The racks accommodate most bikes that have a standard, quick release 9×100 dropout, making it a fairly versatile rack. Additionally, the loading and unloading process is simple, so you can get to the trails quickly and efficiently. The mount is made with alloy, is exceptionally strong, lightweight, and built to last. The low profile ensures you maintain most of the cargo space in your bed when it’s not in use. Because the unit is fairly small, you may be able to install multiple racks in your truck bed to accommodate additional bikes that have a 9×100 dropout. The durable and rugged design makes this a great, affordable rack option. If having the block permanently in your truck bed doesn’t appeal to you, you can simply mount the block on a piece of wood and secure the wood to the bed when you want to use it.
Features: strong, alloy construction, and quick release skewer.
- Strong and lightweight build
- Fits most bikes with 9×100 dropout
- Quick release
- Low profile
- While the mount does not come with mounting hardware, they are easy to find at your local hardware store or online
What to Consider When Purchasing a Truck Bed Bike Rack
When choosing the best bike rack for your needs, it is important to determine which features are essential and how you want to use the rack. While every truck bed bike rack is designed to haul bikes, not all are created equal and each has unique designs to accommodate different needs. Here are a few considerations you may need to keep in mind during your selection process.
- Number of bikes to haul
- Bike frame design
- Additional cargo
- Semi-permanent vs. easy to remove
- Truck bed size
Number of Bikes to Haul
If you are a solo rider with one bike and always plan on being a solo rider, you probably won’t need a rack that holds up to six bikes. The extra accommodations will simply take up unnecessary space, in which case you should consider a rack that holds a single bike, leaving more of your truck bed available. If, however, you enjoy biking with your family or like to bring along your crew, a bike rack that holds multiple bikes may be more beneficial in the long run and will ensure that bikes arrive at the trailhead intact and ready to ride. See our recent guide on the best bike rack for a Prius.
Not every bike rack accommodates all bike frames. Considering the bike frames you currently have or are planning to get in the future will help determine the best truck bed bike rack for you. Knowing what bike or bikes you will be hauling will help determine the best rack that will keep your bike safe and securely in place without causing damage to the frame.
Some truck bed bike racks take up a lot of space, and leave little room for additional cargo in the bed while others maintain a low profile and offer plenty of space for coolers, tools, and anything else you may need on your way to the trail. Considering how much cargo you want to bring will help you select a rack that provides enough bed space you need for your extra gear.
Semi-Permanent vs. Easy to Remove
While having an awesome bike rack in your truck bed 24/7 is great, you may not need a rack as a permanent feature and want it easily removed (like when your not-so-close friend asks you to help him move because you’re the only one he knows with a truck). Consider a rack that is easily removed or broken down. Having a bike rack or mount that is bolted into your truck bed may be perfect because it will always be in the bed when you’re ready to load up and go. A semi-permanent bike rack means you may not have to reinstall the unit in your truck bed every time you want to hit the trail. However, maybe you need that extra bed space or like a clean, empty truck bed. Whatever floats your boat, consider your preferences so you can select the best bike rack for you. You may also like our guide on the best trunk bike rack guide.
Truck Bed Size
If you have a short truck bed, you may not have room for a rack and a full size bike. Considering a bike rack that requires wheel removal or that drapes a wheel over the tailgate may be your best option. Even if you have a large truck bed, go ahead and grab a tape measure to make sure both your bike and the rack will have enough room in the bed. No one wants to go through the hassle of installing a bike rack only to discover your truck bed doesn’t accommodate your bike and the rack. Save yourself the trouble and do some measuring before you buy.
How to Transport Bikes in a Truck Bed
The variety of options and number of racks available for transporting your bike in the back of your truck can be overwhelming, but once you consider the features and what you need in a bike rack, you can begin to narrow down the choices to determine the best solution for you. In general, there are about three types of pickup truck bed bike racks: tailgate pads, bed mounts, and bed racks.
Tailgate pads drape over your tailgate and hold the front wheel outside the the vehicle while the frame and back wheel remain inside the truck bed. This is typically a solution that accommodates more bikes and requires less effort during the installation and mounting process. A bed mount typically has more variation and can either bolt into your truck bed or clamp or bolt to the side walls.
Typically, bikes remain fully inside the truck and attach to the unit from the front fork or from the frame depending on the design of the mount. Bed racks typically tend to mimic traditional bike racks and hold bikes from either the front or back tire. Some variations clamp around your wheel while others hold the wheel in place with metal bars or spacers. Each of these racks provide a strong and secure hold to transport your bikes safely to the trailhead. You may also like our recent post on the best bike rack for minivan reviews.
It’s up to you to determine which method is right for you based on the size of your truck, if the rack is easy to install, the number of bikes you want to haul, etc.
How to Secure Bikes in a Truck Bed
No matter which bike rack you choose for transporting your bike, it is important to make sure your bike is fully secure in the back of your truck which may require additional materials than the ones provided with your rack purchase.
You don’t want to end up with a damaged bike or truck bed because you didn’t take the time to ensure your bike is properly anchored. Once you secure your bike in the rack of your choice, consider the parts of your bike that are not directly connected to the rack.
Most often, the rear wheel or the frame will need some additional support to ensure your bike remains stationary while enroute to the trail head. Bungie chords, ratchet straps, or ropes are great solutions to tie or anchor your frame or wheel to a sturdy point and will help prevent your bike from shifting or falling during the drive. Always be sure to check your bikes after you mount them to your rack to see if they require additional support to help prevent damage to the bike or your vehicle. Also, after your bike trip, you might want to try going to the lake for a day of fishing. We have listed some of the best truck bed rod holders for your future reference. And if you’re planning to bring your boat with you, our post about the best drop hitch for lifted trucks is a must read for you.
How to Put Bikes in a Truck Bed
A secure bike rack is great, but if you can’t get your bike into your vehicle, the rack is virtually useless. Getting your bike into the back of your truck can be difficult, but we have some tips to save you time and get you on the trails as soon as possible.
Having a friend help you hoist your bike up and into the truck may be the easiest solution, but not the most reliable especially if you are a solo rider or riding with kids. If a friend is not available to help, you can lean your bike against your open tailgate, climb into the bed, grab the bike by its seat and handlebars, and pull it up and in. This may require some upper body strength but may be the simplest solution. We have also seen riders use ramps (or a 2×4 works) to roll their bike into the bed.
This practically eliminates the need for any bicep curls, but it is an extra piece of cargo you need to haul, so make sure you account for the necessary space. If you are really ambitious you can try to MacGyver a pulley system with a rope and bolt or another secure point. If you have other suggestions, we want to hear them in the comments section below. You may also want to check our recent article on Saris bike racks reviews.
Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier
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Heininger Automotive BedRack
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RockyMounts LoBall Track Locking Truck Mount
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