10 Best Truck Bed Bike Racks 2020 – Review & Newbie Guide

Hauling your bikes in your truck bed without securing them is a costly mistake. As you make turns or sudden stops, the bikes at the back will get easily tossed around and possibly get damaged or even scratch or dent your truck bed paintwork.

A truck bed bike rack, however, is designed to solve all these problems. It securely holds your bikes so that they don’t shift and slide during transit. To help you find the best truck bed bike rack that fits your truck and accommodates your bikes, we have highlighted up to 10 top-rated truck bed racks below.

Our Best Truck Bed Bike Racks:

1. Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack

If you’re faced with the problem of transporting several bikes in your truck while keeping them secure, this Heininger bed rack will offer you an instant solution. It will let you safely haul as many as 4 bikes without necessarily taking off their wheels. Problem solved!

One of the reasons we chose this bed rack is its ease of installation. It comes ready to secure along your truck bed’s inner walls. This is made easy with the help of adjustable rubberized lateral stabilizers that easily twist into place with the included wingnut type screws. No drilling and no tools are needed for complete assembly and installation of this rack.

You’ll appreciate that you can laterally extend this rack from 54.5" to 66.5" and from 60.5" to 72.5" with a full-size spacer.

Take a look along its bottom edge…you’ll notice that this bed rack features non-skid/slip feet. This enables the bike rack to work well, even on truck beds without liners. And without the possibility of scratching your vehicle.

You want total security of your bikes when transporting them in your open truck bed, right? This rack provides you with a 72-inch cable to let you easily secure bikes. You just pass it through the rack and your bikes and secure it to your vehicle for the ultimate security.

Highlighted Features:

  • Hauls up to 4 bikes
  • Tool-free, fast installation
  • Fits most truck beds
  • 72” lockable cable included
  • Soft padding protects bike finish
  • Doubles as a standalone bike rack

2. Thule GateMate PRO Tailgate Pad

The Tailgate pad is another high-quality item designed to deliver the ultimate protection to your bikes during transportation. It will comfortably and securely several bikes in your truck bed for hauling to any place you want.

The pad is made using excellent quality materials to achieve maximum protection. It features foam padding to offer protection to both your bike and truck tailgate, with ultra-durable, heavy-duty vinyl.

It also boasts of Knock-Blocks that prevent your bikes from sliding on the tailgate and causing damage to your truck or even the bikes. It presents you with integrated strap anchor points to help securely hold your bikes in place during transit.

Thanks to the pad’s handle hood, you can conveniently access your truck’s tailgate handle without having to remove this pad.

Installation of this pad is a breeze! It securely fastens to the tailgate with sturdy nylon straps. And it comes in two different sizes: small 823 - 54 (for compact pickups) and large, 824 - 62 (for full-size pickups). The whole fastening process should take you minutes.

Highlighted Features:

  • Dimensions: 52" L x 15. 5" H x 2. 75" D
  • Features multiple position anchor straps
  • Durable, heavy-duty vinyl padding
  • Inside facing mesh pockets for holding gear
  • Flexible and fully adjustable padding
  • Large handle opening for backup camera visibility

3. Swagman PICKUP Bike Rack

Swagman is a company synonymous with the best truck bed bike racks. It enjoys its place as one of the top companies that produce top-quality bike racks with varying designs to meet your needs.

This particular bike rack for pickup truck bed will enable you to haul your bikes in your pickup truck bed safely and securely. It features an easy and quick no-drilling installation, and the carrier will easily adjust to fit your truck bed size. It comes equipped with rubber pads that grip your bed rails, preventing scratches and abrasions.

You don’t have to worry about your bikes getting tossed around. This rack holds your bikes securely with its front fork mounts. They feature 9mm quick-release skewers for anchoring your bike to the rack and securing them to the carrier—ensuring maximum security.

What’s more, the rack also comes with an integrated push-button to secure your rack to the truck bed, keeping your bikes secure and giving you peace of mind.

Don’t forget that this rack is made from solid stainless steel metal and will reliably serve you for years. The rack will transport up to 2 bikes, each weighing around 35lbs. And if you want to, you can always reposition the rack’s fork blocks to properly space your bikes for transportation.

Highlighted Features:

  • Quick, easy no-drilling assembly
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • Integrated push-button lock
  • Can transport up to two bikes
  • Weight capacity: 35lbs per bike

4. Demon Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes

DEMON UNITED demontgl

If you want to protect your truck bed paintwork when transporting your bike, then you’ll need this Demon Tailgate pad to secure your bikes into place. The carrier comes with everything you need to get your bikes firmly held in place for transportation to any place.

Available in Large size (measures 62-in wide), this pad will hold up to 7 bikes and will easily fit in any full-size pickup truck. This is one of the pickup truck bike carriers that you can easily swap between many trucks.

It features ¾-inch foam padding with a heavy-duty vinyl cover. Needless to say, this helps protect both your truck and the truck bed as you shuttle to the top of your favorite trail. Additionally, the pad has an ultra-soft underside to protect your truck tailgate paint.

Another cool thing about this pad is the tailgate handle access flap it comes with. This allows you to open your truck tailgate with the pad on.

The included web cinch straps will help secure your pad in place for secure transportation. This means your bikes won’t move or slide and will arrive at your destination safely.

Other notable features include the reflective Demon United logo for increased visibility and integrated tool pocket where you can conveniently store essential trail equipment or gear.

Highlighted Features:

  • 3/4” foam padding w/heavy-duty vinyl cover
  • Ideal for full-size pickups
  • Features velcro bike frame holders
  • Offers tailgate access handle flap
  • Fitted with convenient tool pockets
  • Web cinch straps secure the bike in place

5. INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack

INNO RT201

This bike rack lets you transport your bike in your truck bed without taking u all the space for your cargo. It lets your bike sit along the side of the truck bed, leaving plenty of room for extra stuff you need to haul.

Most truck owners love this rack because it easily mounts onto the side trail of your truck bed. You don’t need to do any drilling or use any tools to set it up in your truck. All the hardware required for the installation comes included in the box for easy and quick setup.

It also comes equipped with ratcheting straps for holding any bike shape and size by the seat stay and fork, assuring you of secure transportation.

Unlike the alternative bike mounts for truck bed out there, this model comes with attached D-ring to let you efficiently use tie-down straps with or without any bike mounted. You can easily loop a ¾-inch cable lock through the D-rings for secure transportation.

Or you can also pass a bungee cord or tie-down straps through these rings to secure your cargo during transit.

Highlighted Features:

  • Hassle-free, no-drill installation
  • Lets you transport one bike
  • Ideal for standard pickup truck bed
  • Built-in D-rings offer tie-down points for a cable lock
  • Features ratcheting straps with adjustable rods
  • Space-saving design

6. Rage Powersports Apex TBBC-4 4-Bike Truck Bed Rack

Rage Powersports Apex TBBC-4 4-Bike Truck Bed Rack

This bed rack can transport between 1-4 bikes, making the perfect bike rack for pickup truck bed for the family. It fits truck beds from 52.75 to 73 inches, so it’ll work with most trucks. It can also be used on truck beds with or without truck bed liners.

The rack is made of durable steel metal and features a high-quality powder-coated finish. This makes it one of the most durable and long-lasting bike racks you can use on your truck bed.

Installing it is pretty straightforward. No drilling or tools are needed to set it up. It comes equipped with adjustable bolts and stoppers and is designed to stand on your truck bed.

You simply need to unwind the stoppers until they rest against the side of the truck, and your rack is ready for use. Note that the package comes with 4 stoppers in total, two for each side.

Designed to hold up to 4 bikes, this rack presents you with four 4 sections where your front tires slide into. Each of these wheel slots features foam padding to ensure your bike wheels firmly stay in position and don’t get damaged during transit.

A V-shaped clamps slots over the top of the tire to keep your bike from moving during transportation. Note that this bike can accommodate bikes with wheel sizes up to 26 inches. Anything bigger might be problematic.

Highlighted Features:

  • Transports up to 4 bicycles
  • Fits truck beds from 52.75 to 73 inches
  • Foam padding protects bike gearing and sprockets
  • Easy, quick no-tool assembly
  • Durable, powder-coated steel construction

7. Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack

Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack

Top Line specialized in bike racks and other accessories for trucks and recreational vehicles. The Uni-Grip is one of the most innovative bike racks and will let you carry up to two bikes in your truck bed.

It presents you with a clamp system that easily mounts to the side of your truck bed. The whole mounting process is easy and fast and will take you about 2 minutes, making it great for last-minute trips.

It connects to the top tube of your bicycle with an aluminum bar with a rubber-coated clamp to ensure it firmly holds down your bike. The rubber coating also prevents possible damage to your bike’s finish.

Though this pickup bicycle rack is designed for holding two bikes, you can daisy-chain more bars—allowing you to add an extra rack and carry up to 4 bikes in your truck bed. Remember that this bike rack will keep all your bikes upright, stable, and keep them from rubbing each other when hitting the trails.

With the lock cable included, you’ll be able to secure your bike and get the peace of mind you need when you carry your bikes in your open truck bed. Another noteworthy item included in the box is the sturdy nylon strap. This helps you secure your bike’s front wheel, keeping it from moving during transit.

Highlighted Features:

  • Great for ferrying 2 bikes
  • Can be used with/without bed liners
  • Measures 11.5 x 21.8 x 2.8 inches
  • Features a security system
  • Sturdy nylon strap included
  • Mounts in 2 minutes; drill-free installation

8. YAKIMA - Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad for Compact Truck Beds

YAKIMA 8007410

If you’re looking for the perfect bike carrier for your compact truck bed, this is it. This is another easy to use tailgate pad that enables you to carry up 5 bikes on your full-sized pickup trucks. It holds all your bikes securely in place, so they don’t slide and shift during transit.

Installation it on your truck bed is easy as pie. All you have to do is hang it on your tailgate, line it up, and thread the straps. That’s all. You can now load your bikes into the track and sit behind the wheel will full assurance that your bikes will rah your destination safely.

We like the velcro cradle closure system this pad comes with. Unlike other strapping methods that might cause chaffing of your carbon bike, this one is easy on carbon frame bikes and the painted surfaces on your bike. Its integrated strap management system helps keep the pad tight and secure.

It’s also worth noting that this truck bike carrier was made with longevity in mind. It features rugged nylon outer material, which has excellent resistance to abrasion and weather elements. This means you can use it to ferry your bike season after seasons for longer than other models.

With the pad’s extra-soft felt backing, it goes without saying that this carrier will protect your truck paintwork trip after trip.

Highlighted Features:

  • Carries up to 5 bikes
  • Integrated strap system secures your bales
  • Rugged nylon material for durability
  • Fits mid-size and older full-size tracks
  • Extra-soft backing protects your paintwork
  • Easy and fast to install

9. Softride 26457 A Pick Up Shuttle Pad

Softride 26457

Here’s an easy and inexpensive way to carry up to 6 bikes in the bed of your truck. It instantly converts your tailgate into a fully functional 6 bike rack. And carries your bike such that the front wheels hang outside the car.

When you use this pad to ferry your bike in your truck, it will occupy less space in your bed than other carriers, leaving you with enough space to carry additional gear. Though it’s designed specifically for carrying mountain bikes, you can use it haul just any type of bike.

The pad is constructed using rugged and is well cushioned to protect both your bike and truck bed from scratches and abrasions.

It secures your bikes using 4 extremely sturdy straps that easily wrap around the tailgate and attach with adjustable buckles. A tether will run across the top of this pad to hold your bike securely. And you can attach each bike using a wrap that loops around your bike frame, then under the tether, and finally attach itself to the velcro fastener.

And yes, this pad also doubles as tailgate protector when you’re hauling other long loads such as ladder kayaks, surfboard, lumber, to name but a few. You can always combine the included wraps to secure your wide cargo to the tether.

Highlighted Features:

  • Carries up to 6 bikes
  • Features rugged nylon straps
  • Heavy-duty foam padding
  • 61” wide pad; fits most full-size trucks
  • 4 soft wraps for securing the bike to the pad included
  • Tailgate handle flap for easy tailgate access

10. Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack

Thule 501501

The last best bike racks for trucks on our list comes from Thule, a brand that has made a name for itself with its long line of premium quality bike racks and related accessories.

This Insta-Gater Pro comes designed to help you easily carry your bike in your pickup truck bed. It’s designed in such a way that it securely holds your bike into place without making contact with the frame, so you can use it haul even bikes with carbon frames without worries of possible chaffing.

It provides you with an easy to use ratcheting arm to quickly attach your bike in place, ready for transportation.

Note that this rack is pretty versatile and will let you haul all types of bikes and fits all pickup tailgates. It will haul bikes with tires width from 20 to 29 inches. It can fit mountain, downhill, fat bikes, and even e-bikes. Installing the rack is quite easy as you don’t need to do any drilling or bolting.

The best part about this rack is that it comes with an integrated security system (with a lock included) to let you lock your bike to the rack. And this means you can ride with total peace of mind knowing that your bikes are well guarded against theft.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fully adjustable upright bike carrier
  • Easy and quick tool-free installation
  • Holds one bike up to 50lbs
  • Accommodates wheel size from 20-29 inches
  • Features Thule's One-Key System (lock included)
  • Secures your bike without frame contact
  • Ratcheting arm for quick bike attachment

What To Look For Before Buying?

How to avoid getting all confused about the best truck bed bike rack to choose from the multiple racks out there? It’s easy; focus on the most important factors we have outlined below…

Bike capacity

We also advise you to consider the number of bikes you plan to carry in your truck bed before making a decision.

You’ll find that the number of bikes a given truck bed rack can carry varies from model to model. If you only plan to take your own bike in your truck, look for a rack that accommodates one bike.

If you have two bikes or want to transport your bike and that of your friend, kiddo, or spouse, then a rack that holds two bikes is better.

Go for a rack that holds 4-6 bikes or more if you usually go biking in groups or simply want to help with the transportation of these bikes.

PRO TIP: If you’re not sure about the number of bikes you’ll be hauling with your new bike rack, look for a model that you can enhance to carry more bikes later on.

Installation

Ease of installation is another crucial factor to consider when deciding on the best bike racks for trucks.

You don’t want to end up with a rack that takes forever to install and gives you a hard time figuring out how to put it together.

As much as possible, we advise you to look for racks that require no tools or drilling to install them on your truck bed.

Models that come with easy to understand instructions and all the necessary installation hardware make the installation even easier.

Security

Carrying your bikes at the back of your open truck bed means they’re on public display and attracting even the unwanted attention of thieves.

Leaving your truck unattended for long, and you might find your bikes gone.

For this reason, it’s essential to look for a truck bed rack with some kind of security system, say a lock, that lets you lock your bikes to the rack. This ensures that no unwanted hands can get to your bikes.

An added benefit of securing your bikes is that you’ll drive your truck with peace of mind as you already know any would-be thief will have a hard time trying to take your bikes.

Truck size

Confirm that the rack you choose will fit in your truck bed easily. We have read feedback from users who had bought great racks only to get disappointed when they realized they’re too big to fit in their truck beds. Others have bought too small racks.

If you want to avoid this frustration, make sure you get your truck bed dimensions and match them with the racks at the market to help you find a perfect fit.

What if you’re not sure about your vehicle dimensions? In this case, you might consider getting an adjustable bike rack for your truck.

Can Truck Bed Bike Rack Damage Your Bike?

The tale that using a bike rack for pickup truck bed to haul your bikes will damage your bike doesn’t really make sense. Clearly, the reason why you’re using a bike rack is to prevent any damage from getting to your bike.

If you were to carry your bike by just tossing it into your truck bed unsecured, it will shift and move around your truck bed…and possibly get damaged or get scratches during transit.

An excellent truck bed bike rack will, on the other hand, hold down your bike in a secure manner so that they don’t twist or move around and get damaged.

A properly installed bike rack will ensure your bike stays stable and secured, even when riding on rough roads, and you won’t have to worry about damaged components or chipped paint of your bicycle during travel.

HOWEVER, the issue of bike racks damaging carbon frame bikes has been raised by many bike owners. Most of them claim that using the clamp type carrier for hauling their carbon bikes could possibly damage the frame by chaffing it or even crushing it!

To avoid this, you should consider the measures outlined below:

  • Avoid overtightening the clamp carrier. Most of the time, you’ll find out that overtightening is the main reason behind your carbon frame getting damaged.
  • Look for a bike carrier designed for clamping your bike in other areas other than the carbon tube—say at the seat tube junction, where there’s more strength.
  • You can also avoid the clamp type rack and look for alternatives that are easy on your carbon frame. A good example is a fork-mounted rack.
  • You should also avoid over clamping your carbon frame bike so that you don’t end up with a crushed frame.
  • You might also consider looking for a carbon frame protector when using a clamp-type carrier. And ensure you don’t overtighten it. You might even add a regular fabric strap as your backup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do truck bed bike racks protect my bikes from being stolen?

 protect my bikes from being stolen

Yes. Most of the bike racks now come incorporated with security features to enhance the security of your bikes. The most common security feature in most racks involves locking the bikes to the rack, making it hard for would-be thieves to steal your high-end bike.

Q: Can I enhance my truck bed rack to accommodate more bikes?

Depending on the design of your truck, you can easily convert it to allow you to carry even more bikes. Most racks with this capability simply let you attach extra bars or cradles for holding additional bikes.

Q: My truck bed is short. Can I still use a truck bed bike rack?

Given that these bike carriers come designed to fit in just any truck bed, you’ll have no problems installing one on your short bike rack. The only problem you might encounter is fitting the wrong size of rack into the bed. Or if your bike is too long to fit in the available truck bed space. Always make sure you have your vehicle truck bed dimensions to help you choose the perfect size of the carrier.

Q: How many bikes can a truck bed bike rack carry?

It depends on your rack. As you might have noted from our list of the top models in the above list, different models can haul different numbers of bikes, ranging from only one bike up to 6 or more. The number of bikes you plan to haul will guide you into picking the right bike rack carrier.

Final Verdict

You can’t just risk damaging your costly bike or your truck bed’s paintwork by tossing your bikes inside and hauling them without securing them. An excellent truck bed bike rack will keep your bike stably and securely so that you can safely transport them to any place.

Now that we have outlined some of the best truck bed bike rack options available on the market today, you shouldn’t struggle to pick the right one that fits your truck bed, carries all your bikes, and is easy to install in your truck bed.

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