You’re a truck guy who is serious about tearing it up on your bike. City streets may suffice for your morning commute, but when you’re itching for more interesting terrain, sometimes you must transport your bike. You could throw it in the bed of your truck and hope for the best, or you could grab one of the best truck bed bike rack systems detailed below and hit the road in confidence.
Utilizing that space on your pickup, as opposed to getting a hitch-mounted rack, will allow your truck to handle the same because you’re not adding to its profile. That’s a major win, especially if any of your trip involves off-roading.
If it’s important to you to know your bicycle is secure and not going to slide around – scratching up the frame and your truck bed – then getting a truck bed bike rack is essential.
Our Selection of 4 of the Best Truck Bed Bike Racks
We’ve done the research for you and found 4 worthy options to consider for your future bike transportation needs.
Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack for 2 Bike Carrier
Bringing a buddy? This Top Line bike rack is great for a less expensive option. Once you have this installed, you can mount your bike in less than two minutes and be on the road. Other benefits to this rack include using it with or without bed liners – something that can’t be said of other carriers – making this one of the best truck bed bike rack options.
This truck bed bike mount weighs only 4 pounds but holds up well for its weight.
Our main word of caution is that this rack may not be compatible with all bikes. Check your bike’s frame measurements to compare dimensions first as the clamps on this carrier are quite small.
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack
Another option under $100 is the Heininger Automotive SportsRack. It’s rugged, easy to install, and best of all, can accommodate up to 4 bikes. This will transport any type of bicycle. The nonskid/nonslip contacts underneath and on the sides keep your truck bed scratch-free.
This rack comes with a 72-inch locking cable for added security (lock not included). And if all that wasn’t enough, this rack can easily be used off your truck as a standalone bike rack when you need your pickup for something else.
Quickly assembles (no tools required), fits any fully assembled bike, and offers simple functionality. Just roll your bike’s back tire to the rack, secure with adjustable bar, and you’re on your way.
Thule Insta-Gator Truck Mount
If you’ve been in the cycling community for more than 5 minutes, you’ve likely heard the brand name Thule (pronounced ‘tu-lee’).
The Insta-Gator Truck Mount is one of the best truck bed bike racks because it might be as easy as it gets. It installs without the need for bolting or drilling, and all you need do to secure it is raise and then lower the ratcheting arm over the bike wheel. Because it’s held by the wheel, the mount never encounters the frame of your bike.
This will work on most truck beds, but be sure to check dimension specifications to confirm a secure fit.
One downside is this rack holds only one bike; so although it is already pricier than the first two options, it would require buying more racks to transport more bikes. But, we are happy to emphasize, you’re getting high quality with the Thule name and a rack that’ll probably outlive your bike.
This integrated fork mounted carrier can accommodate 2 bikes and is easy to install. It’s a lockable telescoping mount allowing it to fit on most truck beds. The soft grip rubber feet hold the Bed-Rider to your truck while protecting its paint. Lastly, it comes with 3 Thule one-key lock cylinders to lock the carrier to your pickup and the bike to the carrier.
If you’re wanting minimalistic and secure, this is the rack for you.
A word of caution is to be sure this rack is compatible for your truck and your standard of efficiency. While the rack is easy to install, it does require removing the front tire of your bike, making it a longer process to load and unload. It also will not work on over-the-rail bed liners.
Things to Consider When Buying a Truck Bed Bike Holder
Buying the best truck bed bike rack system can be as subjective as why you have the bike you do. Here are some points to consider.
Number of Bikes
We’ve mentioned some notable choices for transporting multiple bikes at a great price. Or, if you’re more the lone-wolf type, splurge for a higher-end, single bike rack. No reason to snag a huge carrier that’ll take up space if your truck only ever moves one bike at a time.
Bike Rack Security
Some racks come with lock and key, locking cables, or no locking gear at all. If you need to leave your equipment unattended for any duration of time, it’s worth ensuring no one can grab it. Even if you’re away for only 90 seconds at a highway rest stop.
Be sure to check with the manufacturing information on what’s required to lock the rack to your pickup and then your bikes to the rack. It may add a minute more to mounting and unmounting, but that’s worth the peace of mind knowing you’re the only one who can get your bike off the bed.
Bike Rack Budget
And what affects all of this? Budget.
As you can see from our list, transporting one bike doesn’t necessarily mean a cheaper option. And, more money might be required if you get a one-bike carrier and need to add extensions for more bikes. Riding solo but on a tight budget? Go ahead and grab the 2-bike option mentioned. You’ve saved some money and left room for making new cycling friends.
Then there’s the security of your bike.
How many more locking mechanisms do you need to buy to make sure your bike is secured to your carrier and your carrier is secured to your truck? Plus, if stopping for an ice-cold beer at your local brewpub is the only thought getting you through an intense mountain climb, then investing in security isn’t even a question.
Homemade Bike Rack for Truck Bed
Okay, so there are some legit ideas here, but maybe you’re a handy guy and doing a DIY truck bed rack is more your style. While there might be a variety of directions you can go on how to make a bike rack for truck beds, check out this video for a quick, cheap option using a few simple materials.
No need to let distance and fear of a scratched truck bed stop you from getting your bike to more adventurous terrain. Grab a truck bed bike rack and take your cycling farther and further!