Best Truck Bed Bike Racks 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Classifying cycling as an excellent form of exercise can be deemed an understatement.

The health benefits that can be derived from frequent cycling are in the hundreds. Some of the notable health benefits include reduced anxiety, stress levels, body fat levels, and enhanced cardiovascular fitness.

Additionally, cycling also aids in the improvement of posture, joint mobility, coordination, muscle strength, and flexibility. Whether it is re-imagined geometries, ultra-light composite frames, aerodynamic shapes, or electronic gear shifters, there are cycles that cater to the requirements and needs of everyone from regular riders to serious pros. 

However, it’s rather ironic that you can’t cycle your way to the best bike trails; you’d need to drive there first. So, how do you reach such scenic trails then?

If you simply throw your bike in the back of your truck, it would take a serious beating and may not operate as smoothly as you’d want when the time arrives. To avert such a disastrous situation, it’s best for you to get a truck bed bike rack or mount to keep your bike secure every time you take it along with you on your travels.

To get such a rack best-suited for your bike from a plethora of bicycle racks available would be a monumental task. Fortunately, you can breathe a sigh of relief as I’ve prepared a list of 10 of the most popular truck bed bicycle racks for your bikes.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the truck bed bike racks that most people buy).

  • Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block Top Pick
  • Thule 501 Insta-Gater Truck Bed Bike Rack Runner-up
  • Thule Bed Rider XTR Runner-up

Top 10 Best Truck Bed Bike Racks 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block

The Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block is a very flexible unit as it can don the hat of an inside car rack, wall mount, and a floor mount. Of course, it excels as a truck bed bicycle rack too.

Not only is this unit easy to install because of its pre-assembly, but it also has useful adjustable features that make the unit a steal at its market price. Constructed of premium materials, the Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block is also durable beyond belief.

Weighing only 12 oz. largely in part because of the manufacturer’s preference of aluminum over steel as the primary material, the Hollywood Racks T970 Fork Block is as light as they come. Despite being lightweight, this cycle rack does an excellent job of keeping your bikes stable and secure even in the most treacherous terrains.

On the downside, this rack can only accommodate a single bike at a time. However, since it is priced relatively lower than other similar models, you can easily acquire a few of these reliable units to go with your other two bikes or more.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly option for your bikes
  • Swift installation process

Cons

  • The quick-release feature isn’t as efficient as it should be
  • There’s a chance that the cone nut may vibrate off
  • The stem may move and cause problems when you mount the fork

2. Thule 501 Insta-Gater Truck Bed Bike Rack

Let me tell you the reasons that make the Thule 501 Insta-Gater one of the most reliable bike racks in the world.

Although priced rather exorbitantly, the Thule 501 ensures you get your money’s worth as it is durable enough to stand the test of time. Capable of securing cycles that weigh up to 50 lbs and compatible with bike sporting rims up to 29 inches in diameter, the Thule 501 is an excellent choice for bikes of all shapes and sizes.

Designed like a wheel mount model, the Thule 501 completely eliminates the need for you to remove the front wheel of your bike to secure it. You’d simply need to position your bike in the designated area and use Thule’s trademarked “Quick-Load system” to secure your bike.

Mounting this bike rack on your truck bed is also a piece of cake as there’s no bolting or drilling involved. Additionally, there are also at least two anti-theft features on the cycle rack that ensure your bike stays put until your direct involvement.

Before you make a decision, take note that the Thule 501 Insta-Gater is not compatible with short bed trucks.

Pros

  • Sturdy enough to last for a long time
  • Benefits from a solid frame construction
  • Easy to install
  • One of the best bike racks truck beds

Cons

  • The security system could’ve been better
  • The lock comes into effect only after the tailgate is up
  • Not the most suitable choice for short bed trucks

3. Thule Bed Rider XTR

Thule is an industry leader at truck bed bicycle racks. So, don’t be surprised to see more than one of their products here.

Lightweight owing to its aluminum build, the XTR is capable of securing two bikes that weigh up to 70 pounds! This truck bed rack truly punches above its weight and is the perfect bike rack if you have two bikes to transport.

How do you install the Thule XTR you ask? Well, you’ll find a telescopic bar in the middle of the unit.

The bar boasts of soft rubber feet that should attach to the side rails of your pickup truck with minimum fuss. In retrospect, as you assess the situation, you’ll realize that there’s no drilling involved.

A feature of this unit that stands out in my eyes is its 3 Thule One-key lock cylinders; this feature allows you to secure both two bikes to the carrier before you lock the carrier on to the truck.

Unfortunately, this truck bed cycle rack cannot be mounted on over-the-rail bed liners. Also, it isn’t compatible with recumbent bikes or tandem bikes either.

Pros

  • 3 Thule One-key lock cylinders make loading and unloading of the unit easy as pie
  • Easy installation process
  • One of the best bike racks for bed of truck
  • Can secure two bicycles

Cons

  • The keyed locks can be tough to handle
  • The frame hasn’t been constructed of the highest quality materials
  • Isn’t compatible with contemporary mountain bike axles

4. Heininger Automotive 2025

If you loved Heiniger’s Advantage Sportsrack for your bike garage storage, you’ll love this one for truck beds.

The Heininger Automotive 2025 makes an excellent choice for a family of bike riders as it can secure up to four cycles effortlessly. Also, since the Heininger 2025 is a wheel mount, there is no need for you to remove your front wheel to use this unit.

Assembling this truck bed cycle rack is also as easy as whistling dixies. What about installing it onto your pickup truck?

Well, it’s just as simple as you don’t need to use any tools to drill holes. You’d simply need to secure this unit onto the inner section of your truck bed with the use of adjustable rubber stabilizers.

Then, twist them into position with screws, and lo and behold, you have yourself an operational Heininger Automotive 2025. 

I would be foolish to underestimate the influence of the padding on this unit.

Soft beyond belief, it protects the paintwork on your truck as you secure the Heininger 2025. It is such fine little details that make this unit one of the best truck bed bike racks on the market.

Another feature of this product that excites me is its ability to stand on its own, allowing you to use it even in your garage to secure your bikes. Much like the Advantage Sportsrack, the Automotive 2025 is a versatile choice for most bike owners.

Pros

  • Has the ability to stand on its own
  • Easy assembly
  • Quick installation
  • Can accommodate up to four bikes simultaneously
  • Perfect if you’re transporting two cycles or more
  • One of the best truck bike racks for families
  • Adjustable size for your bikes

Cons

  • Regrettably, it can’t be used on step-side pickups

5. Inno Velo Gripper Truck Bed Bike Rack

The Inno Velo Gripper Truck Bed Bike Rack is a truck bed bike rack widely adored by cyclists all over the world.

What makes this cycle rack so sought-after is its use of space or lack thereof. If you don’t want a cycle rack to use most of your cargo space, go for the Inno Velo Gripper.

You can use this unit without bolting or drilling any holes.

Instead, you’re offered a couple of mounts to attach the unit on to the vehicle. The mounts come equipped with ratcheting holders and two D-rings for you to attach tie-down straps.

Although the mounts are secured permanently, the rough terrain can loosen up the top bolt over time due to frequent vibrations. So, you need to tighten the top bolt every now and then for safety measures. 

What truly makes the purchase of the Inno Velo Gripper so worthwhile is the fact that it can be expertly used to secure other types of heavy loads as well.

Pros

  • Capable of keeping the bike secure even on rough trails
  • Easy to use for your bikes
  • Easy to install
  • User-friendly

Cons

  • You’d need to remove the front wheel of your bike to use this product
  • It would’ve helped if the retaining arms were longer
  • The hinged bottom can fare better with an improved design

6. Pipeline Racks Truck Bed Bike Rack

One look at the product and you’d understand why it’s named the Pipeline Racks Truck Bed Bike Rack; it looks as if a few pipelines were meshed together to serve as a truck bed cycle rack.

One of the features of the Pipeline Racks that appeals to me is its easy installation process. There is no requirement of drilling or bolting action as the durable frame is heavy and sturdy enough to hold its ground admirably on its own.

For added security, you’d simply need to fasten the straps onto the vehicle bed as tight as you can. Thankfully, it is not rocket science to assemble this cycle rack either.

However, this cycle rack isn’t compatible with kids’ bikes or bikes featuring full fenders. Apart from that, it should accommodate every other bike with a tire width of 2.8 inches or less.

Also, know that the large dimensions of the bike rack make it suitable only for truck beds with a width of 59 inches at the cab.

Pros

  • Simple and easy installation process
  • Adjustable as per the size of your bike

Cons

  • Although assembling the bike isn’t difficult, it may take some time
  • May experience some wobbles on windy and bumpy trails

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

Don’t have time to waste? If you are a last-minute type of person, you’ll need the Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack as it can be fitted on your truck in less than a couple of minutes. Also, since it can be used with or without bed liners, it’s compatible with most truck models.

However, you may have your hands full trying to use it on a truck with a track system.

Weighing just 4 lbs., the Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip can accommodate a couple of bikes simultaneously, perfect if you’ll be transporting two bicycles or more.

However, since this cycle rack doesn’t take up much space, you can invest in another Top Line rack and secure four bikes at a time.

What makes the Top Line UG2500 stand out from its closest competitors is its flexibility.

Bikes of all wheel sizes and types can be slotted in with relative ease. There’s no need for you to remove the front wheels either.

Also, let’s not forget that this cycle rack can be positioned anywhere in your truck bed.

I particularly like the inclusion of a nylon strap on this bike rack that prevents the front wheel of the bike from wobbling during rough travels.

Pros

  • Quick installation process
  • Compatible with most trucks and bikes
  • Easy assembly
  • Can accommodate two bikes at a time

Cons

  • Would’ve been better if the clamp was bigger
  • The frame isn’t secured to the truck bed

8. Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount

The Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount, despite its rather tacky name, is a neat and visually-appealing truck bed cycle rack. Constructed of 100% recyclable, non-rusting materials, this one is a safe choice for environment-friendly cyclists.

Also, as its name suggests, the Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount is capable of securing two bikes of almost any size at one go.

Other features of this useful unit include quick-release skewers and fork that hold the bike together during transport, preventing any likelihood of twists, wobbles, and damages.

Would you like to know another stunning feature of the Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount? Well, it’s adjustable enough to fit the width of truck beds of a whopping 74 inches!

How have the makers achieved a well-structured bike rack like this one?

Well, to ensure the bike truck bed mount sticks well, the makers have included sticky pivoting rubber pads. These pads stick like glue on any type of surface without causing any external damage to your truck.

The presence of an inbuilt hydraulic pump further adds to the charm of the Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount. The more you pump, the more the cycle rack sticks to the sides because of the higher pressure.

All in all, the Saris Kool 2 Bike Truck Bed Mount is truly worth its weight in gold.

Pros

  • Easy assembly and installation
  • Keeps your bikes secure even when driving on rough terrain
  • Quick-release skewers
  • Can secure two bikes at a time
  • Adjustable size

Cons

  • You may need to re-tighten the clamp of the bike mount every now and then

9. Swagman PICKUP Bike Rack

It would be tough for you to find a cycling enthusiast who isn’t aware of the Swagman brand. This renowned company is respected all over for its production of durable and bang for the buck products.

Thankfully, the Swagman PICKUP Bike Rack represents all the fine qualities of the brand.

You would be forgiven if you failed to notice the Swagman PICKUP at a glance; after all, it doesn’t look anything like a conventional cycle rack. What does it look like then?

Well, if we’re to play it down, you could simply label it as an adjustable bar that can be fitted to any pickup truck in as little as a couple of minutes. In essence, this product plays to the idea that less is more.

Special features of the thought out cycle rack include rubber-mounted ends to shield the paint job on your truck, a swift-release handle to make adjustments a piece of cake, and two fork locks to ensure the security and stability of your bike during transportation.

Pros

  • Best believe, it is one of the best truck bed bike racks around
  • Simple installation process
  • Easy to use for your bikes
  • Can be used with or without bed liners
  • Adjustable size

Cons

  • Doesn’t have the best locking mechanism
  • The metal construction on this unit is susceptible to rusts

10. Apex Rage Powersports TBBC-4

The Apex TBBC-4 is capable of securing four bikes at a time. Thus, it can be especially useful for a large family of mountain bikers.

Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the benefits of this bike rack truck bed as it’s only compatible with trucks that are between 52.75 to 73 inches wide.

In most cases, the cycle rack should fit your truck just fine. But, then again, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

As for bed liners, the Apex TBBC-4 works just fine with or without it.

Constructed of heavy-duty steel tube, this cycle rack is heavier than your average bike rack. However, its excess weight also adds to its stability and durability.

Plus, like most of the premium bed bike racks around, there’s no drilling involved with the installation of the Apex TBBC-4.

What gives me the confidence to recommend this specific model is its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like this cycle rack, you can simply send it back and receive a refund, pronto.

Pros

  • It is easy to secure and remove the bikes
  • A budget-friendly option for your bikes
  • The installation process couldn’t be easier

Cons

  • The rubber pads aren’t as stable as advertised
  • The makers should have paid more attention to the weak locking mechanism

5 Tips to Help You Make the Right Choice

Tip 1: There is a bike rack for every budget and you don’t need to pay over the odds to get a reliable cycle rack. As long as you get a cycle rack that’ll fit in your truck bed and secure your bikes, you’re good to go. 

Tip 2: If you’re someone who will only require the cycle rack occasionally, there’s no point in spending a fortune on it. However, if you’re a regular cyclist, you’ll need to spend a pretty penny on a high-quality, durable cycle rack.

Remember the name of the game—you get what you pay for!

Tip 3: I would advise you to go for a bikes’ rack that can be adjusted to accommodate as many bikes as possible. This feature will be handy if your loved ones and friends decide to join you on a cycling trip.

Tip 4: Go for a rack that locks onto your truck. If your rack doesn’t have this feature, robbers can steal both your rack and your bike.

If you intend to leave your bikes unattended for extended periods, it is imperative for you to focus on the anti-theft mechanics of the cycle rack you’ve shortlisted.

Tip 5: Understand that there are bike racks that can double up as a load holder too. Alternatively, if you don’t want to compromise on cargo space, simply get a cycle rack that functions as a support bar.

Conclusion

By now, you must have a good idea of what you should look for in a truck bed cycle rack. When it comes to bike racks, truck bed racks are ideal when traveling long distances and the options that I’ve presented are all worth a good look.

If we’re talking about my choice, it would be the Heininger Automotive 2025. What would be yours? 

When choosing a cycle rack, don’t be influenced by your friends or online sellers. Go for one that is compatible with your bike, is easy to install, suits your needs, fits in your truck, has an adjustable size, and is durable enough for your frequency of cycling adventures.

Remember that it’s not worth spending a fortune on a cycle rack if you only bike occasionally.

Also, understand that not all racks are created equal. For your bikes to enjoy the safest transport, you must splurge on high-quality bikes’ racks.