In this article, we are reviewing the best truck bed bike racks which we tried and tested and our opinion on the same.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to test multiple truck bed bike racks and found the Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad to be the best overall option.
As someone who’s been an avid mountain and racing bike fan for years, I often take my bikes with me on trips around the country. I recently purchased a new truck and wanted to upgrade to a truck bed bike rack. After extensive research on a variety of truck bike rack types, I found the perfect one that met all my needs.
The Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad is an effective bike transportation solution. As someone who uses their truck for a variety of reasons, this rack is easy to install and remove. It’s well built and keeps my bikes free of scratches and scuffs during transportation. I
It also lets me carry up to 6 bikes so I get to bring my friends and family along for the ride as well.
Of course, this rack might not be ideal for every type of biker out there. During the research, I found many different bike rack options were available. From racks for solo riders to permanent bike rack installations, you’ll want to do plenty of research before investing in a bike rack for your truck.
If you’re unsure what type of rack you need, I’ve provided a short guide on how to choose the best truck bed bike rack for your needs after the rack reviews in this article.
Want to learn more about truck bed bike racks and what our best choice is? Keep reading below to see our reviews of the 7 best truck bed bike racks on the market today.
Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad – Best Overall Truck Bed Bike Rack
Yakima is known worldwide as one of the premier rack manufacturers. Their products are well designed and built to last. The Gatekeeper is no exception. This rack ticks all the boxes when choosing a truck bike rack and lets you transport multiple bikes.
Ideal for the whole family, The gatekeeper truck bed bike rack comes in two different sizes and can transport 5 or 6 bikes. At over 62 inches long, the pad fits most trucks from small to full-size and is placed directly over the tailgate of your truck. Weighing in at 5 lbs means almost anyone can easily install and remove the Gatekeeper by themselves.
Installation is a breeze and requires no tools. Simply lay the pad over the tailgate and use the velcro cradle system to attach it to the truck. Your bike frames are also safe due to the abrasion resistant neoprene closure system. Once installed the straps keep your bikes safe and secure even while offroad. I found that tailgate bike pads greatly reduce the chance of scrapes and scratches to my bike’s frames.
While you shouldn’t have any problems with most traditional mountain bikes or road bikes, some users have reported issues with larger e-bikes and fat bikes where the velcro is too short to handle the frames of these larger bikes.
- Takes less than 5 minutes to install or remove the rack.
- Lightweight but durable construction will last for years.
- Can fit up to 6 adult-sized mountain or road bikes.
- A locking option is available but not included with the base product.
- Fits almost any pickup truck beds.
Leetpic Tailgate Bike Pad – Best Budget Bike Pad Rack
If you’re worried the Yakima Gatekeeper is out of your price range, Leetpic has a budget-friendly bike pad option available. This truck bed rack comes in different sizes and can safely transport up to six bikes depending on which size truck and bike pad rack you own.
The Leetpic bike pad installs within minutes directly over the tailgate of your truck and should fit most modern makes and models. Simply attach the velcro and your rack is ready to use. Coming in at less than 6 lbs, most users should have no issues installing the bike pad by themselves.
Once installed, the bike pad allows easy access to the truck bed and has an opening for the tailgate handle. The pad also features an opening for rear-facing cameras as well.
Leetpic outdid themselves on the pad design as well. The pad is reinforced and over 1.5cm thick. Inside is a micro-brushed lining that keeps delicate bike’s frames and paints safe from scratches and scuffs. The padding is also waterproof and will last for years.
- Use the included tool pockets to carry your bike tools and accessories.
- Cable locks can be installed through utility rings and webbing anchors to secure your bikes.
- A budget-friendly version of Yakima’s bike pad rack.
- The bike pad does not fold up and can take up a lot of space during storage.
Yakima Locking Blockhead Fork Mount – Best Permanent Bike Mount
For single riders who want a small and permanent bike mounting option, Yakima offers the Blockhead. This bed rail front fork mount is compact yet has everything you need to transport your bike around town or to the trails.
This permanent installation can be bolted almost anywhere in your truck bed. While you do need to install this mount, it is incredibly tiny compared to other bike carriers on this list and shouldn’t disrupt the accessibility and use of your truck bed.
The locking feature on this bike mount is well built and will keep your bike safe from thieves while you are not near your pickup truck.
- Incredibly small and lightweight bike mount solution.
- The sleek and stylish design looks amazing.
- Corrosion-resistant construction ensures the mount will last for years.
- Fits most bikes with 9mm x 100mm front hubs.
- This is a permanent mounting solution and requires bolting to your vehicle.
- Can only carry one bike.
Heininger Advantage SportsRack – Best Rack for Fast Transport
While most of today’s bikes offer quick-release wheels, it can still be a hassle to remove bike wheels from all your bicycles before transport. The Advantage SportsRack from Heininger lets you transport up to four bikes without removing their front bike wheel.
The front wheel holders on the bike can accommodate almost any tire size and have no problem with fat tires up to 4” wide and 29” diameter. This makes the Heininger ideal for families with different-sized riders and many different types of bikes. From BMX to racing bikes, this bike rack will safely carry them all.
Depending on your pickup truck make and model, the Advantage Sportsrack is extendable and can fit truck beds between 52” and 68”. Installation is also a breeze and requires no drilling or additional tools. Unfortunately, this rack is slightly heavier weighing over 36 lbs. If you have problems with heavier weights, you may need assistance installing this bike rack.
- The bike rack can also be used as a home bike rack in your home or garage.
- Can be installed in trucks with or without bed liners.
- 24” cable locking system keeps all your bikes safe and secure.
- Ideal for kid’s bikes that don’t have quick-release wheels.
Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack – Best Single Bike Rack for pick up truck
This fully adjustable single truck bike rack is ideal for riders who hit the trails solo. Weighing in at 11 lbs, you’ll find the Insta-Gater simple and easy to install. With no bolting required, your truck is also left in perfect condition after install.
Using the patented ratcheting system, attaching a bike is easy as well. You also don’t have to remove the tire to attach the bike to this stand making transport even quicker.
The stand can support bikes up to 50 lbs and front wheel sizes from 20 to 29”. The stand also has no trouble handling fat bikes and can accommodate 5” tires.
- Excellent security locking mechanism keeps your bike safe and secure.
- Can be used with almost any truck make and model.
- The high weight allowance means this can handle many e-bikes.
- Not ideal for riders who use more than one bike.
Inno RT202 Truck Bed Bike Rack – Best to Save Cargo Space
If you still need access to your truck bed while transporting a bike, the Inno RT202 is a great option. This bike stand keeps a single bike safe and secure along the side of the truck bed allowing you to have maximum use of the rest of the bed.
Installation is simple and requires minimal tools. You also don’t have to drill any holes or damage your truck during installation. One of the most versatile options on the list, you can simply adjust the spacing of the rack to accommodate almost any size bike. The stand is also extremely light which makes installation much easier as well.
If you do plan to use a second bike, a second Inno RT202 can be used along the opposite side of the truck bed.
- You can transport your bike without removing any tires.
- This stand frees up more space in your truck bed than most other options.
- Works will all types and sizes of bikes.
- Effective with standard truck beds and most makes and models.
- A bike lock is an option but not included with the base product.
Yakima Overhaul HD Truck Bed Rack – Best Multi-Use Rack
If you’re a pickup truck owner, you probably move more than just a bike. From kayaks to luggage, trucks can be used to transport almost anything. A multi-use rack might be the best option if you have a wide range of gear and stuff to move.
While you will need to purchase the bike attachments for the rack, this rack is incredibly versatile and can be a great investment if you have many uses for the truck rack.
The Yakima Overhaul is an adjustable-height truck bed rack that offers limitless versatility. It can be used to transport bikes, kayaks, camping supplies, construction supplies, and more. Built for heavy loads, the Overhaul can handle up to 500 lbs during on-road trips and 300 lbs off-road.
Installation is relatively easy and the rack can be installed over tonneau covers. It also features a variety of ways to tie down and secure payloads making this one of the safest racks on the market. Security is provided through an integrated Yakima Same Key System (SKS).
Unfortunately, all these features come at a premium price tag compared to many of the other truck bed bide rack on this list. You also may need to purchase optional accessories to safely transport certain items like skis, snowboards, or fat bikes.
- The tie-down system ensures your payloads are safe and secure.
- Fits most truck beds except some Toyota and Nissan models.
- Adjustable height from 19” to 30”.
- Install may be confusing for new bike rack owners.
- The rack weighs over 60 lbs and maybe too heavy for one person to handle.
How to Choose the Best Truck Bed Bike Rack
Still unsure of what to look for in a truck bed bike rack? Below we’ve outlined some of the features you should look for when searching for new pickup truck bed bike racks for your truck.
Ease of Installation
Installing a truck bed bike rack should be simple for anyone. You don’t want to purchase a bike rack that has too many parts and requires a variety of tools to install. If you plan on removing the rack when not in use, this feature is even more important.
Most of the racks in this list are simple to install and require zero tools. Unfortunately, some bike racks are permanent solutions and need to be bolted directly to your truck bed. If you have a lease on your vehicle, you may want to consult with your dealer to ensure it is safe to install these types of bike racks.
Don’t forget the weight of the rack when installing. A heavy-duty bike rack might sound great, but can be extremely difficult for one person to install. Lightweight racks are much easier to install and remove.
Ease of Use
After a long day of riding, you don’t want to struggle to put your bikes in the truck bed bike rack. Some racks require you to remove the front or rear tire to attach the bike. If you have bikes that don’t have removable rear or front wheels you’ll need a bike rack that can accommodate them.
Other racks require ratcheting to lock down the bike. This can sometimes be difficult for some users to perform by themselves.
Truck Make and Model
You’ll need to consider your truck make and model before purchasing truck bed bike racks. From Toyota to Ford, most vehicle manufacturers feature different truck designs, and not every rack will work with every truck.
Luckily almost every bike rack we reviewed is adjustable and will fit almost any truck from small to full size.
While a cheap bike stand will do the job, if you want your bikes safe and secure you should look for bike racks that have excellent build quality.
A well-designed bike rack will keep your bikes snug and secure during transportation even at high speeds. A poorly designed bike rack has a chance to fail and you could end up seeing your bike fall out of your truck bed.
Locking and Bike Security
Even if you don’t plan on leaving your truck unattended, it is a good idea to invest in a bike rack that has excellent security features. No one wants their bike stolen and a locking bike rack will deter would-be thieves. Something which can keep bike securely strapped.
While we prefer racks that offer integrated locking solutions, there are many after-market locking options available for bike racks that don’t have integrated locks.
Easy Removal and Storage
Many bike stands and racks are large and cumbersome and take up a lot of room in your truck bed. If you plan on using your truck for other uses, you’ll want to look for a bed bike rack that folds up or stores away easily. Many bike racks can also be quickly removed without any tools.
Bike pads are easy to install but they do take up plenty of space once removed. If space is at a premium in your garage or home, this type of rack might not be ideal for you.
Types of Bikes
What type of bikes are you planning on transporting? Modern bikes come in many shapes and sizes and you’ll want to ensure your bike rack can handle your bikes.
For example, fat bikes feature extremely large tires that may not fit in every truck bed rack. Not all racks will work well with e-bikes either. If you plan on carrying more than one bike you will also need to consider the combined weight of the bikes.
E-bikes are generally cumbersome and may require additional accessories for your bike stand. If you have a lightweight stand you will want to ensure it can handle the added weight of an electronic bike.
Number of Bikes
How many bikes do you need to transport? While trucks offer plenty of room and can easily hold several bikes, not everyone needs to transport more than one bike. If you’re a solo rider, you may not need the flexibility of a bike rack that can hold 5 or 6 bikes at once.
A smaller bike rack that holds one or two bikes would be more than enough for solo riders or couples. Of course, if you are taking family or friends to the trails you may want to invest in a larger bike rack that holds more bikes.
Compatibility With Other Accessories
From tonneau covers to rear-facing cameras, you’ll want to ensure your bike rack accommodates all the other accessories on your truck. Don’t waste money on an expensive bike rack if it’s not compatible with the current accessories on your truck.
Are you ready to get your bike safely to the trails? While laying your bike down in the truck bed is a simple and free solution, you may be damaging your bike and truck bed. From scratches to malfunctions, leaving your bike unsecured in a truck bed can ruin your expensive bikes.
Investing in a truck bed bike rack is the perfect solution that will keep your bike and truck safe during transportation. It can also allow you to take your friends and family to your favorite park or off-road trails.
While we covered a variety of truck bed bike racks, our top pick is the Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad. This rack is incredibly easy to install and has some of the best safety features available to keep your bikes secure. It also lets you bring 5 friends along for the ride.
Of course, the Gatekeeper doesn’t meet your needs or budget, one of our other top picks for the best truck bed bike rack should do the trick.