8 Best Pickup Truck Bike Racks (2022)

Let’s say it was a sunny, 75-degree day. Your bike is freshly tuned, your truck is waiting to pick you up, and you have no plans.

One little hiccup: you haven’t bought a bike rack yet.

Perhaps there have been so many options on the market that you can’t decide; or maybe you’ve been too busy. Take this as your sign to stop laying your bike in the bed of your truck and hoping for the best and figure out what rack works for you.

So which of the best pickup truck bike racks should you get? Read on to find out.

Best Pickup Truck Bike Racks This Year: Our Criteria and Results 

In order to determine the best pickup truck bike racks, we compared the different brands and types based on their ease of use, strength, stability, how well they protect your bike and your truck, as well as their price.

We also looked at other users’ reviews to see what other cyclists like and dislike about the different types and brands.

What is the best bike rack for a pickup truck?

The best bike rack for a pickup truck should be easy to use, strong, and stable. Besides protecting your bike from scratches, it should also protect your truck. 

Generally speaking, there are 4 different types of bike racks for a pickup trucks.

These include Tailgate Bike Pads, Fork Mounted Bike Racks, Wheel Mounted Bike Racks, and Side Clamp Bike Racks. It is entirely up to you to decide which is best.

Can you put a bike rack on a pickup truck?

Quite simply, yes you can put a bike rack on a pickup truck.

For pickup trucks, you’ll need a bike rack that’s designed specifically for them. Racks for your roof or trunk aren’t going to work.

Some hitch bike racks can be accommodated, though, as long as your car has the clearance and a suitable hitch receiver.

Here are some of our top picks:

RankedBrandModelTop AdvantageTop DisadvantagePrice
Top PickThuleInsta-Gator ProFits just about any bikeHolds only 1 bikeClick to check price
Runner UpYakimaGatekeeper Pick Up Pad Carries up to 6 bikesMay block rear view cameraClick to check price
Also ConsiderSwagmanPickup Fork MountVersatile and easy to useThere have been issues reported about the locking mechanismClick to check price
DemonTailgate PadDurable & convenient to useNo built-in locking mechanismClick to check price
InnoRT201 Truck Bed Bike RackNo drilling is required for the installationCan have wobble on uneven terrainClick to check price
SarisTraps Triple Track Bike RackCan be used as a fork or wheel mounted rackNo locks includedClick to check price
ThuleBed Rider Bike Rack3 locking cylinders to secure the rack to your truckDoes not work on trucks with over the rail bed-liners Click to check price
Avoid These OnesHeiningerAdvantage BedRack EliteFits up to 4 bikes without having to remove wheelsExpensive and does not fit fatter MTB tiresClick to check price
Avoid These OnesAlaventeFork Block MountVery versatile and designed to be mounted on any firm surfaceCustomers complain of the poor qualityClick to check price

Listed here are the best pickup truck bike racks available, including tailgate mounted pads, both fork and wheel mounted racks, and side clamp racks.

Pickup truck bike racks range in price from $325.44 for the most expensive to $26.99 for the cheapest. Despite being categorized as one to avoid, the cheapest shows you do get what you pay for. But, according to multiple customer reviews, the most expensive on our list is also one to avoid.

How we select the best pickup truck bike racks

There were a lot of factors that influenced this. We’ve tested a lot of bike racks and have our own experiences. In addition, we take into account user reviews over the most popular biking websites, the number of reviews, brand reputation, weight, and ease of use.

Read on to find out which brands and bike racks made our ‘best of’ list!

Best Bike Racks for Pickup Truck Hitch

Earlier, we talked about the different types of bike racks for pickup trucks, but why not use a truck hitch bike rack if your pickup has a hitch? Let’s take a look at our top 4 picks:

Best Thule Pickup Truck Hitch Bike Rack

Thule T2 Pro XTR

Advantages:

  • Loaded with extra features
  • Superior quality

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Some people find it a bit heavy

The Thule T2 Pro XTR replaces the ever-popular Thule T2 Pro XT.

It’s got all the features you love from Thule and the quality you expect. The new model comes with extra wheels to make maneuvering in and out of your garage easier.

There’s a tilt system on the T2 Pro XTR, so you can get to the back of the car easily. In addition, it’s a versatile bike carrier that can hold anything from a fat bike to a kid’s 20″ wheel bike.

Type:Platform
Weight:52lbs
Weight Capacity:60lbs per bike
Number Of Bikes:2
Material:Aluminium
Ease Of Use:Easy

Thule’s T2 Pro XTR pickup truck hitch bike rack might be expensive, but it does everything you’d expect.

You have to install it, but once you do, it’s surprisingly easy to use. Getting your bike loaded and unloaded takes just a few seconds, and securing it is as easy as looping the straps and ratcheting them.

Best Yakima Pickup Truck Hitch Bike Rack

Yakima Ridgeback 4

Advantages:

  • Easy to use
  • Can carry up to 4 bikes

Disadvantages:

  • Maximum weight of each bike is only 40lbs
  • Inferior quality compared to premium brands

For their overall stability, most people prefer platform style hitch bike racks.

The Yakima Ridgeback 4 is one of the best hanging-style bike racks. Plus, the Yakima Ridgeback 4 has an anti-sway design, so your bikes don’t move around while you’re riding.

Additionally, it’s got a durable build and a good track record of reliable performance, all at a very reasonable price.

Type:Hanging
Weight:35lbs
Weight Capacity:40lbs per bike
Number Of Bikes:4
Material:Aluminium
Ease Of Use:Easy

Yakima Ridgeback 4 costs nearly half as much as Thule T2 Pro XTR and can carry twice as many bikes! It also features the Yakima UpperHand™ control lever which tilts the rack down for easy vehicle access, even when fully loaded. Overall, it’s great value for money.

Best Swagman Pickup Truck Hitch Bike Rack 

Swagman Traveller XC2

Advantages:

  • Surprisingly affordable and reliable
  • Can carry bikes of different heights

Disadvantages:

  • Not very user friendly
  • No locks are included in the purchase price

If you are looking for a reliable budget option to carry your bikes, then you won’t go wrong with the Swagman Traveller XC2

While the rack is a simple option without all the additional features of the more premium brands, it will still reliably transport your bikes from A to B. It’s a platform-style bike rack that can carry 2 bikes and has a relatively low height which makes it easy to load and off-load your bikes.

Type:Platform
Weight:32lbs
Weight Capacity:35lbs per bike
Number Of Bikes:2
Material:Alloy steel
Ease Of Use:Medium

This lightweight hitch bike rack is easy to fold away and can be left on your car when not in use. 

However, with bikes mounted on the back, you don’t have access to your trunk, which could be a problem when driving long distances. The low height makes it easy to load the bikes, and the wheel cradles can accommodate different wheel sizes, from 20” to 29” with just a twist of a knob.

Best Saris Pickup Truck Hitch Bike Rack

Saris Superclamp X4

Advantages:

  • Can carry up to 4 bikes
  • Very lightweight and compact

Disadvantage:

  • Not as simple to install as some other brands
  • Only works with a 2” hitch

The Saris Superclamp X4 is a superb choice of truck hitch bike rack if you regularly carry up to 4 bikes. 

This platform-style rack can carry 4 bikes on 2 different platforms and can accommodate a total weight of up to 190 lbs (60 lbs x 2 for the inner bikes and 35 lbs x 2 for the outer bikes). It’s surprisingly compact and lightweight for its carrying capacity, which takes up very little space behind your truck and is easily stored in your garage.

Type:Platform
Weight:63lbs
Weight Capacity:60lbs per inner bike35lbs per outer bike
Number Of Bikes:4
Material:Alloy steel
Ease Of Use:Medium

This hitch bike rack is not as simple to secure to the hitch as some of the other brands as you need a wrench instead of just tightening a knob by hand. 

However, once it’s secured, the very reliable bike locking system is easy to use. The Saris Superclamp X4 is one of the lightest 4 bike carriers out there and does take up a surprisingly small amount of space behind your vehicle.

People Also Ask:

Can you put a bike rack on a pickup truck?

Yes, you can absolutely put a bike rack on a pickup truck. 

While the more traditional bike racks like a roof bike rack or a bumper rack cannot be used, a hitch bike rack can be used if you have a hitch fitted and your vehicle has the right clearance. In addition, there are specific types of bike racks that have been designed to carry bikes in the back of your pickup. 

These include tailgate bike pads, both wheel and fork bike racks, and side clamp bike racks.

What is the best bike rack for a pickup truck?

The best bike rack for a pickup truck will depend entirely on your needs. 

You may already have a hitch installed, so that makes it easy to choose a hitch-mounted bike rack. However, if you don’t have a hitch installed and don’t want that extra expense, then you need to consider the type of bike plus how many bikes you intend to carry, your wheel and tire sizes, and your budget. 

There’s a huge amount of choice out there, but first, you need to decide which type of bike rack is right for you.

Still haven’t found the right pickup truck bike rack? Then read on to find out more!

Best Truck Bed Bike Racks

So you’ve decided that you don’t want the extra hassle and expense of fitting a hitch to your pickup truck, so what are the other options? 

These include the following specifically designed pickup truck bed bike racks – here are our top picks:

Best Thule Truck Bed Bike Rack

Thule Insta-Gator Pro

Advantages:

  • No bolting or drilling needed to fit the rack
  • Extremely high quality from a well-established brand

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t fit all tailgate models

If you’re only looking to transport 1 bike, then you cannot go wrong with the Thule Insta-Gator Pro

It’s a firm favourite across all platforms and is a quality product that we have come to expect from Thule. This truck bed bike rack is easy to install and requires no special tools or drilling. 

It carries 1 bike that can weigh up to 50lbs, the wheel sizes can vary from 20” to 29” and it accommodates tire width sizes of up to 5”.

Type:Wheel-mounted
Weight:11lbs
Weight Capacity:50lbs
Number Of Bikes:1
Material:Aluminium & plastic
Ease Of Use:Easy

This surprisingly lightweight truck bed bike rack is easy to install and even simpler to use. 

This is a wheel mounted bike rack where you simply place the front wheel of your bike inside the padded hook and use the ratcheting arm to secure it. The bike is kept steady and secure without attaching anything to the frame, so there is less chance of any damage to both your bike and your truck!

Best Yakima Truck Bed Bike Rack

Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad

Advantages:

  • Simple to install and easy to use
  • Comes in 2 different sizes (Medium & Large)
  • Medium size carries up to 5 bikes/Large size carries up to 6 bikes

Disadvantages:

  • May block your rear camera view
  • Straps may be a little difficult to secure

The Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad is simple to install, easy to use, and comes in 2 different convenient sizes that should fit most, if not all different truck widths. 

To install simply hang it on your tailgate and thread the straps securely. For bike transportation, you hang the front wheel over the tailgate and then secure the bikes using the integrated hook and loop cradle system. 

This hook and loop cradle system is very secure and protects carbon frames and painted surfaces from scratches and dings.

Type:Tail-gate pad
Weight:M 6lbs/L 8lbs
Weight Capacity:No weight data specified
Number Of Bikes:M 5/L 6
Material:Heavy duty nylon
Ease Of Use:Easy

The Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad is a very convenient and easy to use pickup truck bike rack, especially when you need to carry multiple bikes. 

The velcro integrated hook and loop cradle system works well and keeps the bikes securely in place even in rough terrain. Plus, the soft padding protects both your truck’s paint job and your bike’s frames. 

This is a great tailgate pad for a pickup truck, as it’s super simple and has a high quality feel.

Best Swagman Truck Bed Bike Rack

Swagman Pickup Fork Mount

Advantages: 

  • Super easy to install
  • Fits most mid-size to large truck beds

Disadvantages:

  • You have to take off your front wheel to secure your bike
  • There are some issues with the locking system

This Swagman Fork Mount truck bed bike rack is a steel bike rack with an adjustable bar and rubber ends that is designed to fit across the width of your truck bed. 

It’s easy to install by using the adjustable telescopic bar and the integrated locking system to lock the bar in place (no drilling required). The rack can carry up to 2 bikes, each weighing no more than 35 lbs. 

As with any fork mounted truck bed bike rack, you do need to remove the front wheel to secure your bike.

Type:Fork-mounted
Weight:13.5lbs
Weight Capacity:35lbs per bike
Number Of Bikes:2
Material:Stainless steel
Ease Of Use:Easy

We found this Swagman Pickup Fork Mounted bike rack very easy to install and simple to use. 

Ok, you have to remove your front wheel, but if you have a quick release wheel system, then this doesn’t take much time at all. The fork blocks are adjustable so you can space your bikes accordingly, and the bikes feel solid on the truck bed.

Best Saris Truck Bed Bike Rack 

Saris Traps Triple Track Bike Rack

Advantages:

  • Transports up to 4 bikes
  • Can be used as a fork or wheel mount rack

Disadvantages:

  • Fork mounts and wheel mounts are sold separately
  • No locks included

This simple truck bed bike rack can be used as either a fork mounted rack or a wheel mounted rack – just buy the mounts that you want to use separately. It carries up to 4 bikes and fits any standard truck bed as well as in the back of any SUV or minivan.

Type:Fork or Wheel mounted
Weight:6.94lbs
Weight Capacity:No weight limit specified
Number Of Bikes:4
Material:Aluminium
Ease Of Use:Easy

The Saris Traps Triple Rack bike rack is a versatile bike rack where you get to choose if you want to fork mount or wheel mount your bikes. It’s a durable and lightweight rack that is easy to install and easy to store away when not in use. It also comes in at an affordable price and has a lifetime warranty.

Summary: Our Final Results and Picks for the Best Pickup Truck Bike Racks Per Section

Too many to choose from? Let’s narrow it down to the best of the best. Here are our top 3 picks for the best pickup truck bike racks:

RankedBrandModelWhy We Liked ItPrice
Top PickThuleInsta-Gator ProFits just about any bike, is easy to use, and is of exceptional quality.Click to check price
Runner UpYakimaTailgate Pad Carries up to 6 bikes safely and is simple to install.Click to check price
Best Budget OptionSwagmanPickup Fork MountVersatile and easy to useClick to check price

There are a lot of pickup truck bike racks on the market today, but we’ve compared the best prices so you don’t have to. Check the price of the bike rack you’re interested in to see if it’s on sale. You never know!

What is the best truck bed bike rack?

The best truck bed bike racks provide a handy solution for transporting your bicycles. A good truck bed bike rack should protect your bike and your truck when in transit. There are many different brands and types out there, so the best truck bike rack will come down to your specific needs.

How do truck bed bike racks work?

Whichever type or brand you use, the outcome should be the same; to transport your bike safely and securely without causing any damage to your bike or your truck. Most bike racks work by securing your bike upright on the bed of your truck. However, there are a variety of different methods to do this, including tailgate pads, wheel or fork mounts, and side clamp bike racks.

How many bikes can fit in a truck bed?

Depending on the size of your truck bed and the type of bike rack you use, you can easily fit up to 6 bikes in a truck bed. This can easily be achieved if you use a tailgate mount pad. However, most bike racks can only accommodate 2 – 3 bikes, and some even less.

Summary: Our Final Results and Picks for the Best Pickup Truck Bike Racks Per Section

Here’s the same thing we have above. Because these bike racks are on sale, I just wanted to make sure you got one:

RankedBrandModelWhy We Liked ItPrice
Top PickThuleInsta-Gator ProFits just about any bike, is easy to use, and is of exceptional quality.Click to check price
Runner UpYakimaTailgate Pad Carries up to 6 bikes safely and is simple to install.Click to check price
Best Budget OptionSwagmanPickup Fork MountVersatile and easy to useClick to check price

There are a lot of pickup truck bike racks on the market today, but we’ve compared the best prices so you don’t have to. Make sure you check the price for the bike rack you’re most interested in – it might be on sale!
But what if you’ve got a cargo rack? Can you still use pick up truck bike racks? Can you fit a cargo box and bike rack at the same time? Click here to find out.