Which is the best Truck Bed Bike Rack of 2022: Fork, Pipeline, or Upright

Published by Bike Scientist on

Why would you need a bike rack designed explicitly for the truck bed?

Wondering what’s the best way to carry bikes on a truck? There are some great pickup bed bike racks out there that do not require a hitch receiver. You can get the best truck bed bike rack, make full use of the truck bed space and safely carry one or multiple bikes on a road trip. 

A bike holder for the truck bed is preferred over roof and hitch mount racks. These racks can be bought at a reasonable price and most of them do not have additional requirements. A bike rack for the bed of a pickup truck would not affect the visibility of the license plate or extend the length or height of the vehicle so you can drive easily. 

Moreover, conventional or most common bike racks are either designed for a car’s roof, trunk, or hitch. Trunk bike racks are not designed to fit a truck while roof and hitch bike racks extend the height and length of an already high roof and lengthy truck. Also since trucks have more space on their bed makes perfect sense to utilize that space for transporting your bike.

Pickup bed bike racks are built as tailgate pads, fork mounts, or wheel-holding racks that have to be installed in the bed or on the side rails of the truck bed. In this article, we have reviewed the best truck bed bike racks after carefully examining them separately. 

We have also compared these racks by using our Rack Score-based rating system where we rate the racks for features, value for money, capacity, compatibility, brand value, and security. For your convenience, we have rated all these factors on a scale of 10 you can easily pick a rack based on your priority factor. 

Premium Quality Upright Rack for $300Insta Gator Pro Truck
The economical rack which fits 6 bikes $230Yakima tailgate pad
Delta Pro LockLow-priced lockable rack for 1 bike $37 Delta Cycle Pro Lock
Inno VeloSpace-saving rack for 1 bike $120Inno velo bike rack

Tips to shortlist the best-suited truck bed bike rack

  • BIKES CAPACITY: Start by considering how many bikes and how often you would be transporting them
  • TRUCK COMPATIBILITY: Some trucks don’t have the required length of the bed and if you have a large bike it might not fit, ensure compatibility
  • BICYCLE COMPATIBILITY: Not all racks are universal. Some racks do not work with e-MTBs, Fat bikes, so ensure bike compatibility
  • FRAME CONTACT: Consider if you are willing to have contact between your bike frame and bike rack
  • INSTALLATION Some racks would require drilling which adds security but again is a permanent alteration to the truck

The best truck bed bike rack 2022 Reviews

In order to help you determine the best rack for your truck 2022, we have reviewed and recommended our top picks specifically for the truck enthusiast

Thule Insta-Gater Pro|Premium Upright Mount

  • 1 Bike
  • Bed Upright
Thule Insta Gater
Price 7.0
Brand 9.0
Looks 8.0
Security 8.0
Capacity 7.0


Pros of Thule Insta Gater Pro

  • There is no frame contact which keeps the bike fixed in a position and safe.
  • It is made up of light yet durable material which makes it robust.
  • Since no bolting or drilling is required, it is easily installed without any damage to the truck.
  • It can fit into all types of pickup tailgates. It’s a good choice if you own a truck.

Cons of Thule Insta Gater Pro

  • It accommodates only one bike while some styled bike racks can manage 6 bikes
  • High price (per bike)

If you have one expensive carbon frame bike and are entirely risk-averse to any possibility of scratching your bike or your truck, the Thule Insta-Gater Pro is the premium bike carrier you need. This particular bike rack caters to 1 bike up to the weight of 50 pounds. 

This is the best truck bed bike rack if you want a rack that installs easily and does not come in contact with your bike. Unlike most other wheel-holding truck racks, it does not require any drilling. Apart from that, it has its own bike lock system –Thule’s One-Key system. 

This Thule rack scores a total of 8 on the R score. It scored 8 or above in all the categories except value for money and capacity. You might find it to be more costly than other pickup bed bike racks and that too for only one bike. But nothing premium comes at a low price. 

The rest of the features including, the no-frame contact and security locks make the Thule Insta-Gater Pro perfect for a comfortable and safe experience. Although the bike rack is a bit overpriced, it can save a lot of money by preventing any damage and you can drive without worrying about the safety of your bike. 

Apart from that, it is the best truck bed bike rack in terms of compatibility with bikes. It accommodates bikes with tires up to 5” so if you are looking for a fat tire bike rack for your truck, look no further. You can carry a mountain bike, carbon frame, e-bike, or fat bike, on this Thule rack.

Read the complete review on Thule Insta Gater 501.

Yakima Gatekeeper tailgate pad | Best truck tailgate rack for multiple bikes

  • 6 Bike
  • Tailgate Pad
Yakima Gatekeeper
Price 9.0
Brand 9.0
Looks 8.0
Security 6.0
Capacity 9.0


 YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad

Pros and Cons of Gatekeeper

Also featured in our best bike rack list. Traveling with family or friends? If you have to carry multiple bikes and do not want to spend a fortune carrying each bike, the Gatekeeper truck bed tailgate bike rack from Yakima is the one you need. You can carry up to six bikes on this simple yet durable tailgate pad.

This Yakima tailgate pad is built from rugged nylon on the outside and inside it has an extra soft backing that protects your bike and your truck’s paint job. This truck bed bike rack is for ANY frame whether it is a mountain bike or road bike or heavy e-bike. This would also work as a fat tire bike rack for a truck bed. 

It’s an easy-to-install truck bed tailgate bike rack that does not require drilling or modifying the truck bed any other way. You just have to hang it on your tailgate, line it up, and thread the straps. Weighing only 6 lbs this rack has two versions, one that fits mid-size trucks and another that fits some older full-size trucks. 

Overall it is a great way to carry multiple bikes on the bed of a truck. The only limitation is the poor-quality velcro straps but they can be replaced. The rack is available at a reasonable price. 

Read the complete tailgate Yakima crash pad review

Inno Velo gripper truck bed rack | Pragmatic truck bed rail bike rack

  • 1 Bike
  • Side Rail
Inno Velo Gripper
Price 8.0
Brand 8.0
Looks 10.0
Security 7.0
Capacity 7.0


Inno velo gripper truck bed bike rack

Pros of Inno Velo

  • Compact and sturdy
  • Stable on rough roads
  • No need to climb up the truck
  • Takes a few minutes to attach a bike
  • Hitch-less
  • Super lightweight
  • Leaves plenty of space on the truck bed
  • No need to remove the front wheel
  • Can tolerate extreme weather
  • Works with many bikes models
  • Tool-free installation
  • Works fine with spray bed liner

Cons of Inno Velo

  • Can only mount a maximum of two bikes on the truck bed
  • Tailgate has to be left open sometimes
  • No in-built security system
  • Does not work with a camper shell
  • Threaded rods are too short (wheel wells come in the way)
  • Foam or cloth packing is recommended since it may rub off the paint
  • Does not work with plastic bed liner

Yes – we have a unique bike rack category. A relatively new brand with a new concept. We endorse the idea but still gathering data to classify it as one of the top bike racks for truck beds. INNO RT201 bike holder for truck bed is a true budget option that lets you park your bike in a manner that leaves most of the space empty. 

This truck bed rail bike rack itself is basically two mounts for attaching ratcheting straps with adjustable rods. We believe it is the best rack for you if you want to save space on the bed. The frame attaches to the side rail of the truck and hence rather than being in the middle of the truck bed, the bike is on the side leaving space for other items to be kept. 

Inno Velo gripper truck bed bike rack does not require any drilling for installation. The other plus point is that you don’t have to take off any wheel from the bike as compared to truck bed fork mount bike racks. Most customers are happy with the concept and appreciate the reasonable price as compared to costly competition products. 

Some concerns regarding the quality of the strap were shared for which using an old tube is recommended. Also, it does not work with a camper shell or plastic bed liners. And you can only buy two sets to carry a maximum of two bikes inside the truck bed. But other than that, we have found it competing with other best bike racks in various ways. 

The RT201 INNO Velo gripper gets an overall R score of 8.35 whereas the RT202 INNO Velo gripper scored 8.00. Both versions only vary on the type of side rails on your truck. One works for standard rails while the other fits C channel rails. 
To see the difference, read the review on the Inno Velo gripper truck bed bike rack.

Delta truck bed mount rack | Economical truck bed fork mount bike rack

  • 1 Bike
  • Fork Mount
Delta Pro Lock
Price 9.0
Brand 8.0
Looks 7.0
Security 8.5
Capacity 7.0


Delta bike rack Pro Lock
Pros and cons of Delta bike rack

If you are looking for an economical truck bed fork mount bike rack, Delta’s bike rack pro lock comes with its patented lockable cam lever design and can be mounted to any flat surface. You can buy Pro lock from the very reasonably priced Delta bike racks on Amazon. 

While the company is not as popular as Thule or Yakima but it has sold more than 400K of these bike racks and is maintaining a good reputation. At almost 2000 ratings with an average of 4.5 stars, we think they are underpriced at this point in time for this rack and will soon increase to match the competition of other truck bed bike racks in the future.

This rack is available in many versions with slightly varying features. Some versions of the Delta rack have bike locking mechanisms, some fit quick-release bikes while one version is made for thru-axle bikes. So as long as you are comfortable with removing the front wheel of the bike, this bike rack for the bed of a pickup truck would work great. 

In a nutshell, the Delta Pro Lock bike rack is best for people who want to carry one bike and want to fully utilize the space on their pick-up truck. The locking mechanism is a plus point but before purchasing make sure it is compatible with your bike.
Is your bike compatible? Find out in the Delta bike rack review.

Thule GateMate Pro | Truck bed tailgate bike rack

  • Pros of Thule Tailgate Pad: Thick pad
  • Cons of Thule Tailgate Pad: No locking mechanism

Thule’s tailgate pad, GateMate pro is made of vinyl and weighs around 3.5 kg /6.5 pounds. Comes with a limited lifetime warranty and Thule claims that it can manage 7 bikes.

Pros of Thule Tailgate Pad

  • Hitch-less
  • Can accommodate up to 7 bikes
  • Easy installation
  • Saves the tailgate paint
  • Compatible with most truck tailgates
  • Waterproof
  • No need to remove the front wheel
  • Opening to access the back camera and handle of the tailgate
  • Economical in terms of price per bike

Cons of Thule Tailgate Pad

  • No security
  • Might have to remove the batteries of e-bikes
  • Bikes might move a bit

This Thule truck bed bike rack comes in two sizes or versions. The 823PRO is the smaller version that has a length of 52 inches, 15.5 inches in height, and 2.75 inches in width. It fits mid-sized trucks whereas the 824PRO version fits larger trucks, it is 59 inches long, 2.75 inches wide, and 16 inches high. 

The Thule Tailgate Pad can be suitable if you own multiple bikes up to 7 and if all the bikes have varying geometries. It can be effortlessly installed on the tailgate with the help of straps. Like other truck bed tailgate bike racks, the padding can be adjusted on many types of tailgates.

The Thule tailgate pad has some highly useful features and an impressive structure for which an R score of 8 for features and aesthetics is befitting. Value of money, brand value, and capacity has been awarded an R score of 9 since they are the highlights of this product. 

In terms of the other truck bed mount racks, we rank it lower than the Yakima tailgate pad because it costs more. But we recommend this Thule rack if you require greater bike capacity. The overall rack score is 8.2.

Find out other features of Gatemate Pro in the Thule Gatemate Pro review.

Fox Truck Bed Tailgate Pad

  • 5 Bike
  • Truck Bed
Fox Truck Bed Bike
Price 10.0
Brand 8.0
Looks 8.0
Security 6.0
Capacity 7.0


Fox Tailgate Pad Bike Rack
Fox Tailgate Pad Bike Rack

Pros of Fox Tailgate Pad

  • No need to buy a hitch receiver
  • No need to remove the front wheel
  • Accommodates multiple bikes
  • Saves the bikes and vehicles from scratches
  • High compatibility with trucks
  • No drilling or tools required
  • Economical
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Allows access to the back camera
  • Allow the tonneau cover to be closed

Cons of Fox Tailgate Pad

  • Not suitable for road bikes
  • Velcro straps are not reliable
  • No way to lock the bike rack or bikes
  • The padding wears out after some months

This tailgate pad is outstanding in terms of price because you can enjoy the convenience like the premium tailgate pads mentioned above and still pay less. With a score of 8, this rack has the ability to carry multiple bikes, is compatible and easy to use for most trucks, and it looks incredible. The only shortcoming is the lack of locks but by now you would know that all tailgate pads require separate locks so considering the price, we believe that the rack is great. …Read the complete Fox Truck Bike Rack Review

Demon Truck Bike Rack

  • 7 Bike
  • Truck Bed
Fox Truck Bed Bike
Price 10.0
Brand 8.0
Looks 9.0
Security 6.0
Capacity 9.0


Demon Truck Bike Rack
Demon Bike Rack

Another tailgate pad option but at a lower price as compared to the Gatekeeper. We recommend it for family use because you can carry multiple bikes on it. It has a simple design but serves its purpose. Like other tailgate pads, it lacks security features but since you would not be spending a lot of money on the rack, you can save up some for buying locks for securing your bikes.… Read the complete Demon tailgate pad review.

Swagman truck bed fork mount bike rack – Amazon’s Choice

Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack
Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack

Looking for the best truck bed bike rack for carrying bikes firmly? Designed for two bikes, the Swagman truck bed fork mount bike rack falls into our top choices because of its popularity and also since Amazon’s a big supporter of the product as well! 

This swagman bike rack is built for multiple bikes, the rack is a fork-mount with a 9 mm quick release. The rack comes out from a fancy branded box and takes not more than 2 minutes to install. You have two extending arms which fix in padded brackets on each side of the truck bed. 

Once you tighten the micro adjusters on both ends you can lock the rack with a provided key which ensures no one else can open it (without a key). By default, the rack comes with two quick releases to be used for two bikes. …Read the complete review on the Swagman pickup truck rack.

Yakima BlockHead- Budget Choice truck bed fork mount bike rack

Yakima Locking BlockHead

If you are looking for a truck bed mount rack with security features, you can get this fork-mount Yakima bike rack with added security features. You could go for cheaper options but you would be missing out on the essentials and most of all quality. We rank the Yakima locking blockhead as our economic option. 

Installing the bike rack would require drilling two screws in your flat bike rack and putting on the bike requires taking off the wheel. Even though you would make a permanent solution, the rack is so small that hardly any space is given up by installing it. The rack fits bikes with 9mm x 100mm front hubs and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros Reasonable price, Thief deterrent feature
Cons Drilling required
Rating 4.5 out of 5

Pipeline Truck Bed

The pipeline’s truck bed mount rack can accommodate 2,3 or 5 bikes. With no drilling required, you can use this rack anywhere you want once you are done transporting your bikes.

  • Pros of Pipeline bike rack: No drilling
  • Cons of Pipeline bike rack: Price, Rattling
Pipeline bike rack
Pipeline bike rack

Pros of Pipeline Racks

  • Remarkably adjustable and customizable
  • No need to remove the front tire
  • No drilling required
  • No frame contact
  • Durable
  • Can be installed just by using an Allen wrench
  • Quite sturdy
  • Wheel arms can be positioned for maximum space
  • Foldable Wheelie Bars keep both wheels aligned
  • Compatible with many bikes and trucks
  • Does not require a hitch receiver

Cons of Pipeline Racks

  • Not rigid so some bike sway is expected
  • No way to lock the rack or bikes
  • Not suitable for bikes with full fenders
  • Expensive 

Looking for the best truck bed bike rack to travel along with your family? If so, the Pipeline Racks can serve the purpose. The rack is available in different versions to support 2 to 5 racks. You can get the one that fits your truck bed and accommodates a maximum number of bikes. 

The wheel cradles on this pickup bed bike rack can be adjusted to fit tires varying from 0.75″ – 2.8″ wide. You can also get additional parts such as a tire cradle assembly for holding extra bikes or a Fat tire tube kit for accommodating fat bikes. 

The Pipeline rack scored higher for its impressive features and high compatibility with pickup trucks and bike types. But the product lacks a locking mechanism for the rack and bikes. It is still one of the best truck mount racks but considering the price, they should include security features to it. 

Overall it is a handy bike holder for a truck bed with a good design and versatile features. So, if you are tired of tailgate pads because of the blocked back camera or inability to access the tailgate, this Pipeline Racks bike carrier is highly recommended. …Read the complete Pipeline racks review. 

Features: Versatility and Adjustability

It is the versatility and adjustability for different user requirements that make a bike rack stand out. While looking for a pickup bed bike rack, make sure it is easy and quick to install. Installing some bike racks can be laborious and who has time for this in today’s busy life? So you should consider this while looking for the best truck bed bike rack.

Also, some people need bike holders for the truck bed to carry expensive carbon frame bikes so frame contact with the bike rack is a risk you should not take. These issues should be addressed by bike rack manufacturers. So we have evaluated the features of different truck bed racks based on durability, ease of installation, and safety of bike frames.

The Pipeline Racks truck bike rack is rated the best truck rack in terms of features because of its impressive ability to be adjusted for different requirements. This rack is a go-to if you are looking to carry up to 5 bikes without risking any damage to the vehicle or bikes. There is no frame contact because the bikes are held by gripping the tires between the wheel holders. 

It is a durable product made out of aluminum and is very easy to install. It has separate straps for supporting the bikes and installation. The reason it tops the list of bike racks for the bed of pickup trucks is the adjustable wheel arms and wheel holders which ensure that it has high usability. 

The Yakima tailgate pad also tops the chart because of its super easy installation process. It only requires to be strapped to the tailgate and takes a minute or two maximum to be installed. The bikes are also easily mounted with the help of cradles without removing the front tire. 

One model comes with Velcro straps and the other with G hooks. We recommend the G hooks because they are durable and do not wear out like Velcro. Another convenient feature is the HindSight flap that allows a back camera view even when the truck bed tailgate bike rack is installed.  

The INNO Velo Gripper accommodates only one bike but has valuable features. It does not require any drilling for installation but comes in a package of 6 components that require to be assembled. This truck bed rail bike rack saves a lot of space on the pickup bed so you can carry other stuff as well. 

This bike holder for the truck bed is adjustable for the height of the bike and does not demand the removal of the front wheel. You can also choose from the two available models according to the rails on your truck bed. RT201 fits on the standard truck bed rail and RT202 slides into the C channel rail. 

But if you are looking for the best truck bed bike rack to carry two bikes you can get the Swagman pickup rack which can also be used if you have bed liners. This truck bed fork mount bike rack has a telescoping bar which is easy to install but mounting the bike takes more time since the front wheel has to be removed. 

The GateMate Pro, Demon tailgate pad, and Fox Tailgate truck bed tailgate bike rack accommodate up to 7 bikes. They work like the tailgate pad from Yakima but do not have the option of G hooks so you may have to compromise with the Velcro wearing out after a few months. 

The Delta bike rack is at the end of the chart because it only works after taking off the front tire and requires drilling into the truck. The front tire has to be removed and the installation is not as simple as tailgate pads but if you want access to your tailgate you can buy this rack. 

Security Features of the Truck Bed Mount Racks

While you’re traveling, there will be times when you need to leave the vehicle. We believe that you should be able to do that without any inconvenience and that is why we give the security feature high importance while rating the pickup bed bike racks. So when we rate the security feature, we are basically looking for the capability to lock the bikes and the bike rack.

The Thule Insta Gater 501 and Delta bike rack are the best truck bed bike racks in terms of security because of the built-in locking mechanism. Thule Insta-Gater Pro comes with the easy-to-install Thule one-key system and secures the bike. These compact locks do not affect the overall look of the bike and bike rack. 

The Delta Pro Lock has a lever with a hole in it. To lock the bike, you will have to align this hole with the hole on the base and put the lock in the holes. Although these racks are on the top among security features, they do not have a locking system for bike racks. 

However, the Swagman pickup truck rack can be locked to your truck. This means you do not have to uninstall it after you are done using it. It is locked with the help of a lock and key which ensures safety. While it has a locking system for the rack, it lacks a built-in solution for the security bikes. 

The INNO Velo Gripper does not come with locks but since it is installed on the rail it is not very simple to remove and would take some time. Pipeline Racks have no way to lock them with the truck or to lock the bikes on the racks. 

The Yakima tailgate pad, GateMate Pro, Demon tailgate pad, and Fox Tailgate truck bed tailgate bike rack all have straps to fasten the rack on the tailgate. These straps just have to be untied to be removed. This imposes a big risk to the security of your bikes and bike racks. 

Capacity and Compatibility of Pickup Bed Bike Racks

Do you have to travel with friends and family along with multiple bikes? If yes, you should get yourself a bike holder for the truck bed with a good bike accommodating capacity. So when you choose the best truck bed mount rack in terms of capacity, you should also check its compatibility with your truck and bikes. 

Not all bike racks are made for holding all types of bikes. Some are only made for quick-release bikes, some do not hold women’s or kids’ bikes, some bike racks can fit into medium-sized truck beds and some fit into full-size beds. So it’s important to identify your requirements before you get a bike rack.

Yakima tailgate pad, Demon tailgate pad, and GateMate Pro are ranked the highest in terms of capacity and compatibility for obvious reasons. These bike racks accommodate multiple bikes. Yakima holds up a maximum of 6 bikes whereas, Thule GateMate Pro and Demon pad both have cradles for up to 7 bikes. 

These truck bed tailgate bike racks are also remarkably compatible with all types and sizes of bikes. This includes E-bikes, mountain bikes, beach cruisers, BMX, hybrid bikes, and women’s bikes. They can also work as fat tire bike racks for truck beds. Most are available in two sizes which makes them suitable for both compact and full-size trucks. 

Similarly, the Pipeline Racks are also compatible with most trucks and are among the best truck bed bike racks for family use. It has a maximum capacity of 5 bikes. It can accommodate any bike with a wheel size of 20″ – 29″ and a tire width of 0.75″ – 2.8″.

Swagman pickup truck rack has a capacity for only two bikes. It can be adjusted for any pickup truck that is up to 62 inches wide. Although it is compatible with most trucks, it is not on the top of the chart because it only accommodates bikes with a quick release or the drop-out tire. So if you own a quick-release bike, this rack will be perfect for you. 

The INNO Velo Gripper holds only one bike, but since it is available in two versions, the overall compatibility with trucks is high. The RT201 is compatible with standard rail trucks while RT202 gets is compatible with trucks with a C channel rail. It works great with beach cruisers, urban, mountain, road, and e-bikes, and is one of the best fat tire bike racks for truck beds.

Unlike other truck bed tailgate bike racks, the Fox Tailgate truck bed tailgate bike rack has small bike straps. This means that it might not be able to hold some bikes as e-bikes with batteries. Also, the rear flap for the camera view is not cut out of the right size. Otherwise, it has a good capacity of 6 bikes and is compatible with most trucks. 

The Thule Insta Gater 501 and Delta bike rack both have low bike capacity and accommodate only one bike. Also, the Delta Pro Lock is only compatible with quick-release fork bikes. Thus, although they are among the best racks, they are only good if you are looking for pickup bed bike racks to carry one bike. 

Aesthetics of Bike Rack for Bed of Pickup Truck

While it is not the most important aspect to look for in a bike rack, aesthetics do add value to the product. So when we talk about the aesthetics of pickup bed bike racks we are focussing on the design and overall look of the bike rack, bikes, and truck. 

Some manufacturers put a lot of thought into the features as well as the aesthetics of bike racks and this is why they rank higher when comparing different racks. For example, we believe INNO Velo Gripper is the best truck bed bike rack with respect to its aesthetics. 

The INNO Velo Gripper does not take up extra space on the truck bed. It is a compact bike rack that holds the bike firmly in position. It weighs only a few pounds and rests on the side rail of the truck bed. It beats other bike racks due to its attractive design. 

It is followed by the Yakima tailgate pad and Demon tailgate pad, which rest on the tailgate with grace. Although they accommodate multiple bikes, they do not look hefty and are lightweight. The Yakima tailgate pad comes in two colors, black, and cascade blue. You can choose the color that compliments your truck paint. 

The Delta bike rack is also among the top aesthetic racks because of its compact design. Moreover, has a powder-coated surface finish to save it from corrosion. Similarly, the Swagman pickup truck rack is another best option with a compact telescoping tube design. 

Although the Fox truck bike pad has an appearance like the Yakima and Demon tailgate pad, it is not stitched in high quality. The poor stitching means it will wear out soon and the overall look with be compromised. The three straps for installing the pad are stitched on the outside making it difficult to install. 

The Pipeline Racks have a hefty look because of the big wheel arms. But since it has an aluminum exterior, the overall look is pleasing. The Thule Insta-Gater Pro also looks appealing due to its compact design. 

Value for money of the Bike Holder for Truck Bed

The Demon tailgate pad tops the list because it is the most economical of all truck-bed bike racks carrying up to 7 bikes. It comes in two sizes the small one is priced at $90 whereas the large one is $100. This bike holder for truck bed has an impressive per-bike cost of around $18 and that too with good overall features and compatibility. 

The Fox truck bike pad also shares the position Demon on the price chart. It has a small pad costing $100 and a large version for around $140. This brings the per-bike cost down to around $20. These tailgate pads are followed by Yakima and Thule truck bed tailgate bike racks. 

The 2018 version of the Yakima tailgate pad costs around $160 and the new model costs around $200. Although it costs more than the first two bike racks, it is a cost-effective choice considering that Yakima tops the features rank. Similarly, its counterpart produced by Thule costs around $170 which is not a bad price considering the cost per single bike. 

The two INNO Velo Gripper models RT201 and RT202 can be purchased at around $115 and $95 respectively. Both are expensive for accommodating only one bike. But since it saves space on the truck bed and has other attractive features as well, it is among the best rack list. 
Delta bike rack comes at an affordable price of $46 and also has a locking system which most truck bed-mount racks lack. But it only accommodates a single bike and that too should be an older version quick-release bike. So for less compatibility, it is not worth the price. 

The Swagman pickup truck rack is also among the best truck bed bike racks that are made only for quick-release bikes. It costs around $130 and holds only 2 bikes which means the per-bike cost would be approximately $60. If you want to carry additional bikes, you can purchase more fork mounts to install on the Swagman bike rack with each at less than $50. 

The Thule Insta-Gater Pro also accommodates only one bike and is way too expensive. It costs around $300. But high value comes at a high price. Insta Gater Pro secures the bike in the lock and also prevents any contact. 

The Pipeline Rack is relatively expensive with a high cost of around $450. Even if it holds up to 4 bikes, there are more economical alternatives for multiple bikes. Also, it does not include any locking system so it is not worth the price.

Comparing the best truck bed mount bike racks

Thule GateMate HitchlessYakima GatekeeperThule Locking Low RiderInsta Gator Pro Truck
Gate Mate ProGatekeeperLocking Low RiderInsta-Gater Pro
Type Truck Bed RackTruck Bed RackTruck Bed RackTruck Bed Rack
Maximum Bikes7611
Rack lockNoNo No No
Bike lockNo No No Yes
Bike rack weight5 lb.5 lb.1 lb.11 lb.
Load CapacityN/AN/AN/AN/A
Hitch requiredNo Hitch No Hitch No Hitch No Hitch
Customer Satisfaction92%98%90%90%
PriceAround 200 Around 200Less than 100Around 300
Check on AmazonCheck on AmazonCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon
Thule Roof Bike Racks Comparison

Trunk Bed Bike Racks Versus Hitch bike rack

Hitch bike racks are a great option if you want to travel with relatively heavy bikes or e-bikes. Especially if you have a receiver already installed on your vehicle, these racks can be the best option for you. Class l is usually found on regular cars while class lll is found on bigger SUVs or trucks. 

The price varies greatly depending on the number of bikes and brands you are purchasing. Also if your vehicle does not have a hitch, you will have to buy a hitch trailer separately and get it installed on the car. This greatly adds to the total expense. 

But with a bike rack for the bed of a pickup truck, you will not have to buy a hitch receiver. Even if your truck already comes with a trailer hitch, you might need it to tow something else. Pickup bed bike racks can also help you store multiple bikes on the truck. These racks do not extend the length of the vehicle. 

However, truck bike racks take up space on the truck bed. This can be an issue if you want to use up the space for other cargo. Bikes are not as easy to mount and remove as hitch bike racks. Some truck bed bike racks also block the rearview.

DIY PVC truck bed mount rack | Homemade DIY truck bike rack

You will need long PVC pipes that can be trimmed to fit your truck bed, a saw, elbows, tees, and PVC adhesive to assemble the PVC rack. Before cutting the PVC fittings, measure the pickup bed and do it safely. Then, using the elbows and tees, begin assembling them. 

Build four vertical pieces and three horizontal pieces. Combine them and test the rack in your truck bed to see if it fits, and if not, you can redo it because the pieces were not glued the first time. But when you set up the final rack, glue all the parts. By using the same technique, you can also make a DIY wooden truck bike rack.

This DIY bike rack is adjustable. You can attach the vertical and horizontal pieces depending on the dimensions of your bikes. For example, if you want a fat tire bike rack for a truck bed, you can leave enough space between the pipes. Find the detailed procedure for building a PVC truck bed bike rack in our DIY Bike Rack article. 

DIY truck bed bike rack for tailgate|Truck bed tailgate bike rack

Want to stitch a high-quality truck bed tailgate bike rack all by yourself? That’s not a problem. You just need to buy the right exterior and interior material for the tailgate pad. Take all the measurements of the pickup bed bike rack tailgate such as height, width, location of the license plate, etc. Buy the fabric accordingly. 

After that, you just have to cut and sew the fabric pieces together. You should also get a padding material and sew it into the fabric to protect the bike frames. Read the detailed procedure for building a DIY truck bed bike rack for a tailgate in our DIY Bike Rack article. 

FAQs for truck bed bike racks

How much does a truck bed bike rack cost?

The best truck bed bike racks cost on average 188 dollars while the maximum truck bed bike rack we have reviewed costs around 500 USD (pipeline racks) and the minimum one is Delta pro lock at 28 dollars. Check prices of other bike racks here.

Can you build a bike rack for a Truck’s tailgate?

You can build a bike rack for the tailgate of a truck if you know how to stitch and you will find most of the supplies in a sewing box you have at home. You will need to do a lot of measurements and then sew an exact fit to your truck’s tailgate depending on the number of bikes you want to transport.

Can you get a bed bike rack that allows a folding bed cover?

You can get a bike rack that will allow access to the folding bed cover, some options to do so would include. The setup enhances the cool looks of your track, bike rack, and bike along with freeing up space underneath for carrying any extra gear, luggage, or cargo

  • Get a bracket made which allows the mount rack to be fixed onto it 
  • Use hi-rise cross bars and fix the fork truck bed bike rack on it 
Fixing a bed bike rack on a truck bed cover which allows folding
  • Inno Racks Truck Bed Rack System allows you to have a bike rack above your truck bed cover without any drilling. It is basically a set of 4 struck bed stays in C-channel and Standard channel which allows you to fit in Yaima or Thule load bars.

The last option is that you can go with a hitch bike rack as well where you will not have to mount the bike on the cover at all

How do I secure my bike in my truck bed bike rack?

We do not recommend but if you intend to secure your bike without a bike rack for the truck bed. You can use some ratchet straps to do it. In the first step, you can remove the seat post and place the bike upside down on the track bike rack. Take the strap and use it to secure the bike from multiple parts of the frame (top tube, seat tube). Use another hook of the strap and ratcheted it firmly against the front wall of the bed. This is a DIY solution and you can try other things to ensure your bike is secure for traveling.

Can trucks with spoilers use a Truck bed bike rack or other bike racks?

That would really depend on the type of bike rack. We don’t think a tailgate pad bike rack for the truck bed would work with trucks with spoilers. But as far as other bike racks are concerned such as the pipeline rack, fork mount, and upright mount, spoilers should not be an issue. It’s highly recommended you check with the manufacturer before purchasing.

How do you carry an e-bike in a truck bed?

Carrying an e-bike in a truck bed is quite simple if the bike fits in the length of the bed. You just need a truck bike rack that secures the e-bike and keeps it upright. For example, the Pipeline Racks can fit e-bikes because they can hold wheels of a vast range, and also there is no frame contact so you can trust it with your expensive e-bikes. But one problem with these racks is that you have to place the heavy bikes on the truck bed. For this, you will either lift the bikes or use a ramp and roll the bikes on the bed and then secure them on the rack. But since due to the trailer the hitch is not available for e-bike hitch racks, these truck bed racks are the best available solution. 

Are Thule truck bed bike racks worth it?

Thule is a leading brand for bike racks for truck beds. The brand has certainly gained its position after investing heavily in research and development over the years. Their bike racks are tested in different environments before being released on the market. After all that comes excellent after-service and marketing. They know how to package and provide service to their customers. We strongly believe the brand is offering racks that are versatile, durable, and worth it. Yes, Thule bike racks are worth it.

Other best types of bike racks are there apart from truck bed bike rack 

There are quite a few different best types of bike racks and we have analyzed them (roof bike rack, hitch bike rack, trunk bike racks, and vertical bike racks) for you here. Although we recommend the best in the market, the final decision is always yours and if one rack works best for one customer, that doesn’t mean it would be the best for others too.

So it all comes down to the biking requirements and budget of each customer. On average, trunk bike racks cost less than hitch mount racks and also save you from buying a hitch trailer. We have analyzed different racks to come up with a detailed article on the cost of bike racks.

Bike lock for truck bed

Bike locks are a must for bike racks for truck beds. While they don’t guarantee 100% that your bike would not be stolen but still they act as a great deterrent. You can imagine a thief preferring bikes without locks as compared to ones with bike locks. Most premium racks such as the upright mount truck racks, fork mount bike racks, and hitch bikes have their own lock systems installed. But it is still highly recommended that additional locks such as D or U locks be used to double secure the bikes from theft.

Apart from that, we have not found any of the tailgate pad bike racks with locks. In that case, external locks such as the truck bed cable lock, truck bed u locks, or python cables can be used to secure the bikes.  

Different Types of Bike Racks for Truck Bed

There are various styles of racks for truck beds as well. Each one is designed differently and has its own pros and cons. We have divided them into a few major categories namely tailgate pad, fork mount, pipelines, hitch, and upright mount bike rack for a truck bed.

Different types of truck bed bike rack
Different types of truck bed bike rack

Truck bed fork mount bike rack

A fork mount bike rack for a truck bed is a mechanism in which you just fit in the fork of your bike and let the rest of the bike on the flatbed of the truck. The way it works is that you take out the front wheel of the bike and place the fork on the skewer on the rack. Tighten the skewer and that’s just about it. 

The best truck bed bike rack fork mounts require a flat surface for installation on your truck bed, bulkhead, or side rails. Mounting requires using a drill and some heavy-duty screws due to which some people prefer using a wood plank instead of drilling in the truck itself. 

The major advantages of this type of bike rack are that there is zero contact with the frame, installation is straightforward, fully lockable and the rack itself very compact for storing away. The disadvantages are that you have to drill the lock into the truck, the quick release does not fit all skewers and the per-bike cost of this bike rack is relatively higher than the tailgate pad bike racks (though for only one bike this might be a cheaper option).

The disadvantages are that you have to drill the lock into the truck, the quick release does not fit all skewers and the per-bike cost of this bike rack is relatively higher than the tailgate pad bike racks (though for only one bike this might be a cheaper option).

Upright mount bike holder for truck bed

For those of you who have very expensive carbon frame bikes, you might want to use more sophisticated bike rack systems as compared to the custom bike racks above mentioned. Upright mount truck bed racks are complete bike rack systems with zero contact with the frame and hold the bikes by the wheel. 

These are considered the best truck bed bike racks for carbon frames.  The rack installation is fairly simple with no drilling required. You have to open your tailgate and fix the two little ratchet straps in the space. Once you tighten the ratchet straps you pull down the arm and place your bike’s front wheel in it. 

The arm clamps right before the fork and makes the bike secure. The advantages are that you don’t need to drill or damage your truck in the process and also the rack is in zero contact with the frame. The disadvantage is that this is perhaps the most expensive option for a pickup bed bike rack.

Pipeline bike rack

Pipeline racks are aluminum racks built for mounting in the front or back wheel. Another inexpensive option that can accommodate up to 5 bikes at a time and you don’t have to remove the front wheel while placing in your bike. The Velcro straps secure the wheels to the racks. 

The advantage of these types of pickup bed bike racks are very easy to install, bikes are easy to fit in, and fairly inexpensive options. The disadvantage is that bikes don’t remain stationary. You can hear the rattling of the bikes and their sway around. Definitely not the choice for very expensive carbon frame owners.

If you are looking for recommendations for the best truck bed bike rack specifically for truck brand and model, view our detailed recommendations for

If you are looking for recommendations specifically for a truck brand and model, view our detailed recommendations for

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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.


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