The Best Toyota Tacoma Bed Bike Rack in 2022 | Bed and Hitch
The Toyota Tacoma is manufactured to serve the purpose of a pickup truck. The first-generation models of Tacoma were classified as compact pickup trucks while the second and third-generations are classified as mid-size pickup trucks.
If you are a bike enthusiast you may be looking for a Tacoma bed bike rack to upgrade your vehicle. Some bike racks are universal and others are compatible with specific vehicles. But so many brands produce bike racks with different features, making it difficult for most people to make the right decision.
So if you own a Tacoma and while traveling you want to carry your bike(s) along, this article will help you select the best bike rack available in 2022. We have provided a step-by-step guide to help you make the best decision for your Tacoma bike rack.
|Insta Gator||Premium Rack Upright Mount in $300|
|Yakima Gatekeeper||Economical 6 bike rack only for $230|
|Delta Pro Lock||Econimical 1-bike lockable rack in $37|
|Kuat Sherpa 2.0||Best Hitch Bike Rack at $600|
You can also go through the complete best truck bike racks of 2022 here
Step-by-step guide for selecting the Best Tacoma bed bike rack
Step 1: Toyota Tacoma features that should be considered before shortlisting a bike rack
The initial and most important step is to recognize your requirements and comfort level with certain features of bike racks. You should ask yourself the following questions before getting a bike rack for your Tacoma:
- Do you own 1 or multiple bikes? Bike racks are available with various bike accommodations, some can accommodate only one bike while others can accommodate multiple bikes.
- Is the bike rack compatible with your Toyota Tacoma? Make sure that your bike(s) along with the bike rack, can fit inside the truck bed. Since Tacoma is not a full-size truck, it is better to know the bed length beforehand to compare it with the length of the bike(s).
- Is the rack suitable for your bike(s)? Some bike racks do not accommodate all types of bikes. For example, some do not support women’s or kids’ bikes or fat tires and some only accommodate quick-release bikes but do not work for thru-axle bikes. So it is better to know the rack’s compatibility with your bike(s).
- Are you fine with frame contact? Most e-bikes and carbon frame bikes can be expensive. So you might not want to take any risks. Some bike racks come in contact with the bike frames and when you travel on bumpy roads they can leave scratches on the bike paint. So if you are super cautious about your bikes you should get a rack without any frame contact.
- Are you willing to drill holes in your Tacoma? Some bike racks have to be installed on the truck bed after drilling permanently altering the vehicle.
- Are you looking for a bike rack that locks the bikes for security? All bike racks do not come with a locking system. If you want to leave your vehicle with the bike rack while you’re on a road trip, make sure that your bikes are locked to the bike rack and the bike rack is locked to the truck bed.
- Do you need space on the truck after the installation of the bike rack? If you need the truck bed for loading other things, you should look for a compact bike rack.
- Can you remove the front tire of your bike? Fork-mount bike racks require the front wheel to be removed. You can buy such bike racks only if you are willing to remove the tire every time you mount the bike on the rack.
- Do you have bed liners in your Tacoma? All bike racks are not compatible with bed liners. It is better to check the product features before you purchase it.
Step 2: Shortlist the types of bike racks compatible with Tacoma
Once you roll ahead of step 1, it will be much easier to shortlist the type of Tacoma bed bike rack. After careful research, we have come up with three types of racks that can work best with your pickup truck.
Hitch Bike Racks
Hitch bike racks are a great way to carry bikes if you do not want to compromise on the vehicle’s space. In the case of trucks, hitch-mount racks are the best option if the truck bed is occupied for something else. These racks can only be installed if you have a specific hitch receiver. Most trucks have a class 3 or 4 hitch receiver that has to be bought and installed separately if it is not factory installed. Tacoma has a Class-IV towing hitch receiver, but you can get a non-factory curt hitch receiver installed as well.
Tailgate pads rest easily on the tailgate and can be fastened with the help of straps. These are made of soft material that protects the paint of the truck. Most tailgate pads are available in two sizes, one compatible with mid-sized trucks and the other with full-sized trucks. They are also highly compatible with different bikes and usually accommodate around 5-7 bikes. There is no need to remove the front wheel of the bike, no need to drill in the vehicle and it also looks good on the tailgate. The only downside is that there is no built-in security system for the rack or bikes. So if you own multiple bikes or you are traveling with family or friends, a tailgate pad can be an economical and safe option. The small-size tailgate pad from most brands can be the perfect Tacoma bed bike rack.
The fork mount bike racks attach to bikes from their forks after removing the front wheel. The best thing about these racks is that they ensure no frame contact. The bikes stand upright which makes them the safest option. Most fork-mount bike racks come with a locking system so you can leave them on without having to worry about them. Since they require the removal of the wheel, make sure that your bike has a drop-out wheel otherwise it will not be compatible with this rack. If you own highly valuable expensive bikes, you can go for a fork mount rack and it might be the perfect fit for your Tacoma bed bike rack if you use a tonneau cover.
Bed rail bike racks, as the name suggests, attach to the side rails of the truck bed. These racks are usually the most compactly built. They do not carry many bikes but they can save a lot of room on the bed of your truck. Also, they do not require you to remove the front tire of bikes or drill. Some bed rail racks mount on standard bed rails while others slide into the C channels. If you want to buy this Tacoma bed bike rack make sure that the length of your bike is the right size as compared to 60.5 inches bed length of Tacoma.
Pipeline bike racks fit into the bed of the truck and can accommodate up to 5 bikes. They have wheel-holding arms that can be adjusted for a variety of tire dimensions. You can mount the front or back tire of the bike into this rack and strap the bike for added support. These racks are highly versatile but the bikes move a little which means that it is not the best option if you have expensive carbon frame bikes.
We recommend a bed-installed bike rack over a hitch bike rack if you can spare space on the truck bed. Because if you are not using the truck bed for cargo, you will be wasting space, and hitch bike racks add extra length to the vehicle making it a bit difficult to park and take sharp turns.
Step 3: Choose from the below shortlisted best Tacoma bike rack | Truck Bed and Hitch Racks
We have done the research and have shortlisted the best Tacoma bed bike racks.
Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Overall & Best Hitch Bike Rack
- 2 Bike
- Use truck bed space for other things
- Larger bikes can be carried easily without leaving the tailgate open
- Requires hitch
We rate the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 as the best hitch bike rack for SUVs and also the best Tacoma hitch rack. This powder coat finish bike rack only weighs 32lb which makes it lightweight as compared to most platform hitch bike racks. It is available in 1.25” and 2” hitch sizes and has a two-bike capacity with each bike weighing, not more than 40 lbs. The adjustable ratchet arm and foot-assisted pivot system make it user-friendly and convenient i.e., one of the many reasons Kuat Sherpa 2.0 is rated the best bike rack.
This rack is also rated high for its security features. It comes with cable locks that are long enough to go through the wheels of bikes. Sherpa 2.0 is present in three different color looks which makes it more aesthetically pleasing with various cars. Another reason it rates better than Thule Easyfold is the impressive response from customers. With around 95% of customers satisfied with the bike rack, it leaves it scoring the highest among the best bike racks.
Complete comparison: Sherpa 2.0 vs EasyFold XT
Yakima tailgate pad
If you are looking for a simple bike rack with easy installation and also want to carry multiple bikes on your truck, the Yakima Tailgate pad can be a suitable Tacoma bed bike rack. This tailgate pad comes in two colors, black and cascade blue, so you can choose the one that adds to the aesthetics of your Tacoma. It is available in two sizes, the medium is made to hold 5 bikes and the large can hold up to 6 bikes. We recommend medium size pad for Tacoma because the large size hangs out of the tailgate. The Yakima tailgate pad also has a HindSight flap that allows the back camera view. These features make it a reliable truck bed mount rack for families who travel often with multiple bikes. You can get it for around $160.
- 6 Bike
- Tailgate Pad
Demon tailgate pad
The Demon tailgate pad is another suitable Tacoma bed bike rack but at a lower price. You can get the small size for around $90. The small size accommodates 5 bikes. Although it is available at a lower price as compared to Yakima, Demon does not compromise on the quality of the product. It has a fine look and contains a flap at the back that allows access to the rear camera and tailgate handle. The only thing users complain about are the poor Velcro straps that wear out after a few months. But you can accommodate any type of bike such as the BMX, women’s bike, road bike, E-bike, mountain bike, hybrid bike, and beach cruiser. You should get it for your Tacoma if you travel with multiple bikes even if these bikes are of different types.
- 7 Bike
- Truck Bed
INNO Velo Gripper
INNO Velo Gripper is a type of side rail bike rack that can also be used as a Tacoma bed bike rack. The RT202 model only works with C channel rails, which is great because Toyota Tacoma models from 2005 onwards come with these rails. But it is only suitable if you have one bike. Since it only attaches to the side rail, you can buy two racks and accommodate a maximum of 2 bikes on the truck bed. It is very useful if you want extra space on your truck bed. The rack is compact and lightweight and does not take up any space. And because the rack holds only one bike you can use up the rest of the space for cargo or other stuff. You can get it for around $95.
RACK SCORE 8.4
Insta Gater Pro
If you are finding a bike rack that ensures zero frame contact, you should get Insta Gater Pro. It can work as a Tacoma bed bike rack since it is compatible with all trucks. It keeps the bike fixed and upright. You can easily install it without any drilling or bolting. It is a lightweight yet durable bike rack that secures the bike by ratcheting its arms. It has a very attractive look and can rest anywhere on the truck bed. If you buy the Insta Gater Pro you will not have to worry about your bikes on rough roads. You can get it for around $300. Since it holds only one bike, it might seem expensive but the high value comes at a higher price.
- 1 Bike
- Bed Upright
RACK SCORE 8.0
Pipeline truck bike rack
A pipeline rack is another option for the Tacoma bed bike rack. The best thing about these racks is that they are highly adjustable. You can customize the size of wheel holders according to the wheel diameter and tire width. This rack would be suitable for you if you own bike(s) with wheels 20 to 29 inches in diameter and 0.75 to 2.8 inches in tire width. It will work for your e-bikes, mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes, and BMX but not for fat tire bikes unless you get the adaptor. We highly recommend this product if you own multiple bikes of different types. You don’t have to remove the front tire or drill for installation. It is durable and very simple to install. The pipeline truck bike rack can be bought for around $450.
Pipeline racks for the truck bed bike are made for 2, 3, or 5 different or the same bike types. These racks do not require drilling or any other modification of the truck bed. You can use it for bikes of various wheel and tire sizes.
- Pros: No drilling
- Cons: Price, Rattling
Delta’s Bike Rack Pro | Economical Fork Mount Rack
The Pro lock version of Delta bike racks is one of our favorites for most trucks. This compact rack can be mounted on any flat surface and has a lockable cam lever for securing your bike.
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 in the future.
Overall it is a great way to carry one bike inside the truck bed without taking up much space. The price is low, so you can also buy two of them if you have two bikes. So as long as it works with your bike, it will help you carry it securely …Read the complete Delta Cycle Bike Rack Review
Compact, economical, and universally fit fork bike rack for any truck. Can also be locked as well.
- Pros of Delta rack: Economical
- Cons of Delta bike rack: Take off the front wheel, space on the truck
FAQs for Toyota Tacoma bed bike rack
How to mount bike rack to Tacoma truck bed?
Mounting of bike racks largely relies on the kind of bike rack. For instance, tailgate pads are mounted on the tailgate of the truck, and straps are tied. Fork-mount bike racks are installed inside the truck bed. Some require drilling while others have different mounting mechanisms. Some bike racks are attached to the side rails of the truck bed, these racks can be mounted by clamping them on the rail or sliding them into the C channel rail.