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Top 5 Best Truck Bed Bike Rack On The Market In 2021 Reviews

Bike racks come in a variety of styles, including in-bed installation and hitch mounts. Each has its uses, and you’ll find which is better than the other.

Fork mounts are another style, while many consider cumbersome, is a great way to secure your bikes. And the best part is, these can be used on regular passenger vehicles too.

But which is the best truck bed bike rack?

In this bike rack guide, we go over the top 5 best bike racks for your truck bed, along with a short buying guide.

Top 5 Best Truck Bed Bike Rack On The Market In 2021 Reviews

Best Truck Bed Bike Rack Comparison Table

ProductsTypeNumber of BikesLocking Cable Included?Rating
Type
Truck Bed Mount
Number of Bikes
2
Locking Cable Included?
Yes
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Type
Hitch-Mount
Number of Bikes
4
Locking Cable Included?
No
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Type
Hitch-Mount
Number of Bikes
2
Locking Cable Included?
Yes
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Type
Tailgate Pad
Number of Bikes
6
Locking Cable Included?
No
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Type
Fork Block
Number of Bikes
1
Locking Cable Included?
No
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Top 5 Best Truck Bed Bike Rack In 2021 Reviews

1 Top Line Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack

Uni-Grip is simple and easy to install a bike rack that can hold up to 2 bikes at a time. The key feature is, the Uni-Grip requires minimal installation. No need to drill your truck bed or remove the front wheel of your bikes.

The truck bed rack has been designed to clasp onto the bike’s front wheels without slipping. Your bikes will remain safe and secure on the rack, even when driving at medium speeds. Moreover, the Uni-Grip can fit any type of truck bed, regardless of the length and style provided, there’s enough space for the rack and your bikes.

Mounting your bike is easier than ever. Simply lock the front wheel in place and you’re good to go. And unlike many other racks that work on a ball hitch, the Uni-Grip mounts right on the truck bed. So, you can use it for trucks that don’t have ball hitches.

The Uni-Grip can be used both with and without bed liners. This means you won’t have to take them out if you want to secure your bikes. And since each rack is placed so far from the other, your bikes will never be touching each other.

And you get a complementary locking bike cable that blocks unauthorized access to the bikes. The bike rack itself doesn’t lock anywhere to your truck. But the individual bikes stay safe as far as robbery is concerned.

If you have a utility track system in your truck bed, avoid this bike rack. You just won’t be able to install it in. Also, you may find the bikes will start to wobble or move around if you don’t tie their tires down somehow. It’s expected from a bike rack, but there should be more protection.

Top Line Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack
Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Pros

  • No need to remove the front tire.
  • Does not require a ball hitch joint.
  • You can use it with or without bed liners.
  • Includes cable lock for bikes.
  • Bikes don’t touch each other.

Cons

  • Bikes will move around.
  • Not for use with utility track systems.

2 Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks For Hitch

For fitting 4 bikes on your truck’s hitch, try the Allen Sports Hitch Rack. This is a 4-bike rack that stays secure whether on the road or on a dirt track.

To start with, let’s take a look at how this bike rack ties down your bikes. Its main design consists of 2 long carry arms of 22 inches each and a long support post. These carry arms each have 4 secure clamps along with a patented tie-down system.

In addition to that, the Allen Sports features a no-wobble bolt meant to prevent the rack from wobbling and swaying as you drive. Ball hitches aren’t the most secure, so this added bolt is much needed.

Setting up and using the rack is fairly simple. Installation hardly takes 5 minutes and setting the bikes takes no more than a couple of minutes.

The clamps are not Snap-On clasps but rather belts that you tie down. So, it will take longer to set the bikes in. But once secured, you can be sure your bikes won’t move around.

One good thing about the clamps and the carry handles is, they’re decently spaced. This means you can accommodate all sizes of bike frames, be it kid-sized or adult.

As for removing the bikes, it couldn’t get easier. The main mast can be tilted away from the car or truck for easy access to the bikes. And once you remove them, you can fold the carry arms down to make backing up into a garage easier.

However, you should consider the fact this bike rack requires a 2” ball hitch joint. So, you can’t just use it in flat truck beds. Luckily, you can extend the use of cars and SUVs as well. But they all must have a ball hitch.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks For Hitch
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • No-wobble bolt for security.
  • Foldable carry arms.
  • Tilt-away mast.
  • Setup takes 5 minutes or less.
  • Individual tying down system.

Cons

  • 2” ball hitch is required.

3 Swagman Xc2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack

Hitches can get pretty unstable, which is why the Swagman includes an anti-wobble hitch bolt. This prevents your bikes from moving when you’re driving and keeps them steady.

The Swagman XC2 is made entirely from stainless steel, which is known for its durability and corrosion resistance. It’s recommended for outdoor use, and due to its steel construction, it can carry up to 35 pounds per bike. That means a maximum of 70 pounds if you buy two of these.

Unfortunately, due to the way it’s designed, you might only be able to accommodate two bikes. Any more than that and the rack will be “jutting” out from the back of your car or truck.

Moreover, this is a hitch mount bike rack, meaning you require at least a 2” ball hitch for it to work. Most tow trucks and trailers will already feature one. But in case yours doesn’t, or you’re using a passenger vehicle, you’ll need to install one beforehand.

But putting all that aside, this is a great bike rack for its premium grip and stability. The grip arms use a soft coating to prevent any chipping or degradation on the bike’s finish. And if you have a wider bike, the upright ratchet post can be adjusted to accommodate it. It’s recommended for use with most bike frames, kid and adult included.

Each hook is cushioned to keep your bike’s paint job safe. And the hooks too can be adjusted for different sized bikes. What’s more, is that the rack clasps onto the bike from both the mainframe as well as the wheel. So, say goodbye to swaying bikes.

The Swagman includes a hitch pin for locking the frame in place. And you also get a 10 mm security cable to ward off thieves and bike burglars.

Swagman Xc2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Premium-quality stainless steel frame.
  • Can hold up to 35 lbs. per bike.
  • Adjustable hooks and upright ratchet arm.
  • Includes hitch pin lock and security cable.
  • Keeps the bike’s finish safe.

Cons

  • Gets bulky when storing more than 2 bikes.
  • Requires a ball hitch.

4 Yakima – Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad

Want a tailgate rack that can accommodate more bikes? Then you might like the Yakima Gatekeeper. This is a tailgate pad that can secure a truckload of bikes, quite literally. It has space for 6 bikes and is great for pickup trucks and movers.

The Yakima is one of the very few bike racks that use cushioned Velcro cradles. The use of Velcro and neoprene straps is good news for bike frames made from carbon steel. It also reduces the tension and abrasion that’s caused by regular cradles on the bike’s paint job.

Additionally, the Yakima has a special SitTight cradle system that stops your bikes from shifting. And it isn’t a hitch mount, which not only requires a ball hitch but can also be pretty unstable. The only downside is the bikes have to stay inside the truck bed. So, there’ll hardly be any space for other items.

Since many newer trucks use backup cameras, the Yakima features a flap that can open up. It won’t get in the way of your backup camera, which is a common problem with tailgate pads.

Installation is a breeze as well. Take the pad and hang it on your tailgate. Then simply thread the straps and mount your bikes on it. It’s made of soft nylon, so it won’t affect the paint job of your tailgate.

Unfortunately, you don’t get any locks or ties. There’s no built-in way to lock the bikes to the pad. You can use secondary cables purchased from a local bike shop. Or use the tie-downs on your truck bed, if you have them.

The good thing is you don’t have to worry about the size and shape of your bike. Most kids, adult’s and even mountain bikes can be accommodated on the large pad.

Yakima – Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Cushioned SitTight cradles.
  • Neoprene Velcro cradle straps.
  • Protects paint job and carbon frames.
  • HindSight flap for rear cameras.
  • Quick and easy installation.

Cons

  • No in-house locking mechanism.
  • Bikes take up the entire truck bed space.

5 Hollywood Racks Fork Block 1 Bicycle Fork Mount

If you want to secure your bikes with a fork mount, the Hollywood Racks is a great place to start. This is an aluminum fork block that is inexpensive and can withstand tons of pressure and stress. It’s a good choice if you want a fork mount setup but be warned as installation can be cumbersome.

The Hollywood Racks is made from 6061 aluminum alloy, which is known for its high tensile strength and versatility. A single 9 mm heavy duty skewer facilities setup and release. Aluminum is the better choice here since it’s generally very corrosion-resistant.

There are pre-drilled holes on the base to allow for quick and easy installation. You will have to drill holes in your truck bed or the roof of your car. It clasps onto your front wheel, given your wheel has a max OLD of 100 mm.

It should be noted this is a fork mount. The fork of your bike’s front wheel needs to be attached to the mount. This is an unconventional form of bike transportation. And thus, many people will struggle with the installation. It comes pre-assembled, so that’s a plus. But the setup procedure can get rather confusing.

However, the good thing about fork mounts like this is they’re not limited to the size of the wheel or tire. Just make sure you have a fork width that can fit this mount. It’s too small for fat bike forks. So, remember to take some measurements before you buy it.

Adding to that, this fork-mount is not for thru-axle forks or bikes with disc brakes. However, you do get two small holes in the fork block to secure a cable through them. In this way, your bikes will remain safe on your truck bed.

Hollywood Racks Fork Block 1 Bicycle Fork Mount
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Strong and durable aluminum construction.
  • Great for bikes with slim forks.
  • Pre-assembled with pre-drilled holes.
  • Holes on the neck for tying a cable.
  • Secure and stable bike rack.

Cons

  • Installation is challenging.
  • Not for thru-axle forks.

Best Truck Bed Bike Rack Buying Guide

Picking out the best truck bed bike racks requires an ample amount of knowledge and decision making. Here are a few key points to remember:

Mount Type

The first thing you should note when purchasing a bike rack is its type. There are a few different styles of bike mounts.

The most common one is the hitch mount. This amount is to be attached to a ball hitch, which will either come pre-installed on your truck bed or need to be installed. Hitch mounts are good for saving space inside your bed, as most of the time, the bikes are held outside the bed. However, they can be quite unstable and require a lot of security.

truck bed bike rack

After that, you have the in-bed cradle mounts. These mounts are to be installed on the very inner wall of your truck bed and hold the bikes via the cradles. The bikes will stand on your truck bed, so they’ll require tying down. And you won’t be able to hold anything else in the bed.

Fork mounts are the most complicated. You need to install fork blocks on a separate rail in your truck bed. And you can only mount the fork of your front wheel on them. So, you need to remove the wheel, which can take quite a while. The benefit is they are some of the most durable as they grasp directly onto your bike’s frame.

Locking Mechanisms

Next, search for some locking mechanisms. Many bike mounts come with their locking mechanisms. The most common type is a simple cable lock, the same you would use to secure your bike at a public bike rack. Some bike racks come with cable locks included, so you don’t have to buy a new one.

Cradles are common among both hitch and in-bed mounts. These are similar to belt buckles that you can tighten around your bike’s frame or wheel. Clamps are also common, especially around the wheel part.

It is a good idea to get a bike rack that locks both the wheel and the frame of your bike. Your bikes won’t sway or move around, and they certainly won’t slip.

If you have a hitch bike rack, make sure it has an anti-wobble securing bolt. This will help prevent a lot of the wobbling on hitch racks.

Ease of Installation

Bike racks can be quite hard to install. So, you want to minimize setup difficulties as much as possible. Look for truck mounts that come pre-assembled, or come with all the necessary hardware included.

truck bed bike racks

In terms of installation ease, hitch racks are the easiest to install. Just secure the rack onto the ball hitch, and you’re good to go. The problem is if you don’t have a hitch, you’ll need to install one too. It shouldn’t be that difficult, but it’s still a bit inconvenient.

Fork mounts are the hardest to install. You need a whole rail system to set up. And you need to remove the bike’s front wheel each time you want to add a back to the rack. And as such, removing the bike is just as tedious.

Durability and Strength

Finally, consider how strong the entire bike rack is. Most bike racks are made from either steel or aluminum. Both are good choices, but aluminum is the better one. It’s lesser susceptible to corrosion and water damage. And weighs lighter than steel.

You’ll also need to consider how much weight the entire rack can hold. This will especially concern you if you have a heavier bike, such as a mountain bike. Anywhere between 30 to 50 lbs. is a good place to start.

Conclusion

It’s common for everyday cyclists to not know much about bike racks. They just want something that works. But having a good mental grasp of your options and what you should get is always helpful.

Truck bed bike racks come in all shapes and sizes. And if we had to pick one as the best truck bed bike rack, it would be the Top Line UG2500-2. This is a 2-bike truck bed rack that holds onto your bike’s front wheel and facilitates easy removal. It’s easy to install and can be locked using the included cable lock. And it’s highly adjustable for mountain bikes which have fatter tires.

The only downside is you can’t use it with a utility track system. Either remove the track system or look for a hitch mount. Also, you’ll need to tie the back tires and the frame down somehow.

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