In this review, we take a closer look at the best truck bed bike racks.
When it comes to truck bed bike racks, the biggest concerns are the durability and quality of build. We also consider factors like the load capacity, and any special feature the racks may offer.
Our top pick for truck bed bike racks goes to the Thule GateMate. It is made from heavy duty materials and provides a very secure place to hold your bikes. It’s also pretty lightweight and compact.
We have been in the business of testing and reviewing vehicle accessories for over ten years now. So if you’re looking for a good truck bed bike rack recommendation, you came to the right place.
Keep reading to find out more about the best truck bed bike racks on the market!
Thule GateMate PROTruck Bed Bike Rack
Thule’s GateMate Pro Tailgate Pad continues the theme set by the company’s other accessories with a high quality design, sturdy bike mounts, and tons of utility from a more compact package.
Let’s start with the design of this truck bed bike rack. It uses high quality vinyl for most of the construction, making it lightweight compared to steel. There are also some aluminium parts used for better rigidity and stability at speed.
The durability of vinyl is off the charts. We tested the rack in a lot of different conditions, including rain and snow. You don’t have to worry about it rusting or corroding over time.
Fitment is also very secure. The whole pad goes over your tailgate and stays in place even under heavy acceleration and braking. This is thanks to the heavy duty nylon straps that hold the pad securely against your tailgate.
Furthermore, foam material is used on the underside of the pad to allow for a snug fit with different sized truck tailgates. We tested two different sizes of the Thule GateMate Pro with different sized truck tailgates. The smaller size fits compact pickups like a glove, while the large size was almost tailor made for full size pickups.
Let’s move onto the actual bike securing features. Here we see thick nylon straps that hold your bike’s frame very tightly. These straps are made of nylon and will fit frames for most road bikes, mountain bikes, e-bikes etc.
It also holds up to 7 bikes at a time, depending on truck bed size. We do think the straps are a bit loose compared to other options, but still plenty secure for everyday use.
There is thick foam padding between the straps that prevents the bikes from touching each other in transit. It also reduces the chances of your bikes getting scratched or damaged.
There is a flap covering the truck bed handle, so you don’t lose tailgate functionality. It has integrated pockets on the inner side. We found these to be really useful for holding small items that we don’t want moving around in the truck bed.
- Durable vinyl material
- Lightweight and rigid
- Some aluminium used
- No rusting
- Compact size
- Snug fit on your tailgate
- Foam inserts for better fit
- Heavy duty nylon straps hold the pad in place
- Holds 7 bikes
- Can hold mountain bikes and e-bikes
- Straps secure bike frames
- Bikes do not bang against each other
- Flap covering truck bed handle allows access to tailgate
- Integrated pockets for storing small items
- Two sizes available for different tailgates
- Straps should have been a bit tighter
Inno Velo Gripper Bike Rack for Truck Beds
Inno’s Velo Gripper is the budget truck bed bike rack that gets our highest recommendation. It features a solid build and really secure fitment for confidence at speed.
We were surprised to find such a high quality build at this price point. The Inno Velo Gripper is made almost entirely from alloy steel. The design is very rigid and sturdy. It does not let your bike shake or move around too much when you’re on the highway.
The steel brackets used here are treated with a silver powder coat. This prevents them from rusting or corroding over time. So if your truck sees a lot of use in rain or mud, you don’t have to worry about the brackets getting damaged.
It uses a C-channel track system to hold your bike in place. Adjustable rods and ratcheting straps are used to hold your bike’s fork and frame. We can report that the fit is very secure, even around sharp turns. Moreover, the ratcheting straps will fit most different shaped bike frames no problem.
One slight disadvantage of this budget rack is that it can only hold one bike. That’s why we recommend buying two of these, one for either side of your truck bed, so that you can hold two bikes.
One huge advantage of this truck bed bike rack is that it does not require you to remove the front wheel on your bike. It’ll work with standard bike cable locks too, so you don’t have to go buying new ones.
It has integrated D-rings which we found come in really handy as anchor points for the cable lock. You can also use cargo tie downs with the D-rings for an even sturdier fit.
Installation is about as easy as 1,2,3! It will bolt right on to your truck bed’s C-channel. We did not have to drill into the truck like with some other truck bed bike racks.
Finally, this rack is compatible with a wide variety of pickup truck manufacturers, including Chevrolet, GMC, and Toyota. Really, any truck bed with a C-channel track system is compatible.
- Alloy steel build
- Holds one bike
- Very stable at speed
- Powder coat finish
- No rusting
- Uses C-channel track system to hold bike in place
- Adjustable rods and ratcheting straps
- Bike is secured at the forks
- Does not require front wheel removal
- Works with standard bike cable locks
- Has D-rings which can be used as anchor points for cargo straps
- Easy to install
- No drilling required
- Compatible with most truck beds
- You have to buy two if you want to carry multiple bikes
CyclingDeal Tailgate Truck Bed Bike Rack
This Tailgate Bike Pad from CyclingDeal is worth a look if you liked the Thule but were turned off by the price. This is another high quality tailgate bike pad that delivers an even more secure bike mount.
The construction of this tailgate pad is similar to the Thule. The underside of the pad is plush material. That means it does not scratch or damage your truck’s paintwork at all. It is held in place on the tailgate by sturdy nylon straps that are adjustable for a precise and snug fit.
It can hold up to 6 bikes at a time very securely. The bike straps are again nylon, with a soft inner lining where they hold your bike’s frames.
We did not have to put up with any scratches or dings on the bikes. Moreover, these straps can be adjusted to accommodate thicker or thinner bike frames. Overall, the bikes are held very firmly and do not rub up against each other in transit.
We were able to mount mountain bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes without a problem. Pro tip: if you do want to load a heavier e-bike on this rack, consider tying it down as well for added stability.
The outside of the pad is a PTV Trap waterproof material. It does not break down over time, and you can use it in the rain without any problems. The foam is also thicker at around ¾” thick. This makes for a more snug fit on the tailgate.
An integrated flap on the back of the pad allows for easier truck bed handle access. We also appreciate that this pad maintains full backup camera functionality.
We tested this truck bed bike rack on a number of different terrains with all 6 bikes loaded up. Even over bumpy and uneven terrain, the straps stayed in place and did not let the bikes or rack move around at all.
Integrated pockets on the inside are a nice addition and really useful for holding any small tools, or other equipment you don’t want sliding around in the truck bed.
- Soft material on the underside for paint protection
- Holds 6 bikes
- ¾” thick padding foam
- Adjustable straps for a snug fit
- Straps can hold most different sized bike frames
- Straps are padded to avoid scratching bike frames
- Very secure bike hold
- Does not let the bikes move around too much
- Bikes are kept apart from each other
- PTV Trap waterproof outer layer
- Can be used in wet conditions
- Does not cover truck’s backup camera
- Flap allows for truck bed handle access
- Integrated pockets on the inside
- You may need to tie down heavier e-bikes at another point in the truck bed