The 8 Best Truck Bed Bike Racks and Carriers in 2020

Jan Poshenko
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Are you looking for a bike rack that’s easy to install, affordable, low profile and very roomy?

You’re likely to be in search of a truck bed bike rack. These racks can be affordable, versatile, easy to use and low profile.

Having the right truck bed bike racks, or at least the best one that suits you and your vehicle, is important. It can make the difference between whether you have an enjoyable ride or a miserable one.

For that reason, I’ve listed the 8 best truck bed bike racks and accessories for you to consider.

NameCategoryProduct
YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate PadBest Overall
YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad
Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike RackBudget Pick
Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,BlackUpgrade Pick
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,Black

1. YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10


YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad

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Pros:

  • Exceptional Customer Service from the Manufacturer
  • Price
  • Large Capacity, can hold six bikes
  • Works with Most Bike Types
  • Easy Installation

Cons:

  • No Lockable Cables
  • Must Use Locks that Interlock with the Head of the Cables
  • May Lift Tailgate Too High for Certain Trucks

Yakima’s full sized Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad is one of the best looking and best constructed pad style pickup bed bike racks we have tested.

These pad type racks fit in the back of pickup truck beds and are great for people with 1-3 bikes. They can even carry fatbikes!

The best thing about the Gatekeeper is its simplicity. Once you know how to load and secure your bikes, you only need to repeat the process every time you want to take your bikes with you.

2. Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack

Our rating: 8 / 10


Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack

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Pros:

  • Great price
  • Lightweight for its price

The Swagman PICKUP fork mount rack is one of the most affordable fork-mount racks on the market but don’t let the price fool you, it’s still a strong, secure and well-built bike carrier.

Swagman is known for their quality on the lower end price range of products and this bike rack is no different. The Swagman PICKUP is made to fit the needs of those who like to bike and camp.

This bike rack sets the bikes parallel to the truck bed, which is also referred as “stacking them. ” This is the best way to carry one or two bikes with the PICKUP. This model can handle up to two bikes and the rack can also flex out a little in order to fit around wider rear beds for trucks.

3. Swagman Tailwhip Truck Tailgate Pad

Our rating: 8 / 10


Swagman Tailwhip Truck Tailgate Pad

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Very light
  • Easy to install

The Swagman Tailwhip Truck Tailgate Pad adapts to fit most standard truck beds measuring 50"H x 40"W. The rear of the Tailgate Pad has a raised bumper that allows your wheel to roll over the edge of the load bed easier on the tires and frame.

The Tailgate Pad weighs only 2.8 pounds and is easy to fold up and store out of the way when not in use.

Mount the Swagman Tailwhip Truck Mount/Tailgate Pad with four bolts and washers to the tailgate of any pickup truck. The Swagman Tailwhip Truck Mount/Tailgate Pad's design incorporates a recessed area on the Crossbar that accepts the mounting hardware.

4. Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,Black

Our rating: 7 / 10


Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,Black

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Pros:

  • easy installation
  • light
  • a wide variety of options
  • affordable price.

The Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack is one of the most popular bed rack options for car and truck today. It's one of the first on the market to achieve such a high level of quality and customer satisfaction.

The Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack is the bed rack you want to use if your hobbies involve carrying bikes and going to the race track on weekends. Find an excellent way to mount your bikes on the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack!

This rack is very easy to install. You can set it up in less than five minutes. The Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack is easy to adjust and it offers you plenty of options. The angles of the rack can be adjusted for a variety of bikes. The Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack is stronger and more durable than you may expect for a bike rack that’s so affordable.

5. Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack

Our rating: 7 / 10


Top Line UG2500-2 Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack

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Pros:

  • Can carry most types of bikes
  • High-quality, comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Very stable

Cons:

  • Very heavy
  • Needs two people to set up

If you are looking for a lightweight truck bed bike rack, this should be your first choice. The Uni-Grip Truck Bed Bike Rack for 2 Bike Carrier from Top Line comes with an outstanding Uni-grip clamp that’s just about as sturdy as they come.

The fact that this two bike rack can carry just about any bike is also fantastic. Whether you are transporting mountain bikes or road bikes, this rack will accommodate your needs. The Uni-grip clamp is designed to be easy to use.

Even better, this rack is so stable that it can hold several bikes! If you have a family and want to take the kids out cycling with you, this two bike carrier is a fantastic pickup.

6. Thule Bed-Rider

Our rating: 7 / 10


Thule Bed-Rider

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Pros:

  • Sleek styling
  • Holds bikes securely
  • Tilt mechanism makes loading and unloading the car a breeze

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Requires you to remove your front wheel

The Thule Bed-Rider XT is a unique, quality rack for securing your boat, regardless of its size or top, to your vehicle.

The Bed-Rider XT system, with the Thule Roll Bar Mount and The Thule Ladder Rack, allows for easy “roll-top” loading of your boat on to a flat bed truck to protect it from scratches and dings.

One of the best features of the Bed-Rider is the tilt mechanism, which makes loading and unloading a breeze, especially if your vehicle doesn’t have a high lift tailgate.

7. Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier

Our rating: 7 / 10


Thule Insta-Gater Bike Carrier

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Pros:

  • Fixed and tilt models
  • AeroBlade bases resist scratches
  • Tilt racks work a bit better with heavier bikes
  • Hold up to five bikes of varying sizes

Cons:

  • Expensive by comparison to other carriers
  • Can be difficult to install

The Thule Centerline is an extension that fits between the Thule WingBar roof rack and the Thule Rapid Aero feet. It's easy to use and installs with the Thule Fit Dial that allows you to quickly adjust fit to the contours of your truck.

One major benefit to using the Centerline over a non-extension like the Passport is that you can use this carrier when you carry bikes on the back of your vehicle. Another great thing is that the Q-Towers, which are the feet that attach to your vehicle, are included and don't require any additional parts, saving you from buying additional components.

The Thule Centerline T2 is one of the best bike racks for truck owners looking for a stylish bike rack that doesn't take up a ton of space. There are three different models of this particular bike rack with two that attach to a vehicle using the clamp style arms and a third that uses a Thule Rapid Aero foot.

8. INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack

Our rating: 6 / 10


INNO RT201 Truck Bed Bike Rack

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Pros:

  • Easy assembly
  • Sturdily constructed.

Cons:

  • Finds room for only 2 bikes

The Inno RT201 truck bed bike rack fits both 2" and 1-1/4" receiver hitches found on standard U.S. pickup trucks. This bike carrier is durable and supports up to two bikes.

The RT201 allows you to load your bikes by wheeling them up the ramp, which is a new addition for Inno carriers in its RT series. This feature helps make loading bikes more convenient and helps to prevent scratches on your car or truck bed.

The swing arm is easy to use and locks your bike to the rack, so fewer tie downs are needed. The Inno RT201 has an anti-wobble hitch lock pin, which secures bikes to the carrier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you transport a bike in a truck bed?

When you load up a bike in a bike rack, there are things to consider. First of all, you need to make sure that your bike is protected and that it isn’t going to get scratched or dented. To protect your bike and other items, you’ll want to make sure that you have a bike bag or a padded bike rack.

Next, make sure that you have it secured properly to a hitch rack. These hitch racks make it easy to take your bike on a long road trip.

Depending on your bike, you have a plethora of them to choose from. It may even make loans in your riding experience.

Just make sure that you have it secured well.

If you’re going on a long road trip, take one along with you to make sure that your bike gets to where you need it to go.

What is the best roof mounted bike rack?

For a long time, many would have said Thule, which is a great option and whose racks you can see everywhere. But there are now several good reasons to consider mounting your bikes on top of your car instead of carrying them.

For example, if you’re planning a trip, you may decide that having an extra roof rack on your car will make traveling easier.

However, there are different reasons to use a roof mounted rack that have nothing to do with going on vacation. Personally, I have an extra roof rack on my car simply for the convenience of carrying extra bikes where I need them.

This may be my kidsƦ bikes (a friend lent them to us when they went away for a month, and we kept borrowing them for rides, raining trips, and others), or my wifeƦs road bike or mountain bike, or even my e-bike when I cannot lock it inside my car at work.

What are the best bike racks for SUV?

The great thing about SUV bike racks is that a lot of the same factors a car uses to determine what is and isn’t a good car rack are the same for many SUV racks.

Firstly, one should always think about how a rack affects the lines of the car. For most SUV models, it can be important to keep the lines as clean as possible, especially for models akin to the Porsche Cayenne, which have been designed from the ground up with aerodynamics in mind.

In addition to looking at the line of the vehicle, keeping in mind the access to the back of the vehicle is necessary. Most SUV racks can be installed with little or no mechanical knowledge, but a model that requires extensive tools to install is something to keep in mind.

How much weight can a rear bike rack hold?

Rear bike racks are known for being the easiest and most convenient bike carrying systems, but they’re also limited in how much weight they can hold. Most experts recommend that you never mount a bike rack on a vehicle with the total load weight exceeding 65 percent of the car’s maximum to avoid constructional issues on the car’s chassis.

Due to the fact that bikes are made of metal and there are two wheels, the weight increases by a factor of 4. Therefore, a two-wheel bike and all of its accessories adds up to around 130 lbs or over 60% of the car’s weight limit for the average car.

If your bike rack exceeds this limit, you run the risk of damaging the truck or the rack itself.

Most people carry on average seven extra pounds of accessories, which includes bags, shoes, shoes, helmets and other biking apparel.

Conclusion

We examined every bike rack that’s currently on the market and picked out the best 8 bike racks for the truck bed. We’ve then done our analysis based on our established criteria, which emphasizes bike stability, load capacity, and ease of use.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate PadBest Overall
YAKIMA, Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad
Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike RackBudget Pick
Swagman PICKUP Fork Mount Bike Rack
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,BlackUpgrade Pick
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack,Black