As a pickup truck owner, you’re probably accustomed to ample storage space and ample storage options. But when it comes to transporting your beloved bicycles, you’d probably agree they deserve better treatment than just being tossed in the bed of your truck.
Luckily, there are plenty of options when it comes to transporting your bicycles in a pickup truck. But choosing which is the best truck bed bike rack can be tricky. In this article, I’ve highlighted five that are worthy of your consideration. Here they are:
|Ranking||Rack||Best For||Mount Type||Bike Capacity||Review||Price|
|#1||Heininger Advantage SportsRack BedRack Elite 4 Bike Carrier||Multi-features||Roll in||4||Read Review|
|#2||Saris Kool 2-Bike Truck Bed Mount Rack||Secure fork-mount||Fork mount||2||Read Review|
|#3||Thule Bed-Rider||Simplicity of setup||Fork mount||2||Read Review|
|#4||Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage SportsRack BedRack||Four bike carriers||Roll in||4||Read Review|
|#5||Topline Unigrip 2 Truck Bed Bike Rack||Best designed||L-clamp||2||Read Review|
Tossing your bike in the back of your pickup is the quick solution. Affixing it to a rack is generally a better idea. But for those in a rush, the extra few steps can be a headache.
That’s what makes the Heininger a particularly desirable rack. Bikes attach to it quickly and with minimal effort. That is attested to in their marketing material and customer reviews.
The Heininger is designed to support up to four bikes at a time. That makes it ideal for families and groups of cycling enthusiasts.
It fits most truck beds regardless of manufacturer. It can accommodate beds between 52”-68”. For those who opt for a truck bed liner, the Heininger accommodates both lined and unlined pickups equally.
As I mentioned above, the Heininger is designed for people who want to get up and biking as quickly as possible, and pack up the same way. Its installation is incredibly minimal. It doesn’t require any drilling into your truck bed like some equivalent models.
Additionally, and perhaps its most desirable feature, this rack doesn’t require the removal of bike tires at all. You can just roll your bike into the rack, strap it in and you’re good to go.
With the ability to accommodate a wide range of tire sizes and widths, the Heininger is an option regardless of whether you own a road or mountain bike (or anywhere in between). The quick-ratcheting straps securely lock your bike in place and prevent movement while in transit. The 24” cable lock ensures the rack itself will be rock solid within the bed of your pickup.
One neat feature of the Heininger rack is that it is designed to be used as a standalone rack even outside of your truck. It removes easily from the truck bed.
It can also stand alone on the floor without its truck supports. If you need convenient bike storage in the off season, you can free up you truck bed and use this rack in your garage just as easily.
Of course, as one might expect with such a feature-rich bike rack, there is a downside to the Heininger. That’s the price.
It’s far more expensive than other racks featured on this list. In fact, it is one of the more expensive truck bed racks you could buy. Not to mention, at 36 lbs. it’s far and away the heaviest rack I looked at. That is definitely worth noting if you plan on hauling it in and out of your truck bed.
The Next Best: Saris Kool 2-Bike Truck Bed Mount Rack
Of all the racks considered, the Saris might be the most archetypally classic, no-frills model. It’s a “get the job done” option for the truck owner who doesn’t want to explore new-fangled designs, and would rather stick with something tried, tested and true.
Like many classic truck bed bike racks, the Saris secures bicycles via the fork itself. It offers a rock-solid attachment for traveling.
Of course, this involves the removal of bike wheels. That might require extra labor when prepping transport.
That said, most modern bikes have quick snap on/off wheels. So it’s unlikely this would be much of an issue for owners with newer-model bikes.
The Saris can only take up to two bikes at a time. That prevents it from being a full-fledged family friendly option out of the box. (However, many pickup cabs only seat two passengers anyway.) There are options to buy add-on mounts to take additional bikes.
The adjustable bar will extend to accommodate truck beds between 50-74” in width. The Saris is made out of recyclable materials. It has quick-release skewers to mount your bike’s fork on quickly and easily. And at just a touch over 7lbs, it’s easy to carry and work with, without undue strain.
This rack is unique in how it affixes to your truck itself. It avoids drilling and screws. Instead, the Saris uses two high-friction pads. They can be extended and pressed into your truck bed with an internal hydraulic pump for a rock-solid fit.
The best part? There’s an automatic pressure valve. That prevents it from damaging your truck with too much force.
Made in Wisconsin, the Saris is a great option for people concerned about buying American-made goods. Most reviews are extremely positive. However, some users expressed some concern about the amount of movement their bikes experienced while the truck is in motion.
Our Next Favorite: Thule Bed-Rider
Not merely relegated to the hitch or the trunk, legendary gear-transport company Thule also makes a rack for truck beds.
Like the Saris, the Thule is a classic attach-by-the-fork rack. That means setup is simple. But bike wheels will have to be removed before the rack can be properly used.
With it’s sliding telescoping frame, the Thule is equipped to fit a variety of truck beds from small to full size. Its grippy, rubber heads will remain affixed to your truck regardless if it had a bedliner.
There is one exception, though. According to the Thule description, the liner cannot be an “over the rail” variety or it will negate the rack.
The Thule can only take two bikes at a time. However, it does allow for additional mounts to be purchased separately. That brings the total up to four.
It has easy-to-use skewers to quickly mount and dismount the bikes when loading or unloading, to minimize the hassle. The Thule is extremely simple to assemble and install, and lacks the complex hydraulics of the Saris, despite being close in price.
User reviews are generally very positive for the Thule, praising the aforementioned ease of installation and assembly. However, the light, aluminum frame of the Thule has some reviewers comment that it feels a bit flimsy, despite it weighing 9.2 lbs., which is over two pounds more than the Saris.
Other criticisms note that it is not suitable for some bike axles, and requires the purchase of expensive adapters to becomes so.
One of the most novel features of the Thule is its multi-locking ability, which allows you to use a key to lock the rack to your truck beds and the bikes to the rack, making it an excellent theft deterrent and keeping everything extremely secure when in transit.
Over all, the Thule is a solid entry into the fork-mounted systems, although it keeps things simple relative to other entries on this list.
As much as I like to explore a diversity of brands when reviewing different gear, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mention the Heininger Advantage. Where the Heininger Elite has all the bells and whistles required to justify its high price, the Heininger Advantage is a pared-down version that still manages to cover all the essentials.
First of all, this rack can take up to four bikes at a time, no exorbitantly priced add-on extenders required. Second, and arguably most importantly, like the Heininger Elite, the Heininger Advantage does not require you to remove wheels before using it.
As stated above, most wheels snap on and off pretty quickly, but it can still be a hand-dirtying hassle. If you want to avoid it, the Heininger Advantage has you covered.
Heininger Advantage extends to fit truck beds between 54.5”-66.5” without any augmentation. But if you want to use it on your full size pickup, have no fear: the Heininger Advantage comes with a spacer which will stretch its capacity between 60.5”-72.5”.
Again, it’s easy to commend this rack on coming with pieces included to help it meet the needs of its users, unlike other racks on this list that send their customers back to the storefront if they want the rack to work for them.
The Heininger Advantage is extremely simple to assemble, snapping easily into place with no tools required. Out of the box, it comes ready for smaller trucks, although installing the spacer will require minimal additional effort.
Included in the packaging are soft foam buffers to place at key points of friction to protect your bikes and the finish of your truck bed. It’s a pretty basic solution, but by all accounts effective.
Another thing to note is, according to product descriptions, this rack weighs a mere 8 ounces — far and away the lightest rack on this list.
To attach to your truck, the Heininger Advantage offers to rubber-clad arms which you just twist into place until it reaches the desired tightness. This rack also offers locks and cables to keep your bikes secured both in transit and while parked.
It’s always nice to include an example of a brand pushing the conventional limits of design, especially in a space as well-trod as truck bed bike racks. Undoubtedly, the Topline is that entry in this list, offering a rack far removed both functionally and aesthetically from the other racks I’ve covered.
The Topline is a highly modifiable system. If you opt for the stock two bike rack, you can easily affix additional pieces for up to four bikes. It attaches to the rail of one side your truck bed with a firm clamp, and even works with over-the-rail truck bed liners (unlike the Thule, for instance). You are then able to rotate and pivot the arm to allow the outside clasps to grip any part of the bike frame easily.
And, because it grips the frame and not the fork or wheels, that means you won’t have to remove the wheels when transporting your bikes. The single point of attachment to the truck may seem flimsy, but user accounts assure it’s stable enough for transit. When parked, the Topline comes equipped with a lockable cable that you can run through your bikes to deter unauthorized removal.
This rack is relatively quick to install, although not the fastest on our list. While it doesn’t require drilling or tools, Topline’s description advises two minutes for mounting, while other racks promise seconds.
The Topline promises to fit with any truck, small or full size and foreign or domestic, making it a good choice if you have some concern your vehicle isn’t right for a conventional rack. It also weighs a very reasonable four pounds, putting it at the lighter side of the spectrum.
There’s one final thing of interest about the Topline. It may have the most interesting design of any of the racks I’ve looked at, but that doesn’t translate into an increased price. It’s quite the opposite, actually.
The Topline is far and away the cheapest rack on that list, actually less than half of the Thule or Saris, while being able to take just as many bikes. There are some user concerns that note the build quality seems cheap and flimsy, but other reviews rave about its stability in spite of its low cost.
Truck bed racks come in a variety of shapes and styles, to fit the individual preferences and vehicle requirements you may have. From fork mounted, to roll-in and even the bizarre clamp design of the Topline, it really is subjective to your needs.
For a four-bike setup, I’d recommend the Heininger Advantage. It has all the functions of the Heininger Elite, with a far reduced cost. Sure, it lacks some of the bells and whistles of the Elite, but the Advantage is far more affordable. For a two-bike setup, the Topline might seem too good to be true, but at its low price point it’s also a low-risk investment.