Truck Bike Rack Considerations

Driving out on the open road is a great way to blow off steam and explore the world around you. But, taking some time to switch from four engine powered wheels to two peddle powered tires to take a deeper dive into the outdoors can be just what you need to reset your head. There are a number of methods to take your bike (or bikes) out for a trail ride so here are some truck bike rack tips you might want to consider.

Benefits of Riding a Bike

Family riding mountain bikes after using truck bike racks for their pickup

It’s widely known that riding a cycle is good for your physical health. It is a great low impact way to get out and get moving. What also should be noted is that it is also good for your mental health as well. It’s a great way to give your self some time to think and destress the day or weeks mental load.

Finding Storage for Your Bike

BEDSLIDE with little boy sitting in place of truck bike racks

A BEDSLIDE is a great way to store a LOT of things in the bed of your truck. However, there are some things that are better left to specialized transportation methods. This is especially true when it comes to cycles as you need to keep them from shifting around and also down want something hitting the shifting mechanisms and gears.

The Tailgate Method

Truck bike rack for tailgate on pickup truck

One of the cheaper options for transporting bikes if you have a pickup truck is using tailgate pads. This device, like the Yakima Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad, allows you to essentially rest your mountain bomber over the back of your truck bed with out the need need for much or any other equipment.

Roof racks For Bikes

Worst truck bike racks

The next type of transportation for you two wheeled adventure cycle is commonly done on the roof of your vehicle and should be noted is our least favorite of all the methods we are discussing. This requires a rack system with a designated just for bikes. Some allow the entire cycle to be mounted but commonly you have to remove the front tire from the fork mount.

Roof mounted truck bike racks

This type of loading definitely keeps things up and out of the way but also comes with some obvious drawbacks. First, the bikes are more difficult to mount as you have to get them up on top of your pickup truck’s roof or camper shell. The height of the bikes makes going through a drive through impossible so be prepared to have to stop and get out anytime you want coffee or food.

Secondly, your mountain rides are going to be completely exposed to road and trail obstacles and debris. This could be mud and dust from cars and trucks in front of you, not to mention bugs, but also branches and things from lower trees. When it comes to truck bike rack options, this version is also far less aerodynamic than other transportation methods and could lead to a lot of unwanted road noise.

Hitch Bike Rack

Best truck bike racks

Our favorite type of truck bike rack is the hitch mounted style which carries the bikes vertically. This model rack is easier to load, protects your bike from oncoming debris, and keeps your truck more aerodynamic. It also makes driving through for food or drinks possible after a long day out on the trails or in the park.

The best truck bike racks on the market

Another advantage of this mounting method is there are a lot of heavier duty models which can accommodate up to six or even seven bikes at a time. This is also the best mounting option for e-bikes which are heavier. This is possible because the truck hitch is typically designed to hold upwards of 400lbs for large trailer tongue weights.

Kellan Quick yotacampingpdx using one of his truck bike racks

The final advantage of a trailer hitch bike rack system for a truck bike rack is it leaves your truck bed out of the equation. Whether you need the space to haul extra hiking and camping gear OR you already have a truck shell, you will be better served with this method. So, save your SnugTop for that rooftop tent and get out there and hit the trails.

No matter the method, getting outdoors is good for the mind and soul. So grab your keys, a bike if you have it, and point your truck to the mountains or trails and enjoy all that mother nature has to offer. Be sure to bring a friend or two for the memories.

Leave a Comment