Wouldn’t it be great if you could carry your bicycle at the back of your pickup truck with ease? Often, we need to carry our bicycles with us, but doing so is harder than it seems. Sure, you can throw the bike at the back of your pickup, but there’s no guarantee that you won’t end up damaging it.
To save you from damaging your beloved bike, today we’ll discuss the best ways in which you can transport your bike on the back of your pickup truck. You’ll be able to use the same techniques for certain other vehicles as well. So, stick to us till the very end!
1. Pickup Truck Tailgate Bike Pad
Tailgate bike pads are thick pads that are designed to sit on the tailgate at the back of your pickup truck. These are usually thick because the thickness prevents the bike from damaging the tailgate. At the same time, it saves the bike from potential scratches and damages as well.
Tailgate bike pads are one of the safest ways of transporting your bicycles at the back of your truck. You can safely transport bikes even on rocky and bumpy roads with the help of these, making them perfect for those going mountain biking.
While the exterior texture of the pads is designed to hold the bikes in place, some of them might fail to do that on bumpy roads. To prevent the bikes from falling on top of each other, some pads come with harnesses that let you tie your bike to the tailgate.
If you’re looking forward to carrying multiple bikes at the back of your pickup truck, getting a tailgate bike pad will be one of the best decisions you’ll make.
- Saves bikes from scratches and other damages
- Easy to install
- Lets you tie cycles to the tailgate
- Provides enough space for carrying multiple bikes
- Won’t be compatible with all sorts of pickup trucks
- Sometimes the clamps can scratch your bike
The tailgate bike pads aren’t the best in terms of compatibility. They are great at their job, but first, you’ll have to be able to install them. Firstly, these are designed for pickup trucks mainly. Then again, not all sorts of pads support all pickup trucks. So, you’ll have to research thoroughly before you pick one to ensure it’s usable.
To find the best tailgate pads for transporting bicycles, we highly recommend checking this our review of best tailgate pads. It offers a deep dive into all the best pads that you can get yourself now, and it’ll help you pick what’s best for your truck.
2. Pickup Truck Bed Bike Rack
If you’re looking for something a bit more solid than the tailgate pads, then you can certainly take a look at the truck bed bike racks. These racks can be placed on the back of your pickup trucks, provided there’s enough space.
What’s amazing about these is that you can buy one or two racks for carrying bikes, and the rest of the free space can be used for carrying other stuff.
The major advantage the bed bike racks offer over the rest of the mounts is, they allow the users to hitch the bikes to the truck firmly. So, if you’re going to ride on rocky terrain and expecting a lot of bumps, then this would be the perfect choice for you. It will not only save the bike from damage and scratches, but it’ll also save you from the jingling noise.
Thankfully, the manufacturers offer racks that come with all sorts of capacity. So, you’ll find a suitable bike rack for yourself irrespective of the amount you’re willing to carry.
- Keeps the bikes completely still
- Prevents damage
- Allows superior space management
- The racks can scratch the bike if not fastened properly
The bed bike racks can be used on pickup trucks only because they require a lot of space.
3. Tonneau Cover Bike Rack
You can set up an amazing transporting solution with rail racks for your bikes for using it together with tonneauu cover. This type of mount usually comes with two rails that can be installed horizontally across the rails of the pickup truck. Once they’re installed, you’ll have to use the vertical rods with clamps to install the bike on the horizontal rails.
There are many benefits of using rail bike racks. Due to the dynamic form factor, you can use these bike racks on pickup trucks of almost any size. The clamps coming with these racks fasten the bike to the rack tightly, so there will be minimum or absolutely no jingling, which means your bikes will stay protected from scratches.
Plus, as the rails will be installed on the side rails of the pickup truck, and the bikes on top of the rails, there will be ample space left under. You can utilize this space as you wish, and if you’re going to carry additional items other than just bikes, rail racks will make your life a lot easier.
- Can be installed on all sizes of pickup trucks
- Holds the bike firmly
- Prevents noise even on the roughest terrains
- Leaves adequate space under the rack for carrying additional accessories
- You need to use additional fork mounts that are tough to install
- The tire must be removed in case of some mounts
The rail tracks for bikes can be installed only on pickup trucks. However, you can install these on any truck with side rails, making them a universal choice for those who don’t mind using fork mounts.
4. Hitch Bike Rack
It’s okay if you don’t own a pickup truck. Not all pickup truck owners might not feel like taking their truck to the mountains just to carry the bikes. If you aren’t a pickup truck owner, then the hitch racks can be your best friend.
The hitch bike racks are famous among those who use SUVs and sedans. Unlike most other mounts, it’s very easy to install or uninstall a bike off the back of a hitch rack. While there are some disadvantages with these racks, the advantages them worth a try.
First of all, these are universally compatible. You can install these almost on any car, as long as the car is high enough not to scrap the rack on the ground all the way. The modern hitch racks come with locking cables that’ll let you fasten the bike tightly on the rack.
If your car is too low, then getting there will be a bad idea, as the mount will scrap along driveways and curbs. However, it’s most unlikely to happen if you’re using a car with the right height.
- Can be used on any car with a tow hitch
- Very easy to load and unload
- Doesn’t require any additional accessories
- Can secure the bike properly
- Gets scraped when driving down a curb
- Makes the bike vulnerable to accidents
This can be installed on any car with a tow hitch, and as long as that car isn’t too low, you’ll be good to go.
Read more: Best Hitch Bike Rack Reviews & Buying Guide
5. Roof Bike Rack
Roof bike racks are one of the most popular methods used by cyclists for carrying their bikes. If you don’t have a pickup truck, this is a method that you can use other than the hitching method.
Unlike the hitching method, you won’t be forced to change the dimensions of your vehicle, thus eliminating the possibility of an accident. Plus, maneuvering your car around steep terrain and curbs will become easy too.
However, it can be pretty tough to load a bike on the roof rack, as it’ll require a considerable amount of energy. Plus, the aerodynamic drag created by the bike on the top won’t be negligible either. If you need to navigate parking garages if the height of the roof is low.
Then again, this will serve most people well. Especially, if you don’t have a pickup truck and find the hitch racks a bit too risky for your liking, then this is the perfect choice for you.
- Can be installed on any type of vehicle
- Let’s you carry a bike without reducing the available space
- You can drive on any terrain with this mount
- Hard to load and unload
- Creates aerodynamic drag
As long as your car has a roof that’s big enough to mount a bike, you can install one of these racks.
Read more: Roof Bike Racks
In wrapping up, I’d like to reiterate that transporting a bicycle in a pickup truck doesn’t have to be a daunting task. We’ve explored five effective methods, each with its unique advantages and considerations.
The pickup truck tailgate bike pad is a fantastic option for those who want to transport multiple bikes without worrying about potential scratches or damages. It’s a simple, easy-to-install solution that provides a safe and secure ride for your bikes, even on bumpy roads. However, compatibility can be an issue, so make sure to do your research before purchasing one.
The pickup truck bed bike rack offers a more solid solution, allowing you to hitch your bikes firmly to the truck. This method is especially useful when traversing rocky terrains. But remember, improper fastening can lead to scratches on your bike.
The tonneau cover bike rack and hitch bike rack are versatile options that can be installed on almost any pickup truck. They provide a firm hold on your bikes and prevent noise even on the roughest terrains. But, they may require additional accessories for installation.
Lastly, the roof bike rack is a popular choice among cyclists. It’s a universal solution that can be installed on any vehicle type. However, loading and unloading can be challenging, and it may create aerodynamic drag.
The method you choose for transporting your bicycle in a pickup truck will depend on your specific needs, the type of your vehicle, and the terrain you’ll be traversing. As a cycling enthusiast myself, I understand the importance of transporting your bike safely and efficiently. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination, make sure your bike gets there safely too!