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  1. #1
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    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed

    forgive me if this has been discussed, but for some reason the search function is not working for me.

    I was wanting to put together my own bike rack using 2x4s for the bed of my truck and was wondering if anyone had already done this or had any ideas. I found a couple on a web search that would give me a good start, but I wanted to ask here as well.

  2. #2
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    There are several options.

    1. A hitch rack, I got a pretty decent one that hold 4 bike for about $100. That usually on the back of my wife's CRV.
    2. Just lay it in the truck bed, I'm doing this most of the time, see above.
    3. PVC rack, no personal experience but for some reason I just don't trust PVC.
    4. Fork mounts, you can get these as just singles that you can screw into your bed our mount some wood in your bed that you attach them to. They vary in prices and configurations. Also come as complete kits with metal bars. Those can get pricey. The only draw back for me is you have to remove the front wheel. Not that big of a deal, but I like convenience of the hitch rack.

    Just to give you some ideas.
    Accessories > Car and Truck Racks > Truck Bed Racks | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Make your own Bike Rack
    The Claw Fork Mount Bike Carrier Swagman Truck Bed Bike Racks S64700
    Hitch Bike Racks | etrailer.com

  3. #3
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    I don't trust PVC either. I was thinking something like this.

    Homemade truck bed bike rack hauler - YouTube

  4. #4
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    The only thing that would concern me about that design is the surface area that you are clamping your wheels to. Probably be OK but with that amount of your wheel being clamped down, it seems that you may risk knocking your wheel out of true if you made a sharp turn. I'm probably over thinking it, I know there are hitch rack designs that basically lock around the wheels.

  5. #5
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    The mtbr search function isn't the best.Throw this in Google: truck bed bike rack mtbr. Just add "mtbr" to anything you want to search for in Google.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryWallwart View Post
    I don't trust PVC either. I was thinking something like this.

    Homemade truck bed bike rack hauler - YouTube
    These work fine....

    Seems to me they could be built out of a piece of wood and a bungee cord...

    RecRac Bike Racks for Pickups - YouTube

    Leaves the box free....

  7. #7
    Always in the wrong gear
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    Just what your looking for!

    I wanted something that i could remove from the bed of my Frontier. I have been working on this the last few days! It's just a 2x4 that was cut to 1/4" longer than the cut outs in my drop in bed liner. I then attached a piece of scrap 2x6 to the bottom middle with 5 screws as a foot to provide lateral support. Then glued a piece of grip foam to the bottom of that for aesthetics and noise reduction.

    I ordered two Thule Low Rider fork mounts (not pictured) that I will mount to the cross member with bolts or screws. I painted mine black so it blends in with the liner. I also wanted a really snug fit so I capped the ends w/ black gorilla tape to take up some of the space. In all I spent $6.50 on materials and just bought fork mounts off Huck n Roll. I'll post finished product later in the week.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-img_0463rs.jpg  

    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-img_0465-rs.jpg  


  8. #8
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    I used two of these for many years:
    XPORT Xpress Truck Rack - Bike Transport

    Setting it up so that the whole bike was suspended above the bed allowed for the use of the bed for other things, then the bikes over the top. It's an awesome setup.

    I can imagine a couple different ways you could achieve the same effect using 2x4s. You don't need it to ratchet, just the ability to adjust tightly between the bed rails. There are metal bits at the hardware store that could be fastened to the end to help grip the rails too.

  9. #9
    I build my own.
    Reputation: Trail Ninja's Avatar
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    One of these:
    The Claw Fork Mount Bike Carrier Swagman Truck Bed Bike Racks S64700
    bolted to a 4x8 sheet of plywood with refrigerator wheels on the bottom. the whole rig slides out of the pick-up (or in my case, van) like a drawer and becomes a ramp. No bike lifting, no climbing in the bed of the truck or van to secure the bikes. Just clamp them on the ramp outside the vehicle and slide the "drawer" in.
    Sorry, I don't have pictures but I may be able to come up with some. Lots of my friends have copied my design.
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  10. #10
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    Here is mine. I made it for inside a tahoe so that is why I have it covered in a blanket and it is a little too short so that is why I have the straps holding it in. But basically I got three fork clamps and screwed them on a 2x4. If works super slick and was super inexpensive and it takes 4 seconds to switch from vehicle to vehicle.

    P.s. it also holds beer cans in place.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-bike-rack.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Throw a blanket over the tail gate and turn the front wheel sideways. Put the fork on the outside and the frame inside. Problem solved.
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  12. #12
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    cargo strap and tie it in like a motorcycle.
    cheap.
    fast.
    easy.
    done.

    Photobucket

    anymore I just toss it in the back and go.

  13. #13
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    thaks for the tips

  14. #14
    Ride More, Whine Less
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous View Post
    Throw a blanket over the tail gate and turn the front wheel sideways. Put the fork on the outside and the frame inside. Problem solved.
    For those that are visual learners:

  15. #15
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    *^**^^ not the way I drive.

  16. #16
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    ^^^

    Give it a try and report back. It is surprisingly stable. If you are driving wild enough to sling the bikes around with this set up, you need to slow down and drive within the law. Just saying.

  17. #17
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    Lol I sure will. I think I have an old sleeping bag to give it a whirl

  18. #18
    Front Range, Colorado
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    What heyyall describes and show's in the above photo has become a very popular way to haul in recent years. I have never tried it and have no doubt it works great for short trips. But IMO for a more lengthy trip you would want something more secure and highway safe. A simple fork skewer mount, mounted to the front of the bed below the rear window works great. Very secure and safe for high speed highway travels. This and a locking skewer and also a cable lock gives a good sense of theft protection as well.
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  19. #19
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    I've driven 2 hours at highway speeds without a jiggle. I think it has to do with how the front tire creates a leverage point on the tailgate.

    That said, I am dreaming up a system where the rear tires get anchored in some manner. A 2x4 with straps would work. A more secure anchor bolt with a locking cable has crossed my mind too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whacked View Post
    cargo strap and tie it in like a motorcycle.
    cheap.
    fast.
    easy.
    done.

    Photobucket

    anymore I just toss it in the back and go.
    Many years ago when a bunch of us raced, that was the way we did it. Had short loops of webbing to attach bikes together, could get 4 bikes strapped in securely without touching. Already had the straps for the motorcycle so it was just the cost of the extra webbing.

  21. #21
    I build my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    ^^^

    Give it a try and report back. It is surprisingly stable. If you are driving wild enough to sling the bikes around with this set up, you need to slow down and drive within the law. Just saying.
    +1 Almost all the shuttle trucks where I live use this method. Think washed out fireroad. It doesn't work well with one or two bikes unless you wedge them in or tie them down well. They will get scratched this way. That was never a problem for the people I ride with.
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  22. #22
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    I made a PVC rack, PVC if you get schedule 80 is plenty strong and will last for a long time in the back of your truck, three years for mine

    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-008.jpg

  23. #23
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    OK - mine is not all that innovative, but I think it works perfect. Fork mounts on the top of the bed. Mounting this with bolts was less than ideal. It was nearly impossible to thread a nut on the bottom of the sheet metal, and the movement of the bikes opened up the holes in the sheet metal. So, before I did a DIY bed liner, I welded the fork mounts directly to the bed. Now they are very solid, even on rutted and washboard roads. The best part about this location is I can load/unload the outside bikes from the side of the truck, without getting into the truck bed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-_1015156.jpg  


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryWallwart View Post
    forgive me if this has been discussed, but for some reason the search function is not working for me.

    I was wanting to put together my own bike rack using 2x4s for the bed of my truck and was wondering if anyone had already done this or had any ideas. I found a couple on a web search that would give me a good start, but I wanted to ask here as well.

    Here's a few pix of mine in a 6 ft bed. I've only got to haul two bikes around but, I'm pretty sure I could put 4 bikes in this way if the fork mounts are angled. I hate having to climb into the bed of my truck.... ESPECIALLY after a long epic ride. I can get to mine as well as my daughters bike w/out climbing into the bed.

    gnewcomer aka OldMtnGoat

    EDIT..... oops that should have been "6 ft bed" fixed it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-resize-p1050453.jpg  

    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-resize-p1050454.jpg  

    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-resize-p1050455.jpg  

    Building your own bike rack for the truck bed-resize-p1050456.jpg  

    Last edited by gnewcomer; 10-21-2012 at 07:00 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnewcomer View Post
    Here's a few pix of mine in a 5.5 ft bed. I've only got to haul two bikes around but, I'm pretty sure I could put 4 bikes in this way if the fork mounts are angled. I hate having to climb into the bed of my truck.... ESPECIALLY after a long epic ride. I can get to mine as well as my daughters bike w/out climbing into the bed.

    gnewcomer aka OldMtnGoat

    I have a similar set up to this but the board is flat. It works great. If you use any of the fork mounts, be sure to offset them so the handlebars don't interfere.

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