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  1. #1
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    Bikes in truck bed with topper

    So I'm in the market for a new truck (tacoma/canyon/colorado - long bed), and would really like to put a DIY rack in the bed (like some of the PVC tubing ones posted on this forum), and load my bike upright with the front wheel on.

    And I'd like to do this with a topper on it, so I'm assuming a raised roofline topper is going to be needed, but I'm not sure what units give enough clearance (especially at the topper door opening). My medium frame bikes look like they need about 42" in height.

    Anyone doing this successfully?
    Riding: '91 Carbon Epic Stumpjumper w/1" Slicks and a Rack on the Back

  2. #2
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    I have an '06 Tacoma with canopy, I think I would be hard pressed to get anything bigger than a kids bike in there with the wheels still on. Tacoma bed depth is only 18" and the Colorado is 18.6". It's a somewhat taller canopy and I can get a measurement for you when I get home from work if you no one posts in the next couple of hours.

    Pic of my truck to at least give you an idea of it.

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-20140928_080658_zps5b5afd41.jpg

  3. #3
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    36" at the opening, 41.5" at the highest point.

  4. #4
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    I can BARELY do this in a Tundra, so in a Tacoma with a shell, nope. Plus Smithe has a high roof shell. For transport, I either lay it down, in the bed on the handlebar end/pedal in the bed, or just go get the Thule tray rack, slam it into the receiver and hook 'er down that way.

  5. #5
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    Cab height topper on a Tundra here, no way Jose. Front wheel off, dropper down? Yup. My wife is 5' 3" on a XS frame and I couldn't manage it with hers either 26 or 29er.

  6. #6
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    I have an ARE MX-series cap on my 2015 Canyon, paired with a pipeline rack and it works fairly well. The door opening is a bit low, and roof clearance is barely sufficient for my Burner (my tallest bike) I ride small/medium frames (16-17" mtbs 52-54cm road)--I think with bigger bikes you'd want a full on wedge topper like the ARE TW series. I kinda wish I'd gone that route, but I like the appearance of the MX better, and the TW was not yet available for my truck at the time I was in the market. As it is, what I have is "good enough." I don't carry two bikes that often, so I usually just lay the bike back there anyway, and the pipeline rack sits in my garage. I love keeping my bikes under cover, though, and this is a great way to go!

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-17082519848_bdba1c36a8_b.jpg

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-17084083519_b3a996345a_b.jpg

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-16669658297_0ebe476d61_b.jpg

  7. #7
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    Sounds like you need a van.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I have an ARE MX-series cap on my 2015 Canyon, paired with a pipeline rack and it works fairly well. The door opening is a bit low, and roof clearance is barely sufficient for my Burner (my tallest bike) I ride small/medium frames (16-17" mtbs 52-54cm road)--I think with bigger bikes you'd want a full on wedge topper like the ARE TW series. I kinda wish I'd gone that route, but I like the appearance of the MX better, and the TW was not yet available for my truck at the time I was in the market. As it is, what I have is "good enough." I don't carry two bikes that often, so I usually just lay the bike back there anyway, and the pipeline rack sits in my garage. I love keeping my bikes under cover, though, and this is a great way to go!

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    Nice looking rig...I'm not a big fan of the really high roofline toppers either, but might be tempted in this case.
    Riding: '91 Carbon Epic Stumpjumper w/1" Slicks and a Rack on the Back

  9. #9
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    The ARE MX series claims a height of 31" above the top of the bed. 2016 Tacoma bed is 19" deep. 50" total (max height). The specs on the MX also say a 45" clearance at the top of the door.

    Not the best looking topper IMO, but I had one like it on my first tacoma (1990) and the headroom was pretty nice for sleeping in the back.

    The Leer 122 and the Century T-Class are similar (I'm leaning toward the Century as the least bad looking option).



    http://www.centurycaps.com/t-class
    Last edited by IPA Rider; 10-09-2015 at 11:17 AM.
    Riding: '91 Carbon Epic Stumpjumper w/1" Slicks and a Rack on the Back

  10. #10
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    LEER was very noncommital when I contacted them to see if they were going to offer anything for my truck besides cab-high. The LEER dealer said that cab-high was by far the biggest seller for smaller trucks. ARE had the MX available at the time I was looking (last spring) and the TW in the pipeline so that decided me. That, and the ARE dealer is nearer to me and a nice fellow...

  11. #11
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    Very interesting thing happened today. I picked up my new bike this morning, Norco Fluid 7.2 in XL. I did have to lower the seat a couple inches but it can stand up straight if I get it just right.

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-20151009_112038_zpshkgja0gy.jpg

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-20151009_112043_zpshnatgzgl.jpg

  12. #12
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    that is amazing!!

    some high school girl rear ended me and my brand new hitch rack..so i was forced to put the bike under my topper..i dont think i can do it in my tacoma/ARE package. it's pretty tight..even getting the handlebar in.

    i have a new rack coming..turned out my friend gave me a 50% off coupon pro-code..hahah..
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  13. #13
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    That worked out nice for you.

    I would just pick up a cheap dropper post 100mm. Then at touch of a switch your seat height is dialed every outing.

  14. #14
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    You short guys got it made..i have to lay mine in sideways...didn't take but a couple times to decide to make a rear rack.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bikes in truck bed with topper-img_73888.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by baja07 View Post
    That worked out nice for you.

    I would just pick up a cheap dropper post 100mm. Then at touch of a switch your seat height is dialed every outing.
    Guessing cheap is relative? I can't justify the money for being able to make it fast to lower my seat for being able to stand up my bike in my truck. Wouldn't have any other use for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by FASTFAT View Post
    You short guys got it made..i have to lay mine in sideways...didn't take but a couple times to decide to make a rear rack.
    6'3" not super tall but definitely not short either Nice work on the rack. I can weld a little but really don't have any faith I could build something I would feel good about putting my bike on that wouldn't weigh a ton!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithe68 View Post
    Guessing cheap is relative? I can't justify the money for being able to make it fast to lower my seat for being able to stand up my bike in my truck. Wouldn't have any other use for one.



    6'3" not super tall but definitely not short either Nice work on the rack. I can weld a little but really don't have any faith I could build something I would feel good about putting my bike on that wouldn't weigh a ton!
    i'm 6'11" ;-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FASTFAT View Post
    i'm 6'11" ;-)
    That is tall. My oldest son is currently 6'8" and doesn't seem to be slowing down, the two "little" brothers are 6'5" each.

  18. #18
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    my daughter is 6' 8"..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FASTFAT View Post
    my daughter is 6' 8"..
    Wow!

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  20. #20
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    I didn't see much value in using a higher cap (which would prevent me from parking my truck in my garage).

    I'm happy with a simple fork-mount rack where I can load the bike from outside the truck and still have plenty of room for other things (like coolers and Headdy Topper!

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-ht_zpsejxnyz9e.jpg
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  21. #21
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    Catching up on various threads on this topic as I am the proud owner of a new-to-me Tacoma DCSB and space is tight. My truck came with a cab-high ARE Z Series and I can actually get two 29-ers in with droppers and Kuat fork mounts, but it's a struggle to get them in. Not only is the shell cab high, but the Z Series has a fairly slowed rear window further encroaching on volume, and the hinges are not a continuous extrusion, and hang down and encroach on the opening a lot on each side of center. Plus, the interior light is attached the the rear window frame right in the middle of the opening. So the can't just roll in vertically, they need to be tipped, which is challenging for the second bike after the first one is mounted and in the way. I'm ok with taking the front wheels off (did that with my previous truck even with a 6' bed and taller shell) but I think I'll really need to go with a mid-rise cap like the MX so the pictures are by helpful ... thanks. The tallest shells like TW or Leer 122 aren't available for the 5' Tacoma beds, and a hitch rack is not an option for me.

  22. #22
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    Getting back to the dirt again after a 15 year break, so I travel for work....
    Does anyone and leave their bike locked in their truck overnight?

  23. #23
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    Colorado/Canyon cargo box height is 20.9 in,, A little taller than Nissan Frontier or Toyota Tacoma

    I leave my bike locked inside my Honda Element sometime at nights. Tinted windows, hard to even see it is in there.

  24. #24
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    Yeah the tinted windows are huge. I'm thinking about a top for my truck and it will absolutely have tinted windows.

  25. #25
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    Leaving it in there over night is a last choice for me. My canopy windows are tinted. I lay it down and use a cable lock too. It will also fit in the cab back seat area with front wheel off.

  26. #26
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    Being able to leave my bikes in there overnight at camp grounds and hotels while traveling is the reason I got a topper. Tinted glass and a lockable tailgate offer enough security for the low-crime areas I tend to travel. (so far, knock wood!)

  27. #27
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    How are the locks on your top? My bed locks
    too but curious how the topper locks are.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorf13 View Post
    How are the locks on your top? My bed locks
    too but curious how the topper locks are.
    Same as most toppers I'd imagine. A handle in the center of the liftgate pivots two rods into sockets on either side, then the handle locks with a key. It's not high tech or super-secure, but with the tinted glass and reasonable care about where I park, I'm generally comfortable with it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Same as most toppers I'd imagine. A handle in the center of the liftgate pivots two rods into sockets on either side, then the handle locks with a key. It's not high tech or super-secure, but with the tinted glass and reasonable care about where I park, I'm generally comfortable with it.
    Well I have been traveling with my bike in the cab. It's a crew cab f150 so it works out for the time being. My wife gave me our daughters old Dora sheets to use as covers. Rocking the Dora!

  30. #30
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    Ok, dumb question time....

    I just put a Leer 100XL on my 2003 Tundra. The shell is virtually cab-high. My bike only fits in with the seatpost down and the front wheel off.

    I bought a QR Fork mount that I am going to bolt onto a board or sheet of plywood to mount the bike upright in my truck. Once I do that, do I need to do anything to secure the rear wheel which will now be at the head of the truck bed near the cab?

    Before my camper shell, I built a PVC rack following the Utah Mtn Biking guide and used it to transport my bike upright with both wheels on. Do I still need this in conjunction with the fork mount inside the camper shell? If so, I will need to modify the spacing due to the angled camper shell.

  31. #31
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    The more I looked the more I didn't like the size limitations of the smaller truck. Really was serious about the Colorado, but ended up with a full size Ram 1500.

  32. #32
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    Dont have a shell-but if your fork mount is secure then shouldn't the rear be fine as well?

  33. #33
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    I suppose... I just didn't know if the bike would have a tendency "rotate" around the headset while driving as the trucks makes turns.... Meaning the rear wheel could slide sideways while the front is locked in.... Need to test it I suppose


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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyMcWolfenstein View Post
    I suppose... I just didn't know if the bike would have a tendency "rotate" around the headset while driving as the trucks makes turns.... Meaning the rear wheel could slide sideways while the front is locked in.... Need to test it I suppose


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    Mine will a bit if I take turns too fast, BUT the rear tire does rest on plywood as opposed to the actual bed/liner.
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  35. #35
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    I have a Dodge Ram with a tall shell. It's actually an aluminum commercial type. Custom built to my specs. Side opening bins offset to the front to allow full width at the back for handlebars. No windows for security. I went with the high top with the intention of standing bikes upright with both wheels on, but in practice, fork mounting is more convenient and stable.

    No interior pics right now. Here's an exterior from 2008 when the thing was almost new. It's a little bit beat up now.
    Bikes in truck bed with topper-alabama-011.jpg
    Worked at Trek/Fisher dealer 2008-2013. Only a little biased.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyMcWolfenstein View Post
    I suppose... I just didn't know if the bike would have a tendency "rotate" around the headset while driving as the trucks makes turns.... Meaning the rear wheel could slide sideways while the front is locked in.... Need to test it I suppose


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    For 2 1/2 years with a fork mount and Thule Insta-Gator only once did the back tire slide in my bed and that was due to rain and a hard turn. You'll be fine.

  37. #37
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    2016 Tacoma Camping set up

    Here is a set up I'm working on for some extended road trips. 2016 Tacoma access cab. 6 foot bed and cab Ht. SnugTop shell. We'll travel with the bikes in the shell for security, protection from the elements and better gas mileage. While camping and for short drives we'll put the bikes on the roof rack.

    Bikes in truck bed with topper-dsc09554.jpgBikes in truck bed with topper-dsc09536.jpgBikes in truck bed with topper-dsc09542.jpg

  38. #38
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    I know this isn't the bike inside the topper, but I never wanted to put a topper on my truck because of the hassle of dealing with the bikes. This guy nailed it.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/car-biker/pic...k-1019161.html
    Or if this would work with hard sided toppers
    Side Mount Bedrail Bike Rack - Bike Rack Products - Accessories & Parts

  39. #39
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    I know this is an old thread, but Iím curious if anyone has a truck cap and still puts bikes over the tail gate? I have a hitch mount, but there are times when Iím hauling a raft as well. Iíd love to be able to put the bikes over the gate while leaving a cap on. Iím looking at the ARE MX series for a little extra height. I donít know anyone who owns one to try it out. Any thoughts on ease/difficulty of getting the bikes on/off the gate with the cap? Thanks a bunch!

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