DIY bike rack for any truck bed, $33!

I used to just lay our bikes in the bed of my truck when we wanted to take them anywhere to ride. Not good. Pedals got tangled in spokes, paint chipped where bike met truck, and I was flirting with real damage.

I’m too cheap to buy a Thule rack, so I dug up some bolt-down “bike blocks” on eBay for $11 apiece, and figured out a way to make my own rack with two 2x4s. I found those in a friend’s waste pile, and I already had the screws and bolts I needed, so my grand total investment was $33!

What’s more, I figured out the dirt-simplest way to make the rack.

I was nervous that the handlebars would bump each other, but my bike is more serious than my wife and daughter’s bikes so my handlebars are set lower then theirs and don’t bump at all.

If you put a road bike in the middle and two hybrids or mountain bikes on the sides, I think that would also work, and if all else fails, you could just cock the bike mounting blocks slightly when you bolt them down, which would twist each fork a little and offset the handlebars.

If you are carrying three bikes, you have to climb up on the truck bed to attach the middle one to its block, but the side bikes are easy to put in and lock down. I even found the perfect bungee to hold the front tires in place. Score one for the cheapos!

width
Measure the width of the bed, roughly.
length
Measure the distance from the front of the bed to the wheel well, roughly, and then double it.
basicframe
Cut and arrange three pieces of 2×4 as shown, so the rack won’t be able to move side to side or front to back, and screw the parts together, with three 2-1/2-in. screws at each intersection.
Bikeblock
This is what bolt-down “bike blocks” look like. They are cheap and awesome. I used three.
drilling
Attach them with lag bolts. Put the bike block where you want it, and reach through the bolt holes to drill pilot holes, a little smaller than the lag bolts.
lagbolts
I found some crappy old 1/4-in. lag bolts to go with my crappy 2x4s. I used a nut driver to sock them down, but a ratchet or wrench would work too.
nakedshot
Then I moved the rack back into position and got ready to load up the bikes. I love when things are dirt simple but super effective. Perfect engineering! You can fancy up the look if your truck isn’t 13 years old.
bike1
If you are carrying three bikes, you’ll have to hop up on the truck to put the middle one in place.
bike2
Bike two…
bike3
Bike three!
secure
The bike blocks hold the forks tightly, and the weight of the bikes and the rack makes the whole rig super stable, even in high winds on bumpy roads!
bungee
I even found the perfect bungee for strapping the three front wheels in front of the bikes.

donedeal

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