how to tie down a bicycle in a truck bed

How to Tie Down a Bicycle in a Truck Bed? [With Examples]

Transporting a bicycle for a vacation in the country is quite a challenge. You can cut budgets for a shipping service if you own your own pickup truck. How to tie down a bicycle in a truck bed? We will be describing the fact ahead.

There are many methods you can follow to carry your bicycles with you. Whether it is powered by a motor or is a typical paddling bicycle, you have got plenty of ways to select according to your budget and the requirement. Anyway, or how, you need to check the process is reliable enough to protect your bicycle and your vehicle. It is also required to check road safety, protection from theft, and the ability for easy parking. The recommended way is to get a brief understanding of a few methods that you can afford with the pros and cons of those individually. Tying with a strap is a first come when you do not want to expend much on installing designed gadgets.

How to Tie Down a Bicycle in a Truck Bed?

While some other methods would cost more than $500 on average, a tie-down strap will only cost you around $10. But make sure you purchase from a reliable brand and that the strap is in good condition. These straps are also known as lashing straps or ratchet straps. It would be better if you avoid using slightly worn old straps in your garage. The straps exposed to sunlight for a long period are also inapplicable as UV rays make those brittle. For this, you need not buy any extra tools or gadgets and do not want any skilled mechanic for the installation. This could be categorized as a DIY project that does not requires much labor either.

How to tie down a bicycle in a truck bed? If your truck bed has hooks in the manufacturing, it is way too easy. It is just hooks and two or three ratchet straps. You can purchase a multi-purpose strap from any hardware, garage, or even online. Instead of a strap, a strong rope can also be recommended. Look at the following steps and follow the exact facts to overcome any mistakes in the setup. 

  • Make sure your straps are broadened enough to bear tension and in enough length. 1 inch widened strap of 8 inches in length would match the work well. The breaking strength (or the maximum weight withstand by the strap) of this size is between 3000 lbs and 6000 lbs. 
  • Take out the seat for an easy fix. 
  • Take it on to the truck bed. Place the bicycle in the inverted position. As the seat is removed, the back tire will touch the surface of the truck. It would help if you kept the rear wheel or the back tire facing the front of the truck, and the handles should face the rear. 
  • Hook a strap into the front anchor points and take it across the space between the seat tube and the top tube. Adjust the length of the strap as in a little tension that holds the bicycle in place. This strap enforces a pulling force on the back wheel and thus keeps it stable when you brake.
  • Now you have to set the strap on the front wheel. Take the second hook across the head tube and the bottom tube and hook on the other side. Adjust the length to tighten the strap. 
  • Use the remaining length of the strap and tighten the front wheel to avoid spinning when you are riding. 
  • If there is more than one bicycle, place the axles of the back wheel contact together to avoid clashing while driving. Adjust the handles accordingly. (Not in line) 

How to Transport Your Bicycle in Your Vehicle?

We are going to describe some popular methods that will be more expensive than the previously explained method now.

Fixing a Rack to the Trailer Hitch

Your vehicle should have a trailer hitch To attach a bicycle rack. With the labor cost, the total sum will be around $300- $850 for this first fix. We recommend you get the help of a skilled mechanic as it may also need further modifications. Then you must buy a bicycle rack and fix it to the hitch. It will cost you an amount less than $200. 

You can remove the rack easily when it is not used, and it is so for a thief. Therefore, this method should not be a pick if the area you travel to has less security. Or else you will have to use a lock. If you have a rack-mounted, sometimes you will face parking issues with non-spacious slots and blocked reverse camera views. 

There are racks that can be strapped in the rear of your vehicle. It is relatively low-cost and will not be more than $50. But the security is nil here, as the attached straps could easily be cut with a sharp tool. Weight on the tailgate and damage to the car paint due to friction are also two downsides here. 

A Rack on the Roof 

This is another kind of rack. For this, you will need to have a roof rack and a bike rack. There is more load on the roof, but it is more convenient to park. Most roof racks will allow you to place 4 bicycles at once. The decrement in fuel efficiency, more effort in placing and removing from the rack, potential of damaging the bike when accidentally entering a low-roofed place can be pointed out as some major downwards in this method. 

You can also go for a folding bicycle that occupies less space or choose a car that is spacious enough to include your bicycle if you are totally into cycling. 


If you are willing to add your bicycle as one of your travel partners, we have described some easier methods in this article. You can investigate and select the friendliest option for your security concerns and expenditure.

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