Introduction: PVC Truck Bed Bike Rack

Hello all. Recently I started cycling and I didn't prefer just throwing my bike into the back of my truck. I checked my local bike shop, looked online and either the systems required drilling/bolting to my bed or were over $100. I ran across an image of a PVC bike rack and liked what I saw. If you google 'PVC Truck bed bicycle rack' you'll find similar builds. I thought I would post up how I built mine and the approximate cost for anyone thinking they would like to do the same. This build is approximately 50" wide, you may need to adjust to fit your truck bed accordingly. This fits snuggly between my tire wells.  

Approximate cost was $20 - w/o paint $10.

Tools:
Pipe Cutter (I used a chop saw)
Sand Paper/File
Tape Measurer
Pencil/Pen
Mallet/Hammer
Towel/Rag
Safety Glasses

Materials:
(3) 10' 3/4" PCV
(6) 3/4" elbows
(10) 3/4" T's
PVC Cement (use in a well ventilated area)

Optional:
Truck Liner Paint (Found in the automotive section, not the household or home paints)

You'll want to cut from your PVC pipe the following lengths:
(3) 42" 
(6) 2"
(12) 13"

You should now have all the items to assemble. It should look like the second picture.

Sand any rough edges so the pieces will slide together well. I would suggest a test fit. Make sure it fits in your truck bed correctly. Also make sure your bike fits in the slots created. Once everything is fitted properly, get that pvc cement out and go for it!

Other thoughts:
You may need to carry more than two bikes. If so you will need to add a few more T's and another section of PCV pipe to your shopping list. Also, I use a couple bungee cords to anchor down my front tires, they really don't move but I don't like to have to worry about it either. This should go without saying but, I wouldn't trust locking your bike to this alone. It's sturdy and unless someone happens to have pipe cutters it would be difficult for them to run off with it, but you never know! I secure mine with a steel cable and padlocked to the truck bed. 

Hope this helps anyone looking to save a few bucks and have fun doing it yourself. 

*just because I don't want to end up getting sued somehow - I am not responsible for any damage to your vehicle, yourself, others, your personal property or anything else that could be related to this article. You are responsible for your own actions.  And watch your fingers when using the pipe cutter or chop saw, seriously! Do I really need to mention any of this?

Comments

author
digthemlows (author)2012-11-19

This worked great and was sooooo easy! Thanks

author
digthemlows (author)digthemlows2012-11-19

https://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FJR/30BC/H9G19OZK/FJR30BCH9G19OZK.MEDIUM.jpg

author
digthemlows (author)digthemlows2013-09-05

this didn't really hold well with the mountain bikes, even with PVC glue it kept coming apart.............may use thicker and larger diameter PVC next time......

author
tonysg (author)2012-09-04

Great instructable! I had an idea for building something like this for quite a while, but didn't know where to start. I took your design and made some modifications, because my cargo bed is a bit narrow with the wheels (Ford Explorer Sport Trac). I can fit two bike neatly and maybe a third one if needed someday. Now my wife and I can go bike riding near the beach with ease. Thanks a lot!

author
Drewfoy (author)2012-06-04

I made a rack for 2 bikes for my 1996 S-10. Since I may not be in the best neighborhoods sometimes I had the frame come down next to the hooks inside the bed & still short enough to use my bed cover when not in use. Thanks for the great ideas!

author
chestersgarage (author)2012-06-03

This is awesome! I built one that is four wide and one that is three wide so I can throw one in the truck if I need to. Until then they keep all our bikes nicely parked in the garage. Pouring sand in it is a great idea - it makes a huge difference in the stability of the rack. I drilled a hole in one of the corners and poured it in after everything was glued. Then sealed the hole with some bath tub caulk.

My cost was about $65 for 7 bike spaces, including pipe cutting tool.

2012-06-03 18.48.34.jpg
author
iPodGuy (author)2012-01-22

This project rocks! Made one for my truck last night. I followed the directions, used the recommended paint but I did go up to 1' PVC. Fits perfectly. I might try sand in it like mbehr2003 one day. Whole thing cost me $21. Here are the results:

DSCN1228.JPGDSCN1227.JPG
author
mbehr2003 (author)2011-11-06

This is exactly what I have been looking for! I need to be able to haul up to four bikes at one time, and wanted something that didn't require me to remove the front wheels. This is perfect!

I adjusted the dimensions so that the rack fits snugly between the wheel wells of my compact truck, and had enough room to build the four slots for my bikes. (Two bikes need to be stowed using the rear wheels, so the handlebars fit, but that is not a problem.)

One modification I made on the original instructions was to pour sand into the pipes before sealing the final pieces. This resulted in the rack being about 20 pounds heavier, which adds stability both in the truck bed, and if I use the rack directly on the ground.

Photo0151.jpg
author
justkillintime (author)mbehr20032012-01-05

Sweet! I like the sand idea.

author
houghten (author)2011-09-16

I saw this and had to make it.
I just finished. It's not painted yet, because I need to use it today. I'll paint it Monday.
I have an 8 ft bed, though. I'm a little worried that the thing will shift forward and back in the bed.
I'm looking at a way to connect it to the 2x4 across the bed. Any suggestions?

bikerack.jpg
author
justkillintime (author)houghten2011-09-16

If you've got the tie-down hooks near the bottom of the bed (I do), I'd drill a 1/2"-1" hole in your 2x4 and run a couple bungees. If you don't you could cut a couple 2x4's to fill in the from the bottom of the rack to the tailgate to keep it from sliding forward. Mine doesn't shift at all, but that could be due to the short bed. Good Luck!

author
iPodGuy (author)2011-09-08

Love it!

Fav'd

author
justkillintime (author)iPodGuy2011-09-08

Thanks man. I noticed you have some cool write-ups as well.

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