Introduction: Truckbed PVC Bike Rack

We recently bought two bikes and instead of just throwing the bikes onto the bed of the truck and get them scratched, I build one using PVC pipes from the hardware store.

I made it at TechShop since it's a lot more spacious and they have all the tools available.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

- Four 10-ft 3/4" PVC pipes
- 6 3/4" elbows
- 18 3/4" Tees
- Chop Saw
- PVC glues
- mallet (optional)

Step 2: Cutting the Pieces

The first step is to measure and cut all the pipes. I have a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and I built the rack to fit my truck. If you have a different truck you'll want to measure your truck and cut the pipes accordingly to fit your truck bed.

Even though we only have two bikes I wanted to build a rack that fits four bikes but my truck is too narrow so I settled for three. The pipes I needed are:

10" pipes x 12
12" pipes x 6
6" pipes x 6
2" pipes x 9

A chop saw cuts the pipes very nicely and make sure you wear safety goggles since the debris from cutting can fly. Also be very carefully when you cut the 2" pipes.

Step 3: Assembly Step 1

I started putting the pipes together without using any glue first to make sure the final rack will fit my truck. Since I needed to take it apart later to glue, I didn't push the pipes all the way into the tees/elbows. This made the rack slightly larger at this point. Make sure you take this into account when you try to dry-fit the rack in your truck.

The first pieces to build are three horizonal pieces. They were each built with:

 - two elbows
 - four tees
 - three 2" pipes 
 - two 10" pipes

Step 4: Assembly Step 2

Now we build the vertical pieces where the bike tires will go. They're very simple and are each made of:

 - one 12" pipe
 - one 10" pipe
 - one tee

Step 5: Assembly Step 3

The face of the rack is put together using the pieces from the two previous steps. The picture shows it upside down. The pieces I used are:

 - two horizontal pieces from step 1
 - six vertical pieces from step 2


Step 6: Assembly Step 4

Now we put the feet of the rack together. With the face of the rack still upside down, instead six of the 10" pipes into the tee as shown in the picture.

Step 7: Assembly Step 5

Put the remaining horizontal piece from step 1 in, and we're now ready to see if it fits the truck bed.

Step 8: Dry Fit

Bring it to your truck and make sure it fits. If not you may need to adjust the length of the pipes. Note that in my picture the rack barely fitted between the two wheel wells because this was just a dry run and I didn't push the pipes all the way in.

If everything fits properly, take the rack apart and glue the pieces together using PVC glues. If you use regular PVC glues (the clear stuff) you'll want to prime the joints with PVC primer first. Alternatively you can buy the "Rain-R-Shine" clue (blue) and save you the priming step. The reassembly will be much easier if you use a rubber mallet.


Step 9: Completed!

This is how the rack looks in my truck bed with bikes. I use ratchet straps to secure the bikes so they don't move around when I drive on the freeway. You can buy ratchet straps from places like Home Depot or Harbor Freight.

Comments

author
DeAnimal made it! (author)2017-05-16

Thank you for the idea! I made it for my Ram...it holds 2 mountain bikes and 2 fat tire bikes...Thanks again!

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Trey4583 made it! (author)2016-06-14

I made a four bike different tire size

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Woodone2 (author)Trey45832016-07-31

Would you happen to have the spec's for this four bike? What truck did you put it in?

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RickH60 (author)2016-02-06

Sweet little project! Built today took me 45 minutes! I would say however I am not sure why you list 4 10 ft pipes I have a whole one + one at 114 in left lol. Oh well cheap material.

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RickH60 (author)RickH602016-02-06

possibly the list was for the 4 bike rack instead of 3? No worries. Great little invention. You ought to build and sell these. I know of a few million bearded Portlandians that could not change a tire or much less build this that would love it!

author
callahan45 (author)2015-09-29

I built this today, making two changes from louislam's design: capped pipes on all three tire holders, and 3" pieces where he has 2", to allow plenty of room for mountain bike tires. Very pleased except for the wretched barcode and price stickers on every flippin' piece of material. More work to rub them off than to build the rack.

author
callahan45 (author)2015-09-22

The pix seem to show that each of the six vertical sections--the tire-grippers--are made of a twelve and a six, not a twelve and a ten. That makes the math come out right on the number of tens, six in the horizontal sections and six in the foot piece.

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roy56 (author)2015-09-19

Your instructions need some tweeking. There is no mention of where to use the 6 inch pieces or making sure which end of the 10 " & 12" pieces face when assembling the rack.

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CharlesA9 (author)2015-06-16

I've had PVC piping on my roof to supply water for solar water panels for my pool. They've been up there for 15 yrs and the sun hasn't affected the serviceability. I wouldn't paint them or worry about it.

author
DaveD11 (author)2015-05-10

For those saying to paint it to protect from uv rays, i dont think this is meant to stay in the truck bed all the time. You put it in when you are traveling with the bikes then take it out and put it innthe garage to hold your bikes there.

author
Taykaim (author)2015-01-15

Great project. Good idea kept simple and functional.

Suggestion, paint it with an exterior grade paint. No only can you touch it up with a splash of color or make it match your bed, but also PVC doesn't hold its strength very long if its exposed to the sun all the time. Sadly, it tends to become brittle and you might only find out when your bikes fall over in a turn.

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bharper613 (author)2014-11-01

Can you please post a picture of where you used the two capped pipes? Thanks!

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mrkevinbenny (author)2014-10-19

Easy build, I added two capped pipes to the tire slots to stabilize the bike. works well so far.

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bharper613 (author)mrkevinbenny2014-11-01

Can you please post a pic of your bike rack showing where you used the two capped pipes? Thanks!

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craig.wilhelm.96 (author)2014-08-13

easy , piece of cake.made the 3 bike rack. SWEET

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prosend made it! (author)2014-08-08

Love this idea. We made a three bike rack.

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esms06 (author)2014-08-04

works great!

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Snarley (author)2014-07-24

Actually I made this and it turned out great. There is only 2 10' pieces of 3/4" PVC needed not 4. This may save you some money as I took 2 back.

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adbkwhitley (author)2013-10-27

Clever. Do you also strap the rear of the bikes? If not, you might want to consider it. That bike will likely go airborne if the front of your truck and something else decide to attempt to occupy the same space at the same time. It would probably take the bike rack with it . . . in pieces.

Well done.

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chunnygoat (author)adbkwhitley2014-04-06

I think it will be fine because of the tie down straps it would hold the front end and the bike rack down

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pablo1609 (author)adbkwhitley2013-10-28

Could also use a second rack for the rear wheels, if space permits...

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mrpesas (author)2013-10-27

Great idea! And can easily be adapted to many other trucks. My only suggestion would be to paint it because I don't think PVC will hold up to UV rays from the sun.

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tinpusher (author)2013-10-27

Great 'ible! I too love working with PVC. I've often called it "lincoln logs for grown-ups".

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arnoldroff (author)2013-10-27

Outstanding idea, Great job!

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Monomann (author)2013-10-26

Great job!!

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Lightningdog2013 (author)2013-10-26

Outstanding job!!!

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bob3030 (author)2013-10-26

I've made the same rack myself and it works great. It keeps the bikes secure and protects the truck from scratches! I've made other projects from PVC pipe. It's one of my favorite supplies for being creative. Thanks for posting.

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aabernethy (author)2013-10-25

This is awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!

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audreyobscura (author)2013-10-25

This came out great!

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