You’re ready to head out on the biking trail, but don’t want just to throw your bike in the back of your truck; so what do you do? You could purchase a bike rack for your truck bed, but they can get expensive. Plus, they tend to be hard to move and heavy. Instead, consider how easy it is to build a bike rack for a pickup truck.
With the help of some PVC pipe, you can make your own 4-bike rack to put in the truck bed. This saves you lots of money and it stands up on its own. That means you can put it in your garage between biking trips.
- 40-feet of 1-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe
- (9) 90-degree elbows
- (26) T-connectors
- Spray paint for plastic
- PVC cement
- A power miter saw or hacksaw
Build a Bike Rack for a Pickup Truck – Step by Step
It’s essential that you collect everything you’ll need ahead of time. Preparation is the key to any project. The items should be readily available at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Cut your PVC pipe to these lengths:
- (8) 18-1/2 inches
- (9) 9-3/8 inches
- (8) 8-1/2 inches
- (9) 9-1/5 inches
- (12) 1-3/4 inches
Set a stop block when cutting so that all your pieces match identically with each other. Then, wipe off each end with your sandpaper to remove any burrs.
Put together your pipe sections with one of your T-connectors. Start with an 18-1/2 inch piece and add the T-connector. Then, take another 9-1/2 inch section and put it with a T-connector. Repeat this process six times.
Your next step is to assemble two of your end sections using the same pattern. This time, use a 90-degree elbow at the end instead and then, lay these created sections out in pairs.
Join the sections with a 1-3/4-inch and 9-3/8 inch piece between each pair.
Create the support pairs with an 8-1/2 inch section as a vertical. Top this off with a T-connector. Then, use the other 9-3/8 pipes as horizontals. Again, you’ll place the 90-degree elbows on for the corners.
Now it’s time to connect your support structure and the central section together. You’ll want to work on a flat surface and adjust the fittings as needed. Make sure you have all the right angles for your T-connectors and elbows.
Before you glue anything together, you want to test the rack inside your truck bed. If it fits well, then you can proceed with cement. Merely remove the tubing one piece at a time and apply the glue before replacing it back.
Be careful because the glue sets fast. Because of this, you want to ensure that everything is angled correctly before you put them back together.
You can just install it in your truck bed as it is or customize it and make it your own with a little spray paint. This also helps protect it from sun damage.
Once the rack is dry, then you can secure it in your bed with bungee cords and bed hooks.
Set your bike in its spot by pushing it forward until the tire fits between the smaller spaces of the PVC pipes. Then, use a bungee cord attached to the handlebar to securely fasten it to your rack. It’s simple to wrap the bungee cord around the PVC or you could drill holes if you wanted.
This project is simple and easy for anyone to accomplish. Plus, think of the bragging rights you’ll have when you tell people you know how to build a bike rack for a pickup truck. All that’s left to do is get out there and enjoy a ride.
When you are done building that rack, you might also be interested in finding the best truck bed divider.