This is our review of the best bike locks for truck beds in 2023.
The last thing you want to see when you carry your bikes in the back of your truck is their disappearance after a stop at a gas station or restaurant. At every stop, being stressed at the idea that someone might steal our machines is a very unpleasant feeling that we could do without. For this, there are tricks that are relatively inexpensive to free your mind.
Indeed, many locks for bikes can be used in the bed of our trucks to protect them from any theft and allow us to transport our bikes without any worries.
I am a big fan of bike riding who has researched for you the best bike locks for truck beds. In this article, you’ll discover everything I found.
And I found that the YAKIMA – Locking BlockHead is the best bike lock for truck beds.
I have included reviews of all the best truck bed bike locks that can be used, so you can make the best decision on what to buy.
Let’s get started.
Our Best Bike Locks For Truck Beds
- The Combo: Master Lock – Weatherproof Padlock + Heavy Duty Chain (The cheaper version)
- The Combo: Master Lock – Truck Bed U-Lock + Heavy Duty Chain (The more expensive version)
- DELTA CYCLE – Original Bike Hitches (The affordable fork mount)
- YAKIMA – Locking BlockHead (Our favorite)
- THULE – Locking Low-Rider (The mid-range model)
- THULE – Bed Rider (A 2-bike rack with fork mounts)
5 Best Truck Bed Bike Locks
Let’s start with the most affordable solution. You probably have some sturdy metal anchors in the bed of your truck, right? Great.
Here, the idea is to make your own lock using a solid chain (1/4in-6.5ft chain size in general, but adapt to the width of your bed) and 2 padlocks. If you use a tailgate bike pad to transport your bikes, you simply use the buckles on each side of your truck bed to secure your bike. Let me explain.
Once the bikes are in place on the pad, connect the two buckles at the back of your truck with the chain through the frame of your bike(s). Secure each side by locking the padlocks and you’re done.
Be careful not to use the bare chain directly on your frame, you’ll scratch and damage the bike. I have a little trick. Cut an inner tube and put the chain inside, this will protect the chain. If the inner tube is too short, you can put a second one on.
Not convinced by the inner tube trick? I knew it was coming. You can use instead a small tube of pipe insulation, it’s a foam tube that is ideal to prevent the chain from scratching the frame. You just have to make a cut in the length of the tube and slide the chain in.
You could use a cable lock of course, but I find that it is often too easy to cut.
You don’t have any anchors inside your truck bed? Don’t panic, I’ve thought of you.
The Master brand (I don’t need to mention their reputation) offers a special type of lock, specially adapted for trucks. The lock fits in the pocket of the mounting hole or in the tie-down slots of late-model trucks.
As with the previous combo, the idea here is to use 2 (1 can work too, depending on where you install the lock) of these new padlocks with a large heavy-duty chain (1/4in-6.5ft chain size in general, but adapt to the width of your bed).
If you use 2 locks, attach them on both sides of the bed of your truck, and as previously explained, pass the chain through your frames and lock the locks.
If you use only one lock, make a loop with the chain passing through the frame of the bike and lock the lock.
Same as before, never use a bare chain directly on your bike frame. Protect it with an inner tube or an insulating tube.
It is possible that your bike cannot fit in the back of your truck with both wheels mounted. It is then interesting to think about using bike racks that attach to the fork with the front wheel removed.
The DELTA Cycle Original Bike Hitches is interesting because it is enough to secure and maintain your bike in the truck – no need for a tailgate pad.
Delta Cycle offers a very affordable version of this truck lock. For a very small price, you can have security for 1 bike, in solid metal. When you hold it in your hand, you will immediately get the feeling that the product is made to last.
For its price, if you are hesitant, I can only advise you to test, you have nothing to lose, the only danger is to have a very good surprise.
If you use this product, the trick is to keep the little red strap attached to the locking handle. When you need to unlock the bike, you’ll be glad it’s there. Otherwise, the ideal would be to replace it with a piece of paracord.
This is a quality product. Everyone who has one seems to be delighted.
I’ve even seen professionals using the Yakima Locking Blockhead to transport clients’ bikes. That’s reassuring, isn’t it?
Yakima offers us a very solid product that will discourage thieves for sure. The lock allows you to attach a bike by its fork, road bike, or mountain bike, it doesn’t matter. The model is well-designed since it can even accommodate a bike with disc brakes.
To use it, the brand announces “5 min of installation with 2 bolts”. From the feedback I got, the installation is often a bit longer because the bolts are not provided. So you have to drill the toolbox (or anything else) of your truck bed to fix the lock with two bolts that you have to buy.
This product is my favorite because it is for me the best compromise in terms of price, solidity, installation, and use. My go-to if you want your bike safe.
THULE is a brand with a reputation that precedes it.
Its Locking Low Rider product is an excellent way to secure your bike on your vehicle. You have here a lock that can be installed on any flat support, quite easily. This security system will discourage anyone from approaching it.
It’s simple, it’s solid, and it works exactly as you would expect from such a product. What else?
A little more expensive than the other models in this article, we are buying here a brand known for its quality products that rarely disappoint. You do the math.
Here we go out of the simple truck bed lock models. We go a little bit beyond addressing the subject of truck bed racks. Thule always comes up with a nice product.
Clearly, it is not the same budget, we are largely above everything in this article. However, it’s still worth looking into.
This Bed Rider rack is made of adjustable bars that will fit between the walls of your truck bed. Once installed, you can attach 2 bikes to the rack by attaching them by the fork.
The big advantage here is that you don’t need any bolts or holes. You can leave your truck alone.
The installation is very simple and fast, so you can remove the rack easily if you need the bed for something else.
If you need more support, it is possible to purchase an additional mount that you can add to the rack, for this, see the other products on the Thule website.
For an inexpensive alternative to this rack. We found another model sold by the brand SWAGMAN, only, there is no anti-theft locking possible at the fork, they are only quick-release handles.
Bike Locks For Truck Beds Buying Guide
Think about what you are willing to do
Let me explain.
Some models of bike locks for the truck bed need to modify it, make holes, etc.. Maybe you don’t want to drill holes in your vehicle to install a security system for your bike, in this case, you should look for more “reversible” solutions.
Do you have several bikes? In this case, fixing an individual bike carrier each time can be tricky, it might be more suitable to use a rack or a long chain that allows to secure several bikes at once. In terms of flexibility, this is ideal.
Finally, if you have big and heavy bikes, I would personally feel more comfortable using a tailgate pad in my pickup truck that I would couple with an anchor and chain system. It’s big and solid, with no surprises.
Is it better to lock the front or rear bike wheel?
SECURE YOUR FRAME FIRST. Always.
Then, if you have enough length with your lock or chain, you can secure and lock your rear wheel, then finally your front wheel.
Make sure you tie everything to something solid that won’t move if someone tries to take it away.
Will my bike be permanently secured against theft?
No. I prefer to be honest.
A determined thief will surely manage to steal your bike, no matter how much security you try to put in place. There are plenty of tools to steal just about anything.
The idea here is to dissuade anyone who might be tempted to steal. A good installation with a padlock and a big chain is enough to change the mind of someone who would look at your material a little too closely.
I advise you to secure your bikes for transport, for the time of a trip, so that your stops – at the gas station, at the toilets, at the restaurant – are not a problem anymore. Of course, if you plan to sleep in a hotel, I advise you not to keep your bikes in the truck and suggest you to take them with you.
It’s easy enough to secure your bike and have more peace of mind. Now you have to choose how. Do you want a simple system that works without any trouble? In that case, a good chain will do the job. If you prefer a well-designed system that allows you to lock your bike but also to keep it in a good position for transport, then a fork mount will be ideal, but don’t forget that it implies removing your front wheel every time and storing it inside. If you don’t want to touch your truck, then you can consider a rack, it’s simple, it’s quick to install and remove, and it carries several bikes.
In our case, I prefer the YAKIMA – Locking BlockHead because it is a solid, durable and well-finished product that allows us to fix our bikes in our truck bed, to secure them against theft (wasn’t that our original goal?), all this at an unbeatable price. Simple, effective.