Make your own Bike Rack
Thanks to Damon of Salt Lake City, who sent us the photos and
instructions for this bike rack!
Fits in the back of your truck to carry three bikes in
needed = about 1 hour. Total Cost
= Under $20.
30 feet 1" schedule 40 PVC pipe
18 connecting T’s
6 90-degree connectors (elbows)
PVC pipe cement
For a 4-bike rack, see the
parts list and cutting instructions at the end of this article!
PVC pipe to the following lengths:
6 – 18 ½”
6 – 16 ½”
6 – 8 ½”
6 – 9 ½”
8 – 1 ¾”
16-1/2 lengths fit a Ford F150 truck bed.
You may need to vary this length for your particular truck.
You can assemble it without gluing and then make adjustments.
Here's what all the pieces look like cut to length.
|Assemble the frame as pictured at right. This
is a view looking straight towards the wheel-slots. The horizontal pipe in
the middle (seen behind the main assembly) receives the support struts.
See the photos below.
|Assemble the entire structure without
gluing. This lets you adjust fit and set a correct angle for the elbows
and Ts. Here we're assembling the main support frame. The two close pipes
at the left of the photo form a slot, into which a bike wheel will slide.
When complete, this part will be turned over so the Ts face down into the
|Here the support struts are seen coming
up into the support bar. Lying against the ground are the wheel-slots that
will receive the bike tire. (In use, the structure will be turned over.
The part that's sticking up here will be on the bottom of the truck bed.)
|Glue joints one at a time, then let dry.
In this photo, the support strut is ready to receive a T-connector.
|Here the rack is complete, and has been
turned over into its position of use.
Drill a hole in the underside of the top connectors for bungee hooks (3 total).
The bungee will hold the bike into the frame.
Size the hole to fit hook style (plastic hooks work best.) An
alternative is to wrap the bungee around the upper pipe and hook it back
connectors touching each other for standard mountain bike tires.
Leave about ¼” space for 3” tires.
bungee cords to tie rack down to truck bed.
bungee to seatpost or pedal to hold bike in place.
design should clear an 8” rear brake rotor.
This design can be altered to make a 4-bike rack! Here's your
40 feet 1" PVC pipe
The cut pieces will be:
8 - 18.5 inch
9 - 9 3/8 inch (in place
8 - 8.5 inch
9 - 9.5 inch
12 - 1 3/4 inch
Follow the design above, but substitute the 9+3/8 pieces for the 16.5-inch
|And here's another take on the rack: Rick and
Jeff Rodriguez sent these photos showing how they transport 5 bikes in
their truck bed. They say the paint quickly gets scratched off. But
consider paint if you plan to leave the rack in the sun -- PVC gets
brittle and cracks after a year or two of sun exposure.
|Here's the basic rack, painted and
ready to receive the bikes.
On the ground, bike tires fall into the
slots for a nice stable (cheap) rack.
For greater lateral stability, secure the
brace on top of the bed liner.
|Here's another look at the bike rack with
the brace sitting on the bed liner. A couple of tiny holes drilled in the
liner can serve as anchors for zip-ties that lock the rack in place. In
this truck, the front tires of the outside bikes sit partially on the tire
well, raising them slightly. Having the rack oriented upward as shown
still provides a solid hold.
|OK, so now we've got three bikes. Raising
the outer bikes eliminates handlebar clash.
Now, let's add two more bikes. They
sit upside down and backwards.
Toss foam pads between the center bike and
the upside-down bikes so they don't bash.
|Now toss a bungee or rope around the frames
of your two upside-down bikes, so they won't tip outward against the outer
forward-facing bikes. You're now ready to transport FIVE bikes to the
trail in your pickup truck.
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