Toyota Deck Rail System

Lefty

New Member
Region
USA
Hi I’m new to ebikes and very thankful that there’s a forum to help ease the learning curve. Please forgive me if I’m posting this in the wrong place or it has already been asked. (I tried several searches first)
I have a 2020 Toyota Tacoma with the deck rail system in a 6’ bed. I currently use the system to fork-mount 2 hybrid non-ebikes (about 40lbs each) on the rail behind the cab. I’ve ordered a Rize Bikes Bolt X and it should be here in a few weeks. It is a folding bike but i really don't want to mess with that if I can find a safe way to haul it “unfolded”. I think it is a through-mount bike but not sure.
My questions: 1. Do other people here fork-mount and/or through-mount their ebikes to transport them in truck beds? Is it safe for the bike and overall?
2. Is there a reasonably priced alternative truck bed method that you use? (besides tailgate hangover)
Please post pics/links to any suggestions and thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Much appreciated!
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Welcome to the Forum! You've definitely come to the right place to ask your questions. You might try playing around some more with the forum's search feature to get additional information.

Many here use fork mount pickup racks but removing the front wheel can be a bit more difficult with an e-bike. Hydraulic disc brakes, fenders and cable routing can cause issues. Many of these fork mounts aren't rated for heavier bikes so check your specs. You can always tie off the rear of the bike to the pickup rails to compensate for the extra weight.

I've seen several trucks with deck rail systems that use crossbars to mount roof and fork type bike racks similar to these:
ONECOL (1).jpg download (9).jpg e67c19475b2a641f7f25a7a51423cdf3.jpg images (8).jpg install-rockymounts-lowball-bike-rack-2018-toyota-tacoma-rky1097_644.jpg
Most however require lifting a heavy e-bike up to chest height to load. Due to the overall height, Some can also be a clearance problem in some situations.

There have been many do it yourself ideas suggested here on bed mounts for pickups. I've posted these many times for a slide out rack made from PVC pipe and roof type racks:

Pic 7.jpg Pic 7a.jpg Pic 1.JPG

A 6' bed may be too short for some of these ideas though depending of the length of your bike. Removing, or driving with the tailgate down is always an option.

Keep looking, there are a lot of possibilities out there and once again, welcome to the forum!
 

bikeman242

Active Member
I have a short bed mid-sized truck. My Bed length is only 60."

Transporting eBikes on the truck bed is something I have spent much time thinking about over the last year, and still have yet to reach a satisfactory solution.

My eBike is somewhat long, around 69" total length. I transport the bike by just standing it upright in the bed at a diagonal, and strapping it down with ratchet straps. This keeps the bike well protected from road debris. When transporting two eBikes, I let the cheaper one hang over the tailgate (I just use a yoga mat for protection, no need for a fancy tailgate pad). My solution is nothing fancy, but it works. I just drilled some holes in a 2'x4' piece of plywood, run a strap through the holes to the tie downs at the tailgate, and use it as a ramp to get the bike into the bed.

In regards to fork mounting, I don't see any problem for the eBike, but you have to be careful about the mount that you choose. For example, the rocky mounts fork mounts that are designed for the truck deck-rail system are rated at a maximum of 35 pounds. I'm sure they can handle more weight, but think about the worst case scenario. If your fork mount fails, and the bike manages to fly off the back of the truck and cause an accident, you can be sure that the insurance companies will ask what your fork mount was and the model of your bike. If they conclude that you exceeded the weight capacity, I bet insurance would try and decline to pay out and hold you liable. So, be sure you also strap down the bike, as well as using the fork mount.

I would suggest getting a kuat dirtbag skewer mount, and either drill into your truck bed to mount it, or just bolt it to some plywood and let it sit in the bed. Serves the same function, but cheaper and less risky than the deck-rail fork mount.

Other systems include the Yakima Gator, which I personally don't see the usefulness of, and homemade systems like the one @6zfshdb uses.
 
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bikeman242

Active Member
I've seen several trucks with deck rail systems that use crossbars to mount roof and fork type bike racks similar to these:
View attachment 79636 View attachment 79641 View attachment 79642 View attachment 79643 View attachment 79644
Most however require lifting a heavy e-bike up to chest height to load. Due to the overall height, Some can also be a clearance problem in some situations.

I have been searching for a solution like this for over a year. Specifically, look at the blue tundra with the bike over the crossbars - he has a tonneau cover, with the bike on the crossbars - I want something exactly like this. I don't want to have to remove the front wheel to get the bike onto the truck on the crossbars.

The problem for me is that all of these roof bike racks in these pictures you shared are rated for a max of 45 pounds. My bike is about 50 pounds with the battery off. So again, I am concerned about the liability in an accident.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
I have been searching for a solution like this for over a year. Specifically, look at the blue tundra with the bike over the crossbars - he has a tonneau cover, with the bike on the crossbars - I want something exactly like this. I don't want to have to remove the front wheel to get the bike onto the truck on the crossbars.

The problem for me is that all of these roof bike racks in these pictures you shared are rated for a max of 45 pounds. My bike is about 50 pounds with the battery off. So again, I am concerned about the liability in an accident.
The rack in the second picture looked interesting. It looks like it could pivot outward making it easier to load. The extra bike weight can be handled by tying it off to the truck rails but the liability issue is a different story. Sharp lawyers can make a big deal out of nothing if there is a big payoff to be had.
 

Satex

New Member
I also have a Tacoma with a 6ft bed. I haul bicycles the same way I haul my dirt bikes ... roll them into the bed on a folding ramp. Then strap them down using soft ties from the handlebars to the bed tie downs.
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I also have a Tacoma with a 6ft bed. I haul bicycles the same way I haul my dirt bikes ... roll them into the bed on a folding ramp. Then strap them down using soft ties from the handlebars to the bed tie downs.
Do you leave the tailgate down?
 

Lightning 123

Well-Known Member
I also have a Tacoma with a 6ft bed. I haul bicycles the same way I haul my dirt bikes ... roll them into the bed on a folding ramp. Then strap them down using soft ties from the handlebars to the bed tie downs.
That's how I plan on hauling my ebike also. I have a bed extender that opens up into a ramp and I'm going use a wheel chock called Lock and load that secures the front wheel. I have a 5 1/2 foot bed.
 

Satex

New Member
Do you leave the tailgate down?
Sometimes. If I'm hauling more than one bike, then yes but my ramp is also a tailgate extender so the bed is still essentially closed. If just one bike, I'll scootch the rear end over a bit to close the tailgate. It is a 6 foot bed though, and most Tacomas have a 5.5ft bed.
 

Satex

New Member
It's called ready ramp. I might have to bring a regular ramp as well so I can safely walk the bike into the truck.
That's what I use. I also use a folding aluminum step. It is all I need for my big dual sport motorcycle, dirt bike, or bicycle.
 

bikeman242

Active Member
That's how I plan on hauling my ebike also. I have a bed extender that opens up into a ramp and I'm going use a wheel chock called Lock and load that secures the front wheel. I have a 5 1/2 foot bed.

Interesting, and what is the wheel chock you use?

I keep a gorilla stepstool in the bed and use that to help load the bike into the bed. Very stable and well built.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
This is the ramp set I bought for a wide variety of loading, including my ebikes. I like how smooth yet grippy they are. Not a fan of the ladder-style ramps.
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I think I cost me around $20 and it was my first time working with PVC. I use motorcycle tiedowns along with it. The rack is hooked with zip ties to one of those shower curtain like (but stronger) expanding rods.
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Those are sand bags in the back because it was still winter when I took the last picture. This is a 2019 Tacoma long bed and yes, the tailgate closes.
 

Lightning 123

Well-Known Member
Interesting, and what is the wheel chock you use?

I keep a gorilla stepstool in the bed and use that to help load the bike into the bed. Very stable and well built.
 

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Kayakguy

Active Member
Saw an interesting arrangement in a parking lot the other day. These were analog bikes, but the principle might work with ebikes. The bikes were loaded rear end first, and pushed toward the cab. The tailgate was closed, then the front wheel was turned to 90 deg., and the wheel was hung over the outside of the tailgate, so it would work even on quite a short PU bed. I didn't look closely, but I assume the bikes (there were at least 2) were locked into the bed tie-downs. Ropes going from side to side would stabilize the bikes and prevent them from flopping around. Looked secure, except they'd be vulnerable if you were rear-ended--but in that case, you have other issues to worry about.