If you’re a serious cyclist, like riding bicycles as a recreational activity, or have any other reason for hauling your bicycle, then you know a well-made bike rack is a must.
Poorly made bike racks can fail, potentially damaging your bike, vehicle or both. For every style of vehicle, there is a bike rack designed to fit and those of us with trucks are no exception.
This review is going to take a close look at the Heininger Advantage Sports rack and see if it possesses the 7 components that separate the good bike racks for truck beds, from the bad.
Overview of the Heininger 2025 Advantage Sports Bike Rack for Truck Bed
- Assembles quickly
- Lifetime Warranty
- No tools required
- 72″ Lockable cable included (lock not included)
- System won’t scratch truck paint; soft padding included to protect bike finish
- Fits Most Truck beds (this rack does not fit most step-side pickups)
- Extends from 54.5″ to 66.5″ without a spacer
- Extends from 60.5″ to 72.5″ with a full-size spacer (spacer included)
- Can also be used away from your truck as a standalone bike rack
- Protective caps on the bottom of the rack, keeping your truck bed scratch free with, or without a bed liner
What’s in the Box
1-Advantage 72″ lockable cable (lock not included)
All of that looks good, right? But, looking good and performing as it should are two different things, lets take a look at the functionality of this bike rack.
Is the Bike Rack Quick and Easy to Install?
Well, it by no means requires a genius to put it together, but the instructions could be (a lot) better. They are poorly written, and just a little confusing. But, with assistance from the picture on the box and a little trial and error, it’s fairly easy to install.
When installing the bike rack make sure none of the pieces are stuck together from the finish coating, if they are, then break them free before attempting to install it.
If you don’t the pieces won’t slide to adjust and will make assembling the bike rack nearly impossible. Also, threading the long bolts through the nuts welded to the sides could prove to be a bit difficult and may require a wrench.
This is due to the fact that the nuts aren’t directly inline with the hole.
Our conclusion on this aspect of the bike rack is that assembling and installing it can be a little frustrating, but it is fairly easy. Keep that wrench nearby just in case though.
Does the Bike Rack Fit Snug and Secure?
In most cases yes, the bike rack fits as intended and is secure. However, there are a few trucks that are incompatible with this bike rack unless you improvise with some DIY adjustments.
For example, this bike rack is too wide to fit in a ford ranger. With some bigger trucks, the bike rack isn’t wide enough, even with the rack width fully extended.
A third extension piece would solve this problem, but the bike rack doesn’t have the option of a third extender. Using a piece of wood to tightly fill the space between the bed, walls and the bike rack seems to do the trick, but it’s still not as secure as it would be if it fit properly.
Measuring the interior of your truck bed before purchasing a bike rack is the only sure way to be sure it will fit as intended. Bed liners can make the difference between a tight fit, a sloppy fit, or not fitting at all.
Our conclusion on this aspect of the bike rack is to do your homework before choosing this bike rack. Compare measurements and be sure it will fit correctly before purchasing something you won’t be able to use. Aside from this, the bike rack does fit snugly when installed properly.
Is It Quick and Easy to Load and Unload Bikes?
The ease of loading and unloading your bike depends majorly on the size of your bike and the height of your truck. But, looking only at the bike rack’s side of this equation, loading and unloading are easy.
You don’t have to remove anything from your bike. You simply load your bike into the bed of your truck and roll your rear tire into a slot, slide the securing bar down snugly against your tire and it’s loaded.
However, the securing bar and cable alone don’t seem like enough to keep your bike immobile. Chances of the top-heavy front end trying to tip over or the front tyre turning is likely.
If this happens your bike won’t necessarily break free of the bike rack or fall over, but it will put a lot of strain on your back tire. It is best to use bungee cords, or ratchet straps with the bike rack to ensure your bike is safe.
It is better to take precautionary measures and not need them than to fail to do so and damage your bike, or your truck.
Our conclusion is yes, loading and unloading bikes is easy.
Does the Bike Rack Fit a Wide Variety of Bike Frames, Styles and Sizes?
Yes, this bike rack fits any bike rim up to 28 Inches tall, or 71.12 Centimeters for those of us using metric. However, the manufacturer gives no information on the maximum width a tire can be.
So, keep it on the safe side and assume that any tire wider than a standard mountain bike tire will not fit. Tires with back disc brakes tend to fit awkwardly, with the rack pressing against the brakes.
The rack also puts pressure on the de-railer of your bike, but with a little tweaking everything fits with no damage to the bike. Larger bikes with decorative, long or wide fenders are not likely to fit if they are more than an inch wider than your tire itself.
Does the Bike Rack Have a Secure Locking System?
Yes, the bike rack comes with a 72 Inch (182.88 Centimeter) locking cable. This cable can be secured through the bikes and rack, then locked, or secured to the bed.
Securing your bikes and bike racks is a must. The rack doesn’t directly attach to your bed in any way and it is light weight. Your bike rack, and/or bikes could be stolen fairly easily without the locking cable. The lock is not included with the cable.
Is the Bike Rack designed to Stop or Prevent Damage?
Yes, the rack is designed with features to protect both your bike and your truck. The rack mounting extension is equipped with a rubber suction cup like device to fit snugly against your bed walls without scratching.
A foam padding is provided on both sides of each tire rack to prevent rim damage and the bottom of the bike rack has caps which fit snugly over it’s feet to prevent scratches on the floor of your truck bed. But, the foam pads on the tire racks have a tendency to fall off and may prevent wider tires from fitting properly.
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage Sports Rack
This bike rack is fairly decent for its price and it does have some pretty convenient features. Flaws aside this is one of the better bike racks for truck beds we’ve seen.
If you want an easy in, an easy out option with no mounting hardware, hole drilling or permanent changes to your vehicle, you’ll like the Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage Sports Bike Rack for Truck Bed.
Heininger Automotive 2025 Advantage Sports Rack Assembly Video