Ever wonder how quality bike racks are made? Building a tough truck bed bike rack goes a lot deeper than good looks and branding. We have to consider many details like geometry, durability, rust resistance, and materials compatibility. Each component on QR3 truck bed bike racks have been carefully selected for their ability to last and survive out in the real world. For example, our bolts have a high quality coating known as trivalent which gives our hardware a nice black colored appearance while providing superior corrosion resistance to standard standard zinc coated hardware. All bushings are made from aluminum and are also coated with Trivalent to match the durable black finish of the rack system.
We use robotic welding technology that creates near perfect repeatable welds. With this method we can ensure each rack is equal to the next in construction accuracy.
This is also better for the environment by reducing waste while increasing production efficiency. With accurate and repeatable welds we reduce errors which often end up in landfill. Robotic welding arms allow the operator to avoid being too close to harmful fumes during the welding process. In the end we get welded products using
advanced techniques that would be nearly impossible to repeat manually. This ensures that the all of our racks meet our specifications and our customers get consistent high quality products.
Most products available to consumers these days require a quite a bit of assembly. This is done to lower production costs and make packages smaller which lowers shipping cost as well. We considered all this too, however our goals were driven by high quality design and function with as little assembly for the customer as possible. By welding parts together it makes the packaging larger but it's well worth the cost. In the end you get a product that few companies provide these days, a solid welded, rigid bike rack system that goes together fast and lasts a very long time.
For bicycle manufacturers light weight is critical. However, in a bike rack we worry more about durability. A bike rack should exceed the strength of your bicycle. When it comes to strong and tough, properly treated steel is a great option.
Our rack systems are designed to handle forces such as swing weight that focus stress on construction joints. Imagine an E-bike weighing 55 lbs swinging left and right as your vehicle is driving around. These forces are transferred to the welded joints, rack connections and bolts in the rack system. That is why we choose to go overkill on our build methods. To best combat these forces we combine 1/16" treated steel for our main rack tubing and 1/8" thick steel on our crossbar support tubes.
Rigid is Important
After working on prototypes we realized that this type of bike rack system has to be very rigid. There isn't anything like it on the market so we had to determine the best way to build it by doing lots of testing.
W made models with 3/4" tubing and they did the job well, but we wanted something tougher that looked robust. We tried 1-1/2" tubing and the system looked overkill, so we went with 1-1/4" tubing for the whole rack system. This provided everything we were after and in the end and strikes the perfect balance of looks and rigid construction. Welding all this together makes it a super rigid system which keeps your bike steady in transit. Most of the movement we observe is coming from the bike tires, not the rack system.
Weather can be torture on metal so we use multiple layers of protection on our bike racks to combat moisture and heat cycles that are unavoidable from mother nature. All the tubing and stamped components are treated with Electrophoretic Deposition known as ED. This is a process that applies an even paint coating by submerging parts in water filled with paint particles. The metal parts are electrically charged causing the paint particles to adhere evenly on both inside and outside surfaces.
After the ED coating we apply a 2nd layer of protection. We paint the system with a heavy duty powder coat finish. This is a dry paint powder that is also applied with electricity to attract paint particles evenly on all outer surfaces. The powder is applied and baked on at a high temperature which melts the powder and creates a tough shell on the outer surface.
These two layers combined create an impenetrable shell from water on all external surfaces.
Internally, Ride88 QR3 racks have integrated small holes throughout the system to allow any moisture to escape. Vehicles, bicycles and all kinds of products outdoors have hidden holes and eyelets that allow moisture to escape and prevent water from collecting internally. This is a common practice and works well to greatly increase the outdoor life of the product.
Below is an example of one of the drainage holes in our Cross Bar system.
We obsess over the details so you can focus on having a good time. We have spent countless hours testing our Ride88 QR3 rack systems for functional issues and solving them. We know there are other options out there but our system is truly the best way to carry a bike in the bed of your truck. I have personally searched the world over for something better and couldn't find it, that's why RIDE88 exists today. I hope you will give us a try and I am sure you won't regret getting a better system that looks good in your truck and loads bikes super fast.
-Jerry / Ride88