If your ride, whether it’s the transport to and from the trail or the one you use on the trail, is a little to precious to just throw over the tailgate, then the Exodux truck bed bike rack is the premium option you’ve been looking for. The design uses an expanding rubber wedge to secure the fork’s steerer tube onto the rack, leaving it well away from the body of the vehicle.
Simply slide the steerer over the top of each knob, which has rubber discs to keep any metal from touching the fork, and twist the knob to expand them. Each knob has a keyed bolt that can be loosened so that the knob spins freely, which prevents anyone from loosening it and stealing your bike. Tried as I might, I couldn’t pull the bike off the wedge when tightened.
Need to carry more than bikes? They have a range of attachments starting at $85 per steerer tube bike mount and $179 for a pair of the extension arms to hold boards. The base rack itself runs $349. More options on their website.