Tailgate bike pads are essential for those who tote their bikes to exciting outdoor destinations such as national parks or downhill parks. These pads provide a safe and secure way to transport your bikes while protecting your vehicle from scratches and damage. With so many options on the market, it can be daunting to choose the best one. In this article, we will look at the 11 best tailgate bike pads and discuss what to look for in a tailgate bike pad.
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What to Consider When Purchasing a Truck Tailgate Pad
There are several desirable features to weigh when looking for a tailgate bike pad, that will provide added convenience and security when transporting your bike to exciting new destinations. By taking into account these desirable features, you can choose a tailgate bike pad that meets your needs and provides added convenience, protection, and security for your bikes during transport.
Here are some features to look for and things to consider:
- Size and Compatibility: The size of the bike pad should match the size of your tailgate to ensure a proper fit. Measure your tailgate before making a purchase to ensure that the bike pad will fit snugly and securely. You will also want to take into account whether your truck has a backup camera. If so, you will need a truck tailgate pad with a cutout to accommodate this feature. Look for a bike pad that is compatible with a range of truck models and tailgate styles this way you may be able to transfer it from one vehicle to another. Some pads come in different sizes to accommodate various truck sizes and types, while others offer a universal fit.
- Capacity: Consider how many bikes you plan to transport at once. Some bike pads can accommodate multiple bikes, while others are designed for a single bike. Choose a pad that can handle your current and future bike transportation needs. If you have a family of cyclists you will want a pad that accommodates a larger number of bikes.
- Material and Durability: Look for a bike pad made with high-quality, durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of regular use. Materials such as heavy-duty vinyl, foam padding, and durable straps can ensure that your bikes stay safe and secure during transport. Choose a bike pad that will be able to withstand the elements, including UV light so your bike pad lasts for years.
- Bike and Vehicle Protection: The primary function of a bike pad is to protect your bikes and vehicle during transport. Look for a pad with ample padding and secure straps or tie-downs to prevent your bikes from shifting or scratching against each other and against your tailgate.
- Ease of use: Choose a bike pad that is easy to install and remove from your tailgate. Pads with quick-release straps or buckles can make loading and unloading your bikes a breeze.
- Security Features: Your bike is an investment! Consider a bike pad that has security features, such as lockable straps or a locking mechanism, to deter theft and keep your bikes safe while in transit or parked.
- Price: Bike pads come in a range of prices, so consider your budget when making a purchase. While a higher price may indicate better quality and features, there are also affordable options that provide adequate protection for your bikes.
- Versatility: Consider a bike pad that can be used for more than just bike transportation. Some pads can double as a camping or outdoor mat, providing added versatility and convenience.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Tailgate Pad for your Truck
If you’re a frequent cyclist and pickup truck owner who likes to transport your bike to different locations, then a tailgate bike pad might be a useful investment. It is a pad designed to be placed on the tailgate of your truck or SUV, which allows you to securely transport your bike without causing any damage to your vehicle or your bike. However, like any other product, there are pros and cons to using a tailgate bike pad. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using a tailgate bike pad.
- Easy to use: A tailgate bike pad is relatively easy to use. You can install it on your truck or SUV in minutes, and it only requires a few straps to secure your bike. You don’t have to deal with any complicated equipment, and it’s much easier than using a bike rack.
- Cost-effective: Compared to bike racks, tailgate bike pads are much cheaper. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $200+, which is much less than what you would pay for a bike rack.
- Space-saving: A tailgate bike pad doesn’t take up much space. It’s perfect for those who don’t have a lot of storage space in their garage or apartment. You can easily fold it up and store it away when you’re not using it.
- Protects your bike and your vehicle: A tailgate bike pad is designed to protect your bike from scratches and damage during transportation. It also protects your vehicle from any damage caused by the bike.
- Can accommodate multiple bikes: Depending on the size of the pad, you can carry multiple bikes on a tailgate bike pad. This is perfect for those who like to go cycling with friends or family.
- Not suitable for all vehicles: Tailgate bike pads are only suitable for trucks and SUVs with a tailgate. If you have a car or a vehicle without a tailgate, then you won’t be able to use a tailgate bike pad.
- Limited carrying capacity: Tailgate bike pads have limited carrying capacity. Depending on the size of the pad, you may only be able to carry a few bikes. This is not suitable for those who need to transport a lot of bikes.
- Potential damage to the tailgate: Though the intended purpose of a tailgate bike pad is to prevent damage, it can still cause damage to your tailgate if not used correctly. The straps can cause scratches, and the weight of the bike can dent or damage the tailgate.
- Limited accessibility: When you use a tailgate bike pad, you may not have access to your tailgate. This can be mitigated by selecting a pad that has a cutout to allow access to the tailgate latch.
- Can be difficult to install: While tailgate bike pads are relatively easy to use, they can be challenging to install. You may need help from someone else to secure the pad and the bikes correctly.
Best Basic Bike Pad for Truck Tailgate
Softride Shuttle Pad ~ $65 – $95
The Soft Ride Tailgate Pad is a versatile and durable option for hauling your bikes and other gear. It is designed to carry up to six bikes and works with most bike styles, making it a great option for mountain bikers and other cycling enthusiasts. The pad includes six Softwraps and a daisy chain for securing bikes to the rail, as well as four straps for securing the protective pad to the tailgate.
One of the standout features of the Soft Ride Tailgate Pad is its Velcro access flap, which allows you to access the tailgate release while the pad is attached. This feature makes it convenient and easy to use, especially if you need to quickly access your truck bed.
The Soft Ride Tailgate Pad is not just for hauling bikes. It can also be used to secure other gear, such as surfboards, kayaks, construction supplies, and more. This makes it a versatile and practical option for those who enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
The Soft Ride Tailgate Pad also comes with a one-year limited warranty, giving you peace of mind and ensuring that you’re getting a quality product.
- Built-in flap for easy tailgate access
- One-year limited warranty
- Some users have reported issues with the straps
- Limited padding.
Fox Racing Tailgate Cover ~ $125
The Fox Racing Tailgate Cover is an affordable option that provides excellent protection for your bikes. It is made from a durable, water-resistant material and features soft padding to protect your bikes from scratches and damage. The individual straps keep your bikes securely in place during transportation.
The built-in handle flap allows users to easily access your truck bed and all your gear.
Available in two sizes: The small fits most compact and mid-sized trucks and can carry up to five bikes. The large tailgate cover fits most full-size trucks and can carry up to six bikes.
- Durable and water-resistant material
- soft padding for bike protection
- Users report sizing issues
- Difficult to install
Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes ~ $120
The Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes is a reliable and practical solution for transporting your mountain bikes in the back of your truck. It is designed to fit most pickup trucks with a tailgate width of up to 62 inches and can hold up to six bikes securely. The pad is made from a durable and waterproof material with a non-abrasive felt underside that will protect your bikes and vehicle from dirt, scratches, and damage during transport.
Furthermore, the Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes features extra thick padding typically reserved for more expensive tailgate pads. It also comes with a strap system that allows you to securely fasten your bikes to the pad, preventing any unwanted movement during transit. The pad also features a loop for securing a cable lock, providing an extra layer of security for your bikes.
The pad is easy to install and remove, making it a convenient option for frequent use. It comes with a quick-access tailgate release that allows you to easily access your truck bed without having to remove the entire pad. Additionally, this pickup truck bike pad features an opening for your backup camera.
The Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes is available in two sizes, small and large, to accommodate different truck sizes and bike types. The tailgate bike pad comes with a spacious tool pocket that is cleverly hidden, providing a convenient storage solution for tools and other essentials while out on the trails.
- Easy to Install
- Fit most pickup trucks
- Additional features such as a tool pocket
- Limited Weather Protection: may be susceptible to UV damage
Best Single Bike Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes
Bomber Strap Tailgate Bike Pad ~ $130 – $160
The Bomber Strap Tailgate Bike Pad is the perfect solution for mountain bikers who want a trusted and reliable single tailgate pad. Designed and built by a mountain biker, it is the only single mountain bike pad with a patented fork strap and rotational control strap, ensuring that your bike will never move off the pad due to fork rotation. This one-of-a-kind feature keeps the bike secure and prevents the tire from rubbing against the tailgate which can cause damage to your bike or vehicle.
Unlike other large tailgate pads that use multi-strap attachments, the Bomber Strap is secured with just one, making it easy to apply and remove in seconds. It also fits perfectly in a backpack or bike bag, making it an excellent option for destination rides.
Featuring 2 inches of closed-cell foam that reduces vibration and shock when driving off-road, the Bomber Strap provides total protection for your bike frame and truck tailgate paint.
The minimalistic design of the Bomber Strap will not block the camera or functionality of the tailgate. Additionally, the rugged and minimalistic look of the Bomber Strap keeps your truck looking incredible, with or without a bike on it.
In summary, the Bomber Strap Tailgate Bike Pad is a reliable, durable, and easy-to-use option for mountain bikers who want to safely transport their bikes and keep their trucks looking awesome.
- Minimalist design
- Easy to use single strap attachment
- Excellent protection of both bike and vehicle
- Only supports one bike
EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad Duo Bike Pad ~ $65 – $100
The EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad Duo Bike Pad is a versatile and reliable solution for transporting up to two bikes in the back of your truck without the need for a bike rack. Its universal sizing means it is designed to fit most pick-up trucks and can securely hold two bikes side by side.
The pad is made from a durable fabric that is cut-resistant, water-resistant, and UV-stable providing lasting quality. The backside of the pad is fleece to protect your tailgate, and the pad itself features an extra-wide profile to accommodate wider handlebars and forks.
The EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad Duo Bike Pad features an adjustable strap system that allows you to securely fasten your bikes to the pad, preventing any unwanted movement during transit. The straps are easy to adjust.
The pad is easy to install and remove, making it a convenient option for frequent use. It can be installed offset from the center of the tailgate allowing you to easily access your truck bed without having to remove the entire pad.
The EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad Duo Bike Pad offers a universal fit and is available in a variety of colors, including black, olive, and slate, to suit your personal preference.
- Easy to install
- Universal sizing to fit most pickups
- Easily access your truck bed without removing the entire pad
- 24-month warranty
- Some reviewers say that this pad does not offer adequate cushion
- Some users report that it is too small for 2 bikes
Race Face T2 Half Stack Tailgate Pad ~ $105
The Race Face T2 Half Stack Tailgate Pad is a high-quality tailgate pad designed to provide protection and security for your bikes during transport. The half tailgate design makes it suitable for most pickup trucks and makes accessing your tailgate a breeze.
One of the standout features of the Race Face T2 Half Stack Tailgate Pad is its durability. It is made from a heavy-duty fabric material that can withstand rough conditions and protect both your vehicle and bikes from scratches and damage.
The T2 boasts raised bumpers that securely hold the frame downtubes in place, reducing contact with the truck box during transportation. The pad features a secure strap system that holds your bikes in place during transit, reducing the risk of any unwanted movement or damage.
- Securely hold bikes in place during transit to avoid damage
- Easy to install
- Fits most truck tailgates
- Some users have reported issues with the strap length and Velcro
Best Truck Tailgate Pad for Up to 6 Bikes
EVOC Tailgate Pad ~ $160
The EVOC Tailgate Pad is a durable and practical solution for transporting up to six mountain bikes in the back of your truck without the need for a bike rack. It offers excellent protection, easy installation, and convenient access to your truck bed, making it a popular choice among mountain bike enthusiasts.
Like its sibling the EVOC Bike Tailgate Pad Duo Bike Pad this pad is made from a durable fabric that is cut-resistant, water-resistant, and UV-stable providing lasting quality. The backside of the pad is fleece to protect your tailgate, and the pad itself features an extra-wide profile to accommodate wider handlebars and forks. Additionally, the Velcro strap system allows you to securely fasten your bikes, preventing unwanted movement during transit.
The EVOC Tailgate Pad is easy to install and remove, making it a convenient option for frequent use. It comes with a quick-access tailgate release that allows you to easily access your truck bed without removing the entire pad. Additionally, the fold-away flap allows for use on vehicles with rear cameras.
This pad is available in two sizes: the M/L fits mid-size truck tailgates with a minimum width of 52” (inside) and a tailgate height of 19.7” (outside). The XL size is suited to full-size truck tailgates measuring a minimum width of 61.4” (inside) and tailgate height of 22.8” (outside). It is also available in a variety of colors, including black, olive, and slate, to suit your personal preference.
- Provides a secure and stable transport for bikes
- Durable and high-quality construction
- Easy to install and remove
- Fits a wide range of truck models and bike types
- Offers protection against scratches and dings
- May not fit all truck sizes or models
- Can be bulky and difficult to store when not in use
- Does not provide adequate protection for the front of the bike or the cab of the truck
RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad ~ $176 – $210
The RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad is another excellent option for those looking for a reliable and durable bike pad with the capacity to transport up to 6 bikes. It is made from a heavy-duty, water-resistant material that can withstand the toughest conditions.
One of the key features of the RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad is its raised bumpers that securely hold the frame downtubes in place, reducing contact with the truck box during transportation. The pad features a secure strap system that holds your bikes in place during transit, reducing the risk of any unwanted movement or damage.
Additionally, this pad features a built-in flap that allows you to access your tailgate handle without having to remove the pad. This is a great feature for those who need to access their truck bed frequently. Additionally, the customizable rear panel easily adjusts to any rear camera + handle position.
Available in two sizes: The S/M size fits most mid-size trucks while the L/XL is suited to most full-size trucks. The RaceFace T2 Tailgate Pad is an excellent choice for those who want a high-quality, durable bike pad that can securely transport multiple bikes.
- Heavy-duty, water-resistant material,
- Adjustable straps,
- Can securely transport multiple bikes.
- Some users have reported issues with the stitching.
Thule Gate Mate Pro Tailgate Pad ~ $210 – $260
The Thule Gate Mate Pro Tailgate Pad is one of the best tailgate bike pads available on the market. It is available in two sizes: Small, for compact pickups, and Large, for full-size pickups. Made from ultra-durable, heavy-duty vinyl, this pad is water-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
One of the key features of the Thule Gate Mate Pro is its integrated “Knock-Blocks” of thick foam padding that provide excellent protection for both your bike and your vehicle. Integrated anchor straps secure your bikes during transport to prevent slipping and provide additional protection from damage.
The Thule Gate Mate Pro securely attaches to your tailgate with several sturdy nylon straps. Another great feature of this pad is its built-in tailgate handle access flap. This allows you to easily access your tailgate handle without having to remove the pad, which can be a real time-saver.
Overall, the Thule Gate Mate Pro Tailgate Pad is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a high-quality, durable bike pad that provides excellent protection and ease of use.
- Durable and water-resistant material,
- Thick foam padding,
- Multiple straps to secure bikes,
- Available in two sizes.
- Expensive compared to other options.
Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad ~ $200 – $219
The Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad is a top-quality bike pad that offers exceptional protection to both your bicycles and your vehicle. Its sturdy construction, secure straps, and convenient rear camera flap allow biking enthusiast to transport their MTBs with confidence and ease.
Constructed from durable tarpaulin-coated polyester material, this pad is built to last and withstand extreme weather conditions while the soft felt backing protects your truck’s paint. “SitTight” bike cradles stabilize and protect bikes from one another while preventing unwanted movement during transportation. G-hook buckles further secure your bikes and add extra stability and protection. These features provide both protection and peace of mind while on the road.
One of the most convenient features of the Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad is its “HindSight” tuck-away cover. This built-in flap makes using your backup camera a cinch and allows for easy access to your tailgate handle without removing the pad.
Designed to fit most full-size pickups, the Yakima GateKeeper Tailgate Pad is available in two sizes to cater to your specific needs. Each size is crafted to provide an optimal fit and ensure that your bikes stay securely in place.
- Sturdy construction
- Individual straps for added security,
- Built-in rear camera flap
- Reviews indicate some quality issues with older versions of this product
Best Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad for Curved Tailgates
Dakine DLX Curved Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad ~ $78 – $185
The Dakine DLX Curved Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad is a premium tailgate pad designed for mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts who need a reliable way to transport their bikes safely and securely. This pad is constructed of Recycled Polyester with UV/weather-resistant coating. Its unique curved shape and a range of other features make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality tailgate pad.
One of the key features of the Dakine DLX Curved Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad is its curved shape. This design provides a proper fit and allows the pad to fit snugly against the tailgate. Available in two sizes, the small can accommodate five bikes and the large will fit up to seven.
Other notable features of the Dakine DLX Curved Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad include its built-in straps and buckle system, which allow you to secure your bikes quickly and easily. The pad also includes a soft fleece lining, which helps to protect your bikes’ paint and truck’s finish.
The Dakine Pickup Pad DLX’s built-in flap allows you to easily access your tailgate handle without removing the pad. Additionally, this tailgate pad for bikes is suitable for recent truck models including full-size Ford and Dodge trucks with rear backup cameras.
- Ease of use
- Made of recycled material
- Curved shape provides a snug and secure fit
- Rear camera flap
- May not fit all truck models
- Some users have reported that the straps can be difficult to adjust or tighten
Our Top Pick – The Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes
The Athletico Tailgate Pad for Bikes is a practical and affordable solution for transporting your bikes in the back of your truck. It offers excellent protection, easy installation, and convenient access to your truck bed. Additionally, it offers features such as raise bumpers and storage pockets which are often reserved for pricier tailgate pads. All this makes it a popular choice among mountain bike enthusiasts, a great value, and making it our top pick for best tailgate bike pads.