Best Tailgate Pads for Bikes – Review!

Trying to protect your truck’s tailgate while transporting your bikes to your favorite trail or ride?  As a truck owner, you would think that stuffing your bikes in the back of the bed is a simple thing to do but there are many issues that can arise such as:

  • Your bikes can scrape or bang against each other causing the derailleur to get damaged and not allow you to shift gears properly
  • If you have disc brakes those could get warped by getting hit while in the back of the bed
  • Scratch the paint of your bike or truck

Tailgate pads help organize your bikes onto the tailgate of your truck and allow the bikes to sit comfortably and protected.  They also have an advantage over hitch bike carriers in that they don’t have any potential in getting rear ended by other cars.  If you have an expensive bike it would be horrible to get it crushed!

In this article, we have done the research by scouring the web, reading spec sheets, and reading reviews to put together a top tailgate pad (there are a ton!) review so you don’t have to worry about the things that could happen to your bike and truck and focus on getting to the trail safely.

 If you don’t have much time, we understand, please check out our top pick on the list to save you some reading time.   It is the Race Face T2.  It has the best attachments and padding for the protection of your bike and truck and is very versatile when attached to your truck’s tailgate. Check out the link below to get some great photos of the pad and to see the price.  

If you have a minute, read on to review some of the best tailgate pads on the web!

Best bike Tailgate Pad Reviews

Race Face T2 Tailgate Pad

This Race Face tailgate pad is made out of PVC tarpaulin and has a micro-brushed inner lining for tailgate protection.  It has two sizes, s/m which fits most mid sized trucks, l/x for most full sized trucks.

This pad is great because it comes with padding that the frame of your bike will sit in between and assist in keeping the bike in place along with the straps.

Here are some other great features:

  • Adjustable rear panel that allows the use of your tailgate handle and rear backup camera
  • There are six adjustment straps that are located along the top edge of the pad that help tailor to your unique truck tailgate
  • S/m fits 5 bikes and the l/x fits 6 bikes
  • Reviewers mentioned that it has longer straps to be able to adapt to many different sized truck tailgates!

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • Ford F-250 – l/x
  • 2021 Ford Ranger – s/m
  • 2000, 2017, 2019 Toyota Tacoma – s/m
  • Toyota Tundra – l/x
  • 2021 ½ ton GMC – l/x
  • 2019 Honda Ridgeline – s/m
  • 2017 Colorado – s/m
  • 2017, 2019, 2020 Ram 1500 – l/x

Please note that these are not all the trucks that it will fit. 

Cons

  • This is the 2nd most expensive item on the list but it also has the most features and great reviews.  The price tag will meet the expectations of most users.

Dakine Pickup Truck Tailgate Pad for Mountain Bikes

Dakine is a big retailer in the outdoor space covering snowboarding, biking, surfing, and wind sports! They have created this tailgate pad out of 1000D recycled polyester with a UV/weather resistant coating to protect against the weather it will definitely see driving around.

Here are some other features:

  • Padded tailgate protection is built in
    • Works best on traditional tailgates so if your tailgate is innovative then it might not work on it.
    • Three web cinch straps to help tie it to the truck
    • Built in access flap for the tailgate handle and rear-view cameras
    • It is compatible with a cable lock to provide a little more security
    • The logo is reflective at night to give you a little more visibility
    • There are three designs to choose from but understand that the colored prints are a little more.  The colored designs are really cool!
    • Fits 5 bikes on the small and 7 bikes on the large

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • Ford F-150 – large
  • 2012 Toyota Tundra – Large
  • GMC HD – Large
  • Honda Ridgeline – Small
  • 2016 Colorado – small
  • 2018 Ram 2500 – Large but mentioned it doesn’t fit snug but works

Please note that these are not all the trucks that will fit. 

Cons

  • One reviewer mentioned that the fitment for the backup camera and handle did not fit the 2017 F-150.

Check out some of the reviews at the link below for some great photos of the product on various trucks.

Fox Racing – Tailgate Cover for Mountain Bikes

Fox racing is a very popular biking accessories manufacturer.   They have made this pad out of polyester, it is padded for great tailgate protection and can fit most full-sized trucks.  It comes in two sizes small and large. 

Here is a breakdown on this product:

  • Dimensions:
    • Small: L 54 inch x 33.5 inch x 16 inch
    • Large: L 62 inch x 34 inch x 19 inch
  • It can fit up to 6 bikes with webbing straps to secure them to the truck.
  • It has a flap for easy access to the tailgate handle and a backup camera
  • There are many great reviews on this pad and also photos that you can use to see how the system works. Check out the link below for the photos.

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • 2013 Ford F-150 – large
  • 2018, 2019 Toyota Tacoma – Small
  • 2016, 2000, 2021 Toyota Tundra – Large
  • 2015, 2017, 2018 Chevy Silverado – Large
  • Year unknown, GMC Canyon – Small
  • 2017 Ram 1500 – Large
  • 2004 Nissan Frontier
  • 2019  Ford Ranger – Small

Please note that these are not all the trucks that it will fit. 

Cons

  • There were some truck users that mentioned the straps would not fit around the tailgate.  From reviews, it appeared the 2020 Chevy Silverado did not fit, and the 2019 GMC Sierra.  It did seem like there could be user error but just use caution if you own these vehicles.
  • One of our budget models so it doesn’t have the bells and whistles the other pads have.

Yakima – Gatekeeper Tailgate Pad

Yakima is definitely known for their bike transport products so this one is another great product from them!  That is one of the reasons why they have made this list.

It is made out of a rugged nylon material that can take some abuse and resist the elements if you decide you want to keep it on the truck daily.  The underside is composed of a soft felt material that protects your truck’s paint. 

Here are some other features of the Gatekeeper:

  • Can fit 5 bikes on the medium pad and 6 bikes on the large pad
  • A cushion cradle with a Velcro enclosure system ensures that your bikes do not shift around and do not rub off your bike’s paint job
  • The pad comes with a flap that can be raised to allow your truck’s backup camera to continue to operate
  • There are two sizes and here are their dimensions:
    • Medium :  L 53 inch x W 5 inch x H 17 inch
    • Large:  L 62 inch x W 7 inch x H 20 inch

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • Ford F-150 – large
  • Toyota Tacoma – Medium
  • 2018, 2019 Toyota Tundra – Large
  • 2019 Honda Ridgeline – Medium
  • GMC Sierra – Sierra
  • 2017 Ram 2500 – Large

Please note that these are not all the trucks that it will fit. 

Cons

  • There were some fitment issues with certain trucks so be sure to check the measurement of your truck’s tailgate compared to the measure of the pad.
  • Some reviewers had issues with the Velcro system not working after some time.

Himal Outdoors Tailgate Pad

This bike pad from Himal Outdoors is made of 600D PVC on the outside and flannelette on the inside that will sit against your truck to protect the paint.  

This is the budget model of the list so it will be more affordable than the other pads. Besides the price, our favorite thing about this pad is the two tool pockets that come integrated into the pad.

Here are some other features on this pad:

  • Dimensions are 52” wide and can fit 5 bikes
  • Fits most compact to mid-sized trucks
  • Comes with ¾ inch foam pad integrated into the cover to protect the tailgate and the bikes
  • Has a window to allow the use of the backup camera and handle

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • Nissan Titan Se 4wd
  • 2021 Silverado
  • 2016 Sierra
  • Honda Ridgeline

Please note that these are not all the trucks that it will fit. 

Cons

  • Only comes in one size.  It is not recommended for full sized trucks.
  • There were some issues with it covering the backup cameras but this could be the case for all pads depending on the model of your truck

Thule Gatemate Pro

Thule is a well-known name in the bike transport product business!  This pad protects your bikes and truck with a ton of padding and heavy duty vinyl. 

              Here are some more features on the pad:

  • The backup camera and handle opening is integrated into the pad
  • Appears to have the most padding out of the pads on the list
  • Two mesh pockets can help you carry more items safely to the trail
  • Dimensions are L 59 inches x W 16 inch x D 2.75 inch
  • Only one size is available

From the reviews here are some of the trucks that the pad can fit and the sizes that were ordered:

  • 1500 Chevy
  • 2019 GMC Sierra
  • 2020 Ram  

Please note that these are not all the trucks that it will fit. 

Cons

  • There were reviews that the product received was not the same one as pictured at the link below
  • This is the most expensive pad on this list.

Conclusion For The Best Tailgate Pad For Bikes

These tailgate pads are great for getting your expensive mountain bike to the trails or favorite rides.  They protect your bike while also protecting your tailgate’s paint from any scratching or rubbing that could occur during transportation.  They are also a better alternative to a hitch mount rack because your bikes are not exposed to getting rear ended!

Once again our top choice is the Race Face T2 pad! It stands out on the list as it has big padded slots for the frame of your bike along with the tiedown straps.  It also comes with adjustment straps at the top to adjust for your tailgate width and has longer connecting straps to be able to fit most tailgates. Check out the link below for photos!

Enjoy your ride!

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