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The 6 Best Tailgate Bike Pads of 2021

If you own a truck, and you like to ride bikes, you should probably own a tailgate bike pad. It’s that simple. Tailgate pads are by far the quickest and easiest way to carry multiple bikes in a truck bed. They’re simple, secure, and affordable. It used to be that there were just a few brands making tailgate bike pads, and you were stuck with one of their options, or jerry-rigging something out of old carpet and bungee cords. Luckily for us though, there are plenty of options on the market now, each vying to outperform the next.

At its heart, a mountain bike tailgate pad is pretty simple, it protects your bike from your truck and vice versa. But what sets a good tailgate pad apart from the rest of the pack is the details. How securely does it hold your bike? How does it interact with backup cameras? How easy is it to get on and off your truck? These details make or break a pad. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best tailgate pads on the market, and broken down what makes them different, and who will benefit from each one’s unique feature set. Because at the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to think about your pad after you buy it. It should just perform well, consistently.


RMU Tailgate Locker Truck Pad

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

RMU, or Rocky Mountain Underground, is a relative newcomer to the bike world, but they came out swinging with their Tailgate locker. This isn’t just a bike pad, it’s a fully-featured basecamp integrated into your truck. The gell padded tailgate cover has slots and straps for five bikes, as well as fleece backing and a fold-up window for your backup camera. But that’s just the start. It also has an integrated insulated cooler to keep your drinks cool while you’re out riding, along with a sleeve for your cable lock, and a bottle opener.

The Tailgate locker also has zippered tool pockets so you can keep everything you might need to work on your bike close at hand. It even has a pocket to store your solar shower so you can rinse off after your ride. Not everyone needs all the bells and whistles the Tailgate Locker provides, but if you want a high-end pad that does a good job transporting your bikes, and also has all the features you could ever ask for, the Tailgate Locker is the way to go. It will make your truck the ultimate post-ride party zone.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
5Integrated cooler$249.99

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Thule Gatemate Pro 54" Tailgate Pad

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

Thule might be better known for their excellent racks and roof boxes, but their Gatemate Pro 54 lives up to that legacy of quality gear storage as well. The Gatemate is designed to do one simple task: carry as many bikes as possible without compromising their safety. With its seven bike capacity, this is the roomiest pad on this list, so if you like to ride with a big group, this is the pad for you.

Thule uses foam divider blocks along with downtube straps to keep everything secure on the pad, and a folding panel allows access to your tailgate latch and backup camera. This pad doesn’t have any fancy pockets or tacked-on features, it’s designed to carry bikes, and that’s what it does, really well. If you want to bring all your friends and family out on a ride, with plenty of room for all of their bikes, look no further than the Gatemate Pro.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
7Tailgate Access Panel$179.95

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evo Tailgate Pad

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

If you’re on a budget and are more focused on spending money to upgrade your bike than on a fancy pad to carry it, evo’s Tailgate Pad has you covered. It’s affordable, without skimping where it matters. This tailgate pad for bikes comes in two sizes, one to fit mid-sized trucks, and a bigger one for full-sized trucks. They hold five and seven bikes each respectively.

evo’s Tailgate Pad uses a simple strap and buckle system to hold the pad to your truck and your bikes to the pad. It’s easy to slip on and off your truck if you like to carry a camper or camper shell. It also has a folding pad to access the gate latch and backup camera. evo’s Tailgate Pad gets the job done at an affordable price point that leaves you plenty of cash to spend on that next riding trip.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
5Flap Velcros Down or Attaches to Itself to Reveal Camera/Tailgate Latch$99.95

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EVOC Tailgate Pad Duo

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

Not everyone wants to fully dedicate their truck bed to shuttling bikes around. If you just want to carry one or two bikes at a time and leave the rest of the bed free, EVOC‘s Tailgate Pad Duo is a great choice. It covers about half of your tailgate, so you don’t have to worry about accessing the latch and backup camera, even with it installed.

Its hook and loop straps do a good job of keeping bikes still, even on rough shuttle roads, and the thick rubberized padding protects your truck’s paint. If you just like to ride on your own or with a partner, and don’t need to shuttle bigger groups, the Tailgate Pad Duo has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
2Rubberized pads$90

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Dakine DLX Curve Pickup Pad

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

Dakine was one of the original brands pushing mtb tailgate pads back when they were still a new idea, so it’s no surprise that their DLX Curve is one of the leading options on the market today. The DLX Curve is designed to fit full-sized trucks and carry up to seven bikes. It’s lower-profile than some of the other pads on this list and comes in both a black and a camo pattern to match your style.

The DLX Curve has durable foam padding in all the usual wear spots, as well as hook and loop straps to latch your bikes down. It’s a durable and affordable pad that will carry your bike consistently, year after year.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
7Cable Lock Compatible$159.95

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Race Face Tailgate Pad

Best 2021 tailgate bike pads
 
 

Race Face understands that often the roads that lead to the best trails are a little rough. So they’ve built extra padding and security into their Tailgate Pad so that when you’re doing your best trophy truck imitation in your old Ranger, your bikes won’t come loose. In addition to the usual padding on top of the tailgate to hold your downtube secure, the Race Face pad also has padding on the outside of the pad, over the back of the tailgate to your fork in place so your bike won’t tilt sideways.

In addition, the Race Face Tailgate Pad has all the other features you’d expect, like a microfiber-lined interior to protect your paint, easy-to-operate straps, and multiple sizes depending on what truck you’re driving. If you regularly drive rough back roads to get to the trails and don’t want bikes bumping around in the back of your truck, the Race Face Tailgate Pad will lock them in.

 
Number of BikesStandout FeaturesOriginal Price
6Outside Raised Bumpers$150

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