4 Best Mountain Bike Tailgate Pad (March, 2023)

Updated on August 18, 2022

You’re looking for the greatest truck tailgate pad out there? In order to conduct side-by-side testing and comparison of the best models on the market, our experts investigated and purchased six of the most popular models. Protecting your bike and truck from damage is easier and more cost-effective with the correct pad. There are obvious variations and critical nuances that can effect performance, and we spent weeks testing these rivals. In order to test each pad’s ability to handle your valuable cargo, we drove on highways, rural roads, and “shuttle roads.” To better grasp these pads’ properties and loading procedure, we regularly loaded and unloaded them.

For each style of bike rack, we’ve done comprehensive testing to find the best. If you’re looking for specific parts like wheels, tyres, or a dropper seatpost, or if you’re in the market for a new mountain bike in general, our reviews can help you sort through the crowded market and find the best goods.

Best Mountain Bike Tailgate Pad

Bike Capacity: 5 (small/medium) 6 (large/extra large): | Outer Material: PVC Tarpaulin

Flap with a movable handle
locking grommets for pad installation on the car
Weatherproof, long-lasting material
Adjustment of the top edge
Outer stanchion bumpers and inner downtube bumper

Several major enhancements have been made to Race Face’s T2 Tailgate Pad, which is an improved version of the original. PVC tarpaulin, used in the new version, is tough and impervious to weather, dirt, and sunlight, making it ideal for outdoor use. It also has an innovative tailgate glass that can be adjusted to provide optimum tailgate covering while also optimising the opening for the driver’s hand position and the backup camera.

The top of the pad has six extra straps that allow you to fine-tune the cushion to your tailgate’s thickness or curvature. Large pads cover your fork stanchions on the outside of the pad, which has elevated bumpers on the inside to protect your frame.

With velcro loops that are attached to the pad, the S/M size pad can hold up to five bikes (L/XL accommodates up to six), and they won’t get lost or blow away on the highway. On the inside of the pad, there are large grommets that allow you to secure it to your truck.

It’s the best watch we’ve tried so far, but the Race Face T2 costs a pretty penny. Because of its high-quality construction and user-friendly features, even though it’s the most expensive pad in our evaluation, we believe it’s a cost-effective solution to carry several bikes.

Bike Capacity: 5 (small) 6 (large) | Outer Material: Coated/Padded

Using a straightforward, no-nonsense strategy
A top-tube strap that can be adjusted in length.
There are no bumpers to separate the vehicles.
Handle flap with a smaller diameter
The most elementary of concepts

The Fox Racing Tailgate Cover may not have the most eye-catching features, but it gets the job done for less money than the competitors. Using a typical feed-through buckle design and three straps, the installation was a breeze. Our tiny pad was a perfect fit for our Toyota Tacoma and should work for other compact and midsize pickups as well.

A water-resistant coating on the cushioned material makes it a good choice for wet weather or muddy conditions, even though it doesn’t feel like the most durable. The bike is well-secured, and the straps may be adjusted up or down on a webbing loop for the best fit on a variety of frame types. Smaller than most truck tailgate handles, but should work with most vehicles. The tailgate handle flap can be rolled up and out of the way with the help of the velcro patch.

Despite its simplicity, we believe the Fox Racing pad may be improved upon. Because the bikes do not have separating bumpers to keep them in place, securing them will help keep them from moving. While not in use, the down tube straps could fall out of the pad if the pad is left open. As far as we could tell, the camouflage colour scheme and huge logo were both tasteful. Also available in black, it has a 6-bike capacity for full-sized vehicles, and is available in a Large size.

Bike Capacity: 6 | Outer Material: 600-weight Denier

Construction that is long-lasting and of high quality.
Bikes should be secured.
Moisture-resistant and mud-resistant.
Intense visuals and style.
Tailgates with a smaller handle flap may not be compatible with smaller ones.

The Tailgate Pad from EVOC is perfect in every way. As always, EVOC’s designs and quality products have wowed us, and this pad is no exception. 600-denier nylon provides a sturdy feel and a PU covering that should withstand even the most wet and muddy conditions.

Although this pad is a tad heavier than other alternatives, it also has a more sturdy and long-lasting sensation. You can get it in two sizes: medium/large and extra-large, and we tested the medium/large on a 2009 Toyota Tacoma, which is popular among mountain bikers.

In conjunction with the down tube straps, the moulded separation blocks provide an extremely secure and stable grasp. Note that the down tube straps aren’t attached to the pad, so they could fall off or get misplaced if you leave them open while driving.

The tailgate handle opening is narrower than that of certain rivals. Depending on the location of your tailgate handle, it may not fit exactly. Another oddity is that the installation/removal process differs from the competition. An end metal piece on the strap connects into the lower section of the pad with a metal hook mechanism in the EVOC pad. The tailgate hook/buckle can make it a little more difficult to feed the strap under the tailgate. If you want a more subtle look, you may want to steer clear of this shirt.

Bike Capacity: 6 (small) 7 (large) | Outer Material: Nylon

Minimalist design with clear visuals
Pouches for storing things
Knock blocks impede movement in either direction.
Expensive top tube straps that are way too lengthy
Almost too large for the tailgate of our test truck

The Thule GateMate Pro tailgate pad has a modern aesthetic. For individuals who don’t want to be a mobile billboard, the styling is simple and the brand text is low-profile and unobtrusive. The GateMate Pro is a strong piece of software when it comes to functionality. A multi-tool, rag, chain lube, or stinky shoes or empty beer cans fit perfectly in the two storage compartments on the inside of the cushion facing the truck bed.

Pleased to see this included. Front, Top and Back Pads have four rows of Knock Blocks across the top to serve as dividers. If you want to use your backup camera, the tailgate handle opening is large enough, and the handle folds down and can be left open.

There are a few issues with this pad. To begin with, the straps used to secure the bike are far too long. We tested a variety of carbon trail bikes with average-sized top tubes. After being passed around the frame and wrapped over the top tube, the velcro patches barely made contact with the straps.

Because the straps are not attached to the pad, they could easily blow away while driving if you leave them open. The pad itself measures a hefty 25″ x 30″. On a 2009 Tacoma tailgate, the straps were maxed out and we wished we could have tightened them even more. However, if your tailgate is significantly taller or thicker, as many new trucks are, we don’t view this as a problem.

What is a Tailgate Pad?

There’s no mistaking the enormous rectangular pads attached to your truck’s tailgate by their name: these are called “tailgate pads.” Using a barrier between your motorcycles and your truck prevents any direct touch between the two and so prevents any harm to either. In addition, the pad keeps the bikes firmly in place, preventing them from moving and coming into touch with one another. You should do this especially if you’re worried about the paint job, aesthetics, or resale value of your car or motorcycle (s).

How to Select a Tailgate Pad

When it comes to transporting bicycles, there are many solutions available nowadays, but if you have a pickup truck, you also have the option of employing a tailgate pad. As I know from personal experience, you could use a blanket or towel to pad your truck’s tailgate, but doing so could result in damage to both your bikes and your truck’s tailgate. The tailgate-specific pads on the market now, on the other hand, will accomplish the job significantly better.

Tailgate pads are one of the most cost-effective ways to transport multiple bikes if you have a pickup truck because they typically cost less than half of a conventional two-bike hitch-mounted rack and have a greater capacity. All of the pads examined here are available for purchase at a reasonable retail price and can hold five to seven bikes.


Almost all of the pads we looked at have nearly the same set of standard features. However, there were small distinctions that allowed some of the pads to stand out from the crowd in terms of functionality and usability.

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