Can You Use A Tailgate Pad For Road Bikes? Yes, But Only If You Use The Right Accessories

Can you use a tailgate pad for road bikes? Yes, they are an excellent way to transport your road bikes in your car.

With mountain biking booming in popularity both as a sport and a leisurely activity, questions like the one on which this article is based pop up very often. 

The numerous threads on the internet about the same are a testimony to the first statement. This article will focus on tailgate pads and look into the ifs and hows of their use with road bikes. 

Can You Use A Tailgate Pad For Road Bikes

What Is the Point of a Tailgate Pad?

Tailgate pads are large rectangular pads that fold over, cover, and attach to your vehicle’s tailgate. The fact that they attach to the tailgate is where they get their name from. 


Tailgate bike pads are generally fairly inexpensive. Tailgate pads cost way less than other alternatives for carrying road bikes, such as the typical two bikes hitch-mounted rack. 

The T2 Tailgate pad is an exception; it is one of the most used tailgate pads and happens to be quite pricey. 

Easy To Use

They are simple to use, which is why they are a very popular option for bike transportation. 

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Prevents damage in transit

The use of tailgate pads is a safer and more effective alternative than throwing your bike in your truck. They create a safe barrier between your vehicle and the bike, preventing damage to both in transit. 

Tailgate pads prevent direct contact between the two. Invest in the right kind of tailgate pad, and you do not have to worry the littlest about your road bike. 

Here’s a nice comparison of some of the best tailgate pads in the market:

Tailgate Pad Comparison: Race Face Inferno, Dakine, Pushys

How Do You Put a Bike on a Tailgate Pad?

  • Step 1: Begin by laying down the pad on the road so that it soaks up some sun and relaxes a little. It needs to be prepped before being wrapped around your tailgate.
  • Step 2: Close the tailgate. Position the tailgate pad atop the closed tailgate. 
  • Step 3: Open the tailgate of your vehicle slightly. Slip the hanging center inside through the bottom of the tailgate. The strap should not be folded and should be put carefully, and hence, it is best to carry this out in a team of two. It is very common to hurt your fingers while doing this, so be extra careful.
  • Step 4: Now, bring the strap to the top of the tailgate and connect the buckle and the strap. To fasten the strap to the hook, insert the strap through the back of the buckle and slide it out from the front. 
  • Step 5: Connect the center strap with its buckle and do the same for the bottom straps on both sides. Now that the center strap is connected close the tailgate. Join the upper straps with their respective buckles. 
  • Step 6: Tighten and secure all the straps and check the lower straps again. If needed, adjust the pad to ensure the bike pad has been properly installed on the vehicle’s tailgate. Check for excess webbing left loose in the truck bed.
  • Step 7: Load the bikes on the tailgate pad is time for the most awaited part. Place the bikes on the tailgate beginning from the left side. Position the bike in a way that the back wheels touch with the truck bed. Hook the down tube straps and double-check all is well with the bike and the bike pad. 

Do Tailgate Bike Pads Get Stolen?

Yes, tailgate pads are susceptible to theft. However, the market has specific locks available to protect the bikes and tailgates. You can invest in one and avoid leaving the same unsupervised to prevent theft and the likes. 

If you don’t want to buy a lock from the market, Here’s a nice DIY solution to stop theft.

Lock your mountain bikes and your tailgate pad in your truck. Don't get your bike stolen!

Do Tailgate Bike Pads Scratch?

Yes, tailgate bike pads may scratch the paint off your truck because dirt tends to get trapped between the pad and the tailgate, which tends to chip the paint. 

Can Tailgate Pads Chew Downtubes?

Yes, tailgate pads can chew downtubes if they are of poor quality and do not have the necessary padding. Almost all tailgate pads today come with additional padding, and hence this problem doesn’t surface with good quality pads. 

However, if you feel the same is occurring with you, you can use foam pipes as a solution to the problem. 

Are Tailgate Pads Bad for Road Bikes?

Yes, tailgate bike pads are safe in general. However, the fact that they may go a bit harsh on your bike’s paint can’t be overlooked, especially when you own an expensive bike.

In a scenario like this, foam pipe covers come to the rescue. Use foam pipe covers on both fork and downtube to prevent damage to the bike’s paints.

All in all, invest in a bike tailgate pad, a lock, and foam pipe covers to ensure the safety of your road bike on all parameters. 

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How To Select a Tailgate Pad?

Let’s face it, and tailgate bike pads are not the only available option to carry your road bikes in your vehicles. If you own a pick-up truck, you can certainly consider tailgate pads as an option. 


Tailgate pads are typically available in small and large sizes. The size of your tailgate pad is directly related to the size of your vehicle. If you have a mid-size truck, the former one would be an ideal choice for you, and if you have a big truck, the latter one would be a good choice for you. 

Can You Use A Tailgate Pad For Road Bikes


Polyurethane and vinyl are ideal materials for weather-resistant tailgate pads. Look for a soft lining on the inside, which helps prevent chipping off the truck paint due to contact between the tailgate pad and your vehicle’s tailgate. Typically all tailgate pads available in the market are already equipped with those as mentioned above. 

Additional Padding

Yes, padding is that important, and that is why we are mentioning it again. These bumpers or pads create an additional groove where the frames can rest, ensuring the bikes stay in place and do not move from their position during the journey. 

Tailgate Handle Flap

The location of the tailgate handle flap makes a lot of difference, and access to the tailgate handle flap is necessary if you wish to open the vehicle’s tailgate to access the back. So if you tend to travel with lots of luggage and need access to the tailgate, you must not overlook this feature. 


There are variegated attachment types available for tailgate pads, and you can certainly check them out. Some feature thin nylon straps, while certain brands make wider ones. Depending on your budget and frequency of use, you can choose the one that suits your needs. 

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Yes, You Can use tailgate Pads For Road Bikes.

Given the protection and features in the tailgate pads available in the market these days, it is safe to use tailgate pads for your road bikes. Ensure the pad is secured well onto the truck, and this requires a team effort and a double-check. Invest in a good tailgate pad, and you will have nothing to worry about. 

Did you learn something new here? If you did, let us know about the same in the comments down below. Thanks for reading. Do not forget to share the information which might come in handy with your friends and family.