Evoc well known for their protection and trail pack solutions last year introduced one of our most used items of the year, a Pick Up Tailgate Pad.
For those who shuttle, and like to carry their bikes around, the next essential item on the list of things to have is the pickup. Well not all of us are lucky enough to have the spare cash to have a pickup just for biking, but if you do all those cool pictures of bikes slung in the back negate to explain how annoying it is to carry your bike in the back of a pickup truck.
The main problem is when driving off road the bikes bounce around, when driving around corners the bikes slide, when you are out with all your buddies together the bikes bounce off each other. Not a pretty sight, especially for our bikes. Classic points of contention when loading bikes in the back of a pickup include handle bars hitting top tubes, downtubes grating on the tailgate and pedals smacking into each other and finally the effort of tying down all the bikes all the time. We have seen all kinds of elaborate solutions but nothing has come close to being quick and useable until it seems Evoc released their 2015 Pickup Tail Gate Pad. Their 2014 version was heading in the right direction but their 2015 version seems to have upped the anti.
Ideal for shuttling bikes
Quick access to tailgate release handle
Weight: 2180 g (Size M/L), 2640 g (Size XL)
Material: P 600/D PU coated, Tarpaulin
Range of Use: Downhill/All-Mountain
Size: 136 x 85 x 2 cm (Size M/L), 160 x 100 x 2 cm (Size XL) Evoc recommenced to use the M/L for trucks like the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, Chevrolet Canyon, Ford Ranger. If you are more of the boss and have a bigger truck then use the L/XL for the Toyota Tundra, Nissan TItan, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford-F150, Dodge Ram.
Installation is easy, just drop it over the back of the tail gate and fasten it down.
On The Road
We have been shuttling for quite a few years and using this latest tailgate pad has been great, the key thing to loading and unloading is speed. The fact that the pad has integrated straps is a solid feature. We found that they fastened just fine around a few different downtubes. When driving over the rough roads of Punta Ala the bikes stayed fixed in place and we found ourselves NOT constantly stopping to check the bikes and re-aline them. The bikes stayed in place well and the shuttle runs were overall much more worry free. In th epast we have seen all kinds of damage to bikes from shuttles, even when the greatest care is taken.
The materials of the Tailgate pad are robust and resistant to the dirt, sun and water that we have thrown at it. The design has moved on from 2014 and now the 2015 version seems much more robust and the part which goes over the edge of the tail gate in our opinion has been designed better as this was a wear point on the older model, here it looks like that wear will be much reduced as the form of the pad is better and the foam bumper separators that allow 6 bikes to be held will stop any wear from the bikes shifting left and right, a much better design.
For the gravity rider ethos in us, part of our mind likes to pedal the other part enjoys a mix of both, in all if you are going to shuttle you may as well do it properly. The EVOC Tailgate Pad is just the tool that really makes the whole experience with a pickup that much more easy, ditch the cardboard, rope and towels, get one of these. It will mean easy loading and unloading of up to 6 bikes, quicker turn around times, less bike damage and happier riders.