EVOC Tailgate Pad
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
There’s a million ways to transport a bike, but few are easier and more effective than the tried and true tailgate pad. Brilliant in its simplicity, tailgate shuttles have always been my preferred method on transport, unless I need the full space of my truck bed for camping gear.
With a 2,000-mile road trip planned from Los Angles, to Mammoth Mountain, to Bend, Oregon, to San Francisco, and then back to L.A. I figured it would be the perfect way to torture test EVOC’s tailgate pad offering.
EVOC’s pad comes in two sizes: a small for trucks like the Tacoma, Colorado or Frontier, and a large for full sized trucks like the F-150, Silverado, or 2500/3500’s. Two colors are offered, olive with black accents, or black with olive accents, as reviewed here. There is EVOC branding on each side of the pad, and a cool map graphic on the pad itself. It’s a nice departure from the traditional, boring black vinyl.
I found that the large size was generous for my 2006 Ram 2500, with the outermost sides of the pad almost covering the inside edges of the taillights. While that extra width meant I had to be careful to not pinch the pad when I closed the tailgate, it also made for welcome protection from the bike in the outer most spot. It’s also generous in length, covering the entire tailgate of my truck down to the bumper.
The EVOC pad has six partitioned downtube slots, each with their own Velcro strap. In between each slot is a foam separator pad covered in a tough, vinyl outer later. Many pads are moving to this design as it keeps the bike securely in place through corners or over bumps. However, it does mean that the pad is limited to six bikes. No more taking off pedals to cram on seven or eight for that last lap unless you don’t mind a bit of extra bike shifting.
The pad is held on to the truck with three retaining straps. The straps are secured and tightened using the traditional system, but unlike most pads EVOC uses a metal tightening adjuster.