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Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Thule Insta-Gater Pro Truck Bed Bike Rack


Colin: Hey everyone, it's Colin here at etrailer. Now a lot of times we get questions from customers about wanting to haul their bikes in the bed of their pickup. So they don't want to just leave it laying in the bed of the pickup, to where it can roll around and get scratched up, especially with a nice carbon fiber front. Definitely want to avoid that if possible. So this Thule Insta-gater Pro truck bed bike rack does just that, gives you an option to carry your bike upright. So It's not going to be rolling around getting scuffed up.

Like I said, it's going to hold our bike upright and there's no frame contact. So our carbon fiber frame is safe. And I also like how it's holding our bike by the wheel, which means we don't have to remove this front wheel to get the bike installed.A lot of other truck bed bike racks we carry are fork block mounts. So you would have to remove the front wheel, set that in the bed and then attach the forks of your bike to it. So I liked that it's a lot less work to be able to get this up and secure.

Another great feature of this bike rack is that there's a cable lock included, stores in this arm where our wheel hook is. We just pull it out, wrap around the frame and we can lock our bike to our rack. The included key. We can just insert that into the lock cylinder unlock it, cable comes right out and we'll bring it around our frame. And like I said, stores right into this upright arm so that it's there when you need it, but it's not going to get lost or misplaced.And then when you're ready to unload your bike, there's a button on the side of the handle.

Just push that in and bring it up. And that'll just store down just like that. When you're installing it, spring the hook all the way up, right under that bottom tube. And then you can crank down on it to secure it. But for now, let's go ahead and unload this bike.

And I'll show you how it's installed real quick. It's actually pretty simple. It just uses the gap between our tailgate and the edge of our bed. We've got these two anchors right here. Just put right in there. You want to get some more length on it, just lift up right here, pull that strap all the way down into that crease. Once you've done that, we just close the tailgate.And then from there we just secure the straps, pull up on them on both sides. And then there's actually some integrated ratcheting arms, where we can get those extra clicks and to get all that slack out. Keep it secure at this point, I do want to mention that even though our bike rack has a cable lock that locks our bike to it, the bike rack itself isn't technically secure. Because someone could just come up and remove the straps. However, one easy thing you can do is just get a cable lock. I know we have one here at etrailer, sold separately, we can just wrap it around the frame of our bike rack and then wrap around any D-ring tie-down point that you might have in the bed of your pickup. And you're going to be able to get a wide variety of bikes loaded into the Insta-Gator.Thanks to our wheel tray right here, this will get down to your road bikes right here, have a nice tight fit on those skinnier tires. You can go all the way up to a five inch wide fat tire. Now want to make sure that you're abiding by the weight limit, which is 50 pounds. So that's going to be more than enough for you road bikes, mountain bikes, some of your fat tire bikes. And it's also going to work for e-bikes as long as you're under that 50 pound limit. And you're also within that five inch tire range. Now, if your e-bike does run a little bit over 50 pounds, what you could do is just remove the battery. That'll take a bit weight, about five to six pounds, and that could get you to that 50 pound mark to use the Thule Insta-Gator. Now I want to show you guys how versatile this bike rack actually is.You can carry a wide variety of bikes like I was saying, but with a shorter bed pickup, like you see right here, or if you have a longer bed with a toolbox or a canister tonneau cover, that back wheel of the bike could interfere with the bulkhead and the bed of your truck. So to get around that what we're going to do is install this bike backwards. So just set that back tire into the cradle, just like that. We'll take this hook, bring it over and then secure it. Then we can bring the hook down and then secure it right above the brakes right there. Give it a good cinch down. And now this bike can actually sit with the front tire turned so that it can fit in the bed of your pickup. This is a nice option. You can see if I try to straighten out that tire, it won't go fully straight, which does limit you to not being able to install this with a front tire in that cradle.So just an easy adjustment, but the back tire in the cradle and then secure it with the hook. There's a few benefits I really like about using a truck bed, bike rack. When you already own the truck now with the open bed space, you might as well take advantage of it by using this truck bed, bike rack. And then you also don't have to get a hitch mounted bike rack, which is going to add more length to the back of your truck. And in close quarters situations that might not be the most friendly option. And it also would mean we need to remove any type of ball mounts or other hitch accessories that you might have, which could be a pain to do that every single time you want to use your bike rack. And it's also going to just utilize that open bed space that you already have.You probably got a truck in the first place so that you can store stuff back here. So why add length to the back when you can just put your bike in the bed Another great thing is that it's nice and compact. That makes for very easy storage when it's not in use. If you live in an apartment or just a place with very limited storage space, a hitch rack would be very difficult to find a spot, with this rack, you could fit it underneath your bed, in your closet really, wherever is convenient. Now, even though it wasn't necessarily designed for this purpose, you could also use it as a bike stand. So if you need to perform some maintenance on it, maybe even just wash it off, it allows you to keep it upright without having to hold it with one hand and then do your work.You can keep it up, right Have both hands free to do what you need. Now overall, I think this is a really nice solution to get your bike sitting upright in the bed of your pickup and to help you utilize the open's bed space you already have in the bed of your truck. What's nice is that it doesn't take up a lot of space. So if we wanted to, we could scoot it over and get one, maybe even two more Insta-Gator pros loaded up so we can get more bikes with us to and from our destination. And again, we're not having to add that length onto the back of our truck with a hitch mounted rack. The Insta-Gator pro is going to have a nice sturdy steel construction with a black powder coat finish. So it's going to help resist rust and corrosion. It's going to be very durable. So it's going to be just fine out in the elements. Well, I hope this was helpful, but that's going to do it for our look at the Thule Insta-Gator Pro truck bed, bike rack. Thanks for watching..


Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee John S
Video by:
John S
Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H
Employee Adam E
Test Fit:
Adam E

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