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Home Reviewed By UsMountain Biking The Crank Premium Tailgate Pad Is One Hell of a UNIT

The Crank Premium Tailgate Pad Is One Hell of a UNIT

by Jason Lorch
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The Crank Premium Tailgate Pad Is One Hell of a UNIT
Cut to the Chase
If you're in the market for a new tailgate pad, then the UNIT Premium tailgate pad is an excellent choice. With bombproof construction, super-thick padding, a ton of secure straps and security features, plus the ability to carry six bikes, makes it hard to not walk past this one.
Pros
Can store up to 6 bikes
Thick, soft padding allows bikes to sink into the pad for more stability.
Microfleece backing to protect your tailgate from scratches.
Reinforced straps for durability and longevity in all conditions
Anti-theft features
Bombproof construction
Plenty of secure anchor straps for minimal movement
Lift up section to access rear tailgate handle
Great value
Cons
None that we can see.

UNIT Crank Premium Tailgate Pad Review

It wasn’t that long ago that the solution for carrying more than 1 or 2 bikes was rather limited. If you were a gravity focused rider you needed to have, or be best buddies with someone that had, a dual cab ute. There were many ‘creative solutions’ to shuttling bikes up a hill, from blankets over the tailgate to sketchy homemade tub racks.  We didn’t have anywhere near the choice we do now.

Fast forward to now and we are spoilt for choice. The advent of the vertical bike rack has meant that just about any sort of vehicle can carry up to 6 bikes. 

These, however, come at great expense and are quite an effort to mount up and store.

Chances are that if you own a dual cab ute you have, or have used, a tailgate pad. Personally, I bought my first one in Sun Peaks Canada and jammed it in my bike box to get it home to Australia many, many years ago. This was before they were available in Australia, and I left that bad boy on my tailgate as a badge of ‘downhiller’ honour.

I quickly learned that they were good, but you had to be very careful with your loading or you were almost guaranteed to get some frame damage. Without any way of restricting their movement, you had one eye in the rear-view mirror at all times. Who else’s top tube wears a brake lever scratch of honour?

So with that out of the way- lets talk about the Unit Crank Premium Tailgate pad.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Features

The Premium pad has the ability to carry up to 6 bikes, which is quite unique (most are limited to 5) with plenty of secure anchor straps to tension down the pad to the tailgate for minimal movement. This thing is not moving!

The UNIT Premium tailgate pad is a burly piece of kit made for the rough and tumble use of the mountain bike lifestyle. Made from 1000D Polyester, a Tricot-fleece Lining, and a UV/Weather protection coating, perfect for the Australian weather. It also features a microfleece backing to protect your tailgate from scratches. Nice.

There’s a handy “Lift Up” section that allows you to access the rear tailgate handle which can also be secured open to aid with reverse cameras, and if you need to secure your bikes then you’ll appreciate the metal eyelets which are designed for a lock to be threaded through.

Tech Specs

  • Foam Padded Tailgate Protector
  • Tricot-fleece Lining featuring 7 bike anchor straps.
  • Can carry up to 6 bikes
  • Anti-theft eyelets
  • Extra thick padding for bike protection
  • Tailgate handle cover/lift up flap
  • 1000D Polyester with UV/Weather protection coating
  • Dimensions
    • Width:1400 mm
    • Height: 930 mm
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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Back Access Flap with Velcro Closure for Tailgate handle or rear-view cameras.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Bombproof construction with 1000D Polyester and a UV/Weather protection coating.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Plenty of secure anchor straps for minimal movement.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke
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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Premium protection for your ute with the thick mirofleece backing to protect your tailgate from scratches.

Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Super-thick padding allows your bikes to sink into the pad for more stability.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke
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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Whether it’s one bike or shuttle runs with your mates, the UNIT Premium Tailgate pad can handle it with ease.

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Get your ducks in a row with the UNIT Premium Tailgate Pad

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Photo credit: ©Sam Clarke

Conclusions

If you’re in the market for a new tailgate pad, then the UNIT Premium tailgate pad is an excellent choice. With bombproof construction, super-thick padding, a ton of secure straps and security features, plus the ability to carry six bikes, makes it hard to not walk past this one.

In terms of aesthetics, it certainly looks the part. Fitting is straight forward and removing it when not in use is a breeze, but lets be honest, you’re going to leave it on your ute.

When carrying six bikes the pedal placement needs careful consideration to avoid potential damage in this scenario. We don’t see this as a deal breaker, just an observation. But at the end of the day, six bikes is better than five.

In terms of value, the pricing is fair when compared to the competition, the build quality is great and the feature set is top notch. We say go for it!

UNIT Care Instructions:

UNIT Recommend rinsing your new Crank Premium Tailgate Pad in cold water before initial use. Please ensure your tailgate is completely dry before fitting and moulding to your tailgate.

Where to Buy / Price

UNIT Premium Tailgate Pad: Ranges from $161.95 (MTB DIRECT) – $179.99 (UNIT)

Available to buy at MTB Direct or from the UNIT website.


MTB Direct

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