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More than a Bike Rack: Railias Tailgate Rack System Doubles as Tailgate Hangout, Storage & More

Railias Tailgate Rack System review truck bed bike rack
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In the mountain bike world, if you own a pickup truck, there’s a good chance you also own a tailgate pad instead of a pickup bike rack. The idea is pretty simple – put a padded cover on your tailgate that you can rest the downtube of the bike on, while the front wheel hangs over the back. 

However, the founders of Railias saw more potential than a simple mat when they looked at their truck before a ride. They envisioned an entire ecosystem of accessories that were simple to add or remove – both to your truck, your garage wall, or elsewhere. 

thule luggage with bike rack inside
There’s a bike rack inside that Thule bag plus all my gear for riding & camping for five days in Moab (All photos c. Bikerumor unless specified)

What initially drew me to their Tailgate Rack System was the fact that the bike’s frame and fork didn’t have to rest on the tailgate. Coupled with the possibility of the whole system being easily transported in a checked bag, it seemed like an intriguing way to transport a bike on a riding trip: land at the destination, rent a truck, throw on the Railias pickup bike rack, and go. 

Railias Tailgate Rack System review truck bed bike rack

That’s exactly what I did, and it worked out great, but there’s more to the design which makes it even more interesting. Admittedly, I’m not a truck guy, but the idea of having something capable of off-roading while in Moab was tempting. My rental was also supposed to be a Toyota Tacoma, not the huge Ram I ended up with (which was big enough to put the EVOC bike bag inside the cab, but that’s another story…). 

How to install

We’ll start with the Tailgate Rack System which centers around the Railias Sportrail. This is an aluminum plate that attaches to the tailgate with the Strap Pad. There are two straps built into the Sportrail, and once they’re looped around the tailgate, a large cam lock tightens the whole system down. There’s also a shackle for a padlock if you want to lock it in place. 

The Sportrail has a series of holes on the side of it that allow the Modular Fork Mount to snap into place. Depending on the bike and the truck bed, the Sportrail offers about 12” of vertical adjustment for the positioning of the Fork Mount to position the bike in the truck bed. 

Rolling Out

(Photo/Railias)

One of the more interesting aspects of the Tailgate Rack System is how easy it is to load and unload the bikes. To load, open the tailgate, mount the fork to the Fork Mount, and then place the bike in the truck bed. Attach the Fork Mount to the Sportrail by pulling the spring-loaded latch apart, and the bike is now attached to the rack. 

To push it back into the bed, simply close the tailgate. The bike rolls backward into place. Removing it is just as simple. Open the tailgate, and the bike rolls forward to you. Pop off the Fork Mount, or just remove the thru-axle from the mount and reinstall the front wheel and you’re good to go. 

There’s definitely more involved than tossing a bike on a tailgate pad, but then again you don’t have the lift the bike as high on the Railias system. The Railias also guarantees your frame and fork won’t see any damage during transport – you’ll have to figure out something to do with your front wheel though. 

Over the course of testing on some fairly rough roads, the bike never moved around much other than a bit of wobble. The wobble seems to be related to the slight play in the axle adapter and the Modular Fork Mount, and wasn’t enough to worry about. In the Ram, the ribbed bed surface seemed to keep the rear tire in place pretty well, though it appears Railias might be working on some additional products to act as a rear wheel support.

The Tailgate Rack System comes in two sizes, Short and Long, to fit different-sized trucks. I was sent out the Short since my rental was supposed to be a new Tacoma, which I thought might be a problem when I ended up with a 2022 Ram 1500. Fortunately, the Short straps were still long enough to fit the truck though you should still go with the sizing chart on the Railias site for your truck. 

The Fork Mount also comes with inserts to fit five different fork sizes including 9 x 100 QR, 12 x 100 TA, 15 x 100 TA, 15 x 110 Boost TA, and 20 x 110 Boost. The adapters are easily swapped out with the push of a button on the Fork Mount. The Tailgate Rack System includes everything needed to mount the rack to your truck tailgate, plus two Bricks for storage at home (or in other vehicles).

Pickup Bike Rack Tailgate Party

In this photo, two of the Fixed Mounts are installed on the truck bed to carry two bikes facing forward, and a third with the Tailgate mount facing backward. (Photo/Railias)

If that was the end of it, the Railias would still be a pretty cool system – but there’s more. If you order the Pro Tailgate Rack System, it includes a Parasol or a fancy umbrella that mounts to the Sportrail for pre & post-ride hangs on the tailgate. Admittedly, the $325 (when sold separately) umbrella is a pricey option, but if you live somewhere with intense sun it could be worth it. 

Prototypes shown (Photo/Railias)

More importantly, Railias has plans to offer a bike repair stand that would also mount to your Sportrail and make bike repairs so much easier. We’re told that Railias is unsure when the repair stand will be made available, but the pictures on their website make it seem like it’s more than a concept. Notably, due to the length of the Sportrail it seems like it would be possible to have the bike mount, parasol, and repair stand all mounted to the same Sportrail.

Storage

(Photo/Railias)

Going further, the Tailgate Rack System makes it from the truckbed to your garage (or bike storage area) with its additional Bricks. Made from the same material as the Sportrail, the bricks can be mounted anywhere, which allows you to mount your bike just about anywhere. Bricks can be installed on the wall, so you would remove the Modular Fork Mount from the Sportrail on the truck and then snap the Modular Fork Mount to the Brick on the wall for storage until the next ride. 

More than just trucks: Great for Vans, Elements & more

(Photo/Railias)

Or, the Bricks could be used instead of the Sportrail and permanently mounted to places like the inside of a van. You still get a quickly removable fork mount and a stable way to carry your bike inside the van. Railias sells the system as the Fixed Mount for $150 which includes an adapter to use with L-track for a no-drill installation. Alternatively, you could buy this version of the system and mount the Bricks on just about anything to have a versatile bike mount system for the inside of your Honda Element, minivan, on top of a camper, you name it.

Final Thoughts

The $300 Tailgate system is a pricey pickup bike rack for a single bike, but the system does include two Bricks for storage in your garage. The System is also incredibly well-built, with quality hardware and soft-touch materials anywhere it would touch the finish of your truck. After a week in Moab, the Railias system didn’t leave a mark on the Ram despite some wet and muddy adventures. If you’re the type to baby your truck as much as your bike, that might be worth the price alone. 

railias.com

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Mike Moore
1 month ago

Looks great, but for their next project how bout a system for a Nissan Frontier that:
A)is secure
B)I don’t have to remove a wheel
C) Doesn’t involve a pad with a big bro logo on it
D) Is expandable to fit more than one bike
E) Possibly utilizes the existing utility rails.

Yeah sure
Yeah sure
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Moore

Does your Frontier have the utilitrack rails? Mine does. I found out that utilitrack is just 1 5/8” Unistrut. You can buy Unistrut channel nuts in this size and mount anything you want to those rails. I think a pack of 10 is 10 bucks on the Jeff Bezos site. I paid a little extra for the m8 version (metric very rare for Unistrut) so all the fasteners in my bed were interchangeable in case I lose one on a trip. Hope this helps.

Yeah sure
Yeah sure
1 month ago

Nice seat up. I highly recommend to any cyclist looking to buy a truck to look for ones that are optioned with a bed track system like Nissan utili-track. These tracks are basically very nice Unistrut so you can mount and move any fork rack using appropriately sized Unistrut anchors. I have Utilitrac on the sides and head wall of my truck. It’s awesome. Two fork mounts and a wheel chock for my motorcycle. Zero drilling and I can install or move mounts along the track with ease. I’d buy something like this if I leased or had a company truck.

syborg
syborg
1 month ago

Neat idea, but would not work in my application. My truck has a camper shell to protect my bikes from the weather and theft. Drop bar bikes need to be set a bit away from the tailgate the shell door can be closed.

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