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Insta-Gater Pro Truck Tailgate Mount

3.6875 out of 5 stars
16 Reviews



Why We Like the Insta-Gater Pro Truck Tailgate Mount

When you need a tailgate mount that can handle fat bikes and 29ers, the Insta-Gater Pro Truck Tailgate Mount is the way to go. It's sturdy, with clearance for larger tires. Its ratcheting arm secures everything at the wheel to limit the risk of frame damage on our rides, and it mounts easily with no drilling necessary. Thule's One-Key system allows for a bike-to-mount lock that increases safety measures.


  • A tailgate mount that isn't afraid of fat bikes and 29ers
  • Clearance for fat tires and wagon wheels covers a quiver
  • Ratcheting arm secures at wheel to limit risk of frame damage
  • Mounts easily with no drilling or bolt installation
  • Bike-to-mount lock included with Thule's One-Key system
  • Thule recommends for all pickup tailgates
  • Item #THUZ3A4
Bike Capacity
[wheels] 20 - 29in, [tires] up to 5in,
Locks Included
Thule One-Key
Part Number
Recommended Use
Manufacturer Warranty
limited lifetime

Overall Rating

3.5 based on 16 ratings

Review Summary

1 Stars - 1 reviews
2 Stars - 2 reviews
3 Stars - 3 reviews
4 Stars - 2 reviews
5 Stars - 6 reviews

Fits True To Size

Screen reader users: the following list provides a visual scale to illustrate the product fit. Please refer to the heading above for the fit type in text.
Runs smallTrue to sizeRuns large

What do you think about this product?


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5 out of 5 stars

June 17, 2023

Easy to use and great unit.

I have been using the insta gater pro for several weeks. I like the ingenuity of it. Simple but effective, the stability of this is pretty good when tailgates closed. Easy to adjust and overall, I'm very happy with it.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

3 out of 5 stars

May 14, 2023

Great concept but slightly unsturdy

I have a mountain bike. The tires are at 29x2.8, so the tires are slightly fat. They don’t fit well within the tire holder. Even with the tire pressed against the tailgate the bike wobbles in turns and along bumps. I don’t think the bike will will fall, but it stresses me out watching it wobble. I think it’s good for the short ride to the local trail but, having a hard time convincing myself to do it on longer drives. I wish the holder would be longer/higher with an extra strap higher up to provide more security. It probably also doesn’t help I have a shorter truck bed and am having to put in the rear tire and having front tire turned, as it’s easier for the bike to sway. Great concept I want to trust it but it hard to.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

2 out of 5 stars

April 16, 2023

Updated design a step backwards

I have an Insta-Gator that I purchased about 4-5 years ago that still works fine. I can mount my bike in seconds. The newer model that I just purchased is a major redesign. I can’t swing the locking arm between the front tire and frame without forcing the rubberized hook as it rubs the frame and tire. It’s probably going to rub the paint off. I bought this newer model to carry my granddaughter’s bike so I hope it works. My bike is a Trek Domane with composite frame and 32mm tires. Will probably work okay with my other Domane with 25mm tires. I’d return it had I known. Too late now. I’ll most likely shave the rubber a little on the top of the hook to make it thinner. The rivets on the original are prone to rust and it looks like this newer model has similar fasteners.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

3 out of 5 stars

November 8, 2022

Secure-ish Rack

I've put it through the wringer

It's a smart design but in practice it never feels like the bike is truly stable. In terms of security (e.g., theft prevention) any idiot could crack this; I also use a cable lock but even that gives me so-so confidence. That said, this rack is up to Thule standards ("we're your least bad option"), and kudos to them for designing a mtn/road bike rack speshly for us rednecks ;-)

Bradford W

Originally reviewed on

5 out of 5 stars

September 25, 2022

Superior Bike Rack

Installed the Insta Water Pro on my truck bed and it works fantastic. The security and stability of the clamp is very stable. The bike are easily able to be moved in and out of truck with no issue. My Thule bike rack makes things a lot easier to transport mountain bikes. I highly recommend this purchase.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

4 out of 5 stars

August 9, 2022

Great product

User friendly and very well built. I would suggest this product for anyone who doesn't want hitch style system. Thank you for another good product.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

4 out of 5 stars

July 22, 2022

Best solution for full size truck but not perfect

The installation is simple but, it requires that the tire is against the tailgate to be most stable. When you tighten the rack against the tailgate with a 29" or 27.5" tire it pulls the rack forward so the tire is not seated entirely in the tire track, reducing stability. Because the track support is so narrow, the bike is secure but not stable. What I mean by that is, once the bike is secured in the rack it is not going to fall over but, it does move from side to side a great deal when going over speed bumps or on rough roads. I purchased three of these for my truck (the most you can fit in a full size bed) and because you can install the bikes forward or backwards, they shouldn't hit each other when rocking back and forth. If they had a way to connect multiple Insta-gaters together it would help a great deal with the stability issue. I settled on the insta-gater because I needed a solution where the bikes are in the bed of the truck and out of the way when I am towing our camper. As well something that is easy to install and remove while not taking up a lot of room when not in use. I had the Apex 4 bike rack for many years and the bikes would frequently get loose in the rack and fall into each other. When my carbon fiber road bike got damaged beyond repair in that rack I decided it was time to finally get rid of it. The insta-gater is a much better solution than that rack. There is a way to lock the rack to your bed by looping your own lock through the rack and attaching it to your truck bed but, if you have multiple racks, you would need multiple cables. Overall, this is a very good solution for truck bed racks BUT you should be aware that your bikes are going to wobble side to side a great deal when on rough roads.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

5 out of 5 stars

August 12, 2021

Great Product

Very high quality.. Heavy gauge metal and good coating..good design although the release mechanism is close to the derailleur on my two bikes, if it was higher up the arm it wouldn't hit anything. Other than that it's a great product


Originally reviewed on manufacturer

2 out of 5 stars

May 27, 2021

Size Warning

If you have what is now a standard length bed (sub-6’), and an XL bike that can’t turn the front wheel completely perpendicular to the frame, this mount will not work. Product would be ideal otherwise.

Raptor Runner

Originally reviewed on manufacturer

3 out of 5 stars

May 22, 2021

Very solid product -- but a crazy high price

I've purchased two of these previously. They are solid and work great. I did have a failure on one (the rivet attaching the tail gate plastic strap to the base pipe failed) more than 2 years after I bought it and Thule still replaced the whole unit for free. Big props to them for standing behind their product. That said, I really struggle with the pricing. It's a smart idea, but it's some steel tubes, some plastic, a little foam. I cannot imagine the margin on it per unit. So I feel like you are paying a premium for the brand name and because Thule is taking advantage of lifestyle of their typical customer.


Originally reviewed on manufacturer