Thule Insta-Gater Bike Rack

4.3/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $159.95


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Product Description

TheThule 501 Insta-GaterTruck bed bike carrier allows youTo easily mount your bike in yourTruck bed without removing anyTires. Fits 20" - 29"Tires upTo 3" wide Note: Should not be used with bikesThat have a headTube angle lessThen 68°


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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by nomad57 a Weekend Warrior from moreno valley, ca

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2010

Strengths:    simple, easy to mount and dismount....easy bike mounting

Weaknesses:    the mechanism that cinches down the rack to the tailgate is weak

Bottom Line:   
I bought my first rack two years ago and it has worked great..installation is easy as well as mounting the the bike. It has worked perfectly. Heard bad things about the optional lock so I didn't bother to order one.
Problem is when I got my second one. After only a couple months the rivit that holds the adjuster to the rack pulled out. Repeated calles and emails to Thule got me nowhere. I have a pop rivit gun so I fixed it myself. Sloppy quality control I guess.
Overall it works good for what it was designed for and it's the only way I'll transport my bikes in my truck. Definetly beats laying it down or using tie downs.
Would give full chilis but very disappointed in Thules customer service

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $90.00

Purchased At:   ors

Bike Setup:   nomad, xtr grupo, mavic xt wheels, fox36, fox dhs air.....bullit xt grupo, mavic dee trak wheels,marzocchi 66 rc2, marzocchi roco wc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by monstertiki a Weekend Warrior from Corona, CA

Date Reviewed: November 24, 2009

Strengths:    Very durable, fast and easy setup.

Weaknesses:    Should come with the lock.

Bottom Line:   
This rack is very simple to install/uninstall. Also it feels very durable and seems like it will end up lasting several years. I installed this rack in less than a minute. I also had my bike loaded in under 2 minutes, that includes setup time. My only gripe with this rack is that it should come with the lock. If you don't have a locking tailgate than the lock wouldn't be very useful btw. Otherwise I find this rack to be perfect for me because it is simple to use and seems very durable. I'm gonna buy another one soon so I can carry 2 bikes this way.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $116.00

Purchased At:   amazon

Similar Products Used:   Hung bike over tailgate on a blanket.

Bike Setup:   08 pitch pro, on-one summer season, 09 rock hopper

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tony_tiger_35 a Weekend Warrior from Castaic

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2009

Strengths:    Fits 26 and 29er tires, FAST to get bike in and out, sturdy once cinched tight

Weaknesses:    Must cinch past first click to hold correctly

Bottom Line:   
This is a great product for the money. You need to cinch it down at least two clicks for 29" tires to make it hold, but once it is held nothing is going to make it come off :)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Mt Pinos

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $115.00

Purchased At:   Amazon.com

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Turner Sultan XL

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David a Weekend Warrior from Ohio

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2009

Strengths:    Very easy to install, works well with road and mtn bikes

Weaknesses:    If no locking tailgate, bike can be stolen easily

Bottom Line:   
A great cheap bike rack, especially useful for the truck owner. No need to remove the tire, and with a locking tailgate, the bike rack can be locked. Well built, and secure.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wilds

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   LL Bean

Bike Setup:   Trek Fuel EX 9

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chuckc381 a Cross Country Rider from Yucaipa, Ca, San Bernardino

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2009

Strengths:    Easy to install, adjustable. Don't have to take the front wheel off to use. Made in USA

Weaknesses:    None yet

Bottom Line:   
I got rid of my car and bought a full sized pick, and was tired of laying my bikes in the bed. I wanted something that was easy to use and not have to take my wheel off to use it. This was the only rack I found that met those expectations.

Was a little skeptical about trying it for my 29" after reading the reviews. Sport Chalet had it on closeout, plus another ten percent off, and they said I could retirn it if it didn't work.

Installed in about 2 minutes and held my mountain bike and road bike fine. No complaint, seems very stable.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Where ever...

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $80.00

Purchased At:   Sport Chalet Redland

Similar Products Used:   Yakima Viper

Bike Setup:   29" mountain, road

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Justin a Weekend Warrior from Fort Worth, Tx, US

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2008

Strengths:    Easy to mount/use/store

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Perfect for the back of a truck. MUCH better than having to remove the front tire...sure it doesn't fit a road bike front tire, but it fits on the rear so who cares. Buy it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   North Shore

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $40.00

Similar Products Used:   Bed of truck

Bike Setup:   04 Giant AC1, thomson stem, protaper,King Earl cranks, Z1 fork

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Allyson a Weekend Warrior from Gaineville, FL

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2007

Strengths:    Easy to use. No gripes about the way it works, just the fit. Should be obvious to Thule that this is not appropriate for road bike use, yet...?

Weaknesses:    It would not work on my road bike's front tire, but it works okay on the rear. (Not how it's recommended to be used, though). So, beware. Fat tire bike? It may fit. Road bikes, where the clearance between the front tire and the frame is less than one inch? No way. Not even close. Maybe Thule will try to design one for use skinny tire folks?

Bottom Line:   
It doesn't fit my Bianchi road bike with 700c tires. I guess they should market this as a "mountain bike rack." Since it works on my rear tire, and seems to hold my bike fine in the unorthodox and non-recommended position, I will keep it, since it's better than having my bike lie flat in the bed of my truck, sliding around. But, it's disappointing that it's advertised to "fit" tires up to 29."

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   online

Bike Setup:   Light, fast, on-road only, with skinny tires.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Mark a Weekend Warrior from Fayetteville, TN, USA

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2007

Strengths:    Fast and easy to set up. Holds bikes pretty stable.

Weaknesses:    Expensive! Your bike is betting its life on a lot of rubber and plastic. But the rack does seem strong.

Bottom Line:   
Worked great for my wife's 26er. Sets up fast and stable. Loading and unloading is quick and easy. No front tire removal! It held her bike pretty stable during an easy ride, but not quite as stable as I expected based upon the reviews here and other places.

However, it would not fit the big wheel on my 29er (stock Gary Fisher Paragon), even though it is advertised to fit 29" tires. The locking arm was long enough, but the "locking ratchets" would not engage to lock the bike down. The tire was simply too big.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oak Mountain, Birmingham, AL

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Amazon.com

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   One 26er, one 29er.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Russell a Cross Country Rider from Reno

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2007

Strengths:    Fast in and out. It solves the problem of mounting 20mm axle bikes in your pickup.

Weaknesses:    The bike is supported by the front wheel only and will pitch violently if you hit any bumps diagonally with your truck, i.e. driveways, speed bumps, ruts etc must all be approached straight on.

Bottom Line:   
Not really a great product, but for bikes where removing the front wheel is difficult (4 bolt 20mm axle) it seems to be one of the few options out there. Only but it if you absolutely need to carry your big bike upright. On the plus side, it really is fast and easy to use. Forget the lock; it's totally useless.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tahoe Rim

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $110.00

Purchased At:   REI

Similar Products Used:   Yakima roof mounts, fork clamp style brackets

Bike Setup:   Nomad with Fox 36 Float

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by YetiMan a Cross Country Rider from Boulder

Date Reviewed: September 28, 2006

Strengths:    Portability, Stability and Simplicity. This rack is great for pick up truck's bed. Just place the racheting strap tabs of the bike rack in between the bed and the tailgate, voila instant bike rack. The racheting swing arm of the rack then grabs your front tire of the bike, up against the rack and the tailgate for a solid stable mount. When you get to the trail just dismount your bike, open the tailgate remove the rack and place it inside the cab so it doesn't walk away from the truck bed while your out riding.

Weaknesses:    The lock on the arm is kind of useless, you will need a cable lock to keep the bike rack and the bike. Thieves can just open the tailgate and off they go with the goods.

Bottom Line:   
If you want a rack for the pick up truck bed, and still have full use of the bed after the bike ride this is for you. Very portable nothing stays in the bed permanently, it takes 2 minutes to mount and dismount the rack.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All Tecnikal Trails

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Rockymount

Bike Setup:   2005 Yeti 575

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

 

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