The GM patent filing has been assigned application number US 2023/0033863 A1 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and was published on February 2nd, 2023. The patent was originally filed on August 2nd, 2021, and lists several Michigan-based engineers as the inventors, including Derek L. Patterson, Ryan Cahill, and William C. Bliss.
The patent describes a bike rack for a vehicle with a tailgate that includes both a major gate and a minor gate, with a hinge that connects the minor gate to the major gate. The minor gate section includes a main body and a load stop that pivots in relation to the main body, while the bike rack mounts to the tailgate and includes a load stop bracket and braces. The bike is mounted in an upright, vertical fashion.
The tailgate described in the patent is a reference to the Chevy Multi-Flex tailgate offered for the Chevy Silverado and GMC MultiPro tailgate offered for the GMC Sierra and the GMC Hummer EV Pickup. This multi-purpose, configurable tailgate design originally launched on the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2020 GMC Sierra HD.
The Chevy Multi-Flex tailgate and GMC MultiPro tailgate offer six individual positions that are tailored to meet a wide variety of needs and uses. These include the standard Primary Gate Access, as one would expect from a traditional tailgate, as well as a Primary Gate Load Stop, a Foldable Inner Gate, a Full-Width Step, an, Inner Gate Load Stop, and an Inner Gate Work Surface. It appears as though the bike rack described in this new GM patent is designed to work with the Inner Gate Load Stop configuration, allowing users to easily secure bikes in the bed of the pickup truck.
Indeed, for those Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra owners that like to drive their bike to the trailhead, this could serve as a useful solution.