I have a lot of bikes. Think of a high number of bikes one person could own, and my number is likely higher. One of the reasons I considered buying a new Ridgeline was to get better bike storage than my old SUV. And while you can easily put one or two bikes flat in the bed, I also wanted to take epic mountain bike trips with three friends without feeling low on space.
In looking for mass bike storage in the Ridgeline, I considered a hitch-mounted rack with space for four bikes, but after owning a rear rack on a SUV, I was tired of constantly having to mount and remove it, plus you had to carry a 40lb rack and store it as well. Due to the short truck bed, I considered fork mounts, but that requires having racks for the different types of axles I have on my bikes as well as the hassle and time to remove/re-mount your front wheels when you get to a race or trailhead. Roof racks were an outside option, but I’ve had those in the past and I didn’t like hoisting bikes overhead and worrying about clipping overhangs and damaging bikes.
In the end, I settled on a cheap simple option: the Yakima Crashpad. It’s only about $80 and installs in a couple minutes by simply tightening some straps. Bikes are loaded and removed instantly by just hanging them on the tailgate between the frame and fork. I’ve already used it for a couple trips and so far the crashpad has worked flawlessly. The padding is enough to cushion bikes, and the pad is lined with soft fabric that doesn’t leave marks on the paint. Also, you can fold it up and store it in the truck bed's trunk storage.
I ordered the Large version, which is a couple inches wider than the Ridgeline tailgate, but I figured when adding a layer of padding between your truck and bikes, it’s probably best to go with too much coverage than too little. In a couple trips I haven’t had bikes fly around or fall over, but if I was going to drive on twisty roads I might use a tie-down strap between the frames to better secure the bikes in place.
There are few downsides. The Crashpad has a flap for the tailgate handle area but it covers up the backup camera. To fix this I might just safety pin the flap open, leaving the camera unobstructed. Security isn’t great; if I was taking a cross-country trip I’d probably wire a cable lock between all bike frames and attach it to the tie-down points on the truck to make stealing the bikes more difficult while you pop into stores or restaurants. I wouldn’t suggest leaving bikes overnight on your truck, even if locked in any sort of rack.
For whatever quantity and type of bikes you have to cart around in a Ridgeline there are plenty of options. You may find a hitch or roof mounted rack works better for your needs, but for my uses, I enjoy the dead simple and cheap tailgate pad option. The Yakima Crashpad is an excellent option that does exactly what it was designed to do.