Apr 16, 2014
Rüsselsheim. Springtime equals bicycle riding time. During the Easter holidays, families with two children want to enjoy the outdoors on their bikes. That is a breeze with Opel’s fully integrated FlexFix bicycle carrier system that enables families and active vacationers to transport up to four bicycles on their trip – with FlexFix it’s easy, space-saving and safe. Opel offers the patented system for nearly all models. The new Meriva offers the practical bicycle carrier, as do the Astra five-door and Sports Tourer models, the three and five-door Corsa, Antara, Mokka and Zafira Tourer. Even the cool individualization champion ADAM can carry up to two bikes, living up to its name as an unconventional urban lifestyle mini.
The Meriva was the first production car in the world to be recognized for its overall ergonomics concept by experts from “Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V” (Campaign for Healthier Backs) in 2010. A major element of the concept is the FlexFix bicycle carrier. Opel remains the only car maker to offer this user-friendly bicycle carrier system that is also on board the new Meriva. With it, the ergonomic and very flexible van can carry two bikes with a maximum load of 40 kg. FlexFix is fully integrated in the Meriva; it slides in and out of the rear bumper like a drawer. When not in use, it disappears almost invisibly back into the Meriva’s rear bumper without affecting the load volume of its luggage compartment. As the FlexFix bicycle carrier is located close to the ground, loading bicycles is very easy. The main advantage of the system explicitly praised by the back experts is that the cyclist-drivers do not have to cumbersomely mount a rack on the car roof or strain and twist to lift their bikes up above their head onto the rack. No special tools or fittings are necessary to install bikes on the FlexFix carrier, which also frees up room in the garage, as it doesn’t require any storage space because it is always on board and ready for use in the Meriva.
A further benefit of the FlexFix bicycle carrier is that in contrast to roof rack systems, its economical positioning at the rear does not subject the vehicle to a 120 km/h speed limit when loaded. This stable arrangement is particularly secure during a sharp braking maneuver or a collision. As soon as the reverse gear is engaged, an acoustic signal sounds which indicates the longer length of the vehicle. The Park Pilot in addition takes into account the fact that FlexFix is deployed if the driver wants to park and reverses backwards.
The second-generation Opel FlexFix system for the versatile compact Astra Sports Tourer station wagon and the compact Zafira Tourer van can carry up to four bikes, while in the sporty, elegant lifestyle Mokka SUV it can transport up to three bicycles. When loaded, this FlexFix version can be tilted so that the tailgate can be opened easily. This means the luggage compartment remains accessible from outside, even with four bikes (depending on model) mounted on the rear of the car.
The enhanced Opel FlexFix system offers increased load capacity: the first and second bikes can weigh up to 30 kilograms each. Even the small ADAM can carry a bicycle weighing up to 30 kg, and with an additional adapter a second bike (maximum 20 kg) for the ADAM co-driver. For the Astra Sports Tourer and Zafira Tourer, the second generation FlexFix is available with an extension kit including a clip-on adapter so that a further two bicycles up to 20 kg each can be transported. The entire loading capacity is 80 kg (Mokka: 60 kg). Special holders with rubber inlays ensure that the bikes are held securely in place.
Studies have shown that additional fuel consumption with bicycles mounted on the rear is around 20 percent lower than when they are mounted on the vehicle’s roof. So the integrated FlexFix system saves fuel costs while it reduces impact on the environment.
Prices for the FlexFix bicycle carrier are 590 euros in the ADAM, Corsa, Meriva and Mokka, 640 euros in the five-door Astra, and 650 euros in the Antara. The enhanced FlexFix system can be purchased for 790 euros for the Astra Sports Tourer and Zafira Tourer. Depending on car model, the adapter kit which provides space for a third and fourth bicycle is available from 189 euros (all prices RRP in Germany including VAT). So with the integrated FlexFix system, Opel drivers often have a more practical yet lower-priced solution than drivers with conventional rear bike carriers that also need a trailer hitch as a base.