Home » Mid-2000s Opels Had An Amazing Hidden Bike Rack Option That Seems To Be Forgotten

Mid-2000s Opels Had An Amazing Hidden Bike Rack Option That Seems To Be Forgotten

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You know what I unashamedly love in a car? A gimmick. Maybe it’s unsophisticated, maybe it’s a reflection of the abysmal shallowness of my nature, but I don’t care. Gimmicks are fun. Whether it’s the rear sun visors in a Porsche 928 or all six sun visors in a Citroën CX Familiare or cars with bumpers on their bumpers or how C3 Corvettes had wipers that were hidden under a vacuum-operated cover.

I love all the unexpected, overdone, absurd gimmicky features of cars, so when I just recently found out about a particular optional feature on some Opels and Vauxhalls, I was delighted. So delighted I want to be sure you see this, too. It’s an integrated bike rack system called Flex-Fix.

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What I like about the Flex-Fix system is how, especially on the smaller Opel/Vauxhall Corsas, it has a certain Bond-car type of quality. That’s mostly because the whole setup is hidden behind the license plate, and, upon pulling a lever in the trunk area, it pulls out like a drawer, revealing a duplicate set of taillights and a whole bike rack able to hold up to two (I’ve also seen three, even four) bikes.


Here’s a video of someone showing the whole magical process:


Now, even if you don’t need to carry any bicycles around, you have to admit that’s pretty cool. There were some slightly different variations on other models, like the small SUV Mokka or the Antara, which duplicated the number plate, since the plate was normally mounted on the tailgate, not the bumper:

Look how nice and thin those auxiliary taillights are, by the way! That’s impressive! And also, here we see the full three-bike capacity, as well as a smart tilt-down method to allow access inside the cargo area via the hatch, too. It’s a well-thought-out system!

You know, I don’t think I appreciated just how many models Opel/Vauxhall offered this option on; look, here’s a version for the Opel Zafira minivan, and it held four bikes:



And, there was a version for the stylish little Adam:

Adam Rack


I suppose the downside of the FlexFix integrated bike rack system is that you have to give up a spare tire, but so many cars have eliminated a spare tire and given you Jaqueline Squat in return. It’s just a really clever setup, and I bet really satisfying to pull out, especially when you’re with someone who has no idea such a thing exists.


I also wonder if any nervous Opel or Vauxhall driver in heavy traffic has ever pulled out the drawer just to act as a sort of rear-impact buffer? I bet it’s happened at least once.

The FlexFix option doesn’t ever seem to have been a huge seller, and I think that’s tragic. This was a top-notch automotive gimmick, and for the most part, the world seems to have slept on it. I want to be a voice for this sort of clever thing, useful tools or features that slide in and out of drawers, unfurl out of compartments, pop up from surprising places.

Of course, maybe part of the reason these didn’t sell as well as you’d think was because of how they were advertised, like this ad, which manages the very difficult trick of combining sexual predator qualities with what kind of looks like an anthropomorphic peanut puppet:

Bang-up job, marketing team!


I love this kind of crap! Not enough modern cars are employing these gimmicky wonders, but maybe that’s going to change. Modern electric cars should offer more physical room and opportunities for this sort of thing right? One can hope.


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Austin Vail
Austin Vail
3 months ago

Reminds me of the folding bike racks built into the bullbars on the shuttle buses operated by the college I used to go to. Those could be deployed very quickly and easily. Pretty sure those buses were Ford E350-based, so I imagine it wouldn’t be too hard to adapt those bullbar bike racks to an F150. You could probably market it to outdoorsy truck guys as a way to transport mountain bikes while the bed is full of camping gear.

3 months ago

Part of the reason we don’t get stuff like this is precisely because people call them gimmicks. Designers and engineers (at least, those of us who don’t hate our jobs) want to do cool and fun stuff like this, but marketing gets ahold of it, bungles it up (see the above ad), and then complains that “it’s just a gimmick”

Just call it was it is: a feature.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
3 months ago
Reply to  Tinctorium

Features are mechanical things that had effort put into them, which make a meaningful impact on the daily life of the vehicle’s owner. Gimmicks are the random afterthoughts advertisers call “features” in your infotainment screen, which 90% of drivers will never use.

3 months ago

Wow, that ad! It’s so horrible. I just did a 30min. research on this shit. The C’mons or C.M.O.N.S. was a fake rock band consisting of five ugly puppets. There seems to have been short music videos commercials on MTV and on the web. In the beginning, nobody really new what they where about. It seems that it all was a marketing stunt from Opel. This must have been around 2006/2007, but I have never heard of these things until now. I don’t think that this particular ad ever made it to German TV. In other countries maybe, but then again the on-screen text is in German? Weird.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
3 months ago

I’m also amused that the Adam is shown with a hipster fixie.

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