Carlex Design is best known for crafting ultra-luxurious, custom interiors for a variety of vehicles, but the firm now offers a bike rack for the Mercedes-Benz X-Class with a very cool design. The layout mounts the bicycles above the bed at the same level as the cab's roof, and this leaves the cargo area open for any additional gear. When the time comes to unload, the bikes can tilt downward for slightly easier access to them.
Carlex uses powder-coated carbon steel for the rack's structure with aluminum trim pieces on the exterior. The tilting mechanism is electrically controlled via a remote. Pricing for the piece starts at €4,995 ($5,626 at current exchange rights). The standard version can carry two bikes, but a third mount is an option for an additional €178.35 ($201). Each of the mounts can hold 44 pounds (20 kilograms), which is plenty for hauling the weight by the standards of most bicycles.
Aesthetically, this rack looks fantastic. However, we wonder how easy it is to lift a bike onto and away from these mounts. The easiest way to get a cycle up there appears to be opening the tailgate carrying the bicycle into the bed and then hauling the bike onto the carrier. This solution at least increases cargo room over simply placing the bikes in the back.
Carlex's Facebook post (above) hints at a future stunt to promote the rack by promising "the bike carrier will be tested on the mountain roads in Giorgia." We look forward to seeing more of this mount in action, especially if the company offers a better look at the process of loading and unloading the cycles.