Loading a bike Alustyle holder onto Roof bars.

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MikeInWimbledon

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
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(Ex S211 E500, W212 E500, C216, S212 E500, W211 E500 5.5, W221 S500, S211 E500, SL500, S500, E55)
OK, I know there's always a knack to these things but....

I find it awkward to load lightweight carbon bikes on Alustyle holders onto MB roof bars on my own (i.e. without someone else lending a hand). Am I missing a trick?

They're fine to load with one person taking the weight, and another person to guide the front (arm connector) first, and rear later. No issue at all - my issue is that it's finicky to try and do it as a one person job. (OK, maybe I'm just being cautious about slipping and scratching the paintwork).

Obviously this only makes sense as a question if you've had these things and tried to do it yourself, but any input / thoughts would be welcome.

Maybe there's a little secret to aligning the two connection points?
 
Align (approximately) the two wheel connection points before lifting the bike, the fixing arm has to be in horizontal position, lift the bike by holding it to the fork and the frame part below the seat, once the wheels touch the rack, upright the bike, start holding it with one hand and with the other lift the fixing arm into locking position on the bike frame, lock it and it wont move it's secured. Then you will be able to adjust and fix the wheel connection points with the wheels. That's how I do it. I have Thule Freeride 532 bike racks, so maybe your rack is different.
 
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The MB bike rack, not the Freeride.

Thanks for the swift reply, but I don't have the Freeride system. (Although I'm now wondering if that's a better option.)

The MB system asks you to mount the bike to the aluminium bike frame on the ground, and then lift the bike AND the aluminium mount, and then slide the aluminium mount into the alustyle rails. The problem I'm having is that sliding the mount into the two connection points, on an admittedly tall car, isn't as easy as it seems for one person. It's do-able, but it seems risky.

Here's the MB sales video of someone effortlessly loading the loaded bike rack on a C class, (see exactly 3 minutes in). But it is on a much lower C class AND he looks to be quite a tall geeezer...

I know this must be an RTFM problem, but I don't have the FM....., or the common sense....

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10942-loading-mb-bike-rack.png


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YowP5IRHQPY&t=265s
 
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I was agreed with post#2...but obviously there is a difference in the mount. Could you post a pic?
 
Photo now added

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10942-loading-mb-bike-rack.png


Two points strike me:

a) His neeples are at the level of the car roof, so the C class is much lower than my W221 and he is probably much taller than I am.

b) I can see something sticking up from the end of the alustyle runner and I can't work out what that is.... Some kind of "catcher" for the rack?

As I say, I'm sure this is probably RFTM, but I don't have the manual and I can't work it out.

Wonder if the answer is to just buy a big box to stand on?



mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10943-end-bit.png
 
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It does look a bit complicated. You have to attach a frame to the bike, then lift it all up at the same time. He's certainly taller than me too...I think a step would be useful.

I wonder after you have done it that way could you not just remove the bike from the frame when you want it. In which case, could you not attach the frame and then lift the bike?
 
The video does say one can attach the bike to the carrier before or after attaching the carrier to the roof rails.
First thought was, how easy is it to balance the carrier on the ground whilst attaching the bike? Second, those roof rails must be positioned exactly the correct distance apart or you will struggle to locate the carrier pins in the slots.
 
Attaching bike to the carrier etc.

It's very easy to attach the bike to the carrier on the ground. Couldn't be easier.

But holding the bike, on its rack (total weight 8kgs) and then mating the rear connector to the back of the alustyle is more complicated than our gorgeous male model makes it look. It's fine if you have a "Debby McGee Assistant" on hand to slide it in for you, while you take the weight, but fiddly on your own. Can be done, but you wouldn't want to do it all the time and I still think I'm just missing a trick here.....

On my E500 Touring, I used to load the bike straight onto the rack which was already mounted on the roof, but they've obviously designed it to be loaded on the ground....
 
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Watched the video again and it appears the guy just drops the carrier onto the rail, he doesn't slide the locking plates into the channel, certainly the one closest to the camera (the rear one from his view) but when the camera zooms in one can clearly see the plate in the channel move as he slides and locks it down.

Perhaps that thing sticking up as you mention, is a slide already located in the channel and the carrier pins drop straight in and then the pins screw into the slide to lock it down?

When we had the people carrier, I had to stand on a box to get the bike carrier and roof box located. It was a Thule system but looks very similar to the MB version.
 
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MikeInWimbledon said:
Thanks for the swift reply, but I don't have the Freeride system. (Although I'm now wondering if that's a better option.) The MB system asks you to mount the bike to the aluminium bike frame on the ground, and then lift the bike AND the aluminium mount, and then slide the aluminium mount into the alustyle rails. The problem I'm having is that sliding the mount into the two connection points, on an admittedly tall car, isn't as easy as it seems for one person. It's do-able, but it seems risky. Here's the MB sales video of someone effortlessly loading the loaded bike rack on a C class, (see exactly 3 minutes in). But it is on a much lower C class AND he looks to be quite a tall geeezer... I know this must be an RTFM problem, but I don't have the FM....., or the common sense.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YowP5IRHQPY&t=265s
He is standing on some kind of a platform (or he is a giant) :)
TBH it doesn't look like a straightforward installation unless you first have to fix the rack on the bars, fix guides to the rack (if it is possible), take it off and then mount the bike on the rack, and then the assembly on the bars.
 
We've solved it ! Many thanks !!

Another success for MBclub.co.uk

I was trying to slide the metal under plate into the Alustyle port.

But what I should have done is to put the under plate into the Alustyle rail, and then drop the bike onto the rail, screwing the plate into position using the holes in the under plate.

Here's this under plate from the bike carrier - that little sucker needs to be inside the alustyle holder

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10945-underside-bike-rack-including-bit-should-alustyle-runner.jpg


Then, as we saw in the video, you just drop the bike on the the rack, locate the runner, and bolt it down.

Here's the image, clearly showing that the metal under plate is IN the rail, with only two little silver bolts showing in the black underside of the bike carrier:

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10944-screen-shot-2017-09-03-18-54-53.png



Simples ! Didn't need to RTFM at all.....
 
Another success for MBclub.co.uk

I was trying to slide the metal under plate into the Alustyle port.

But what I should have done is to put the under plate into the Alustyle rail, and then drop the bike onto the rail, screwing the plate into position using the holes in the under plate.

Here's this under plate from the bike carrier - that little sucker needs to be inside the alustyle holder

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10945-underside-bike-rack-including-bit-should-alustyle-runner.jpg


Then, as we saw in the video, you just drop the bike on the the rack, locate the runner, and bolt it down.

Here's the image, clearly showing that the metal under plate is IN the rail, with only two little silver bolts showing in the black underside of the bike carrier:

mikeinwimbledon-albums-miscellaneous-picture10944-screen-shot-2017-09-03-18-54-53.png



Simples ! Didn't need to RTFM at all.....

Sorry I didn't have time to post earlier, but that's exactly how it works!

It's a pain lifting them on to the ML though, especially as the W166 side steps are too shallow to stand on whist loading. Jeep used to do a cycle carrier with some kind of hydraulic assistance to help lift the bike on to the roof :cool:
 

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