Thule Xpress 970 Cycle Carrier

I was in the market for a new pushbike as mine was being skipped – 1988 vintage and starting to show its age – and as my partner and her daughters like to get out and about on bikes.

We ended up at Halfords and after looking at a few bikes, I settled on the Carrera Kraken 09 20″. Carrera pushbikes are – as far as I know – only sold through Halfords who use their purchasing clout to bring a relatively high specification bike to market at a lower price point than you would otherwise expect.

Having already decided to get a pushbike for London – my base during the week – I started looking at Decathlon’s stock of similar spec’d bikes and found them to be more expensive: price matching produced a heavier bike with cable-operated brakes, for instance.

So I looked at Halfords’ website and was horrified to see that the Carrera Kraken was being advertised at 20% off for web sales even though you could collect in store! Another order placed and I went to collect it at £320 (boxed) from Halfords’ Old Kent Road store. The assistant failed to locate a boxed one as it seems that their stock was assembled and on show. The bikes hadn’t been fully built or safety checked so I have arranged to pick it up this evening.

Thule 970 Xpress
Thule 970 Xpress Folded

As the bike will be fully assembled, shoving it inside my Mazda RX-8 R3 isn’t now going to be an option. I had ordered a Thule 970 Express from Wiggle (at £54 delivered) but they hadn’t processed the order after a day, so thinking this might happen, I had cancelled the order before going to Halfords. They had some in stock (at £60) so I bought one. It fits to the demountable towbar in just a minute or so and folds flat when not needed but I do find the fact that the whole shebang is effectively hanging off one support only a little disconcerting.

So I picked up the Carrera this evening and used the Thule in anger: loading the bike was relatively straightforward and I made good progress, shall we say, back to the flat over the speed humps and sleeping policemen so it had a good chance to break free and didn’t.

Back in the garage, I paused to take some crappy phone shots:

Carrera, Thule and RX-8 R3
Carrera, Thule and RX-8 R3