I've got a Fiamma and it's outstanding. Everyone who's seen it can't believe how well designed it is. It can be difficult fitting mountain bikes on there sometimes but with a bit of jigging about they will fit securely... fitting road bikes are a bit easier though!
Takes about 1 - 2 hours to fit and up to now appears to be hard wearing.
I've never seen the VW carrier but would be surprised if it's £200 better than the Fiamma.
Cool Thanks for the advice. When you say hard to fit moutain bikes, how hard?? We have two adult bikes and two childrens all mountain bikes. What is hard to fit I heard that the tyres are too fat to fit into the wheel tracks? Do you leave it on all the time and drive about with it on??
I typically have to have the bikes pointing in different directions and might lower the saddles so the handlebars don't touch the saddles. Mountain bike tyres aren't a problem unless you have very wide downhill tyres.
You will work out a system of putting the bikes on and they will fit on with no problems. I usually pop a few bungies on as a back up as well.
We bought the VW bike carrier, and although pricey it really is an excellent bit of kit, very easy to fit and carries 3 mountain bikes and 1 bob the builder bike superbly, very strong and secure absolute doddle to use takes about 3 seconds to lower/raise the rail section.
Regards the Fiamma rack very popular not aware of any issues and your not paying VW's steep costs!
Try e-bay I have seen VW carriers on there before.
Would put a picture up.....if i could figure how...
Having looked at so many over the years I eventually bought a fantastic (IMO) bike rack for my California, it mounts on the detachable tow bar, it folds 90 Degrees with bikes attached so you can open the rear door without removing the bikes, when folded up and locked it also prevents access to the rear door for the many thieving scumbags.
Just for info of those looking to purchase. I've had a Fiamma rack fitted for about 18 months now. It has had some intermittent use- not regular. The alloy fittings have corroded and one has cracked (still works). The corrosion appears purely cosmetic, it's sturdy but not as sturdy or well finished as the VW rack. If I were spending my money again it would be a VW rack.
Incidentally, our van's a camper. We have the bikes on the rack and then a Thule tow bar mounted rear box underneath the bike rack. It makes us an extra long wheelbase!