T5 owners / Bike racks

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  • T5 owners / Bike racks
  • Hi all,

    Just got myself a VW T5 with a tail gate and I am in the market for a bike rack for it, urgently.

    What rack are you using on your van and are you happy with your choice?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    tops 5

    Fiamma carry bike – a bit expensive but spot on

    Premier Icon mikey-simmo

    Had one on the T4, almost identical, worked well. Expensive and something if your a midget like me hard to get them onto the rack. we went with a tow bar mount after it died.
    Fiamma is the only real option I think if you want it on the back door.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    just given my slightly knakcered Fiamma rack away to a mate. Id bent the arms and uprights a smidge bottoming out on a railway crossing.

    Spent this week fitting a tow bar and electrics to my T4 and now am the proud owner of a Strada Atera.

    It will take 4 bikes and fits to the ball. Has a fitted tail board and the best bit is it will slide and drop on it’s rail with the bikes attached so that I can still get into the tailgate of the van.

    Cost a bit. £75 for the tow bar was cheap, but fitted myself and did the electrics as well. Bit of a faff. But the rack is £400ish with the +1 bike adaptor for the 3 bike rack.

    Really, really solid feel. And having asked around people who have one it seems to be reliable and easy to live with. We use the van with bikes a lot (spending 4+ weeks a year on the continent touring) so it pays for us to have a decent set up.

    Fiamma one is OK, but Id not want to carry more than two bikes on one again.

    Thanks guys,

    I have used the Fiamma carry bike’s on Type 2’s and T4’s and thought they were really good. However, I have heard stories of dented tailgates on the T5 from using these.
    The VW tail gate one looks good and I have used one briefly on a rented T5 but boy are they expensive at £475!

    With the tow bar option, is it practical to leave the rack on empty or should it be removed if not required? I do like the fact that the tail gate option can be left on the van without issue and doesn’t require the tail board. The van does have a tow bar so my options are pretty much open.
    I will check out the Strada Atera, thanks Stoner.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Although I left my fiamma on the back all the time it meant that the fittings became corroded and shabby. Ive had to replace some of the ratchets over the years as they become unreliable.

    The strada ought to be taken off when not in use as it projects 2’+ out the back although there’s no legal reason why you have to as the light board is fitted with side lights int he correct locations – it just doesnt fold up flush at the back like the tailgate fitted one.

    Premier Icon dti

    I have an altera left on all the time – s/h from a Mr Gentleman on this forum.
    Very good indeed – bike on and secure in approx 40 seconds.
    Almost as good as the official model I would think.

    Stu McGroo

    I use a fiamma on my t5 but was disappointed when I removed it after a 4 month spell on the van to find it had rubbed a 20p patch of paint through to the metal at the top of the tailgate.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    Having taken my fiamma off I too have a rubbed patch on the top right hand clip location. Im not to upset about it though. The strada comes with helicopter tape for the stabilisers strap clips to prevent this.

    Right, thats the Fiamma out then. Too many reports of them damaging the van. Ta.


    Like Stoner I have a towbar mounted rack but the Thule Euroclassic fitted on a Mondeo Estate. I find it easy and quick to fit literally place on towball, pull lever down to lock in place (key to lock lever in position) and connect the electrics. It is very secure in use and well built. It’s great that you can get into the boot by tilting the rack back easily even with the bikes still mounted. Getting the bikes on and off is quick and easy too. An added bonus is that you don’t need to worry about height restricted car parks.
    If you have the option go for a towbar mounted rack. I don’t leave mine on when not in use and because it is so quick and easy to mount you don’t mind fitting/removing it.


    If you go for the towbar option you won’t be able to open the tailgate (even with one of the Thules that lift). However, there is one model and I can’t think what it’s called that slides the rack away from the ball when you need to open the door. It was about 300 IIRC, possibly a German company. I’ll ask the wife later. That’s what we’ll be going for.

    Edit: Forget all that it’s the Atera Strada



    I think the sliding one is the Strada one that Stoner has.

    Premier Icon Stoner

    yep. And having fitted it have tested I can slide it out and get the boot open.

    Am I the only one watching that video and expecting a well built man to appear to help the young lady with her rack? I think it’s the music.


    hang on…
    you own a van but want a bike rack… 😯


    i use a thule towbar mounted rack on my t5… i have barn doors though and can still open them by nudging the rack in one direction to open one door and then the other to open the other.

    t5’s rock!

    Premier Icon cakefacesmallblock

    I have two mates with the Altera stainless tailgate ones on T5s a really nice piece of kit in my view. I have a Fiamma one on my twin doored T4 and it has to stay on permanently, otherwise the 100mm x 30mm piece of worn out paint caused by one of the lower mountings shows !

    I know Greeble, does seem strange. I’m playing it down calling it a van, its a camper with stuff in so bikes on the back.

    Premier Icon a11y

    Atera Linea on my T5 – chosen over the Fiamma purely because I thought it looked neater 😳

    Lives on the back all the time. Originally silver but it started to show rust/marks after a year or so, so I got busy with a tin of Hammerite and a brush to match it in with the rest of the van. I also removed one of the carriers(making it into a 2-bike rack) to make loading big/chunky bikes easier.

    2011-08-27 SSWC Ireland (37) by Ally Mitchell, on Flickr


    Thule Ride on. Does the job nicely.

    Sweet looking van a11y.


    Im going for the Strada as well.....My T5 Shuttle has the top lip spoiler and theres no way that is coming off to fit a hook on type.

    Besides iv still got the Atera roof racks and roof box from the previous car (i havent got round to selling them yet 😉 )

    The Atera stuff is really nice IMO 😛


    Hi, I looked at a couple of racks for my T5 Caravelle and ended up biting the bullet and going for the VW one. I have to put the cost to the back of my mind but it is fantastic!! I’ve used it loads to take the bikes all over the place. I can get 4 bikes on the rack, 2 in the “boot” and 6 people in the ‘Velle.
    Solid and well put together.

    If I had to buy a rack again I’d buy the VW one.

    Hope this helps……

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