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Thread: Burley question

  1. #1
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Burley question

    Just looked at the new Burley site and noticed that their new d'Lite trailers don't appear to have the bar running around the outside of the wheels any longer. I can get a last year's model with the bar at the LBS but wasn't quite ready to buy one yet (the below freezing temps kind of take the push out of an immediate need!).

    Does this bar really add to the trailer? How many of you have cut a corner too tight and had that bar prevent a sign post or tree trunk from going down between the wheel and the trailer?

    Does it add that much to a roll over mishap? The wheels and frame of the trailer ought to provide quite a bit of protection for any rollovers.

    It does add extra width to the trailer... is it better to not have it there?

    Thanks.
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    Conservative Hippie
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    It's an either/or thing, in that the only thing that matters is your personal preference. I have the Burley Flatbed with the frame outside the wheels you speak of, and a Burley Solo without. The only real difference I've noticed is that the Solo is easier to fit through narrow spaces, such as doorways but it also has a narrower wheelbase.

    The weight in a loaded trailer being very low, I won't say it's impossible to flip one, but it would be very hard to do.

    I also have a Wike Woody Wagon canoe and kayak trailer. It has the exposed wheels and I haven't noticed this to be particularly detrimental to anything.

    With any of these trailers, if you hit something with the trailer it doesn't matter if it's a wheel or the trailer frame, if it stops the trailer, it will stop the bike. Watch out for your crotch on the top tube and stem. Please don't ask me how I know this.

    Also, wives tend to get down-right mad if you run over their yard plants with a canoe. Don't ask me how I know that, either.

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    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterRun
    With any of these trailers, if you hit something with the trailer it doesn't matter if it's a wheel or the trailer frame, if it stops the trailer, it will stop the bike. Watch out for your crotch on the top tube and stem. Please don't ask me how I know this.
    Ouch! I guess this is where I decide to be grateful for my step-through frame.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Burley is now a corporation, no longer a co-op. They have decimated the product line and the quality of service in order to save money. They are no longer supporting old equipment.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    Burley is now a corporation, no longer a co-op. They have decimated the product line and the quality of service in order to save money. They are no longer supporting old equipment.
    It's a different entity so why should the new owners support the old equipment?

  6. #6
    The mods changed this... damocles1's Avatar
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    I have a Solo that I yank the little one around in all the time. I've never had a mishap with a tree or the like.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    It's a different entity so why should the new owners support the old equipment?
    I don't know their exact rule. For instance, since they still manufacture trailers, do they still support trailers they sold last year?

    But I think they should. After all, it's reasonable to think that the new owners have kept the company name because of its reputation. Therefore, if you surf on past reputation and attract new customers because "Burley makes good trailers" (so goes the grapevine), why shouldn't you support customers of the "previous" Burley? Besides, if too many customers complain that they can't get a part for their old trailer bought in July 2006, it might have a bad effect on the reputation of the "new" Burley company.
    Michel Gagnon
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiahh
    Just looked at the new Burley site and noticed that their new d'Lite trailers don't appear to have the bar running around the outside of the wheels any longer. I can get a last year's model with the bar at the LBS but wasn't quite ready to buy one yet (the below freezing temps kind of take the push out of an immediate need!).

    Does this bar really add to the trailer? ...
    It does add extra width to the trailer... is it better to not have it there?

    Guesstimate is that it adds about 2-2.5" to the width of the trailer... or for the same overall width, it reduces the inside width by the same. If you compare current data for the Burley Nomad and Flatbed trailers, you'll notice that the interior of the Nomad is 7" narrower than its total width, but that the interior of the Flatbed is a full 10" narrower than its total width.

    Providing the structure is well designed, the only real advantage of the outside bar is that it allows the manufacturer to use standard bicycle axles because the wheels are supported on both sides.

    So wheels supported only on one side are weaker... in theory. In practise, they are strong enough for the kind of weight carried in a child trailer (up to 100 lb) or even for the 300 lb of a Bikes at Work trailer.

    As for hitting elements, I rubbed a wheel once at very low speed (I knew it was a tight spot). Basically, you learn to ride according to your increased width.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  9. #9
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    I don't know their exact rule. For instance, since they still manufacture trailers, do they still support trailers they sold last year?

    But I think they should. After all, it's reasonable to think that the new owners have kept the company name because of its reputation. Therefore, if you surf on past reputation and attract new customers because "Burley makes good trailers" (so goes the grapevine), why shouldn't you support customers of the "previous" Burley? Besides, if too many customers complain that they can't get a part for their old trailer bought in July 2006, it might have a bad effect on the reputation of the "new" Burley company.
    Thanks for the inputs. As for Burley being taken over and not maintaining their quality... could go either way. That remains to be seen. I believe they're too new for blanket statements like DieselDan's and there are a lot of people out there that are torqued because of how they reorganized and proclaiming the demise of Burley and how bad they are now. I don't know about that and, to be honest, don't care. That's their business and as long as they produce quality stuff, their model works. I'm not going to get into the politics or morality of how and why they did what they did; I assume it's just business.

    As for your comment about maintaining their quality and reptutation, I agree. You'd think they would do just that. However, look at many brand names that were bought for the name recognition. Schwinn, for example. Do you think Pacific Bikes makes the same quality into their Schwinns as Schwinn did? I doubt it. Here's another one where ownership didn't change but the quality did: Reverware. My wife just bought a couple of new Reverware pots. All of our grandmothers and mothers used the stuff and you may even have some of theirs handed down to you in your kitchens now. However, this new stuff is thin and flimsy. It's just plain cheap, coasting along on their brand recognition. There won't be any new Revereware coming into our kitchen unless they go back to their rock solid quality stuff. Oh yeah, they didn't lower prices or even keep them the same, their prices adjust with their perceived brand quality still.

    Only time will tell if there'll be a line between "old" Burleys and "new" Burleys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    So wheels supported only on one side are weaker... in theory. In practise, they are strong enough for the kind of weight carried in a child trailer (up to 100 lb) or even for the 300 lb of a Bikes at Work trailer.
    Or for a 3000+ lb automobile...

    I noticed that the current Burley site has a link to a site selling all sorts of bits and parts for the old trailers... sounds like support of some kind to me; how long will it last?

    I like the New Standard Hitch, too; wonder if it's compatible with older trailers?

    I don't see a lot of "Made in USA" stuff on the site; wonder if the new owner is outsourcing, or thinking of outsourcing?
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    I don't know their exact rule. For instance, since they still manufacture trailers, do they still support trailers they sold last year?

    But I think they should. After all, it's reasonable to think that the new owners have kept the company name because of its reputation. Therefore, if you surf on past reputation and attract new customers because "Burley makes good trailers" (so goes the grapevine), why shouldn't you support customers of the "previous" Burley? Besides, if too many customers complain that they can't get a part for their old trailer bought in July 2006, it might have a bad effect on the reputation of the "new" Burley company.
    That's what they told me when I tried order parts for some Cub trailers I use at work. The new management is not interested in supporting old equipment, just selling you new stuff. The old management stopped selling me anything since I work for a Fortune 500 company.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michel Gagnon
    But I think they should. After all, it's reasonable to think that the new owners have kept the company name because of its reputation. Therefore, if you surf on past reputation and attract new customers because "Burley makes good trailers" (so goes the grapevine), why shouldn't you support customers of the "previous" Burley? Besides, if too many customers complain that they can't get a part for their old trailer bought in July 2006, it might have a bad effect on the reputation of the "new" Burley company.
    The new owners did keep the company name for the goodwill associated with that and they've probably paid for it too. Question is, how far should they go to support old customers? They could decide to take their resources and concentrate on new sales and supporting new customers who have paid them rather than old customers who didn't pay them but may be a drain on their resources.

    Two sides to the coin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    Or for a 3000+ lb automobile...
    I know, except the wheel and hub design is much beefier and heavier, so the comparison might be unfair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantoj
    I noticed that the current Burley site has a link to a site selling all sorts of bits and parts for the old trailers... sounds like support of some kind to me; how long will it last?

    I like the New Standard Hitch, too; wonder if it's compatible with older trailers?

    I haven't checked all trailer parts, but there are a few new parts too. The old parts might be leftover stuff; for instance, they had last fall the rear rack used to tow the Burley Piccolo. Now it's gone. But they are selling the new hitch too.

    Would it fit? You need to check the size of the old arm vs the size of the new one. You might ask Burley the question or measure a new hitch in a store near you. I am fairly positive that it would fit, and it would certainly fit if you were also to change the flex connector.

    Another slightly different design is the Wike hitch and that one does fit the old arm of pre-2007 Burley trailers.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    The old Burley Co-Op was a great outfit to deal with, including warranties/parts.
    The 'new' Burley will develop its own reputation.

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