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Old 01-29-09, 01:09 PM   #1
I_meant2do_that
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A trailer question

So I have been looking at Burly's and BOB's and some of the different brands. I want to get a trailer because I thought it would be fun to take our dogs (labs) out from time to time, which weighs in favor of a child carrier Burly. But then I have these visions of taking a cooler on a group ride or going grocery shopping, which weighs in favor of a flat Burly or BOB.

So in my realizations that I may not use it as much as I imagine, I was wondering how some of you more experienced trailer folk have faired over the accumulation of miles and how you evolved to what you have now.

I have both road (geared/s-s) and mtb.

Thanks in advance for help or flames
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Old 01-29-09, 01:45 PM   #2
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I have a Schwinn trailer that my kids have outgrown. It's not as fancy as a Burley but it works.
You can have it if you want to try it (it's a little dusty/dirty currently).
I used to carry my son and daughter in it when they were 2 and 1 year old.
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Old 01-29-09, 03:46 PM   #3
DG Going Uphill
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I am car-free, so I get a lot of use out of my trailers. I had a BOB and now have a Burley Nomad (first design, which is pretty identical to now except that the tarp's high point is toward the back instead of the front). I used the BOB around town for a couple of years and also did a two week, 1,000 mile solo tour with it along the west coast. The BOB had two big strengths -- it's a breeze in traffic and tracks great. The downside is that it can really affect steering on a descent when loaded, is very hard on frames when loaded (in some circumstances, it can exert a pretty strong force on the rear triangle, a force that is very similar to the tools used to straighten steel frames), and is a pain to deal with when mounting and dismounting. Also, while it was the most popular trailer among all those I met along the route, most had failures that required emergency welding (I did not, but I was only carrying around 50 pounds). I met a guy who did the whole coast from Alaska to Patagonia, and he had to have the thing repaired a few times. I hear that they have improved that joint, but I wonder about the design in general. But it was convenient. Lastly, at least half the weight is put on the rear wheel of the bike, so you have to have a strong enough wheel.

The Burley Nomad is excellent and really doesn't have any of the problems of the BOB. Having two wheels is seldom a problem, even in tight traffic (the Nomad is narrower than most two wheeled trailers). There is almost no load placed on the bike (the new model does move more of the load onto the bike so rear wheel traction is improved in turns, but it still is much less than the BOB). I also like that I can remove the canopy and have a flatbed, making it more flexible in use than the BOB (I have hauled groceries, lumber, and the dog in this thing in different configurations). The only real downsides are that when first getting started, it does lurch a little bit and it can dive a little in a turn (an issue with all two wheeled trailers). Unlike the BOB, I feel confident using this trailer on a bike with any kind of geometry (for the BOB, a longer wheelbase with a stout rear triangle is preferred). Lastly, you don't have to worry about how you load it.

I am friends with the guy who did the remodels of the Burley trailers (he does not work for Burley), and so know how they could be better if they were willing to charge a little more, but I can understand the choices the company made. I think they are the gold standard of trailers, as long as you upgrade to the skewer mount (I haven't and don't really mind, but the skewer mount is a much better design). The only issue with Burley is that the company has gone through some significant changes over the past year, so I wonder about parts and service in the long term. On another trailer, it wouldn't matter as much because I wouldn't expect it to last long, but Burley's last forever (they have amazing resale value for a trailer) and are modularly built, so you can easily bring a sick one back to life.

I don't know a lot about some of the newer brands of trailers out there or the ones from Euroupe. It does seem like there are more options now than ever, and many have borrowed well from the Burley design, so it probably pays to do a lot of internet research. Last time I looked into it, I couldn't find another trailer that rode as well as the Burley in the same weight class. I'd be curious to hear about what you find.
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Old 01-29-09, 05:04 PM   #4
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Blast, thanks for the offer but I am still in strong consideration mode. Check your pm's about the jersey

DG, thanks for the very informative post. I keep looking at the BOB but get drawn back to the Burly. I have seen several good deals on CL but just couldn't pull the trigger because of the whatifs. Internet research unfortunately turned into oversaturation and then I was more confused...lol...thus my post here. I will have to find another Nomad to take a look at.

Sounds like maybe older used is a better way to go because of changes. But then all things are changing...
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Old 01-30-09, 09:13 AM   #5
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Bike Trailer Shop dot Com might have what you're looking for.

BR
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Old 01-30-09, 10:24 AM   #6
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I have a Bob. I used it for one tour because I was curious. I discovered I prefer panniers. Now I have it attached to an old, rigid Stumpjumper I had sitting around. It's my shopping bike; my "urban assault vehicle" (apologies to BengeBoy.) I can put four big shopping bags in it. I don't think it would work as a dog carrier. I'd rather have a trailer made for little kids for that.
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Old 01-30-09, 11:14 AM   #7
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Hi Ben, yeah I went there...one of the sites that made me overload. Too many different things that would work for a singular means. Which prompted me to ask people who have and what or how they evolved to the present.

Thanks BBT, my quest started with the dogs...So I am trying to remember that. Lookin like 2 wheels is the way to go.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:03 PM   #8
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My friend Gary used his BOB for his dog.

Check it: Pepper in the BOB trailer

He said the weight of the dog shifting around, hurt the bike handling.
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Old 01-30-09, 12:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
My friend Gary used his BOB for his dog.

Check it: Pepper in the BOB trailer

He said the weight of the dog shifting around, hurt the bike handling.
Oh I could visualize that easily...I have a spastic black lab...
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Old 01-30-09, 12:48 PM   #10
DG Going Uphill
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Our dog is a Swiss Cattle dog and loves to live on the edge. I have to tether him tightly in the trailer so he can't stand up or go into a sit because he actually likes to flip the thing! Don't get me wrong, the Nomad is not easy to tip and a fine trailer, but it is no match for a thrill seeking 50 pound dog leaning against a corner. You have to see it to believe it -- tail wagging, ready to jump right back in. "Do it again, let's do it again!" This is the same dog that will chase a ball over a cliff (thankfully he is genetically endowed to be able to weather such things safely) and can scale sheer ten foot rock faces. Thank god there are no cows visible from the streets of Berkeley or we'd be in real trouble...
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Old 01-30-09, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DG Going Uphill View Post
Our dog is a Swiss Cattle dog and loves to live on the edge. I have to tether him tightly in the trailer so he can't stand up or go into a sit because he actually likes to flip the thing! Don't get me wrong, the Nomad is not easy to tip and a fine trailer, but it is no match for a thrill seeking 50 pound dog leaning against a corner. You have to see it to believe it -- tail wagging, ready to jump right back in. "Do it again, let's do it again!" This is the same dog that will chase a ball over a cliff (thankfully he is genetically endowed to be able to weather such things safely) and can scale sheer ten foot rock faces. Thank god there are no cows visible from the streets of Berkeley or we'd be in real trouble...
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Old 01-30-09, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRidin View Post
My friend Gary used his BOB for his dog.

Check it: Pepper in the BOB trailer

He said the weight of the dog shifting around, hurt the bike handling.
LOL -my nutty puppy would have chewed through that rope in 30 seconds flat!

On a serious note, though, I'd be kinda worried about kicking up gravel and small rocks right into the dog's face (and eyes). Was there something to block what the tires were kicking up?

JB
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