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Old 01-30-08, 07:10 PM   #1
spambait11
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Burley Kazoo Trailer Bike

Seems like Burley now has a Piccolo replacement called the Kazoo. Was going to spend my REI dividends on a new wheelset, but may have to reconsider.

Also for all those trailer hitch problems, Burley now has their own version similar to Wike's.

They're back with a vengeance.



Edit: One egregious caveat: Burley states you can't pull a trailer with the Kazoo as the hitch/Moose Rack is only rated for 85lbs. That's an oversight and design flaw, imo.

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Old 01-30-08, 08:13 PM   #2
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Edit: One egregious caveat: Burley states you can't pull a trailer with the Kazoo as the hitch/Moose Rack is only rated for 85lbs. That's an oversight and design flaw, imo.
You shouldn't be pulling a trailer behind a trailer-bike anyway. Just doesn't make common sense, like those that want to haul a newborn infant in a trailer.
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Old 01-30-08, 09:31 PM   #3
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You shouldn't be pulling a trailer behind a trailer-bike anyway. Just doesn't make common sense, like those that want to haul a newborn infant in a trailer.
What if you have more than one kid - say 5, 3, and 1 - and you're the primary care taker?

Also, what about your direct experience suggests that attaching a trailer to a trailer-cycle "doesn't make common sense"? I'd like to hear the negatives. Thanks.
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Old 02-01-08, 11:04 AM   #4
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With hills and turns we have around here I would definitely not pull a trailer behind our trail-a-bike. (I have a lot of time in, now, pulling each individually). Maybe in Kansas w/ all straightaways, and fresh brake pads, but not in places w/ topography.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:17 PM   #5
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With hills and turns we have around here I would definitely not pull a trailer behind our trail-a-bike. (I have a lot of time in, now, pulling each individually). Maybe in Kansas w/ all straightaways, and fresh brake pads, but not in places w/ topography.
Thanks for the real world experience.

I guess I see it as two issues:
1. That the trailer bike is incapable of towing a trailer (which I don't believe), so you shouldn't do it; and
2. That you shouldn't be pulling a trailer bike connected to a trailer because of a particular reason, which is actually what I think you all are suggesting and which I'd like to flesh out.

So when you mention the hills and turns (topography), are you implying that the trailer bike is prone to swing widely thus causing the trailer to swing widely, or because there's too much weight for a hill? Or is it simply because a trailer bike cannot handle pulling a trailer in general, and an area with hills and turns just exacerbates this problem?

(I only have experience pulling a child trailer, but not a trailer bike.)

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Old 02-01-08, 04:40 PM   #6
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Our burley trailer barely changes the handling of the bike at all, just the load that you're pulling. The t-a-b has 2 big differences: it changes the handling of the bike by raising the center of gravity (so just for starters I take turns wider), and it and its passenger each weigh more than the trailer plus its passenger (though the t-a-b passenger can pedal uphill and carry some of his own weight). t-a-b is probably longer too. Our t-a-b could tow our trailer, physically (replace the t-a-b QR skewer w/ the trailer one in my rear wheel). But I feel just enough off-balance (so to speak) w/ the t-a-b (and its more skittish occupant) that I don't want to deal w/ the implications of it being longer and heavier yet.

Don't get me wrong, I love the t-a-b, and I am generally pretty gung-ho about trying things out, but hanging the trailer off the t-a-b doesn't tempt me in the slightest. I actually wanted to do it until I got the t-a-b home and took some rides with it. Curiosity abated.
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Old 02-01-08, 07:12 PM   #7
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^^ Thanks. That makes sense to me. I also forgot to factor in the weight of the stokid plus trailer bike.

One thing though, I'm assuming from your other post that your trailer bike is attached to your seat post? If so, I'm wondering if that contributes significantly to off-balance issues.
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Old 02-01-08, 09:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the real world experience.

I guess I see it as two issues:
1. That the trailer bike is incapable of towing a trailer (which I don't believe), so you shouldn't do it; and
2. That you shouldn't be pulling a trailer bike connected to a trailer because of a particular reason, which is actually what I think you all are suggesting and which I'd like to flesh out.
I have experience with the Piccolo trailercycle, the child trailer... and both together.

1. The Piccolo and Kazoo are rated for an 85-lb person. This means roughly 35-50 lb tongue weight. The rack is sturdy enough to allow that and loaded panniers. At least, that was the case in 2001 and 2003: the rack was sturdy enough that the bike would break long before the rack.

2. Towing a child trailer doesn't add any more weight onto the rack. It adds a bit more pulling force onto the stabilizing struts. Since my bike has a 25" frame, these struts are very short and the rack is/was very stable; maybe the rack would have been less stable if I were using a 16" frame and extra-long struts.

3. Handling was not a problem on roads. Trails were a bit more problematic... mostly because of other cyclists. As with any other vehicle, one has to lead according to the conditions of the road and of the vehicle. Concretely, it means that riding in the St. Lawrence Valley (think Kansas with a gorgeous river) is almost as fast as riding a solo bike, but that riding with topography or in stop-and-go traffic takes more time. Obviously, one needs low gears to climb hills and one needs to keep one's speed in check.

4. In terms of stability, the bike + trailercycle + trailer is actually more stable than bike + trailercyle. It feels like the trailer stabilizes the trailercycle.
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Old 02-03-08, 12:19 AM   #9
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I have experience with the Piccolo trailercycle, the child trailer... and both together.

1. The Piccolo and Kazoo are rated for an 85-lb person. This means roughly 35-50 lb tongue weight. The rack is sturdy enough to allow that and loaded panniers. At least, that was the case in 2001 and 2003: the rack was sturdy enough that the bike would break long before the rack.

2. Towing a child trailer doesn't add any more weight onto the rack. It adds a bit more pulling force onto the stabilizing struts. Since my bike has a 25" frame, these struts are very short and the rack is/was very stable; maybe the rack would have been less stable if I were using a 16" frame and extra-long struts.

3. Handling was not a problem on roads. Trails were a bit more problematic... mostly because of other cyclists. As with any other vehicle, one has to lead according to the conditions of the road and of the vehicle. Concretely, it means that riding in the St. Lawrence Valley (think Kansas with a gorgeous river) is almost as fast as riding a solo bike, but that riding with topography or in stop-and-go traffic takes more time. Obviously, one needs low gears to climb hills and one needs to keep one's speed in check.

4. In terms of stability, the bike + trailercycle + trailer is actually more stable than bike + trailercyle. It feels like the trailer stabilizes the trailercycle.
Thanks for the info! You give me great hope.

I will probably end up with a Kazoo and try its stability. This will determine whether I ride it with a trailer attached or whether I return it all together.

Good food for thought all around.
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Old 02-03-08, 07:49 AM   #10
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Just a thought, as to deal with the three yougins under 6, Adams has put their tandem trailer bike back on the market, and Chariot (I think) has a side car like child carrier.

Common sense doesn't have to be explained.
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Old 02-03-08, 06:13 PM   #11
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Just a thought, as to deal with the three yougins under 6, Adams has put their tandem trailer bike back on the market...
That's good to hear. I'll be on the lookout for this option too.


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Common sense doesn't have to be explained.
Assuming it is common sense.
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Old 02-03-08, 10:49 PM   #12
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Just a thought, as to deal with the three yougins under 6, Adams has put their tandem trailer bike back on the market, and Chariot (I think) has a side car like child carrier.
Yes, Chariot does make a side carrier, single carrier only. Maybe Michael G. will write back but I think he owned one at one point. It had some limitations in terms of handling or convenience with width being one if I remember correctly. Not a bad option if it fits your needs.
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Old 02-04-08, 10:51 PM   #13
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I have seen one in use and talked to two owners, but I don't have one. While the design is well done, I would not want to have one.

The width of the bike (riderless) plus side carrier is acceptable (69,5 or 74 cm + 2 cm for the bike tire – 27,4 or 29,1 inches + 1 inch), the practical width is more like 100–110 cm (40-44 in) when you take into account the width of the adult cyclist. So the Side carrier sounds interesting on well groomed multi-use paths without bollards or other similar obstacles, but not in traffic nor on paths with obstacles (i.e. most paths around here).
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Old 02-05-08, 11:40 AM   #14
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What if you have more than one kid - say 5, 3, and 1 - and you're the primary care taker?
Hey - that's my setup Although infrequently (neighbor kid is 4.5 y.o and goes to the same school as my 3.5 y.o.)
4.5 and 3.5 ride in the instep trailer . One year old rides on rear rack seat (Bobike Maxi)
Apart from "uphill sucks", it's actually easier to balance the bike with 22 lbs one year old in the seat plus the trailer vs. 35 lbs jumpy 3.5 y.o. in the seat without the trailer.
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Old 02-05-08, 10:44 PM   #15
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... it's actually easier to balance the bike with 22 lbs one year old in the seat plus the trailer vs. 35 lbs jumpy 3.5 y.o. in the seat without the trailer.
Heard that.

Problem for me is the 5 year old is getting too big for the trailer. I think it's 'bout time he come out and help pedal his own weight anyway.

My other thought is to get him on the back of our tandem, but I'm kind of loathe to buying a kid stoker set. After all, where would we put mom?
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Old 02-07-08, 03:20 PM   #16
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We'd been seeing a family around town this summer, Dad and ~3 yr old on tandem (stokemonkey or whatever rig to get pedals up to the kid's feet), and Mom w/ younger sib in single seat trailer.

We've been toting 6 yr old on t-a-b, generally w/ me, and 3 yr old in 2-seater trailer (outgrown by other kid) pulled by my wife. I used to just take both kids in the trailer and free up wife to her own bike, but no more of that. I suppose the next step is likely to be another t-a-b for when 3 yr old is bigger (she loves to sit on the t-a-b right now but rejiggering the saddle height, bars, etc... between kids is too much work since she still won't fit just right).

I also wonder about a Big Dummy, where the kid can just sit behind you w/o pedalling, maybe one might want to put a stem on your seatpost w/ stoker-style handlebars:



(click picture for frame info)


A longer stable bike I might feel better about pulling a trailer behind, than how I right now would not feel comfortable pulling trailer behind t-a-b.
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Old 02-08-08, 12:14 PM   #17
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I actually have the option of an Xtracycle, and will say, unequivocally, that in it's current state, it is a lousy kid transporter, starting with their sorry excuse for a kickstand to having no fail-safe mechanism for falling off if the child becomes tired/sleepy.

Having said that, I know the Xtracycle is not designed for kid transportation - but that's also why it's a lousy kid transporter. All the people who do transport kids using one have had to heavily modify it so that there is a modicum of kid-friendliness whether it's incorporating some kind of engine, seat pad, foot rest, handle bar, safety bar, custom-cut seats, etc. The kids who are able to handle the X for any significant period of time are usually older kids, but my take is that if they're old enough to handle sitting on the X well, they're old enough to help pedal.

The trailer attached to an X is a great combination, and I used it extensively last summer. The trailer carried two kids, and the X carried all of our swimming gear, lunches, and other sundries. Couldn't have carried it all with the trailer alone.[1]


[1] Wife stayed home with the youngest, but I will have a problem this summer figuring out a configuration to bring all three, ergo, my dilemma stated above.

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