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Thread: Burley trailer?

  1. #1
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    Burley trailer?

    Looking at getting a Burley trailer for my 9 month old daughter this season so I can take her out when the wife is at work. Been looking at the Burley's, the bee or honey bee, anyone have experience with either model other recommendations?

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    so no one uses Burley child trailers?

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    I have a burley picolo I'm going to be selling. But your daughter is about 6 or 7 years too young for that.

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    Hi there Triaxremec. Let us know if we can answer any questions you have! Feel free to contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or give us a call!

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    I'm surprised you haven't gotten more response, Triax. Seem like lots of folks here would have opinions!
    I can't offer any first hand advice, as I'm about a year behind you on my trailer buying schedule (Kid 1.0 due in July) but I've done a bunch of my own research and Burley seems to make very good trailers. (Some people will say they've "gone downhill" since they no longer make their trailers in the US, but relative to all the other trailers out there they seem at least as good.)
    I also really like the trailers from Chariot.
    I might suggest checking out BikeKidShop.com. They have a very good reputation and, keeping in mind they are selling stuff, can offer good advice. (I'm not involved with BKS in any way, just giving props to a company I've had good experience with).
    Last edited by Rockfish; 03-06-12 at 09:33 AM.

  6. #6
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    Burleys are excellent trailers. Like many products, the majority of production is outsourced to China (just like Apple computer!), but it's designed, supported, and tested right here in Eugene, Oregon (my Chariot has many Chinese parts, too). The roads here in Eugene are pot-holed, it rains a lot, people that use Burleys tend to also live car-lite lives (because their trailers can handle that kind of daily abuse)---all in all these trailers are thus very comfy for kids, very useful for errands (e.g., groceries, schlepping toys to the park), good in the elements, last forever, easy to find parts for if after ten years you need to replace something, attach to almost every bicycle out there, and fairly versatile in terms of activities.

    The Chariot is more versatile if you really do a lot of alternate activities like skiing, hiking, etc. But you also pay more for that versatility (and you pay more for each activity's attachment). I have a Chariot and I love it; thousands of miles on it. That said, as far as bicycle trailers go, you cannot go wrong with a Burley. FWIW, their center of gravity is slightly more forward (above the rear axle), which makes it better for carrying kids and groceries. The Chariot's CoG tends to be more rear, behind the rear axle, so with kids and groceries the trailer wants to flip that way, and can make t squirrelly under heavy loads. The Burley suffers less from this.
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    We got the Honey Bee last summer.

    It's been great, a significant upgrade from the Nashbar trailer we had before (though that's not saying much).

    I've taken both of my girls (3.5 and almost 2) on an overnight camping trip with it (~20 miles each way), and they love riding around the neighborhood too. It rides well, and folds down fairly easily for storage too. Seems very well made, I have no doubt we'll use it until all the kids are grown up and probably still get $100 for it on Craigslist when we're done.

    I've never tried any of the Chariot options, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Burley based on my experiences.
    Hope that's helpful!
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    I have the Burley Bee for my almost 1 yr old daughter. She loves it so far. Falls asleep usually when I pull her. It's kind of hard to open up for some reason, unless I'm doing something wrong, but it's easy to fold down and rolls very smoothly on the rail trails. I can fit her diaper bag in the space behind her, and a few other items (food, etc).

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    I think the Bee models are fairly new in the general scope of trailers (the d'Lite and its equivalents have been around forever), so I think most people who already have a Burley (e.g. d'Lite or similar) haven't needed to run out and check out a Honey Bee yet.

    I have a 2008 Burley d'Lite, and I have no idea how that compares to the Honey Bee. I see that the d'Lite costs a third again to twice as much as the Honey Bee, though, but not sure what that means.

    For what it's worth, I love our d'Lite, and both kids (3yo and 1yo) never get bored, even after three-hour rides without stopping (the 3yo simply feeds the 1yo snacks and magically never has to go potty). The d'Lite has special creature-comforts that the Honey Bee may or may not have: foot well; curved sides for arms, snacks, and water bottles; UV-protected sides; suspended seat and axle suspension; etc.

    Burley trailers, in general, are the way to go--they aren't super expensive like the Chariot trailers with adjustable air suspension, but they aren't glorified plastic buckets like the Target InStep trailers, either.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Less than a year old, I hear, is not best , neck muscles not yet developed sufficiently.

    One of my Friends got a trailer with a solid base , plywood, and bolted down a car seat appropriate for the child's age, for support..

    no kids, I have one of the Burly CoOp made cargo trailers. a solid product.

    the earlier trailers used a 20" wheel , and common front hubs,
    with both sides supported .

    the CoOp went into bankruptcy, buyer of the remnants and name,
    sells the trailers now,
    and gets them made off shore, Philippines,.. single sided 16" wheel ..

    they're ok, might find a 2nd hand one, as children grow bigger
    and parents sell their trailers.
    Sometimes to people taking their dog on bike tours.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-28-12 at 12:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    Burley trailers, in general, are the way to go--they aren't super expensive like the Chariot trailers with adjustable air suspension, but they aren't glorified plastic buckets like the Target InStep trailers, either.
    Chariots don't have air suspension. They have a steel leaf spring with an adjustable fulcrum point. They're also in the same price range as the Burley D'Lite at around US$700; although Chariot Cougars tend to run about $75 more. In some cases, the Chariot's accessories are better; for instance, the stroller accessory (~US$70 for Burley's or the Chariot's) is better integrated in the Chariot design, in my opinion; this translates to being more useful for my daily errands—in and out of grocery stores, strolling in the park or biking to further locations. In some cases the Burley is the same but cheaper—included bike trailering capabilities are a nice touch, and both use equivalent solutions for trailer attachment.

    The Burley Bee and Honey Bee (~US$280) are competing at different levels. The Bee looks to be in direct competition with InSteps and the like. To this end it is an excellent product from a company with a fantastic reputation for build quality, features, and safety—it would seal the deal for me. The Honey Bee, at roughly US$400, changes the equation, especially when considering the range of good-condition used products available, depending on your location. I've seen many nice gently-used D'Lites and Cougars in the $350-450 range. However, new, the Honey Bee offers nicer (comfier) restraining harnesses, a parking brake, tinted windows, and other comfort points.

    Once you're in the upper ranges of $600+, you're looking at feature rich products; you're also, probably, either burning up cash, and/or really committed to making you and your passengers' lives as comfortable as possible over thousands of miles. For my part, closing in on 3,000 trailer miles, and with at least half as many again before my kids are out, better has been, well, better.

    Different needs will have different solutions. You won't go wrong with a Burley.

    Edit: neither the Bee nor Honey Bee have frame-based suspension like the D'Lite or the nicer Chariot models.
    Last edited by pwdeegan; 03-19-12 at 02:42 PM.
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    Check Ebay or Craigslist. Kids are always outgrowing things so people are always selling these things. I had a De'Lite and hauled my son from 2 yrs til he was 6 and big enough for a Trail a Bike. He loved it. I would suggest getting one of the bigger ones, then you have room for their luggage/stuffed animals/ friends/sticks /whatever. Ours didn't have any suspension, I adjusted the ride with tire pressure and never had a problem. I would suggest one with nerf bars around the wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwdeegan View Post
    Chariots don't have air suspension. They have a steel leaf spring with an adjustable fulcrum point. They're also in the same price range as the Burley D'Lite at around US$700; although Chariot Cougars tend to run about $75 more.
    Burley's highest-end trailer is the d'Lite, selling for $628 this year. Chariot's highest-end trailers cost $950-1100 this year. So, the Chariot trailers are far more expensive--150% more. I swear they had air suspension at one point, but I was shopping for them in 2008 with a newborn, so my reading comprehension at the time may have been off due to lack of sleep.

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    I bought a used instep trailer from craigslist. It's not as nice as the Burley trailers, but I paid $30 for it and it more than does the job for pulling kids around and hauling things to the park, etc. Personally, I try and buy things like this 2nd hand. Your child might not like riding in a trailer at all, you might use it less than you think you will, or you may find that you really like it. In that case, you can resell it (often for a similar price to what you paid), buy the more expensive, advanced model, and take full advantage of it.

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    We had an old Burley dLite for a while and it was nice for the toddler, but when kiddo #2 came, we wanted a softer ride for him so we went with the Chariot Cougar 2 with the adjustable leaf suspension. You also you can get an infant sling for it when their not solid sitters, and we got the bike adapter and the stroller wheels. Works great as a double stroller. Smooth ride. I think we paid around $500 or so (a lot of money for us) but don't regret the buy at all. We love our Chariot!

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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I just picked up a new in box Chariot Croozer Kid for 2 off ebay for ~$120 shipped (they run ~$450 new) because the box was damaged and apparently I was the only one shopping for bike trailers in January that had heard of the brand. I'm a big fan. It's modeled after the Chariot Cougar II, but not quite as nice (compartment isn't 100% sealed so stuff from the road can splash in if the angle is just right). Still it looks to be a nice stroller. Now if I can just get my daughter to put up with her helmet in it (I know that any accident that would get through the roll cage wouldn't be stopped by a helmet, but that's a dealbreaker for my wife). 2 individual "bucket seats" (as opposed to a bench with the burley that can have the kids mashed together if it slopes down), the biggest (along with the chariot cougar) distance from seat to ceiling (important if you have tall kids), a nice sized trunk, already comes with stroller and jogging accessories in addition to bike hook up. If you choose to go that way, the sun block attachment that you can buy for it is just a piece of colored nylon with velcro straps to cover the front window and is a pain to use and not worth your time.
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    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post
    Burley's highest-end trailer is the d'Lite, selling for $628 this year. Chariot's highest-end trailers cost $950-1100 this year. So, the Chariot trailers are far more expensive--150% more. I swear they had air suspension at one point, but I was shopping for them in 2008 with a newborn, so my reading comprehension at the time may have been off due to lack of sleep.
    If you're comparing top-end; I'd say the top-end Chariot is at least 66% better than the top-end Burley as a premium model ("150% better" would be 2.5x the price or roughly $1500; "66% better" makes a more accurate price of about $1000). The included drum brakes, screened window venting, and shade options alone seal the deal for me here in terms of real-world practical use (excellent for letting toddlers sleep while staying cooler on bright summer days; the brake is good for, well, braking and parking).

    However, the top-end Burley---the D'Lite---is bells-and-whistles equivalent to a Chariot Cougar. These two models compare well and cost similar amounts, with the Cougar somewhere around $75 more for the same functionality (trailer+bicycle kit). The Cougar, however, has greater functionality options and very good suspension (among other things); while the Burley has a better center of gravity for hauling non-child cargo. Both are excellent options.
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    Very happy with our Burley Bee. Usually take my 4-year old daughter out in it at least once a week.

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    anyone think there would be any regrets buying the cheapest burley (standard Bee model). I understand it doesn't recline.. but our son doesn't sleep in the stroller so that isn't a huge concern. Any other big deals between the versions?

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    I had a burley solo, and put on hundreds of miles. I think we started putting child in at 6 months of age. They are wonderful. the 5 point harness is great, we tipped over a few times, and was safe. Not familar with bee or honey bee

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    Can't speak for differences with the versions, but I'm happy with the Bee. Easy to fold and transport if you need to, feels like it's solidly built, and the covers are good quality.

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    joel52
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjcampbell View Post
    anyone think there would be any regrets buying the cheapest burley (standard Bee model). I understand it doesn't recline.. but our son doesn't sleep in the stroller so that isn't a huge concern. Any other big deals between the versions?
    We ended up getting the Encore (mid-level) after going to the shop to get the Bee (entry). The three factors that led to the up-sell were:

    1) Bee doesn't take the any of the stroller/jogger/ski chariot add-ons. Granted, we didn't buy any of those add ons and may never do so, but having the option appealed.

    2) the handlebar that is attached to the Encore for pushing as a stroller/jogger -- and is included in the base price, but is not on the Bee-- can fold over on top of the seating compartment and function as an additional roll bar. Not sure how much difference it would make in a major or minor accident, but does seem good for some extra protection.

    3) The Encore (and D'lite) have removable seat pads and pads on the shoulder straps- Bee does not. Side by side in the store this looked like a big deal, but after using them for a little while, not sure they're really worth much.

    Probably no major regrets either way. I see lots of them out and about, current models, slightly older, and ones that look like old beat up in-steps but say Burley on them, who knows how many years old. And the ones that pop up on CL aren't cheap and seem to go quick.

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    I've decided to buy a Burley d'lite for my twins. I'm trying to decide between a 2009 that's been used less than 5 times for $200, a new 2012 close-out for $400, or a new 2013 model. I don't know much about the 2009 model, but it's practically brand new. I'm not crazy about the 2013 price, but I'm drawn to the new features below. Any advice on which year/model to choose? Is it worth the extra money for the features below? Would the 2009 be just as good? Or would you go the middle of the road?

    - Easy fold frame latches
    - Wheel Activated Suspension
    - Seat clips for easy removal of the seat
    - Adjustable active suspension
    - Retractable sunshade

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    In my indecision, the 2009 sold. So I'm down to the 2012 close-out or a 2013 model.

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    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    we have a 2012 Cub. Hard plastic bottom means it weighs more, but it also seems about twice as durable as all of the others, plus riding in the rain my kids stay dry.

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