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  1. #1
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    Bike trailer - one that converts QUICKLY to buggy without taking the kids out?

    Hi,
    first post here, but I've been doing a lot of reading in the last week or so. We have been car-less for a year and a half now, mostly using public transport, but as we have now moved to somewhere flat instead of the side of a valley, we have been using the bikes a lot in the last two months. The normal set up is DH pulls the trailer with 5yo and 3yo, I take 1yo on seat on the back. This has been fine with our old halfords two kid trailer (that also lugs about 40kg of our weekly shop once a week) but owing to a bike theft, we are looking to upgrade...
    DH's mountain bike/trailer puller was stolen last week (gutted doesn't come close - it was locked up, in our carport, out of site of the road - they even went so far as to unhitch the trailer, and leave it along with three other bikes - very targeted). Anyway, the result is that at the weekend I ended up pulling the trailer and having the baby in the seat - and to my surprise it wasn't as horrendous as I thought it would be (fist time for me taking all 3).
    So as it appears that I am not as weak a cyclist as I thought, we are looking for a better long term solution. The halfords trailer has served us for 4 years, but has taken quite a few knocks, and it's not looking likely to make it another 4 years (until the small one is 5ish).
    All that given then, we started considering trailers than can be pushed as a buggy - having no car we ride to town, then I normally stick the baby on my back in a sling - that will die a death soon as he gets ever heavier!
    Of all the trailers we have looked at, only one seems designed to do what we really want - which is to quickly, and easily and safely convert from trailer mode to buggy mode without removing the kids...
    The Burleys you need a spanner and allen key to fit the dolly wheel, Chariot seems to come close, with the buggy wheels stowed on board, but need unclipped, refitted, then the towbar taken off, croozer I have seen some photos of the dolly wheel fitted at the same time as the tow bar, but have no idea if you can actually ride and/or push it in the configuration.
    Then last night I came across the Nordic Cab, which had the dolly wheel fitted to the towbar, and was simply flipped through 180 degrees to sit on the ground - seems like the perfect solution, but as it was a brand I wasn't familiar with I would love to know any experiences.
    Does anyone know of another trailer that has this facility to just unhitch and push away with no fuss? Can you pull the croozer with the wheel in place? Does anyone have any experience with the nordic cab?
    Thanks for reading!
    Lucy

  2. #2
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    We have an old (roughly 18 years old) Burley trailer that has a small front wheel that stays on the towbar all the time. You just loosen a knob and rotate the wheel into position. Maybe you can find one used. I'm surprised this feature is so rare in the trailer market.
    Last edited by Spld cyclist; 10-15-13 at 11:43 AM.

  3. #3
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    Check out the Wike trailer:
    http://www.wicycle.com/child_moonlit...le_trailer.php

    The stroller wheel is an extra $40, but you just swivel the wheel down and then flip the tow bar back to become the stroller handle.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    We have an old (roughly 18 years old) Burley trailer that has a small front wheel that stays on the towbar all the time. You just loosen a knob and rotate the wheel into position. Maybe you can find one used. I'm surprised this feature is so rare in the trailer market.
    Thanks for the reply I actually just had a nosy around a burley trailer I was parked next to, and it had exactly the system you describe - and it certainly wasn't 18 years old, so I think I must have just been pretty dumb looking at their website before, now I've looked again it describes exactly what I'm after (although I was reading the site in German first time, and have since found the international one, so that probably helps!

    I'm off for a look at the Wike one now too, thanks!

  5. #5
    Live Beautifully Jewel's Avatar
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    We have the same Burley trailer that spidcyclist mentions above (ours is over 19 yrs old & still going strong... nowadays, since our youngest is 7 years old and riding independently, our trailer is used for large loads of groceries or carrying the dog I love the Burley stroller/trailer.
    "If I ride, I will know the way the trees smell after the rain... My breath will fill the air instead of smoke and car exhaust... Road rage will turn into laughter and I won't be a boy or a girl, I will just be a rider...and the planet will cool down and survive and thank me for riding with flowers & glaciers & fireflies & snow days off from school... I will be strong... I will only use oil in my chains and oil tankers will haul chocolate milk" by People for Bikes http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

  6. #6
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    I just bought the Burley Honey Bee which does what you're asking. The front wheel stays on when attached to the bike and can convert to a stroller within a minute with no tools needed. You just loosen a knob and put the wheel up for when you're pulling it by bike or put the wheel down for when you want to use it as a stroller.

    I ordered it from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Burley-Design-...rley+honey+bee
    Cannondale CAAD 10 5
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  7. #7
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    We have a Nordic Cab. What do you want to know?

    Pros: good quality, carries a lot of stuff even with kid(s) onboard, converts easily between different modes (including skiing). Good hitch. Lots of extras and spares available.
    Cons: not 100% waterproof without the optional raincover. Not many kid trailers are, actually. Expensive. Difficult to get in public transportation, although it's on the narrow side as far as 2 kid trailers go.

    We used a rental Spectra kid trailer (sold under many brand names) just this summer on a holiday trip, and while it did the job for us, we were happy to get back to our own trailer after the trip.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  8. #8
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Back home now, adding a few points.

    Nordic Cab seat turns into a flat bed for the kid. Useful as a changing "table", or for naps. Seat must be upright while towing, which leads to incredibly awkward looking sleeping positions, but our kid doesn't seem to mind, he snores away happily. Having two kids back there might actually help in that regard, as they can lean to each other. Good seat belts. We bought the optional suspension system, which makes the trailer marginally wider but supposedly adds comfort on rough surfaces. I feel that you can probably achieve pretty much the same result by simply lowering tyre pressure (at the cost of added rolling resistance though).

    The standard foldable front wheel is small and flimsy, OK for hard, even surfaces but lousy in snow for example. The optional larger "jogging" wheel excels on uneven terrain, takes a bit of assembly, has to be removed for towing, makes for a very long buggy and adds a locking handbrake. I believe considerable length is a common feature for all buggies equipped for jogging. Speaking of brakes, the standard version has none. The flimsy front wheel locks, but if the load is balanced in trailer even remotely correctly, the front wheel alone won't keep the buggy from moving. You're supposed to immobilize the buggy with a couple of straps you run through the rear wheels. I kid thee not. I consider this as the only glaring drawback of the otherwise impressive design.

    We've towed our Cab maybe a couple of thousand of kms now. I've pulled it behind me on skis for about 70 kms. It's been used as a buggy, but to a lesser extent, normally inside shops we have first biked to. I have yet to tow it with bike in winter conditions (our kid was too small last winter), we'll see how that goes. I think the rear wheels are big enough for snow, but if it doesn't work out, I can always swap skis in place of wheels and pull it like a sled behing the bike.

    --J

    N.B. Nordic Cab can be equipped for skiing, but it is not a proper pulk substitute, if you're really into backcountry XC stuff. It will work OK on modern prepared ski tracks, with the wide skating lane in the middle. You will most likely block the skating lane, but it is doable. It will NOT work on traditional parallel ski track, or in off track deep snow. The skis are too wide apart. Get something like Fjellpulken for those conditions.
    Last edited by Juha; 10-17-13 at 01:28 PM.
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  9. #9
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    Thank you for all the replies! Just thought I'd come back and update...

    We went with the Nordic Cab in the end - bought from an online retailer in Amsterdam in the end, 100 than we could get it in Germany.

    We were very impressed at the outset - once we figured out the instructions (not the clearest in the world). The straps Juha mentioned for locking the back wheel, we received in the box, but they were not mentioned any where in the instructions, so we never used them!

    Initial impressions were great - every combination of our three kids worked out well (5, 3 and 1 year olds), all comfy in there , although the nearly 6 year old has sprouted recently, and now finds it less comfortable. So much easier to pull than our old halfords contraption!

    The stroller wheel seemed to fit the bill in terms of being quick to convert, but it was a nightmare to steer even on smooth paths.

    I don't know if it is representative of the brand as a whole, but we've had a run of parts not quite working out. For all that the trailer itself hasn't been 100%, their customer service has been top notch.

    A replacement back panel was the first thing we received, was the stitching failed within a week or two of getting it.

    After 4 months use however, it was no longer possible to use it as a stroller - the front jockey wheel had bent so far out of shape that it didn't even turn any more. In that time the stitching on the front panel had also failed, and the handlebar had a huge range of movement even vent when supposedly locked in to position.

    An email and a few photos later, and we were kitted out with nearly a whole new trailer (minus the chassis).
    For those of you considering the Nordic cab, they have totally changed their design of the stroller wheel- it is now far more like what you see in a chariot, it plugs out, then plugs back in in the underside for pushing. Much improved, but missing the little brake we used to use - so they sent us some more straps for the back wheel - we still haven't figured out how to attach them!
    They also sent a new handlebar with much tighter rivets, a replacement for the ripped front panel, and two side panels for good measure, even though there was nothing wrong with then!

    All in all we are very happy with it, pulling and pushing no problem any more! We did also buy a car in the end too, but we rarely us it for anything apart from trips out of town - all our day to day stuff is in the bike now, two kids in the trailer and one on the bike seat!

  10. #10
    Senior Member cderalow's Avatar
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    Burley has 1 or 2 wheel trailer kids depending on your trailer variant.

    We've got a cub (hard plastic bottom) and we use the two wheel stroller kit to make ours useable as a buggy. The one wheel kit would also work, and just connects to the regular towbar and flips down with a large knob/spinning locking mechanism.

    downfall to a new burley is generally the cost.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It appears with the 2 square sockets on the front of the Burly Bike trailers these days . you can fit one on the right side , first,

    then un hitch the trailer , remove the tow bar in the left side, then fit the 2nd caster wheel ..

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