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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Burley Nomad on dirt roads?

    I am currently planning on buying a trailer for touring with, and so far have pretty much limited myself to either the Burley Nomad or the BOB Yak. I'm leaning towards the Nomad, if for no other reason than how it performs on downhills.

    My question is: How well does the Nomad perform on dirt roads? Not single tracks, but back roads in which two cars can pass each other--tightly, maybe, but passable. How much better or worse is it compared with the Yak under these conditions? If the Nomad is a little worse (or better at all), I'll buy the Nomad; however, if it's a lot worse, then I'll have to do more research and deciding. (I hate making decisions! )

    BTW, in case you're wondering, panniers are not an option, for two reasons: 1) Lack of heel clearance (converted MTB). 2) My personal organizational skills (or lack thereof ).

    Thanks in advance.
    Timothy

    PS: If there's already a thread on this topic that I just can't find, please point me in that direction.

  2. #2
    Senior Member drissel's Avatar
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    I like the idea of 2 wheels to keep the weight off the rear axle of the bike as I put enough on it as it is, but then again the tracking and one wheel of the BOB also seems attractive, I'm thinking of building one again but whether it will be one wheel or 2 I'm not sure, probably depends on what parts I can scrounge. I too would like to hear other peoples thoughts on trailers
    Dave
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
    in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a ride!!!"

  3. #3
    Year-round cyclist
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    I cannot compare because I have no experience with single-wheel trailers, but I do have a lot with a 2-wheel child trailer which is likely to be replaced by a Nomad. There are a few points to consider:

    Wind resistance. The 2-children trailer is a real parachute, but the Nomad cargo space is only 18" wide x 15" high, vs 27" wide x 27" high for the 2-chidren trailer. As far as I remember, the Nomad cargo space is wider than the BOB, but it won't add more wind resistance than panniers.

    Overall Width. At 25" wide, the Burley Nomad is about as wide as what you need for cycling with or without panniers. So unless you weight 50-100 lb and are thin as a needle, the Nomad won't prevent you from going in places where you can ride your bike. Still, there are a few constraints:
    - you can't do singletrack;
    - if you need to ride with your wheel 2" off the ditch (not a good idea anyway), your trailer won't fit in;
    - if you need to push your bike off the road on footpaths (ex.: for camping), the trailer may be a problem;
    - if you ride in soft terrain (sand, thick mud, deep snow), you will be digging three tracks instead of one;
    - if the roads you take are so bad that you really need to find a passable path for the bike, then finding a wide enough path may be more challenging.

    Tracking.
    The 2-wheel trailer tracks well, definitely well enough for any kind of highway and dirt road travelling. You need to plan your turns on singletrack or – sometimes – when riding through the kind of obstacle courses they call a "multi-use path".
    Mind you, I have done singletrack with my single towing a trailercycle towing a child trailer, but I was riding slowly.

    Riding on uneven terrain
    You need really big boulders to scrape the bottom of the trailer. Another hazard is turning where the road is sloped the wrong way.

    All in all, I think it's a good choice. I haven't toured with the child trailer (just used it for shopping and lots of long day rides) and I am used to tour with panniers, but if/when I get a cargo trailer, I may decide to compare both systems to know which works best. Self-contained touring with two children means I have a really heavy bike!
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  4. #4
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmclough
    I am currently planning on buying a trailer for touring with, and so far have pretty much limited myself to either the Burley Nomad or the BOB Yak. I'm leaning towards the Nomad, if for no other reason than how it performs on downhills.

    My question is: How well does the Nomad perform on dirt roads? Not single tracks, but back roads in which two cars can pass each other--tightly, maybe, but passable. How much better or worse is it compared with the Yak under these conditions? If the Nomad is a little worse (or better at all), I'll buy the Nomad; however, if it's a lot worse, then I'll have to do more research and deciding. (I hate making decisions! )

    BTW, in case you're wondering, panniers are not an option, for two reasons: 1) Lack of heel clearance (converted MTB). 2) My personal organizational skills (or lack thereof ).

    Thanks in advance.
    Timothy

    PS: If there's already a thread on this topic that I just can't find, please point me in that direction.
    Timothy,

    The Nomad will be fine for that use. I have one and it has seen plenty of that kind of use. In fact, it can do most trails, it simply is less than ideal for really loose stuff - but it still works. For your use, I would have no hesitation.

  5. #5
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Have you ever put yours in a suitcase?
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  6. #6
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    I did a 5 day tour in North East Kingdom section of Vermont last year with my Quik-Pak trailer. It's a 2 wheel trailer simalar to the Burley Nomad. A third of the trip was on gravel roads, and I didn't have no problems what so ever. You will do fine.

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