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Old 03-08-10, 07:55 AM   #1
tom cotter
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Trailer durability

I'm considering buying a trailer. I'm familiar with BoBs and their reputation for getting the job done. However, I'd like to look at two wheeled trailers as well. I'm looking into Burley Trailers. I seem to remember reading somewhere about axle problems with the Burley? I don't remember if this was just an isolated problem or a problem with the brand. Can anyone tell me how durable the Burley's are and if there are any known problems with them?
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Old 03-08-10, 11:53 AM   #2
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I'm wondering, what lures you to the two wheel configuration? (I just purchased a Bob after my research so admittedly I am biased!)
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Old 03-09-10, 10:37 AM   #3
tom cotter
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I'm just weighing all the options. Both configurations have advantages and disadvantages. There isn't much written about the Burley's. That doesn't mean they aren't a good product. They may be. Thus my question.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I'm considering buying a trailer. I'm familiar with BoBs and their reputation for getting the job done. However, I'd like to look at two wheeled trailers as well. I'm looking into Burley Trailers. I seem to remember reading somewhere about axle problems with the Burley? I don't remember if this was just an isolated problem or a problem with the brand. Can anyone tell me how durable the Burley's are and if there are any known problems with them?
I have an older Bell child trailer that I put a Burley round bar hitch on (to replace the stock clamp hitch). I bought it used at a garage sale. I've got around 2000 miles on it and it's going strong. It was the right price at $50. I use it for errands (mostly Goodwill runs and trips to the recycle bins across town). However, I've also towed each of my 3 children around in it a considerable amount, in search of new parks, new adventures, etc. I've never towed more than 200 pounds in it (for less than 3 miles) nor done more than 20 miles in a day (with one of my kids).

If my Bell gives me problems, I can always build new wheels for relatively cheap (two 32h 20" CR18s to Campagnolo veloce hubs would do the trick). The hitches are easily/cheaply replaceable through Burley. Yeah, the fabric is betting worn, but I really don't care about that. When my children are grown, I'm going to take the fabric off anyways and convert it to more of a utility trailer.

The best two wheeled trailer out there (durability, load capacity, loading options) is the bikes at work. If I was getting one today, I'd get a BAW 64A.

Last edited by hopperja; 03-10-10 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:45 AM   #5
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I did the first leg of my tour with a cheap($100) child trailer from Walmart. It was two wheeled. I wouldn't use a 2-wheeled trailer again. Personally, I will likely never use a trailer again period as I now prefer panniers, but if I was going to it would definitely be a 1-wheel trailer. A 2-wheel trailer adds 100% more rolling resistance to your bike while a 1-wheel adds 50% more. Thats not to mention that wind drag a trailer causes if its not aerodynamic. If you want to read a little about my experience with a trailer read my blog and the first 16 days of my trip at http://pedaltheglobe.com/

Thanks,
Jon
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Old 03-10-10, 07:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like durability shouldn't be an issue. I'm going to test drive some trailers from a local dealer and see about the rolling resistance. I'll also check the way the bike's handling is affected. I'll be doing some weekend test tours as well to sort gear out before my planned ride from Jersey to the keys.

I haven't ruled panniers out, just looking at options.
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Old 03-25-10, 03:31 PM   #7
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Somewhat late reply, but I would go with a Burley Nomad. Cannot be beat for functionality and durability. Rolls well, packs an assortment of gear into two compartments (front is smaller than rear), regularly keeps $150 worth (heavy!) of groceries safe and dry, even in the snow. I've been using one on a weekly basis as a grocery getter, and as a touring trailer for weekend trips since last fall, and all through the winter... can't say enough good things about it.

Granted, I have very limited experience with single wheeled trailers... but ~25-30mph downhills around sweeping turns fully loaded are not a problem for the Nomad, regardless of what the legal team had printed in the OM. Have heard reports of uneven handling, shimmy, and questionable stability in this scenario with the BOBs.

FWIW, I don't think you necessarily have to choose between panniers and a trailer... I haul the trailer and have two small front panniers on low rider racks. Best of both worlds, and it evens out the handling of the bike quite well.
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Old 03-25-10, 07:29 PM   #8
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I have not had a problem at 30 mph with my Bob fully loaded.
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Old 03-25-10, 09:40 PM   #9
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If you go with two wheels, make sure you get something with ball bearing hubs, a good hitch system and guards to keep your wheels from catching sign posts, small trees, etc. The quality of baby trailers varies greatly. Look them over carefully.
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Old 03-26-10, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom cotter View Post
I'm looking into Burley Trailers. I seem to remember reading somewhere about axle problems with the Burley? I don't remember if this was just an isolated problem or a problem with the brand.
I never appreciate this kind of unsubstantiated smear on the internet. I have never heard anything regarding Burleys' and "axle problems". I've owned a couple and have never had a problem. I find the Burley Nomad to be one of the highest quality trailers available.

Last edited by EriktheFish; 03-27-10 at 08:14 AM.
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