Burley Travoy Bike Trailer Appraisal

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    • McG
    • February 3, 2014
    Reply

    Anyone Have Experience With Bike Trailers? I am looking for a light, folding, 2 child trailer with quick release wheels. I’ve looked on line, but have zero experience with them. Can one upgrade the tires to narrow high pressure tires? Do they affect the handling of the bike? If you have used one, do the kids really like riding along? All that kind of stuff.

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      I’ve been using a Kool Stop Lil Trooper bike trailer for almost 4 years now. I agree with the other two answers about having the trailer but I would also have to say that narrow high pressure tires probably aren’t a good alternative to what the trailers offer already.

      While mine is a decent $200 trailer, the first answer has a Burley D’Lite- which is literally the “Cadillac of Trailers.” They have every thoughtful touch including padded seating, recesses for the helmet and tinted windows. Mine doesn’t even have quick release. The way I see it is if the D’Lite doesn’t offer the feature, it probably offers no advantage. In fact, it may even be unsafe to have narrow tires. The D’ Lite is the leader in trailer technology and it is also one of the most expensive because of that.

      About the kids being bored: My son no longer rides in the trailer but his 15 month old baby brother does. After the intial ride, neither of my kids gave me any qualms about riding in there. Give them some treats, a drink, and something to keep them busy (toys,coloring books, etc.) and they are good to go. They usually look out the windows or go to sleep- which is what they do best in the trailer.

      As long as they see Daddy in front, they don’t worry. I’ll ride a 40 mile ride with one of them in the back and I just let them get out and play for about half an hour at my halfway rest stop before heading back. No worries. Your experiences may be different but when they normally see me riding my bike without them, they are just glad to come along at times. Heck, it gives my wife a break too unless she comes along.

      Also, it’s recommended that you not exceed 20 mph with the trailer. I found out why when the trailer began to feel unstable when I hit 25 mph a few times. No worries. With the extra weight, you’ll want to save your legs on any ride over 15 miles anyway.

      Trailers will affect the handling of your bike and make sure that you have either a full steel or aluminum frame bike with at least 32 spoked wheels to pull them with. I had to buy an all aluminum bike while biuying my trailer because the LBS said that a carbon frame or carbon rear frame will crack from the stresses of a trailer. My original bike was a carbon Trek. Titanium is also a no-no.

      There are many choices out there when buying a bike trailer. Burley is at the top of the list. Even their barebones Burley Bee trailer is good.

      Cannondale trailers are really impressive and they are up there with Burley in terms of technology. Many riders like their unique, more aerodynamic profiles.

      Kool Stop is good and they are a family owned company that strongly backs their products. Just make sure to go for a higher end trailer than the Lil Trooper.

      A really good trailer that has had a strong cult following but are now being recognized by the masses are Chariot trailers. They are a Canadian company that makes exceptional trailers. Chariot used to make most of Burley’s trailers until many buyer’s found out that Chariots were the same trailers they were looking at purchasing from Burley and can be had for less. Now Burley makes their own.

      Basic requirements that will make your trips easier are quick release skewers ( as you mentioned) AND aluminum rims.You may even want to make sure that your trailer had a rear window in the trunk area so that air can flow threw it on hot days. If you decide you want the D’Lite but it would appear cost-prohibitive, consider a used one. Most used trailers have very low miles and are in great condition because they are used so little. That’s good for you because you can buy used for a lot less than a new one. Sorry this is so long winded but I’m trying to get as much info to you, so that you will be better prepared when you go shopping for one. Good luck with your purchase.

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  1. Reply

    Baby Child Sear Or Bike Trailer? I love bicycling and now I have a baby. Noah is 8 months old and within the next month or so I’d like to take both bike and baby out and go for a ride.

    Anyone have advice for me in regards to child seat for bike or bike trailer? Which one is better, safer? I’m only going to be bicycling on sidewalks and in parks with him on.

    Thanks for you thoughts.
    THANKS FOR YOUR THOUGHTS. ?

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      Use a bike trailer. Should you fall over or get hit there is less of a chance of your child being injured. Also, DO NOT start riding with him at 9 months old. The minimum age for a bike trailer or a bike seat is 12 months. He MUST be wearing a helmet as well. We are currently fitting our daughter for a bike helmet and have found that the Bell Infant helmets seem to fit the best:

      http://www.bellbikehelmets.com/productDetail.asp?prodID=19

      They fit heads starting at 45 cm, which is the smallest helmet we could find so far!

      We are using a Chariot Carrier, which we have had since our daughter was about 3 months old. We have been using it as a stroller and a jogging stroller this past year as it has many conversion kits. It is the safest bike trailer on the market and by far the best designed trailer. Check them out:

      http://www.chariotcarriers.com/

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    • Crys
    • February 6, 2014
    Reply

    Can You Hook A Bike Trailer To A Bmx Bike? I’ve been wanting a to buy a bike again for the longest time, I’m kinda short so I like smaller bikes. I found a nice used bmx bike at a garage sale so I bought it. I’ve also been wanting to get one of those bike trailers for my daughter to come along for the ride. I’ve been checking out different ones and some say they hook up to various bikes but don’t say which varieties they hook up to. So my question.. Does anybody know if I can in fact hook a bike trailer to my bmx bike? And if so which kind is the best to hook up to it?

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      Older bike trailers connect to the bottom bar of your bike with a light weight aluminum clamp. Most should fit your bike but I would recommend connecting it before you buy it and make sure you have enough clearance between bike tire and arm of trailer. Newer trailers connect to your quick release tire hub which I would assume your bmx bike doesnt have.

      Quick side note I would recommend a trailer with a hard bottom as they can be safer

      My babies love riding in trailers. Hope you find a great one!

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  2. Reply

    Bike Trailers…………………..? I am asking this in a few sections by the way.

    How many of you mommies/daddies/caregivers have bike trailers/seats for your child/children? I am looking into getting a trailer, the kind that sits on the ground. My husband’s bday is today. I see a few on craigslist.
    Another question…if you do have a bike seat or trailer, do you wear a helmet when you take your little one out? And does your little one wear a helmet?

    Thank you ?

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      I have two kids, so I take advantage of the bike seats and the trailer. When my husband goes riding with me we use the seats and divide the children up. When it’s just me going for a ride I use the bike trailer. Regardless of if my kids are in the trailer or on the bike itself they wear a helmet and so do I. I could probably get away with not bothering since I ride on the hiking trails, but I think it’s important to teach my kids bike safety. If mommy didn’t wear a helmet I would have to face the “well you don’t have to wear a helmet argument”. So we all wear helmets when riding a bike. My kids are 20 months and 3yrs.

      The bike trailer was a great invention. I would highly recommend one for your husband if he likes to take the kids out for bike rides. I use mine two – three times a week. I also recommend getting a used one to save money. All mine I have gotten used off of craigslist or kijiji. They were all in good condition and I paid half the price I would of normally paid for them. =)

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  3. Reply

    Which Child Bike Trailer Is The Safest??? My son is 8 months old and i want to take bikes rides with him.. We are looking into bike trailers for him. which ones are the safest and the bes quality for the price??? thanks

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      I buy Child carriers for a large sporting goods company and I have also tested many out with my 23month old or my older nephews and nieces. I have three that I would recommend but say first that these are not the least expensive.
      When I look at these, I look for quality and safety for the child and, almost more importantly, the rider since if it makes riding the bike unsafe, the child may get hurt even if the trailer cage itself is safe.
      Chariot: The highest end trailer company that makes trailers that can do ANYTHING! You make it for which sport you do. You won’t see these everywhere because they are high end but they are what I consider the best.
      http://www.chariotcarriers.com/english/html/full_product_line.php

      The next one is what I am currently using to see what it can take. It is also made by Chariot but is a less expensive brand and come with a Jogging Kit, Stroller attachment and the bike rig. I like it for it’s ease of use from one style to the other. I usually have the stroller wheel with me when we ride so I can lock up the bike and go for a stroll if there is an open market or something. These are very affordable and I consider a best buy of all trailers.
      http://www.croozerdesigns.com/croozer_kid.html

      The last is Burley… I used to love Burley and then they got all weird and expensive. Burley was “The Brand” for the past 12 or so years in Child Trailers but their company Buy-out a couple years back has them trying to capture the High End market of trailers and not offering a good “Cost vs. equipment” value on all of their other models. I still say there is nothing wrong with Burley but their pricing has made me virtually stop buying from them for our stores.
      http://www.burley.com/products/

      Don’t buy a “Mart” trailer. I shudder every time I see one being pulled behind a bike and please remember to get the child a helmet. No structure is 100% safe in every circumstance and a $20 helmet could save his or her life!

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  4. Reply

    Trail-a-Bike Vs. Trailer? I have a 4 year old son and would like to bring him along for bike rides. Which is the better option in your opinion, a trailer or a “trail-a-bike”?

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      Four is a between age.

      If he was 3 it would be a no-brainer for the trailer

      If he was 6 I would lean to the tag-along as most 6 yr olds have bicycle balance.

      Since we have no idea on how your son is on a bike now, it’s a difficult answer. Does he ride a bike already? I mean without training wheels. He should know balance before climbing on the tag-along. While I know what SoccerRefToo means by having a child on a tandem, a tag-along are different handling. They are a cross between a tandem and a trailer.

      If he doesn’t have balance on a bike yet either buy a used trailer to use for a season or two (have other younger kids?) or teach him to ride a bike without training wheels. You do that by lowering the seat so his feet are flat on the ground with his knees bent. Remove the pedals. Have him master balance by using it as a push bike. He will learn faster as he won’t have to pedal to move or learn how to use brakes. His feet will do that on the ground. THEN put him on the tag-along.

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    Bike Trailers On Road Bike? I was thinking of going on a 200 mile bike trip, but since I’m probably camping with 2 people, I need a trailer. However, would it work on my road bike Specialized Allez? It’s like this:

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=52851&scid=1001&scname=Road

    I was just wondering where I could buy one or if it’d even work with my bike. I just can’t attach any basket to the back because of the “fork” is too narrow or something. I was just wondering if it would harm my bike at all, or if the trailer is a good idea. Thanks.

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    Would A Bike Trailer Work With A Cruiser? I want to get a cruiser bike, but I want to get a trailer too to pull the kids along in. Would that be a good idea, or should I get a bike with gears? I live in FL so it is really flat land.

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      Most bike trailers have a clamp that affixes the bike to your trailer. So, attaching a trailer will be no problem.

      Pulling a trailer may be an issue, though. You’ll find the additional weight of your kids will make it harder to pedal your bike. Depending on your strength and the weight of your kids this may or may not be a problem. With a geared bike you have the ability to compensate for the added weight by shifting to a lower gear.

      Also, depending on the design of your comfort bike you may not be in a good posture for efficient pedaling. (Road, mountain and hybrid bikes put you in a more efficient position with your weight more over the pedals and allowing full extension of your legs.)

      Finally, if your bike does not have a front brake, I’d be pretty concerned about stopping with the added weight of your kids. A front brake provides vastly more stopping power than a rear brake. You will, of course, have the added weight of the trailer and your kids on the rear wheel, so performance may not be too bad, but when I need and want to stop, I want to have a front brake.

      Hope this helps.

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  7. Reply

    Bike Seat Or Bike Trailer For 12 Month Old? Looking for some suggestions as well as personal experience. Which do you use and or prefer when riding a bike with your small child:

    1. A bike trailer
    2. A rear bike seat
    3. A front bike seat (situated in front of the rider)

    I have a beach cruiser and I would like to get some exercise with my my 12 month old. I am on the fence as to which route to go.
    Thanks

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    1. Reply

      We have a bike trailer and really like it.

      One really good thing about the trailer is if something happens and you fall off your bike the trailer usually won’t tip over. Also the baby is more protected strapped inside the trailer frame than in the exposed bike seats.

      There’s a website with information about seats and trailers… it is actually anti-both seats and trailers until they get older but says if you’re going to use one or the other you should use trailers and has a lot of good reasons why. I’ll edit and add it if I can find it.

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    • Arwen
    • February 17, 2014
    Reply

    Is There An Infant Seat System For Bike Trailers? Years ago we sold our car to get a slower lifestyle in our suburban town, and for 10 years we lived by bike and bus. We used the bike for short trips and for going places the bus didn’t go. At the time the bus service didn’t run on Sundays or holidays, so if we wanted to go anywhere, we had to take the bikes.

    At the time we had three children – age 7, 4.5 and a newborn. The 7 year old rode his own bike, the 4.5 year old rode behind his dad on a trail-a-bike, and we jury-rigged an old infant seat into a bike trailer for the infant. I also carried all our groceries in that trailer, and once, a door (without the baby!). Eventually they all rode their own bikes, but it started this way.

    My brother’s wife is about to have a kid, and I want to give them a bike trailer to go riding with their new baby.

    Has anyone invented/marketed a better system for infants in bike trailers? If so, what bike trailer does it work with, and where can I get it?

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    1. Reply

      Most bike systems are designed for babies 9 months and over. It’s an issue of being able to hold their heads up enough to prevent the sort of jostling that biking creates. Even a carseat in a bike trailer, isn’t secure enough to hold them steady, especially not in the case of a spill or accident. I also wanted something for our five month old to use with our bikes in the spring, but no such luck. Now she’s 16 months, and we’ve gotten her a bike seat.

      I think maybe just buy them a bike trailer and let them decide what they are going to do to. It might’ve been a risk you and your husband were willing to take, but each parent should decide for themselves.

      Good luck!

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