We kicked off our Burley Sale a few days ago. So with Burley on the brain, I though I’d post a few examples of recycled Burley Trailer and a DIY bike trailer project inspired by the innovative new Burley Travoy.
Before diving in, I wanted to share a few of the details of our current Burley Sale that is running through June 14th. We are offering 10% off all Burley Trailers. We carry all Burley Child Trailers at BikeKidShop.com and we carry all Burley Cargo Trailers and Burley Dog Trailers at BikeTrailerShop.com. Burley has long been a leader in the realm of bike trailers and it really shows with their broad range of innovative products. And BikeTrailerShop.com and BikeKidShop.com carry all available accessories and parts all while offering the expertise needed to get the best use out of your Burley.
First up to bat is the Burley Travoy inspired Burley Beater. While we are busy selling Burley Travoys over at Bike Trailer Shop, we love seeing the ideas and inspiration that come out of DIY projects. Posing the question why should someone spend $260 to $400 on a trailer like the Travoy is a good one, when there are certainly other ways to get the job done.
Rather than looking at these DIY projects as a challenge to the business of manufacturing and selling high quality bike trailers, we like to look at this as a good challenge to the manufacturers of bike trailers. If you are going to charge a decent amount of money, for a product, you certainly want to make sure that the customer gets their value back and hopefully more. I certainly think that the Burley Travoy offers this kind of value to many cyclist. But in some instances a simple DIY trailer is all that is needed. In other instances its a good starting point to try out a trailer and figure out if it fits in with your particular needs before making a choice on a more refined bike trailer.
Our reader and contributor certainly did a similar cost/benefit analysis of the project:
I saw the Travoy from Burley and thought it was cool. I needed a trailer to ferry my inflatable stand-up paddle board back and forth to the beach with my cruiser bike. But NOT $350 cool (with bags). So I stared at the picture and realized that it sort of looked like a hand-truck with a hitch. So….I went to Amazon and purchased an aluminum, fold-able (space-saving, light, won’t rust)hand truck. Specifically the Magna-cart elite II for $40. I then went to Harbor Freight and purchased some pneumatic hose with attachments. Cost $20. Picked up some stainless screws, washers and nuts for $6.
I then proceeded to test my design on my comfort bike. First thing I noticed was that I needed TWO separate attachment points on either side of the hand truck handle, married to a single hose with a male coupler in between the two. That single male hose could then be attached to the female pneumatic coupler that I would attach to the pannier rack on my cruiser.
(Sorry for no final pics, I will try to take some next time I am at the beach).
Regardless, I tested it a couple weeks ago and it worked PERFECTLY. I cruised down roads, bike paths, over wooden bike bridges and even a dirt road. NO ISSUES. The soft sand required my dismount and to push both bike and trailer,but that was to be expected. Once I was over the soft stuff, I cruised over the hard pack, right up to the water’s edge.
Not sure Burley has to worry too much, but for my money this hand truck variant works quite well.
While DIY projects are a big topic here, probably an even bigger topic is refurbishing old bike trailers. And when it comes to trailer refurbs, by far and away, old Burley trailers are the most common around. With Burley’s 25 year history, many of there original trailers can still be found today, often rebuilt and re-purposed. This is really a testament to Burley Trailers long term commitment to quality products built to stand the test of time.
Here is what our contributor had to say about the project:
While looking on Craigslist I found a vintage Burley kids trailer. Knowing that the weight capacity on these is about 100 pounds, it made a perfect candidate for a cargo trailer. I recycle old tires and bike parts to make art and functional furniture. I plan on using the trailer to travel to local shops each month to clean out their bike trash. After removing the plastic bottom and canopy, I was left with a great start to the cargo trailer. While working in a picture framing shop, I rescued some heavy duty plastic sheets from the trash. They were close to a 1/4 thick and made a great deck for the trailer. Once the parts were all in place, i used stainless steel bolts to attach the plastic deck to the trailer. At each corner I used threaded eye bolts so I could secure my cargo. Once completed the trailer cost me about 60.00 and weighs less that most cargo trailer available. I was most excited about having a tried and trusted hitch mechanism to secure the trailer to my bike. Burley still has the safest design available. It gets it’s first trip next week to pick up a load of tires and tubes from a local bike shop. I have confidence that it will do the job quite well.