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First Look: Burley Travoy cargo trailer

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 18th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

The Travoy from Burley.

Eugene, Oregon based Burley Design is set to debut a new product called the Travoy. According to Burley sales guy Steve Strickland, the Travoy is a "commute trailer" and it will be shown to the public for the first time at the FrostBike trade show in Minnesota this weekend.

Strickland said they've spent over a year working on the design, which he said was partly inspired by Native Americans. The product's name comes from the French word "travois," which, according to Wikikpedia, is a frame to drag loads that was commonly used by the Plains Indians. Strickland said they changed the spelling a bit "to convey the message of travel and voyage."

Here are more shots of the Travoy:

A very interesting product. After some big management and product shake-ups in recent years, Burley could use new hit. I like the versatility, the minimalist design, and if it folds up small that'd be a big plus. I might get one to test and I've got a follow-up email into Burley for more specs. I'll update this post when I hear back.


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Comments
  • Zaphod February 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    If you want to cycle to the airport with luggage and not leave your costly cargo bike there (or don't have one), this piece of kit is precisely what is needed. Nicely done Burley!

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  • Alexis February 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    This is the first trailer I've ever seen that I really want! I am excited to find out more. Folding capability would be a huge plus for me, definitely.

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  • f5 February 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Looks like it could shake up a beer really good.

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  • Perry February 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I wonder how it would handle a pony keg?

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  • Dwainedibbly February 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Somebody please tell me that those are NOT plastic wheels! (I wish they were larger diameter, too.)

    Other than that, it looks like a decent product. I could see myself using it for a commute on days when I had a lot of stuff to lug to the office. Disconnect the hitch and wheel the whole thing right into the office. Nice.

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  • david....no the other one! February 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    great, looks like UPS handtruck, with plastic wheels and back. probably lighter though.

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  • David February 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I was wondering about the wheels too. There are what look like Schrader valves in a couple of the pictures.

    This seems like a cool idea, but I'm wondering how it would hold up after some time in the potholes, loaded with cargo.

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  • Nick February 18, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    What's so bad about plastic wheels?

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  • Jim F February 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I have a Burley trailer with plastic wheels. They are indestructable. And, yes, I have hauled a beer keg in the trailer.

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  • mike February 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I love trailers, but can't say this looks appealing to me. looks like a handcart with a trailer hitch. would like to see it in person and in use.

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  • rockhoundmtb February 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Lots and lots of beer! http://twitpic.com/12utlh

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  • Kt February 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I like how the Travoy has it's own "kickstand".

    Pretty cool!

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  • Jene-Paul February 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Plastic wheels are okay. The foldability is neat. Looks like typically good Burley build quality.

    What I don't get is why Burley abandoned their well-established hitch arrangements to go with the weak if-the-bike-gets-laid-down-so-does-the-trailer type attachment to the seatpost? Sure, if being used off the bike as a hand-cart with an open basket, maybe, but for general purpose cargo & with those nicely finished looking bags there, a chainstay hook-up would seem more stable and safer.

    Maybe it's all in the ride, tracks nicely or something. Whaddya say, Burley?

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  • Shane February 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Actually it made it's public debut at the Eugene Walking and Biking Summit:
    http://eugenesrts.org/resources/fashionshow
    and
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanerh/4301681040

    I've seen it in action and it looks great. Very smooth hitch mount and on/off bike handling from what I saw.

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  • Daniel F February 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I like the fact that it can be used as a hand cart off-bike. I tried doing that with my Nomad trailer and it didn't go well. I hope Burley's response to you includes price info.

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  • P Finn February 18, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    It may be the best trombone/guitar/amp trailer ever!

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  • West Cougar February 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Looks neat, especially with the custom panniers. But I'll remain partial to the Xtravois ;-)

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  • Joel Wilson February 18, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Jene-Paul,
    You're correct, chainstay trailer attachment is inherently more stable. Stability was was one of the biggest tricks designing this trailer. So far, evidence from testing says that we've solved the problem well. There have been a two instances of tipping trailers, but only as the result of abuse or extreme use.
    The seatpost hitch offers a few advantages: it's within reach, it trails nice and tight behind your bike, and it lends itself to the hand-cart format.
    Like you say, unlike our other trailers, if the bike get's laid down so does the trailer. What makes up for this is the one-handed disconnect of the trailer. Hold your bike with one hand, unhitch the trailer and stand it up like a cart with the other. Without bending over.
    It's new, I think it's pretty nice, and I'm looking forward to hearing what you all think when you get to play with one.
    Thanks for the post Jonathan!

    Joel Wilson
    Product Development
    Burley Design

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  • bikesalot February 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

    So how does it attach to a recumbent bike? In my case a LWB Gold Rush.

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  • Jene-Paul February 19, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Joel Wilson - thanks for responding!

    Since I've been known to rotate even chainstay-mounted trailers, maybe I should just wait and see, huh?

    It will be neat if it folds up real compact & remains sturdy. More deets on those cargo bag options would be nice.

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  • Andy B from Jersey February 19, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Regarding the pic hauling three cases of beer:

    So how did Michael McGettigan of Trophy Bike in Philly get his hands on one? I'd recognize his custom Brompton (and all the local South East PA brew) anywhere!

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  • craig February 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Would be great--not only for this product, but all 2-wheel bike trailers--to take a simple but brilliant concept from the original native travois the concept of the staggered poles. A native travois uses poles of differing lengths so that the whole thing rocks gently over bumps instead of bouncing.

    I'm always slowing or stopping to turn the angle and ease my kid and cargo trailers one-wheel-at-a-time over curbs and abrupt bumps, and have been lamenting the absence of the travois concept in bike trailer technology.

    Joel, was this considered in the design?

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  • Brendan February 23, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    This reminds me of the dolly's that scooters pull in Taiwan as their trailers.

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  • beth h February 27, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I find it interesting that the Travoy is getting so much press when the Bike-Hod has been around for over 15 years:

    http://www.bikehod.com/

    And includes more metal in the design.
    Now, granted, importing one from England is a drag -- and expensive -- but I dreamed of owning a Bike-Hod for a long time and if both were readily available in the US I'd probably pick the Hod over the Travoy. Just my $0.02.

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  • Joel Wilson March 1, 2010 at 10:12 am

    bikesalot: regarding hitching to a recumbent, ideal hitch height is about 34" off the ground at a 72° angle, clamping to a 25-32mm post centered on the bike. There doesn't appear to be a bolt-on solution but recumbent folks are crafty and I won't be surprised when we see the first good adaptation. Back of the seat?

    craig: Thanks for the interesting design info about travois. This wasn't considered in the design. My concern is that staggering the wheels would lead to unbalanced L/R turning dynamics.

    beth h: We got to play with a Bike-Hod as well as a number of other similar products. The critical shortcoming of all of the other products we tested was stability. They would flip easily and unexpectedly. We solved that and added a few other improvements along the way. Considering all of the similar products are only available in Europe and cost more than $400 (US equiv.), it will likely be a while before we see an unbiased side by side review.

    Others: yes it folds up very compact. We're working on getting more details on our website and will post when they're available. Price will be $289.

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  • joejoejoe March 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I was thinking about ordering a Winther Donkey (which has a unique hitch system that has a lower and more stable attachment point at the cost of weight and convenience) from Europe but as Joel says above the trailer/cart competitors are a bit pricier. The Burley is the only trailer with the folding capability which is nice. It's too bad it's almost impossible to see all of these trailers side by side to see for yourself.

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  • Nancy Rohn September 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I just saw the Travoy in a bike shop in Corvallis, OR. Looks perfect for hauling a cello around on. Either soft covers or hard shell cases would fit and you can arrange your own bungee cords to attach it. Looks like it tracks nicely and the joints that allow it to fold look well designed. I will have to take my cello in the hard-shell case down to the shop to try it out. The length of a cello case might cause it to bump the rear of the rider at the angle it sits at but I won't know until we fit it. Nancy

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  • Frank Parker November 15, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    The Burley Travoy looks great! I have been looking at cargo trailers but this could do very well. I saw a new kind of cargo trailer that weehoo is putting out next year, it looks very functional and exciting but I need one now.
    Travoy here I come! Do you need to buy bags or is it ready to go?

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