Posted by Chris Sullivan (Contributor) on May 6th, 2010 at 1:14 pm
(Photo © J. Maus - All other photos by Chris Sullivan)
Burley nailed it. Their new Travoy -- part cargo trailer, part grocery cart, part portable office -- is an amazingly well-designed product.
From the first time you hold the top handle and move it around with one hand, you get a sense that it's unlike anything else you've held -- much less attached to the back of your bike.
But there's one glaring flaw: it attaches only to the seat post. My guess is that Burley's biggest initial market draw will be parents with children who do their grocery shopping by bike. But since most child seats attach to the rear and block anything from connecting to the seat post, the Travoy won't be an option for many parents.
attach the hitch without removing my child seat.
I was determined to use the Travoy so I popped off the rear reflector of my rack and attached it to the mount. It took some testing and bending to get the angle right -- and I'm sure there's probably some note of caution in the manual against doing such a thing -- but it worked.
"At the register I unpacked it all, popped the bag off of its frame, had the checker fill it up again, and then I reattached it to the frame... and off I went, bouncing over potholes and train tracks with no spillage."
As a grocery carrier, it's sturdy and functional -- I might even call it elegant in the way it glides and holds so much weight so effortlessly. A nice hand-cart is one thing, but as soon as I pulled it outside and hooked it up to the bike, people began to stop and ask me about it.
One thing I shared with them was how it greatly simplified my grocery shopping experience. I easily stacked two bags worth of food in the single bottom bag of the Travoy while I shopped. As it filled up I became worried that it would tip over from the weight, so I gave it a little shove from the sides and back. Not a budge. At the register I unpacked it all, popped the bag off of its frame, had the checker fill it up again, and then I reattached it to the frame. I cinched up the draw cord, and off I went, bouncing over potholes and train tracks with no spillage.
It made my grocery trip easier.
People really "got it" once I attached it to my bike.
Pulling a Travoy full of groceries was actually quite a bit easier than my former grocery bag panniers because the trailer took most of the weight onto its wheels. I didn't have that uneasy back-heavy feeling I usually get with such a full load, and my bike was no longer prone to tip over on its kickstand from the added pounds.
With every facet of the Travoy -- from the hitch that easily slips off with one finger, to the rotating handles, to the quick button release wheels, to the practical and beautiful bags, to the neatly stored rain cover -- it's obvious that Burley worked and reworked every inch of its design. The flexibility of the trailer allows you to slip it into virtually any mode of biking you may encounter, such as hauling heavy items (up to 60 lbs), commuting to the office, shopping, touring, and traveling.
I can't wait to take this thing on my next business trip so I can carry more than two days worth of clothes, which is the limit with my current Brompton/pannier/backpack set up. And I look forward to Burley adding an interchangeable hitch that fits horizontal bars, such as a rear rack, as well as vertical seat posts.
-- For more info and photos, see our first post about the Travoy. The Travoy comes ready to use and includes one bag and two tie down straps for $289. It just became available at local Burley dealers last week.