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Eugene-based Burley wins gold at European trade show

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 1st, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Burley's Travoy brings home
the gold (and the groceries).

Burley Design, a Eugene-based company known for its bicycle trailers, has won big at the Eurobike trade show that kicked off today in Friedrichshafen, Germany today. Eurobike announced today that Burley has won a 2010 Eurobike Gold Award for their new Travoy cargo trailer.

The Travoy was awarded in the Accessories category and design credit was given to Aaron Beese, Joel Wilson, Gwen Spencer, and Chris Casler. The expert jury that doled out the award said the Travoy is "an impressive contribution to bicycle mobility" and that it's, "A good idea that has also been well implemented.”

417 products from around the world were in the running for an award. Of those, the jury chose 92 winners, with the 12 most innovative being honored with the GOLD award.

The Travoy is a departure for Burley. Instead of carrying kids or cargo with the common trailer design they helped standardize, the Travoy attaches to a bike's seatpost. It folds up when not in use and it goes from being pulled behind your bike to being used as a hand-truck/shopping cart in seconds.

We took a first look at the Travoy back in February and were immediately impressed by it. A few months later, reader Chris Sullivan followed up with a positive review of his own.

Congrats to Burley! Way to put Oregon on the international stage.

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Comments
  • spare_wheel September 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    $300 list price!

    Very disappointed.

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  • Ethan September 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Anyone have data on what kind of g-forces are imparted to cargo by this trailer? This would seem to be a great camera gear solution but not if it damages equipment.

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  • Pete September 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Anyone have experience flying with one?

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  • Brooks September 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    @1

    WAY TO GO!! Glad someone else can see the obvious negativity inherent in promoting bikes as cargo devices, filling an unfilled niche and promoting a local business. I agree!! Too expensive!! Let's boycott Burley!!!!

    Or maybe we could avoid negativity for just a few moments - ya think?

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  • Joel September 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Ethan: The vibration & shock loading to the cargo will be similar to that of panniers. There is no quantified data because road surfaces and riding terrain vary so greatly. While a backpack would lessen the vibration and impulse to sensitive equipment, if the items are adequately cushioned from one another and care is taken by the rider then the Travoy should be a fine and safe solution for hauling camera gear.

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  • dwainedibbly September 1, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    It looks like a decent little trailer, and probably easy to store if you live in a small space. I do have one concern. Can somebody tell me what the wheels are made of? I'm concerned that they may be plastic. If that is the case, I worry about long-term reliability (UV exposure taking a toll on plastic, etc) and I can't see myself ever buying one. Metal wheels might be a nice upgrade for a "Travoy Plus", though.

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  • Jerry_W September 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Theft of trailers is a big problem, I like the way it can be taken off the bike and taken with you where ever you go. Nice job Burley! Joel I want a ride report at 25 mph ;-)

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  • EmGee September 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Any idea of the load this thing can safely take on the bike? When being used as a hand truck, can it take more load? Can it navigate a flight of stairs like a standard hand truck?

    This thing might be a lot more versatile than it first appears. It might possibly expand bike delivery services.

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  • Cecil September 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I have the Travoy. I love it. It can haul 60 pounds, max. I have used it to haul court files, groceries, and the occasional hose caddy. I've carried lots of glass and crushable items and nothing has ever been smashed or crushed. It maneuvers well, except when trying to reverse both bike and trailer. I roll it into the office, the grocery store and court. It's incredibly lightweight, and folds up into a compact square when you take the wheels off. It's well worth the price if you want to use your bike for as many errands as possible but don't have room for a bakfiet,

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  • Joel September 2, 2010 at 12:57 am

    dwainedibbly: the wheels are made of glass reinforced plastic and will only degrade marginally if left out in the sun continuously for years. The reason that plastic wheels were used for this trailer was to keep the cost down and to maintain reliability. Aluminum wheels, like on your bike, would be an excessive expense. Steel wheels would be heavier and of inferior quality. The GRP wheels are totally suitable for the utility of this trailer.

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  • Cecil September 2, 2010 at 5:14 am

    Oh, and yes,it can be pulled up stairs easily.

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  • cycler September 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

    The link to Chris Sullivan's blog misdirects to the Bike Portland story.
    I'd love to read his review as well- could you redirect?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) September 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Cycler,

      The chris Sullivan review was written for us. That link goes to the guest product review he did for bikeportland.

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  • A Little Negativity Might Be Warranted September 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I had a bad experience with Burley silently changing the contents of a product (removing all of the accessories) while still charging the same price.

    I complained about not getting what they were advertising, and they told me that they were "sorry that I was confused" - but they did remove the dishonest data sheet from the website...

    The old Burley built up a lot of goodwill, and the new Burley burned through it for me.

    It looks like a cool product, but in terms of customer service, they're not a very good company anymore.

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  • Cecil September 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Today I was in Rack Attack on SE Morrison to pick up a new bike rack for my (rarely used) car. The sales rep was duly impressed by the Travoy, and we had a lovely discussion of its features and benefits as I used all my mad Tetris skilz to attach the rack box to the Travoy for the 5-mile journey home: http://flickr.com/gp/cecilanne_r-s/D15266

    And, yes, the tie-downs that came with the trailer were a little too short, so I augmented with some clothesline I just happened to have with me. And yes, it handled beautifully despite the ungainly load.

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  • dwainedibbly September 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Joel: Thanks for the information. It sounds like Burley considered the options and made what they feel was the best choice given the product niche and cost. Next time I'm in one of the local shops, I'll check it out. (I noticed one in Clever Cycles a few weeks back but didn't have time to look it over.)

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  • Brad September 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    "Hey! Local guys get an award for a cool functional bikey product!"

    "Congrats! I have one and love it!"

    "Where can I buy one? That's just what I need to break the car habit!"

    "But at $300 poor people and the homeless cannot buy it. Shame on local product guys!"

    "I once had a rude encounter with local product guy's customer service. BOYCOTT!!!"

    "Expensive and bad customer service! These are obviously fascistic corporate clowns supporting the neocon conspiracy to enslave working people!"

    I LOVE BikePortland! It never lets me down.

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  • ecohuman September 6, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Maybe the award should go to the workers in SE Asia that manufactured the product. Or the environment, which sustained the brunt of globalization so this "local" company can make their products several thousand miles away and ship their products thousands of miles elsewhere around the world, all while maintaining the illusion of "good old local boys". And jetting off to Europe to pick up "design" awards.

    Get real. Bicycle products are no better for the environment (and thereby humanity) than any other resource-extractive, mining-based product. You did know that forests are being knocked down and soil permanently depleted so mines to supply steel and aluminum plants can run, didn't you? The amount of aluminum, steel, and fossil fuel-based products used to make bicycles could fill about 80 athletic stadiums each year. Hey--*that's* green.

    And for $300? That's a bargain. It's about two months' wages for a typical worker manufacturing them.

    Ride on, Portlanders. You want to do something for the health of the planet and your fellow humans? Stop salivating over (and buying) every piece of junk like this. Today.

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  • wsbob September 6, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Show us the way, oh flagellating wearer of sackcloth!

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  • Brad September 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you for that admonishment no doubt sent via your computer constructed of dried cornhusk and water based adhesives using salvaged processors built in a domestic union factory.

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  • ecohuman September 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    The maker of my computer doesn't pretend to be a local company, or that its products are good for the environment, or that other forms of computing are a key environmental problem that should be heavily regulated.

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  • wsbob September 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    ecohuman...seriously, if you have a suggestion for an alternative to this bike trailer design that meets the credo you have articulated, there may be no better opportunity than this weblog to tell everyone about it. Can you put together a viable proposal for a bike trailer that's superior and competitive in both design and quality? For less than the retail price this trailer is listed at?

    There's a lot of people in this country that need work. Maybe you have a production idea for a trailer design of your own, that would be potential jobs for some of them. Get some of the panhandlers downtown to work for you, building your trailer design, and you'd be making a lot of people happy.

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  • ecohuman September 7, 2010 at 7:48 am

    seriously, if you have a suggestion for an alternative to this bike trailer design that meets the credo you have articulated, there may be no better opportunity than this weblog to tell everyone about it.

    I do, and said so above. I'll repeat it here: Stop salivating over (and buying) every piece of junk like this. Today.

    There's a lot of people in this country that need work. Maybe you have a production idea for a trailer design of your own, that would be potential jobs for some of them. Get some of the panhandlers downtown to work for you, building your trailer design, and you'd be making a lot of people happy.

    If the assumption is that we need to manufacture more goods in order to keep people employed, how is that beneficial for the environment?

    You see, you've got the fundamental assumption that most others do: that we *need* these things. And so, any proposition that deviates from that is instantly labeled as "Luddite", as if any deviation from ever-increasing consumption is no consumption at all. That knee-jerk reaction tells me that there's a lot of fear and anxiety in people that don't want to lose their lives replete with any convenience item or techno-gadget they desire. To threaten that only increases their fear.

    And wsbob, based on the prolific postings I see from you here, I'm guessing that you've got an enormous amount of yourself invested in this consumption status quo.

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  • wsbob September 7, 2010 at 10:20 am

    ecohuman, the question I asked you was:

    "...Can you put together a viable proposal for a bike trailer that's superior and competitive in both design and quality? For less than the retail price this trailer is listed at? ..."

    If they're going to use a bike for some of the things they currently use a car, more and more people are probably going to realize that a bike trailer is essential equipment. Would that need be superficial and somehow contrived simply to allow someone to generate profit? I don't think so. Being able to haul stuff around around reliably and conveniently is a basic need.

    "...And wsbob, based on the prolific postings I see from you here, I'm guessing that you've got an enormous amount of yourself invested in this consumption status quo. ..." ecohuman

    Your statement appears to have been made for no greater reason than to be rude and insulting.

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  • ecohuman September 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Your statement appears to have been made for no greater reason than to be rude and insulting.

    Like I said.

    Being able to haul stuff around around reliably and conveniently is a basic need.

    What do you do when there are too many "basic needs" for the planet to sustain? Keep calling it a necessity?

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  • ecohuman September 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    And I'm overlooking the cognitive dissonance of calling "convenience" a "basic need".

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  • wsbob September 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Okay...cross out "...convenience...". Just go with "...reliably...". Isn't that a "...basic need..."? Don't burden yourself with sorting out cognitive dissonance.

    In simple terms, what are you trying to say? That people don't need bike trailers? That bike trailers aren't and never will be a necessity?

    Or are you just saying that they don't need this particular bike trailer, because it costs $300.00, which you apparently feel is too much, instead of some lesser amount?

    The design of the trailer is the achievement Burley has made that is important here. It's a design and technological refinement that may have applications to products beyond Burley's own. Lots of people won't be able to afford, or be willing to spend that amount of money to buy this trailer.

    Chances are good though, that, inspired by this design, some people will be able to improvise something on their own, a lot easier than it would be to make their own i-pod. Also, there'll be people working to knock Burley's design off, for far less money. Wouldn't doubt its already being done.

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  • Cecil September 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Perhaps ecohuman is merely asking that we subscribe to an ethos that provides that to possess more than one can carry while walking, or to take more than one can consume at a single time, contributes to the destruction of the planet and, therefore, that one's goal should be to restrict one's planetary impact to those limits. I think that is a noble aspiration and more power to the person who can achieve that level of ascetism. But I will be the first to admit that is far too lofty a goal for me to attain, or even to strive for, and I see no evil or hypocrisy in the choices I have made to reduce my impact - including my use of the Travoy.

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  • wsbob September 8, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Cecil...I appreciate the efforts you're making to minimize resource consumption. In some situations, using a Travoy bike trailer to haul stuff around certainly would seem to offer some opportunities to be a more resource conserving compared to the use of a motor vehicle in those same situations.

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  • spare_wheel September 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

    "And for $300? That's a bargain. It's about two months' wages for a typical worker manufacturing them."

    Sound of faux progressive crickets chirping.

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  • EmGee September 9, 2010 at 9:04 am

    This trailer costs $300 new. From Burley's reputation and my personal experience with their products, the service life is 10+ years, or more than 120 months. The cost of ownership is less than $2.50 per month. Maintenance costs are insignificant.

    If use of this trailer reduces someone's gasoline consumption by a gallon per month, it is a cost-effective way of reducing that person's personal carbon footprint.

    If you don't burn any gasoline in your lifestyle, then just wait until these start appearing on the used market. They will do so: the yuppie who buys one of these now to haul wine and fondue home from New Seasons will be replacing it with a kid-carrying trailer in a couple of years. And that Travoy will still have 8+ years of life left in it when it goes on the used market.

    Remember that you do more for the planet by encouraging others to reduce their carbon footprint by a few percent than by any amount of personal sacrifice that you yourself might make. The new Travoys are a good thing for Portland and the Earth since they help shift the perspective of a lot of people in a healthy way. And eventually they will become used Travoys and a good thing for those who would not ever buy a new one.

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