New Modern Day Miles PR – Burley Travoy First Use

On Sunday (4/28/2013) I went on a 40.2 mile ride with Mike & Ben Collins.  My previous long ride (modern day) was 32 miles so this was a substantial increase.  Additionally I decided to tow my newly acquired Burley Travoy with a typical commuting weight to see how it worked out.

Here are two images of the Tavoy hooked to my bike.  Ignore the garage that I have not cleaned up.280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy

The Ride – Mike and Ben rode a tandem with nice smooth ride tires.  I rode a hybrid with decent tires but definitely not smooth.  Let it be known that each of them have could have rode a mountain bike pulling cement blocks and still left me in the dust.  Knowing that I didn’t want to hold them up more than I did I pedaled harder than if I was out by myself.  Add more that even though the Travoy did great I’m still towing something that creates drag, rolls on wheels and generally needs some additional energy to use.

The ride out was a bit over 18 miles and I felt it.  I knew I was going to be able to do the 40 miles but at what cost in pain and slowing the others down?  Plenty and plenty.  On the ride back we stopped a few times for breaks which really helped and then we got in a rain shower which added motivation!  Towards the end of the ride we easily pedaled around a neighborhood to make sure we had in the miles and then I did something stupid.  We had one hill to go and I challenged Mike & Ben to a race back to their house.  I knew they would drop me but I wanted to ensure I had eeked out all the energy I could.  Pain.  Oh pain, you haunt me… thou horrid horrid pain.  Dropped me they did and I pulled into their driveway completely done.

The Burley Travoy – This was my first actual use of the Travoy.  I loaded “stuff” into it to simulate what I thought to be a standard commuting weight.  When I first took off on the 40 miler I didn’t notice it being back there at all.  I would reach back and check to make sure it was still there.  It was.  I’ll break my thoughts down into sections.

Needed Effort – At the beginning when my legs were fresh I didn’t noticed it at all except when I really needed to accelerate to cross a road, get up a hill, etc.  When my legs were tired I noticed it back there as I would each and every extra gram of weight added to my bike.  Even then I was VERY pleased with the small effort needed to tow it.  One telling thing was when I would let up from pedaling and coast.  If I really felt it dragging and slowing me down that would give me a fairly accurate indication of what was going on.  However even with that I didn’t feel as if someone had thrown an anchor out out anything.  Again I was pleased.

Handling – The Burley Travoy isn’t wider than my handle bars.  I haven’t measured it officially (I will) but that’s my estimate.  This means that everywhere I go it goes with the same footprint.  The only difference there would ever be is on corners.  Naturally anything that you tow is going to cut the corner a bit.  I paid attention to that corner cutting at the beginning of my ride and noticed it was minimal but I was conscious of it each time I had to turn.  At some point in time I am going to forget all about it and hit a pole or something.  That would actually be a compliment on how easy it is to forget it is back there.

The connection point between the Travoy and the bike latch is made of some sort of rubber.  This thing really absorbs vibrations and there were times I went over a bump and waited for another bump as the Travoy came over and didn’t get one.  The connection rubber thing coupled with the low pressure tires (more on that in a moment) took care of those things plus the normal rumble that you could get from a rough bike path or road.

Tires – I failed to check the pressure in the tires to see if they matched the PSI there supposed to have.  I still haven’t checked them but I will for sure.  The tires have a fair amount of give in them which helps reduce road and bump vibration but also increases the rolling resistance.  The tires also have tread on them (not slick) which increases rolling resistance.  Just like on a bike all that takes more energy to move than a high pressure, no tread tire.  But again the positive is the shock and bump absorption and increased handling.

I am going to put the tires on a pump and see how close I was to the recommended PSI.  If I end up taking the Travoy on long-ish trips the tires become a big deal.  If I just use it for my commutes then it’s not such a big deal.  When you are pushing your distance (like this 40 miler) EVERYTHING counts.

Rain Cover – I was fortunate, for the review, to have it rain on us while we biked.  Very simply the rain cover worked as it should.  It does not guard against splashing from the back (off tires, underneath, etc) but the Travoy itself does a good job of blocking that wetness.  However I can see that on a very wet and long outing those areas may eventually allow some wetness through.  I am going to keep a large contractor trash bag or two with me to handle those times.  I may even make or buy a silnylon covering with a shock cord to cover up all my things then put the rain cover over that.

Overall Impressions – I can’t find anything wrong with the Burley Travoy.  It is exactly as advertised and reviewed everywhere.  I will add to my impressions over time and as I use it to commute to see if the newness wears off and imperfections show up.

The Travoy I purchased came with the rain cover and is one of the links below.  I’ve included a link without a rain cover as well.

OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 3

This is a multi-part review due to all the images I included. The links to all the parts are:
Commuting To Work – Excuse Killer – Burley Travoy
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 1
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 2
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 3
New Modern Day Miles PR – Burley Travoy First Use
Just For Fun (Not My Review) -> Burley Travoy as Post-Apocalyptic Trailer?ravoy-as-post-apocalyptic-trailer/” target=”_blank”>Burley Travoy as Post-Apocalyptic Trailer?

On to the rain cover!

When I ordered the Travoy with the rain cover I was wondering if it merely covered the contents or it was like a bag and everything went inside it. If it is only a cover then rain coming off the tires will find its way through gaps and still get your stuff wet? Which is it? It’s just a cover. I say “just” but in the end it is probably best as it isn’t supposed to be a dry bag, just a cover. If I want to keep something 100% dry I will need to put it in an actual dry bag or use a large lawn and leaf garbage bag and call it a day. Going through my head what I am going to use this for I’ll just keep two contractor cleanup bags (large tough trash bags) in the Travoy at all times to use as needed. That will become part of my “always carry” items.

The Travoy uses shock cord (or stretch cord) pulled over the posts on the side to keep the rain cover in place. The only real issue I have with this is that on the top posts there is no shock cord, it just gets pulled over the posts. I’ll show a picture of it below but I can see where this may eventually wear through or tear. If I am correct in how this fits I may put a piece of duct tape on that spot so I don’t have an issue down the road. Maybe I’ll find out I’m fitting it on there right but I don’t see another way.

The rain cover comes in a little pouch that attaches to the top of the Travoy.  The instructions that came with it:

Burley Travoy Rain Cover Instructions
Burley Travoy Rain Cover Instructions

In theory you can get the rain cover back in the pouch but I have not tried that yet. I’m avoiding it.  Here is the rain cover (in the pouch) attached to the Travoy.
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy 280Dude.com - Burley Travoy

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
Bottom shock cord
The upper post the rain cover is pulled over.
The upper post the rain cover is pulled over.
Rain cover is over the upper post, looks like it will eventually tear or wear through.
Rain cover is over the upper post, looks like it will eventually tear or wear through.
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
My work laptop bag is in the carry bag with the rain fly over it.

Below is a link at all parts of the Travoy review, first use, etc.
OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – All Parts Linked Inside

The Travoy I purchased came with the rain cover and is one of the links below. I’ve included a link without a rain cover as well.

OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 2

This is a multi-part review due to all the images I included. The links to all the parts are:
Commuting To Work – Excuse Killer – Burley Travoy
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 1
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 2
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 3
New Modern Day Miles PR – Burley Travoy First Use
Just For Fun (Not My Review) -> Burley Travoy as Post-Apocalyptic Trailer??

The Travoy has little posts on the side that all the Burley accessories attach to…. the bags, holders, etc. Here is a photo of the clip and a blurry background of the post.

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
Accessories attach using the clips and posts

The Travoy comes with a sizable carrying case which doubles as an attachment to the Trovoy to put things in. Below are two views empty, a photo of what I used to carry my laptop and stuff and then one with the same laptop in the carry bag.
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy 280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy 280Dude.com - Burley Travoy

The Travoy comes with two generic straps that can be used to attach to the posts to keep things from flying off while you are jamming down the road. I was pleased to see that they are lengthy and should cover most any need.
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy
280Dude.com - Burley Travoy 280Dude.com - Burley Travoy

Below is a link at all parts of the Travoy review, first use, etc.
OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – All Parts Linked Inside

The Travoy I purchased came with the rain cover and is one of the links below. I’ve included a link without a rain cover as well.

OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 1

This is a multi-part review due to all the images I included. The links to all the parts are:
Commuting To Work – Excuse Killer – Burley Travoy
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 1
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 2
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 3
New Modern Day Miles PR – Burley Travoy First Use
Just For Fun (Not My Review) -> Burley Travoy as Post-Apocalyptic Trailer?

OOBE = Out Of Box Experience. An OOBE is when you first get something and you open the box and mess with it. An OOBE is awesome! Today’s OOBE is for the Burley Travoy. Go HERE to visit the product page on Burley’s site. I purchased this primarily for commuting, camping and wheeling stuff around while coaching at ball tournaments. Read about why I wanted something to do these things and why I chose the Burley Travoy HERE.

I purchased the Burley Travoy from Healthcheck Systems Inc through Amazon.com. I got the yellow one because I’m cool. Also it is all they had in stock. It works out because it is more visible. That means just before some truck in the parking lot is ready to hit me they will say “I see something and I’m going to run over it!” versus “I just ran over something unknown”.

I have yet to use the Travoy and this only covers my initial impressions. Ready? Go.

The picture of the Travoy from Burley.

280 dude - Burley Travoy
The Burley Travoy

The Travoy was supposed to arrive on 4/23/2013 but it turns out the vendor required a signature so I missed the delivery. I arranged for pickup at the terminal for today and brought it into work. The box sat in my office mocking me until I had some time during lunch to unpack it and take about 400 pictures. All of which I will link here in this post.

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy In Box
The Burley Travoy sitting UNOPENED in my office. It mocked me constantly.

When I opened the top of the box I noticed the below in an inside flap.

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy Warning
I thought this warning was neat

Top view of the contents of the box. You can see how compact the Travoy can be when broken down. Also notice in the upper right the rain cover package.
Burley Travoy In Box

Everything in the box.

280Dude.com - Burley Travoy Box Contents
Everything in the box

Here is the basic Travoy with the wheels on it and opened up.

Burley Travoy With Carry Bag
Burley Travoy With Carry Bag

The worst part about an OOBE is an empty box.  Nothing more to experience, out of the box.

Below is a link at all parts of the Travoy review, first use, etc.
OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – All Parts Linked Inside

I purchased the Travoy from Amazon.com but I noticed the link is no longer valid as of 9/8/2015.

OOBE – Burley Travoy Trailer Review – All Parts Linked Inside

This is a multi-part review due to all the images I included. The links to all the parts are:
Commuting To Work – Excuse Killer – Burley Travoy
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 1
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 2
Burley Travoy Trailer Review – Part 3
New Modern Day Miles PR – Burley Travoy First Use
Just For Fun (Not My Review) -> Burley Travoy as Post-Apocalyptic Trailer?

The Travoy I purchased came with the rain cover and is one of the links below. I’ve included a link without a rain cover as well.

Commuting To Work – Excuse Killer – Burley Travoy

Commuting to work is a tremendous way to get in some calorie burning.  The short route for me to get to work is 14 miles.  Even if I do that one-way three times a week that is over three hours on the bike.

Last year I was able to commute to work here and there but I found that those times were so unpredictable that I was not prepared.  I didn’t have clothes or clean-up supplies at work, awkward to carry everything (laptop, etc) on my bike, etc.  Excuses galore!  Well now I’ve removed that as an excuse…. Introducing the Burley Travoy!

280dude - commute - burley travoy
Imagine how snazzy I’ll look carrying this!

I also got the optional rain cover so I can’t use that as an excuse either.

Burley Travoy Rain Cover
Burley Travoy Rain Cover

I am going to also drag this along on my general exercise rides just to get use to it.  I’ll be able to keep rain jackets, cold weather items, etc. in there, all things I’ve said “eh, don’t know if it will be cold, etc. I’ll just not go”.

When the Travoy arrives I’ll give the OOBE (Out Of Box Experience) and a full product review.

So why choose the Burley Travoy?

I purchased this because…

  • It was recommended all over the place out there on the interwebs
  • I like how the weight of whatever I’m packing will be on the wheels of the Travoy and seat post of my bike and not just on the rear wheel of my bike like other types.
  • For camping trips it forces me to choose what to carry. With a larger trailer I would pack more than I really need.
  • It is narrow. When I ride on a bike trail or sometimes on the road I try to minimize my foot print. I’m conscious about me holding up traffic (regardless of legality) and this helps out.
  • I am going to use it also as a carry-all for when I am at ball tournaments. I can put a bucket of softballs and some other equipment on it and easily wheel it around. Double-duty bike + coaching thing.
  • I really couldn’t justify anything larger. It’s almost perfect in size for what I need.
  • I got the rain cover to be able to put my laptop and other stuff in there and ride in any weather that I choose to go out in.
  • It supposedly tracks well behind bikes and doesn’t sway out unless you overload it or get nuts with it.

Here is an overview of my short route from home to work.

280dude - Commute
My short route from home to work

Some resources and reviews I found very handy while deciding on the Burley Travoy.  Thanks to each of them for helping me decide.

Kent’s Bike Blog: The Burley Travoy Trailer: A Review

 

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