Ed – Here’s a trailer that will work with your fat-bike! In addition to that, we’re testing the new Fat Kit and Ski Kit that Burley offers for this trailer. For now we have the trailer in it’s stock configuration, which is a pretty good place to start a series of reviews that will take us deep into snow season. (If you want to see the Fat Kit there’s a photo at the bottom of this article.)
Racks and frame bags and back packs and cargo bikes are cool and everything, but when you want to do more with your bike – you just need a trailer. Burley makes some of the best trailers you can buy. Some trailers are designed to carry kids while others are designed to carry pets. Other are specifically built with touring in mind. The Burley Flatbed is designed to carry whatever the heck you want. With a little creativity and some common sense (expertise in tying a clove hitch or a constrictor knot wouldn’t hurt) you can bring just about anything to the pedal party. I’m looking forward to see what this thing can do, or rather, what I can do with this thing. Puppy surfing, rolling keg stands, stacking carcasses after a successful gnome hunt… we’ve got a few things in mind.
At first glance this is the simplest and lightest option in the cargo/pet category offered by Burley. It’s got the same 100 lbs. weight capacity as the Nomad model without all the covers and pockets and racks and other bells and whistles that you may not need, and hence don’t have to pay for. And without all those bells and whistles, it folds up easily and transforms into a very nice compact unit for storage.
The bed itself is extremely sturdy. That was my number 1 concern as it was made of a fabric stretched around an aluminum frame. The material that makes the bed and side walls is some kind of light weight space age stain resistant rubberized canvas (it’s probably nylon). It’s tough and while I didn’t try to puncture it, I bet it would take something significant to put a hole in this thing.
The manufacturer’s suggested weight limit is 100lbs. It easily hauls my super trail shredding pup Holi, who tips the scales at a whopping 48lbs. I’m assuming this doesn’t apply to cargo that extends long enough that it extends through the trailer and rests on the front and read cross bars.
If you are like me and are really really good at losing little pieces, you might really really come to appreciate that all the pins are connected to the trailer with little straps that keeps them from getting lost.
The size is ideal for a large Tupperware bin or cooler. I threw my huge 150 qt cooler in it and it fits nicely between the rails. It was about half full of ice and barley pop, which weighs about… a lot. The trailer did it’s job without issue. I even checked the axles for tweaks afterwards and they appear to have unaffected.
If there was one thing I was a little iffy about, it was the hitch. As a single speeder and often a pedal masher, putting a piece of metal between my quick release and my drop out lends itself to slipping and hence pulling the wheel out of alignment, even with a tug nut on the drive side. Not all single speeds are just straight sliding rear drop outs, but if yours is – you might have a bad time. I was happy that the hitch is small and won’t grab onto trees and brush in the woods. Burley isn’t marketing this thing as a singlespeed/single track type of haul all trailer either. It does look like there are some other options and adapters for this type of hitch, but the flat bed comes with only one and I have yet to test those other options out.
More information from Burley itself including a nifty little video is available here: https://burley.com/product/flatbed/
I would give this 4 out of 5 flaming gnomes because while it is a good product, I would like to see that it come with other hitch options for the retail price.
As I stated earlier, I like that this trailer is wide open and it’s up to you what you want to haul as long as you can figure out how to strap it down. There are some serious heavy duty flat bed type trailer options in the marketplace but they come at a heavy duty price. That being said, I wouldn’t say that the Burley Flatbed is cheap, but that goes for the price AND the quality of the product. Did I mention that I really really really like that all the pins are attached to the trailer with little straps so that you’ll never lose them? That’s just forward thinking. All in all I like it, but I do think it is a bit spendy for something so simple, but it’s one of the less expensive options I’ve seen.