Product Review Burley Design’s Coho XC

Late last summer Burley Design released the Coho XC cargo trailer. We highlighted the specifications for this innovative single-wheel trailer here on, at the end of October. Since then we’ve had the chance to test it out in the wild. We took this trailer up to the Big Holes, to get an idea about how the Coho would handle multiple surfaces because we knew that we’d encounter mud, snow, (snud) along with a fair amount of climbing. We also pulled the trailer on lighter errands that include some local bike path and gravel surfaces through Teton Valley.

We have found numerous things we like, about the Coho XC and just a few things that we think could be improved. The trailer was fairly easy to assemble. We had it set up within thirty minutes of unpacking it.

Coho XC out of the box!

We received the Coho XC, with the plus wheel, to utilize the Coho XC, on fat bike adventures. We also received the Coho dry bag, pannier rack, and panniers. The Coho XC attached to my fat-bike easily, using the Burley Ballz dual ball hitch. The Coho XC simply attaches to the axle by locking in place and is easy to detach by lifting the release handle on the trailer. The trailer yoke is adjustable. It will adjust to fit bikes with a hub as small as 126 mm to my fat bike’s 197 mm hub.

Grocery Shopping with the Coho XC and Burley Solo.

I found the weight of the trailer alone was almost unnoticeable when I first rode around without a load in it. During our tests, we took the Coho XC on our 16-mile round trip grocery shopping run. The terrain is fairly flat on the way to the store. I definitely felt the difference in my load on the way home. It took me a moment to get used to having to shift more than usual when stopping, and how the additional weight felt on my bike when I turned.

The trailer has a great amount of space. We were able to fit our normal grocery load in the trailer, that keeps us going for a good 10 days. The Coho XC is capable of carrying up to 70 lbs. The dry bag is easy to pack and kept our food in the trailer on our way home. The Coho XC would be a great way for someone to shop if they are car free or striving to live sustainably by minimizing the use of their vehicle. The Coho XC’s bed is large enough to fit a small cooler if necessary.

The kickstand holds both the Coho XC and my bike upright.

The trailer has an adjustable kickstand. The kickstand attachment is an awesome feature, in our opinion. It easily holds up the weight of both my fat bike and the fully loaded Coho XC. We examined the kickstand attachment more closely after a reader commented on Facebook that their kickstand came off. The welds that hold the kickstand on the Coho XC are “burley!” Our off-pavement adventures on this test took us through rutted forest roads, and we did not have any issue with the Coho XC’s kickstand getting caught. The Coho XC user manual offers the following suggestions for safety and speed:

Recommended speed limits:
– 20 mph (32 km/h) on smooth, straight roads
– 5 mph (8 km/h) when turning or on uneven roads

  • Because of the trailer’s weight, a bicycle pulling a trailer is heavier and less responsive. Avoid rocks, curbs, hard braking and sudden swerving. Some full suspension bicycles and rear suspension recumbents might have difficulty towing a fully loaded trailer because they do not have adequate frame stiffness, which can lead to a sluggish and difficult to control bicycle. Experiment with the loaded trailer in an uncongested area until you become familiar with how your bike handles towing a trailer.
  • Use caution when riding downhill with a trailer as the additional weight will require longer distances for braking.

It’s important to keep these things in mind when towing the Burley. It’s a well-built durable trailer, but if you do not take speed and additional weight into consideration you could put yourself, and components of the trailer in danger of destruction.

When traveling on forest roads, gravel, and through mud and snow, the trailer handled the terrain. We loaded the Coho XC with our camping gear and took it for a ride in the Big Hole Mountains.

During this trip is where I noticed the differences between pulling our Burley Solo trailer and the Coho XC. The one wheel cargo trailer maneuvers different than the (two wheeled) child trailer. The child trailer does not pull the bike around as the weight in the Coho did on turns and when stopping. The Coho  XC trailer tracks very well with the bike and is not much wider than my fat bike. Turning is just more difficult. The Coho XC maneuvered smoothly as I coasted through muddier sections of road and over washes across the road.

Unfortunately, we left the dry bag at home when we loaded up our camping gear. I don’t think we will make that mistake again, as the fender does not block mud from coming up on all sides. We highly suggest using the dry bag, if you want to fully protect your load from the elements.

I would not want to have to go through too much mud with this trailer in general. Though the Coho XC traversed well through the splash of mud we encountered, mud did build up between the wheel and fender. With the plus-sized wheel, there is minimal mud/tire clearance. This build-up could eventually put a stop to your journey with the trailer in tow. If you are using the off-road 16″ x 2.125″ wheel or 16″ x 1.75″ road wheel with the trailer, this would not be an issue.

The rear cargo net comes with all Coho XC trailers. It is an excellent accessory for the Coho XC. It held my tent and sleeping bags in place as we bumped along the forest roads.

Another standard accessory for the Coho XC is the orange safety flag. The flag holder, on the trailer, doubles as a bottle opener. So you will be safe and have a way to open your beverage of choice, during bike adventures.

Overall this trailer is pretty fantastic. It is well built, can carry a hefty load, and is easy to attach and detach from your bike. The kickstand offers stability to your bike and loaded trailer at stops. This is a trailer that could be used for family grocery trips, beach barbeques, and off-road camping trips.

We give the Burley Coho XC  4 out of 5 fireballs.

About Becky, Bryon & April Vordermann 17 Articles
We are Bryon and Becky Vordermann. We enjoy riding fat bikes year round. We bikepack, trail ride, cruise gravel roads, and of course ride in the snow! We bike with our 2 year old daughter, April in tow in a Burley Solo.