Burley Flatbed cargo trailer review
If you are regularly shifting loads of up to 45kg then this lightweight aluminium-framed trailer is a handily elegant solution. With rubberized fabric stretched between the frame you have a nice large loading area of 46 x 87cm (comparatively long but narrow compared to competitor offerings such as the Roland Carrie Series).
The concept behind flatbeds is great – without the constraints of a box it’s easier to put big and bulky loads on and off – my trial Burley handled everything from concrete slabs to a small fridge.
The only question mark lies in the choice of a fabric base – anything that’s heavy and with sharp edges (just the kind of thing you might want to take on a flatbed) has the potential to do some serious damage.
For the sake of a bit more weight a rigid base would have been a better bet for my money – if hauling up to 45kg you are hardly likely to notice the extra few hundred grams!
Quick release wheels with ‘no maintenance’ sealed bearings mean storage is easy when not in use.
The hitch options that come with any Burley purchase are a real strong point. Given the choice, I would always opt for the classic hitch which fits around the rear triangle of the frame, but this wasn’t possible on my disc braked bike so one of their range of axle nut hitches was used (there’s also a quick release axle hitch option).
The classic option spreads the inevitable strain at the stress point of the hitch mount. I have found other options have the potential to actually move the axle within the dropouts (depending on you dropout configuration), especially if used with very heavy loads by strong pedallers who prefer the high gears.
As I knew all but the ultra-fit and ultra-strong would find pedaling an extra 50kg up any kind of meaningful gradient a grueling test, I used an Ezee Forte electric bike for much of the trial and found it’s meaty 250W throttle-controlled motor made the ideal ‘utility’ bike set up. The combo successfully hauled hundreds of kilos of domestic goodies many, many miles.