Author Topic: Burley vs Bob on road tour  (Read 11770 times)

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Offline Dan&Linda

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« on: July 18, 2004, 08:47:12 pm »
Dear List'izens,
We rode the TransAm in 2002 on a tandem with panniers and a Bob.  The trailer worked well.  But the load on the rear wheel of the tandem contributed to a rim failure, among other problems.  So we're thinking about switching to a Burley Nomad for our next big tour.  The Nomad's two wheels carry 90% of the weight of the trailer, decreased the stress on the tandem's rear wheel.
Anyone have experience touring with a Nomad?  Any problems with the right Nomad wheel dropping off the pavement?
Dan and Linda

Offline LDiskin

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2004, 03:18:30 pm »
Hello Dan and Linda,
I don't mean to imply that the BOB doesn't add a load to your rear wheel, but switching to a Nomad is not likely to make a significant different in that respect. The load will be ditributed between the two trailer wheels, rather than one, but it will not affect the load on the tandem's rear wheel much, if any. Tandems traditionally have trouble with rear wheels. Your best best it to get a stronger rear wheel on your tandem. If you already got a new wheel, and havn't had any trouble with the Nomad, it it likely due to having a stronger wheel rather than switching to a Nomad. The Nomads right wheel may occasionally drop over the edge of the pavement, but it is not likely to cause much a problem except possibly in extreme cases, especially considering the momentum of a tandem -- Hope that helps --Larry Diskin

Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline Peaks

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2004, 10:24:27 pm »
My daughter and I just finished the Northern Tier and we both used trailers.  I used a BOB, and she used the Burley Nomad.  

When we had tire problems, for both of us, it was the rear.  We used heavy duty road tires (25 mm for me, and 23 mm for her).  I wore out the rear tire after about 2500 miles.  Hers listed about 3500 miles, plus she had a few tube punctures.  Our front tires have not worn out.  I suspect that body weight, not trailer weight, wears out tires more.

I think that the biggest complaint about the Burley is that it acts like a parachute in head winds.  Other than that, she had to ride further out on the pavement than I did.  Sometimes this wasn't bad, but in places with no shoulder like US 2 in Montana, it would have been nicer to get closer to the edge of the pavement.


Offline burleyrider

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 08:30:52 pm »
Having toured with both, I respectfully disagree. I believe the Burley
Nomad does take the weight off the rear wheel quite a bit. On the BOB,
the trailer wheel acts as a pivot point. The trailer in turn leans on the
axle with all of the weight being put upon the axle. The Burley on the
other hand, does put weight on the rear axle but not as much as the
BOB. The Burley tries and centers itself on two wheels while touching
the axle with as little weight as possible. This is one of the reasons
Burleys can pull 30 lbs more than a BOB, while maintaining the same



Offline Peaks

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2004, 11:41:02 pm »
Least I be misunderstood, the Burley puts very little tongue weight on the bike.  It's your own body that wears out tires.

Second, the BOB did take some getting used to.  My arms were sore for the first week or so from trying to keep the bike steady.  

Offline tandemlover

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2004, 04:29:01 pm »
Hello Dan & Linda;

We do not have any experience with a single-wheel trailer, but after reading posts from and speaking to other tandem teams, we chose the Burley Nomad. The majority of the teams who had experience with one- and two-wheeled trailers felt the handling was better with a two-wheeled trailer. They said a single-wheel trailer seemed to exert more forces on the bike.

With regard to the question about the right tire dropping off the pavement, that has not been an issue for us.

Because the trailer tongue is angled, the entire trailer is offset to the left as you tow it. Our tandem has flat handlebars with twist shifters. The right trailer tire lines up with my right hand, so all I have to think about is what the surface just below my hand looks like.

If you are close enough to the pavement dropoff that your right hand is beyond the edge, you are already close to a spill, but not because of the trailer.

Prior to buying the trailer, I had concerns about how the tandem would handle in tight turns, as a tandem is already a long vehicle.  The Nomad seems to have the same turning radius as the bike, so I hardly give it a thought while turning.

I have found it impossible to make a right turn sharp enough to cause the rear bike tire to contact the trailer tongue.  It can be done while walking the bike, but certainly not while we are riding it.  

On our Denmark tour (, we used the Nomad and rear panniers, as we needed the extra volume.  For our May '05 tour of Belgium, we plan to take only the Nomad.

Without trying to sound like an ad for Burley, our experience with the Nomad has been very positive.

Wesley & Karen Roediger

Offline scott.laughlin

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2004, 02:11:27 pm »

Barb and I owned a BOB, but for the past five years we've pulled a trailer that is available through Bike Friday behind our tandem.  Purching just the wheels and chassis, we modified it to suit our own needs.  The air-chuck, quick-release hitch is convenient, and it will carry up to 100 pounds...if we're up to it.  It, too, tracks behind the bike.  If your pedals will clear, so will the trailer.

Best regards,

Scott and Barb Laughlin

Offline JimF

Burley vs Bob on road tour
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2004, 03:32:46 pm »
FYI I did some force and weight measurements on the rear wheel of the Bob after purchasing. I weigh about 200 pounds. The weight on the rear wheel of my bike (~30 pounds), w/o trailer, is 130 pounds; with, 138. The trailer weighs ~17 pounds. With a 50 pound load in the trailer (total, 67 pounds), the weight on the bike rear wheel was 160 pounds, or a 23% increase vs. the trailer weight load increase of ~400%. I urge a new Bob owner to carefully assess the combined characteristics of the bike-trailer at different loads and, especially, at downhill speeds. I'd expect the same to apply to any significant added load to any bike. Moderation appears to be key.