If there is one word I could use sum up the Burley Honey Bee with it would be “fun”! Burley is considered to be the leader in bicycle trailers and has been making trailers for more than 30 years. In full disclosure Burley did send me a Honey Bee trailer to review. My wife and I have been cyclists for several years but have never used a trailer. I was somewhat skeptical about how the kids would like the idea of riding in a trailer. Is it safe? Would they be comfortable? Is it a pain to hook up to the bike? I am going to answer those questions and explain our experience with the Honey Bee.
First of all set up was a breeze. I had the trailer assembled in about 10 minutes. Directions are straightforward and easy to follow. The Honey Bee weighs about 25 lbs and comes in one big box. Most of the trailer is already put together. The wheels have to be put on and the bike arm attached. The wheels basically snap into place. An Allen wrench comes with the trailer to help with assembly of a few parts. The thing that probably takes the longest is to attach the debris guards that go directly in front of each tire. Again, this is very simple and straightforward to put together and you should be up and running in about 10 minutes after you open the box. The illustrations are very good and also shows exactly how the kids or kid should ride in the trailer. There is also additional help on the website and a phone number should you need it.
10 minutes later, fully assembled and ready to go. Notice the stroller wheel is down right now. I will show you exactly how that works down below.
Here are some details on every Burley trailer.
- STANDARD ON EVERY BURLEY CHILD TRAILER
- Designed and tested to exceed ASTM F1975-09 safety standards
- Full internal roll cage
- Anodized aluminum frame tubes and hinges
- Forged aluminum hitch
- Wheel guard protection
- 600D polyester cover and seat fabric
- Front-to-rear fold-flat design
- Reflective materials and reflectors (front, rear and wheels)
- UV protected windows
- Recessed helmet pocket
- Safety flag
- Interior pockets
- Rear cargo area
We have two young kids. My son is 4 years old and is about 44″ tall. He is tall for his age and that was a concern that he would have enough room. My daughter is 15 months old. Burley does make an insert for smaller kids should you need it that you can purchase separately. It’s sort of a liner that you see for car seats to hold a younger child in place but my daughter was just fine. They were not quite sure what to think about the trailer but when they saw the safety harness inside the trailer they figured it was some type of car seat and they started clamoring to get inside.
Above we are all hooked up and ready to roll for our first ride. As I mentioned earlier my kids are tall as well as me. To give you some perspective I am 6’8″ and my bike is a Trek 25″ 7200 hybrid. My wife has a similar Trek hybrid that is a 20″ frame. In the picture below we put my daughter in first. The seating configuration basically works like this; There are two seats for the kids each equipped with should harnesses and waist belts. These are very similar to what you might see on a high chair or car seat. They are padded at the should not to chafe the kids. Also, if you are just pulling one child there is a configuration for having that child ride in the middle which makes the trailer balanced when pulling just one.
Below is the bike arm and mount. This is really simple. If you have a quick release wheel it will take just a second to install the mounting bracket to you back wheel. The end of the trailer arm has a rubber mount that slides into place of the bracket mounted on the bike and you slide a pin through to lock everything into place. Because it is a high strength rubber it has some flexibility to it so it doesn’t feel rigid if you turn your bike or it moves from side to side. There is parking brake in back of the trailer that locks the trailer into place and I highly recommend setting the break while loading and unloading the trailer. The stroller wheel will drop down after a release wheel is unscrewed. It’s clearly marked and very easy to do.
We put my daughter on the right side and my son on the left. We did this because there is a pouch on the left side where you can keep snacks or a water bottle and it would make more sense for him to be in charge of that. There is a place for the kids to rest their feet and they sit upright but not too upright to be uncomfortable. There is plenty of headroom with the helmets on and kids have good range of vision.
Below is a short video that shows the things I have been talking about. I think it is important to note that we took it slow with the kids at first. Our first trip was to a park about a mile away. We went to the park several times for eventually going on about an 8 mile ride and now even further. The kids love it and immediately took to it but they enjoy getting out too and we always plan our trips to Stir Crazy Baked Goods or morning breakfast restaurant so they will have a break after about 20 minutes or so of riding. They will ramp up but don’t want to over do it. I was very surprised at the handling of the trailer. I was expecting it to turn my cycling into a laborious, sluggish experience but it is anything but. The trailer really handles well. The wheels are large and take bumps well. We have about 70 lbs. of kids and supplies plus the 25lb. trailer so were pushing close to 100lbs. The trailer is balance so well the weight is not really a factor. Sure when your traveling up hill you can tell a difference but it’s not near as bad as what I thought it would be. Maintaining a nice steady speed is very easy, there is nothing jerky about the trailer when pulling it. Also, the weight of the trailer will push you along too as you are going down a hill or just moving along the path if that makes sense. The wheelbase feels like it is a little wider that should width on me just to give you an idea of maneuvering through tight spaces. So if you can pass though a tight spot your trailer should pass behind you as well without worry. The rain screen rolls up when not in use. The second time we took the trailer out with the kids we needed to use the rain screen. It rolls down and latches directly over the vented debris screen. Ventilation is still good, it was very humid that day. I think it is also important to note that the trailer is designed with an internal roll cage so if something unfortunate was to happen the kids would be protected in a roll.
The Burley Honey Bee is a great way to spend quality time with your family while getting exercise and creating a sense of adventure for your kids. The unit is competitively priced and I believe the quality to be a great value. It is evident that the quality and design of this stroller have been carefully thought out. I feel that the kids are very secure and safe when properly fastened into the trailer. Stretch tie latches and carefully placed Velcro keep everything secure. There is a lot of storage room behind the seats that could easily hold a couple of sacks of groceries, snacks or a diaper bag. The bottom line is that this is a great way to explore and discover as family. The kids ask everyday if we can go for a bike ride. I think that is great!! When we go on our rides and we stop and see something we want to look at we just park our bikes and jump out. I believe it does create a sense of adventure for the kids…..far too often they are just regulated to the car and that is not much of a way to explore. You don’t get the sights, smells or sounds you can get while trailering them on a Burley Honey Bee trailer.
How to win it… Second Contest ends 11:59pm EST. October 7th, 2012.
Leave a comment below with one feature you love about the Burley Honey Bee and please include some method for us to contact you in the comment (twitter or email).
You get 1 extra entry for tweeting about this contest (you can do this daily). Must contain the following information: @BurleyTrailers @latenightparent http://zippy-knot.flywheelsites.com/?p=4972&preview=true and you must also comment with the link to your tweet.
Example: I want the best bicycle trailer ! – the Honey Bee @BurleyTrailers from @latenightparent – http://zippy-knot.flywheelsites.com/?p=4972&preview=true
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Disclaimer: Burley supplied the Honey Bee for this giveaway. Limited to the USA