Burley Solo Bike Trailer

By Published On: January 23rd, 2014

We were really excited the day our new Solo Bike […]

We were really excited the day our new Solo Bike Trailer arrived from Burley. Because the frame is aluminum, the box was fairly light; however, because it was a large, I needed my husband’s help to move it without nicking the walls. The Solo was easy to assemble and start using right away. The user’s manual is well-written and illustrated so that the directions are clear and simple to complete. Burley includes a hex key, and you’ll need to have a 10mm wrench. Perhaps my favorite part of the instructions is the online video. It’s called the “Solo Instructional,” and I highly recommend viewing because it’s clear and concise and makes assembly so simple.
BurleySolo1Attaching the Solo Bike Trailer to your bicycle is easy. First, you install the hitch on your bike’s rear wheel axle. Then, you simply hook the tow bar to the hitch and secure the safety strap. We like how the hitch can be left in place once the trailer is removed; this shortens the time it takes to attach the trailer to only a minute—a must when kids are ready to roll. The Solo is lightweight and is easy to tow behind my bike. Its sturdy frame allows it to maneuver well on our city’s streets, paved paths and gravel trails.
Before using a bike trailer, children need to be able to sit upright without support and have adequate neck strength to support their head—while wearing a helmet. The Solo may be used as a stroller and jogger before then. Burley recommends using their “Baby Snuggler” for children 6 to 24 months old. It fits onto the seat and cradles our son so that he’s more secure and comfortable.  Burley has provided a nice video to make installation easy.
The Solo Bike Trailer can be converted into a stroller using the “Burley 2-Wheel Stroller Kit.” It’s simple to convert and doesn’t take much time. The Solo is a bit wide on the sidewalks, and our dog wasn’t thrilled that she didn’t have a place to walk next to our son. As a stroller, the Solo rolls smoothly and tackles curbs well. When we use our Solo as a stroller, I have to bend over to engage the brake because the brake slides from left to right across the back of the trailer. It’s a little inconvenient, but you get used to it after a while.
A safety strap is included in the Stroller Kit. Its loops onto the handle bar, and then wraps around your wrist. At first, I thought this safety strap was a bit over-the-top; however, I quickly realized the strap’s importance while walking downhill. The Solo is designed to roll easily, and it does! It rolls so easily that it would “run away” if you took your hand off the handle for a moment. Engaging the brake is really important when stopped—even on gentle driveway slopes.
I like having the screen, sun shade and wind shield so our son is comfortable and protected from the elements while we walk. The Solo’s storage is a definite bonus when walking! We can walk to our neighborhood store to buy groceries including a gallon of milk, and everything fits in the back of the Solo without affecting its mobility.
Burley’s Solo Bike Trailer adapts to a wide-range of weather conditions. It has a screen for warm days, and we love how this also protects our son from bugs. Our son is not a fan of gnats flying in his eyes during walks, and we like how the screen also protects from mosquitoes. The all-weather cover is wonderful for chilly days; we know that our son is nice and toasty inside even when it’s windy. It even has waterproof zippers! I appreciate that because our son cries just when we walk through sprinkles, so it’s nice knowing he’ll stay dry in case of a pop-up shower.
Storage must be mentioned because I think it’s one of the Solo’s best features. There are two pockets on the side of the interior, and they’re perfect for storing toys. We can place a big, warm blanket over our son and still have plenty of space on the floor and at his sides. Behind the seat, there is about 6 inches of storage space; it’s perfect for our gear. So far we’ve used it for extra jackets, a picnic lunch, a small cooler, our first aid kit and even groceries! At this point, I have to add that the seat pad and shoulder harness are washable because we know that will be needed when food and drink is included in our son’s cargo.
BurleySolo2Burley is known for their quality construction and attention to safety. The Solo Bike Trailer has a brake so that you can be sure it is stationery when loading your child. A five-point harness is used to secure children, and there is a special “Snuggler” for babies. Burley includes an orange flag for you to use when biking. The trailer is well-made and includes safety straps where needed.  Suspension can be adjusted for light to heavy loads. The Solo has a roll bar at the top; this easily rotates to serve as the handlebar when strolling and jogging. There are front, back and even side reflectors. The Burley Solo Bike Trailer even offers UV protection through its windows!
I love how the Burley folds for traveling and storage.  We press a quick release to remove the wheels, fold the trailer, clean them off a little, and place them inside the folded trailer. The folded trailer fits easily in the back of our SUV, and it would fit in a mini-van or large trunk as well.
I think that the Solo is best suited as a bike trailer, and I like how it can be adapted for strolling and jogging. It is a very nice stroller, and I imagine that it would make an even better jogger because it rolls so easily.  here is even a way to adapt the Solo for cross-country skiing. Burley’s “We! Ski Kit” looks easy to use, and we’re considering buying it someday. This versatility is great because then you have less gear to buy and store!
Burley’s Solo Bike Trailer is well-designed, safe, easy-to-use and light to pull behind a bicycle. Highly recommend.
Price: Solo Bike Trailer, $529, Baby Snuggler, $75; 2-Wheel Stroller Kit, $89; Solo Jogger Kit, $149; We! Ski Kit, $275
To buy: burley.com
P.S. There’s a great video that highlights the Burley Solo here.