Geoff McMillion

Bagpiping with the Burley Travoy

Aug 25, 2020

I don’t want to start by sounding cliché, but just the name Travoy says it all for my first impression of Burley’s new pull-along trailer. Right out of the box, it’s as easy as one, two, three!

Literally two unfolds, connect to the bike, and you’re ready to haul.

My reasoning for trying the Travoy was for multipurpose cargo transport. As a touring cyclist, I wanted something efficient for hauling camping and touring gear. As a musician, I wanted something quick and lightweight for transporting my bagpipes and binders of music to weekly rehearsals. As a commuter who relies solely on the bicycle for transportation around town and to and from work, I wanted the freedom and ability to carry various forms of cargo easily and efficiently.

Burley Travoy bike trailer

Touring/Overnight Traveling

I started by packing up for an overnight excursion, which could easily extrapolate to multiple nights out on the road. Tent, sleeping bag, stove/cooking gear, food, extra water, etc. Concerned about weight, I confirmed the Travoy’s capacity: 40 pounds for the lower two-thirds of the cargo area and 20 pounds for the upper one-third. Excellent! Packing was a breeze. I used Burley’s cargo bag for the larger items on the lower portion and strapped a mid-size backpack to the upper portion using the tie-down straps that Burley has strategically positioned for a secure ride. With gear, food, and extra water, the load came in at around 35 pounds with room for more if needed.

With the Travoy fully loaded, I set out for multiple surfaces to test how it rides — pavement, steep inclines and declines, and washboarded gravel roads. The results? I’m rather pleased. The load stayed together very securely even on the gravel and washboarded ruts, and the Travoy stayed in place directly behind the bike, never tilting or bouncing around, which is what I thought I would experience. Because the Travoy is closely attached to the bike, I felt very little drag on the incline, which isn’t the case with larger trailers. On the declines, I eased into higher speeds being careful to not let the rear weight get away from me. To my surprise, the Travoy stayed in line: no speed wobbles and no out-of-control feelings of being pushed downhill. I felt very safe with the Travoy traveling at high speeds.

For touring, the Travoy surpassed my expectations. I look forward to using the Travoy on a multiday trip in the near future.

Burley Travoy bicycle trailer hauling bagpipes
Can your bike trailer carry a set of bagpipes (in case)?
Geoff McMillion


A few days a week, I travel to band rehearsals. The Travoy is perfect for this commuting and gear hauling. My bagpipe case fits perfectly on the Travoy, and the laptop bag carries my music binders with no problem. Shooting through town after work to my destination is a breeze! Better yet, because the Travoy detaches from the bike in a matter of seconds and works as a dolly, I can easily wheel my instrument right into the practice hall. 

Overall Thoughts on the Travoy

The Burley Travoy is a great replacement for racks and panniers and much easier to pack. When pulling a load, the Travoy is hardly noticeable. The Flex connector that attaches the Travoy to the seatpost allows for the bike to easily lean into turns while the Travoy stays safely upright throughout the entire maneuver. As for tracking and a smooth and quiet ride, I am impressed with the fact that even at high speeds, the Travoy stays directly behind the bike.

If you’re looking for a purely functional addition to your bike commuting or travels, consider the Travoy. You’ll find that it solves many of your hauling needs.


Related Reading


Bob and Marney Komives August 30, 2020, 3:01 PM

We love the Travoy. Quite satisfied with our pannier touring, I nevertheless bought a Travoy for our bicycle tour of Brittany in 2017. It worked so well we both had one for our for our summer in Europe in 2018--schlepping it by foot, train, bus in Spain; bicycle touring in Italy; and a combination of bicycle touring and other modes in southern France. (Here's a composite picture: We planned (pre-Covid) to tow them behind our Bike Friday and Tern folders on Adventure Cycling routes around lake Erie in 2020--rescheduled for 2021. We praise the Travoy for facilitating multimodal travel.

Joe Baker August 29, 2020, 5:49 PM

Thanks, Geoff! That looks like a great option for carrying my guitars and banjo around town.

Brian August 29, 2020, 11:52 AM

I bought my Travoy in 2013 after discovering a safe route to Sam's Club, and often attracted interest when loading a case of beer and other big-box grocery items alongside the SUVs. Later I took it on the 122 mile ACA Family Fun Erie Canal tour with a full-size mountaineering backpack strapped on. Last year I took it on an easy 24 mile overnight tour that included a gravel road.

From all of this I agree with the author that this is a great trailer for shopping trips and short overnights, and it's easy to forget that it's even there. I have considered taking it on a much longer tour, but also have concerns about the wheel bearings when used for that purpose. I do expect to get much more use out of it.


Phil August 28, 2020, 10:03 AM

If any of you needs to carry a bigger load or more weight...look for a used Cannondale "Bugger". I've had and used one for over 30 years. It can handle 80 lbs of weight or 2 children with groceries. Check it out?

Chris Goddard August 27, 2020, 12:52 PM

I am very interested in the bicycle shown in your pictures with the Travoy trailer. Can you share the make and model? Thanks in advance.

Geoff August 27, 2020, 4:21 PM

Hi Chris,

The bike is my Surly Long Haul Trucker equipped with Bosco Bars.

Geoff August 27, 2020, 11:11 AM

We should mention, Adventure Cycling members get 25% off Burley products. Sign in for details:

Laura August 27, 2020, 8:19 AM

I love my Travoy. I've had one for several years and I am a musician. I have loaded my Travoy with my viola da gamba and many other instruments. It is a true work horse. I have an older model with a terrible seat clamp. I am looking into seeing if the new seat clamp will work with older models of the Travoy. I hate to have to buy a new trailer just because of the seat clamp. Either way, this is a great trailer!

Vin August 27, 2020, 6:28 AM

After 2 years of consistent use on the hilly potholed roads and gravel of Ithaca, NY, I think I can say with some degree of certainty that the Travoy is a good option for hauling loads in the 20-40 lb range. While the Travoy frame and rubberized fabric are very durable and show very little wear despite some fairly hard use hauling farm produce, the wheel bearing system is not durable or self maintainable. Be prepared to shell out some cabbage for new wheels as the bearings will chew themselves down to the bare axles and the wheels will start wobbling... like crazy. The good news is that the Travoy will likely still function until the wheels literally fall off. When that happens, just plug in some new wheels and save the old tubes and tires as backups. Would be nice to have some higher quality, (even low quality,) sealed serviceable bearings. Future sustainable design perhaps?

Jerry August 27, 2020, 2:51 AM

I was very close to purchasing the Travoy last year, but when I called the company to inquire about suggested maximum speed it could handle I was given a response substantially slower than I frequently descend long and/or steep hills. It might be something to look into. Otherwise loved the design and the idea of being able to tour with my lightweight road bike.

Bill Schnabel August 26, 2020, 2:16 PM

Fantastic looking little trailer. Two questions. How did it do, handling wise in the city traffic? And, how about storing it? You said it set up in a jiffy. Does it fold back up for storage? Do the wheels pop off? It looks like if the baseplate folds up and the back and mounting stem fold back on themselves, it could store pretty compactly. An optional middle shelf would save groceries from compacting on the way home too!

Thanks for the info and pictures. Burley turns out some great products.


Geoff August 26, 2020, 3:43 PM

Hi Bill,

The Travoy handled great in traffic! I think the design of the weight being upright and the fact that the Travoy attaches and rides so close to the bike really gives a solid smooth ride.

As for folding up, Yes, it's super easy and compacts down quickly to the size of a briefcase! Burley has made it tool free for all of the folding. Everything folds upon itself. The mounting rail, baseplate, kickstand, and yes the wheels are push-button quick release. They easily tuck into the folded Travoy. There is no mid-shelf but I'm sure you could hang an upper bag to alleviate groceries from being crushed.

Here is Burley's site with some great photos of the Travoy folded up.

Hope that helps!

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