For the last 4 years I have been dedicated to living a car free life. Four years ago I sold my last car, bought a bike and said goodbye to gas forever. Over the years I’ve added pannier racks, Panniers, commuter bags, trunk bags and rack top cargo boxes in an effort to be able to do all the typical car activities with no car at all. Taking the next logical step, I moved from living in the city to living downtown. All of lifes activities are now within a 1 mile radius of my home. Moving downtown has made living a car free life so much easier, but where I have continued to fall short is commuting with larger items. There is just no way for me to put a 25lb box of cat litter in a pannier. I certainly could never get my guitar rig, amps and effects from my home to practice in a rack top box. For situations like this I was stuck still having to use a car. I still had to take a cab or call a friend and that is far from car free. I am hoping the Burley Nomad could be the perfect solution to all my large haul needs.
Lets get started by looking at whats in the box. The Nomad comes disassembled in a single, and surprisingly light, box. Inside are the Nomad frame, 2 16-inch wheels, trailer sides, tow arm, hitch and trailer cover. The instructions are easy to use and assembly of the trailer took about 20 minutes. Once assembled I have to admit I was shocked at both how light it was and how rigid and sturdy it was. Definitely a very pleasant surprise. Once assembled all that was left to do was attach the hitch to my bike, hook up the trailer and head off to haul something big.
Now this being the very first time I have ever ridden a bike towing something bulky behind me, I thought I should practice a little first. Also, I ride a single speed, so no gears to make the ride any easier. What I noticed immediately is that while unloaded I didnt even notice the trailer at all. It is just SO light. To try and get used to it I just rode about my neighborhood a bit while feeling it out. Getting moving was easy, stopping didnt feel much different and the handling seemed mostly unaffected. After about 20 minutes of neighborhood practice I was ready to go buy some cat supplies!
This first trip had me picking up a huge 30lb box of litter and a 15lb bag of food. Everything fit into the trailer nicely and the cover kept everything hidden and secure. Even with the 45lbs in the back, riding with this trailer was nearly effortless. I was quite impressed. I was able to make the two mile ride home from the market with relative ease.
A few days later I had to get to band rehearsal. In the past I’d been getting a ride but I was excited to see if the trailer would work for all my gear. I have a practice amp, effects pedal board, assorted cables and accessories and of course the guitar itself. The amp and effects fit snugly and perfectly almost completely filling the trailer. Amazingly the guitar fit also! It did hang out the back about 9 inches, but the cover held it in place nicely and there was no fear of it falling out. All in all this gear is a bit more bulky and heavy than my first store trip but the ride was just as easy as the first. Sure, there was a perceptible surge feeling as the trailer first starts to catch up with you, but once rolling there is almost no way to know its there. To that end, I even forgot I was towing once, got going a little fast and leaned the bike pretty far for a turn and the trailer tracked flawlessly behind me. This thing is just superb! I cant believe it took me so long to get a cargo trailer.
Since those maiden trips I have used the trailer to go thrift store shopping, picked up an entire weeks worth of groceries and got gifts to a friends birthday party. Having the Burley Nomad in my life is a true game changer. I no longer have to grab the occasional cab or ask a friend for that car favor. With the addition of the Burley Nomad to my urban lifestyle I am just that much closer to being completely car free and doing all I can to promote a no gas life.
All in all I think the Burley Nomad is the perfect solution for your cargo and shopping needs. It is very sturdy, lightweight and strong. If you want to live a car free life and have struggled with how to handle large goods, cargo and bigger shopping trips, the Burley Nomad could be the perfect solution for you. I know it is for me. The Burley Nomad is currently on sale at BikeTrailerShop.com for the reduced price of $229.99! Get yours!