Adding a bike trailer to our fleet was a no brainer after our little Rosie was born. We love getting around town on our bikes and the real decision was if we should get the single (Solo) or double (D’Lite). Since the weight difference between the two was only a pound, I figured I’d go with the extra room. Just in case.
Now that we’ve had a chance to use the D’Lite for a number of months, here’s what we think.
First of all, it’s awesome. Any criticisms or suggested changes I mention below are pretty minor. But, as always, there’s room for improvement.
Burley has really thought through the actual use of this product. From the way the front flap clips down to how the sunshade is adjusted and how the rain shield is closed. The main front door/flap is simply clipped at the base of the front entrance and held in place by a little fabric tension. If this sounds a little dodgy, then be assured, not once has this clip ever come undone. Either while in motion or otherwise. The beauty of this system is it eliminates the need for long zippers from running up and down the sides. The majority of this front flap is a sturdy mesh that should always be used when riding. And for that matter, Burley didn’t design any sort of system to pin it up or hold it open, probably for that reason.
On top of the mesh, the rain shield, a clear plastic sheet that covers all of the mesh, does use zippers to hold it down and in place. The zippers seem like they make it a little over-engineered. I think a strip of Velcro at the bottom of the rain cover would have sufficed. But then, if for some reason you’re out riding in a serious storm, the zippers will serve your rider better. The one change I would make to the zipper system is to add a little stretch of cordage to the pull tabs. As it comes, the pull tabs have an elastic loop tied through them to hold the rain cover when it gets rolled up. I always want to grab those to move the zippers but the elastic makes it awkward. A little piece of something not elastic could be a good fix.
Between the mesh base and rain cover is a sunshade. This is a brilliant system where a piece of nylon is suspended on two cords running down each side of the mesh cover. These cords keep the sunscreen nylon taut and you can move the shade up or down as needed and it holds right in place.
One of the challenges we deal with on the D’Lite is the safety flag. It’s mounted on the push handle used for when the trailer has been converted to a jogging or walking stroller. This handle flips up to allow access to the ample rear storage compartment. This is another one of Burley’s great features. Even when you have your kid in there, you can still make a stop at the grocer and pick up some supplies for dinner. But as the push handle moves back and forth to get in the rear storage, the flag whips around. Then, the tenuous little plastic holder the flag sits in does not hold it very well and it can end up drifting back to where it might not be as effective for being spotted by passing traffic. It also ends up looking a little sad as it drips over.
The last thing I’d love to see improved on is the hitch system to the bike. Burley uses a thick rubber grommet at the end of the hitch arm to connect to the hitch bracket mounted on the rear axel of the bike. A pin is then inserted into the bracket, through the grommet and back out the bottom of the hitch bracket. This requires the user to perfectly align the grommet inside the bracket. While it’s not particularly hard, I have seen better systems out there that don’t seem to have any performance or safety penalties associated with it.
The D’Lite also folds down fairly easily and the wheels are easy to take off and stow in the folded trailer. The push handle flips around to lock everything in place making it relatively easy to load, unload and assemble for rides further afield that require driving somewhere first.
We also picked up a number of the acessories designed for the D’Lite and recommend those as well. They include:
- We! Ski kit, to swap out skis for the tires for snow travel
- Jogging wheel kit
- Handlebar console
- Baby snuggler
- Storage cover
- Light kit
The D’Lite from Burley has been a superb addition to our home biking fleet. $629 | burley.com