Home Awesome Survival Gear Review: Burley COHO XC Bike Trailer

Survival Gear Review: Burley COHO XC Bike Trailer


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A majority of SHTF scenarios reached a bottleneck with mobility. The bug-in crowd solves it by staying set. The bug out vehicle mob will just drive over the huddled masses. And the lone wolves will best bug out bike cargo trailerrun for the hills scoping nightscape through a rifle-mounted thermal imager. For the rest of us, we need realistic gear answers that address actual requires, and have a proven track record of performance. And we also need authentic solutions to move our gear. The Burley COHO XC Bike Trailer is a serious piece of hardware what scores at the top of its class across all categories whether for recreation, lifestyle or TEOTWAWKI.

By Doc Montana, contributing writer to SHTFblog and Survival Cache

Bicycles are the most efficient kind of mechanized transport and can easily carry a human and gear over a hundred miles in a single day powered by nothing but bananas. Rolling along a flat road at easily over five times faster than a normal stroll pace, the bicycle excels as a bug out vehicle. Add some cargo to the rolling equation and the mobility options presented by a bike and trailer can easily rival any other bug out vehicle. With a suggested capacity of 70 pounds, the Burley COHO XC can quickly outstrip the gear hucking of even a Recon Marine. And that’s while still maintaining that 12 -1 5 mile per hour pace!

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There is a strong overlap between backpacking and bugging out And there is a significant overlap between the bug out trailer and a popular outdoor activity called “bikepacking.” the difference between bikepacking and traditional bicycling touring is that bikepacking uses the bike to carry the loading whether riding the motorcycle or not. Preferably the former. Bikepacking is like touring as road tripping is like overlanding. There is just something so different about piling on the gear and heading out anywhere, especially off road. And moving your heavy gear to a trailer has many serious advantages including an overall lower center of gravity, the ability to carry large single gear pieces such as a knapsack, the advantage of trenching off your gear in one quick motion like unsnapping and dropping your knapsack, centralizing your gear to maintain the frontend handling of your motorcycle as it was designed, and especially increasing your overall gear-carry capacity.

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The bike and trailer combining can move near mutely on and off road, and stop on a dime, turn on a quarter, and quickly be disassembled for portage over rock, water, and obstacle. The entire system can disappear into a bush, be hidden in a pond, or buried under grime and leaves. It requires no gas , no petroleum and no electricity, and will run to the phase of failure without a single grievance. The only real drawback is that you are the engine so your health and fitness is what keeps the bike and trailer system alive.

The serious single-wheel bike trailer was popularized by an early adopter called the B.O.B. Trailer. It’s heavy metal frame, complex yoke attachment, and low ground clearance opened the door for invention. Other companies joined the quest for the perfect single-wheel trailer including the original B.O.B company, but until the Burley COHO XC arrived on the scene, all bug out alternatives were a compromise devoted just how good a single-wheel bug out bike trailer could be.

Some of the major accomplishments of the Burley COHO XC bike trailer include an adjustable width yoke that fits up to 29 -inch tall wheels and three-inch broad tires. Although the Burley COHO XC motorcycle trailer requires a dedicated axel, there are enough selections to fit most motorcycles, and the variable-width yoke keeps the COHO XC engaged in the bug out across almost all realistic motorcycle frames.

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The COHO XC employs a wonderfully simple hitch mechanism. At the edges of the replacement axle are two spherical knobs that seat into matching cups on the trailer’s yoke. The curving nature of the knob permits a spring-loaded capture/ release catch to lock the ball into the cup. In the center-top of the yoke’s handle is a lever that operates the catch mechanism. Because the lever and manage are integrated, it is both easy and fast to release the COHO XC from the axel and move it where you want. Unlike other designs that requires individual-side axle release and small-part manipulation( and risk of proportion loss ), the COHO XC genuinely is a fine piece of high-speed-low-drag bug out kit.

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Furthering the low-drag theme is the essentially tool-free design of the COHO XC. The yoke is attached to the frame with a long quick-release skewer, and the over-sized rear fender mounts into frame tubings and is secured with cotter pins. As expected, the single wheel is locked into the fork with a traditional axle quick release skewer.

The COHO XC consists of a metal frame with durable nylon fabric completing the basket. A rigid fender accepts additional panniers( saddlebags ), and in all regions of the frame are attachment phases pre-drilled, threaded, and spaced for water bottle enclosures or any other attachment of similar bolt spacing. Another feature of the frame is that the top rails are level entailing an odd or over-sized shaped loading are likely to be strapped to the frame without it pointing towards the ground. With all the packing goodness of the COHO XC it will be easy to forget the recommended 70 pound carrying capacity.

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A key element of the COHO XC is the integrated kickstand. The spring loaded stand resembles an upside down set of old-school BMX bike handlebars, but the new-school advantage here is that the adjustable height kickstand not only folds away automatically when you start riding, but also is strong enough to support both the COHO XC and your motorcycle to be maintained upright presuming roughly level terrain.

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The real test of the COHO XC was a fiery ride down a winding single track with all 70 liters of cargo space filled with bug out gear. On its own, the COHO XC performed excellently. And compared to other past trailer designs, the COHO XC demonstrated what is possible when design evolution is set free to do it chore. The Burley COHO XC and I took a few three mile descents over varied terrain and hairpin turns. Even through dirt and dropoffs, the COHO XC performed flawlessly. During the first operate, I noticed the quick release attaching the yoke to the frame had loosened, but adding a little more tightness, it never loosened up again.

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The effortlessness of the hitch mechanism seems to be something I should worry about, but merely because it is so easy to operate. But too easy? In studying the design, I received the only real concern is that water could enter the cable housing that runs from yellow release handle on the yoke to the spring-loaded detents in the sockets where the axle balls fit. This would accelerate a RTTPOFS or rust-to-the-point-of-failure scenario. However, if the cable violated, I could easily disengage the detents and release the trailer manually by simply reaching into the sockets and depressing the detents with my thumb. In a true SHTF, you could easily run around the ball-and-socket mechanism to the phase of permanently securing the trailer to the axle, or building a simple but effective work-around to allow on-demand hitch and release of the trailer.

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The handling of the loaded COHO XC requires a small adjustment in your riding habits. Due to the additional duration, weight and potential sideways pulling of the loaded trailer, the flow of the turn must account for the entire bike-trailer system. If the motorcycle is turned too quickly, the trailer will add a Newtonian Law lateral tug on the bike necessitating a course correction and balance adjustment. But when the motorcycle and trailer are driven in unison, the entire system flows through turns and terrain like a champ. And when going downhill, you might even forget it’s there.

Related: Bike Realities of Prepping

A key element of the single-wheel trailer in comparison with the traditionally bred dual-wheel trailer is that the articulated nature of a triple-wheel inline system( bike wheels followed directly by trailer wheel) provides multiple fulcrum phases where road bumps and road undulations are soaked up with a rocking motion rather than the aggressive ram-and-bounce approach of the dual wheel designs. The reason this articulation runs is that as road bumps and dips lift or lower the slant of the trailer while two-wheel designs raise and lower the entire trailer at once making for a much harsher ride and also a trailer than can easily get hung up on logs and curbs.

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Even more, the width of the COHO XC fits within the thicknes profile of the bike’s handlebars meaning you are able to zip through with trailer any opening or pathway you could have ridden through anyway. Not always true with dual-wheeled trailers, especially when turning. Even if you do encounter an edge, the wedge shape of the COHO XC as it widens off the bike will just force itself into alignment with the bike. And with a single-wheel design, there is no you can hook a trailer wheel on an obstacle, tree, branch, fencing post, or any other object small enough to fit between side wheel and frame and strong enough to destroy your trailer or throw you over the handlebars, or likely both.

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Furthering the smooth ride of the COHO XC is a spring shock mounted between the frame and the rear wheel fork. The adjustable spring soaks up bumps and vibrations, and keeps the wheel on the ground as much as possible. Trailers are notorious for briefly leaving the ground when encountering bumps of a certain size. This phenomenon can cause the trailer to ricochet sideways, and even hop off the side of a trail on its own. With a bit if spring actuated float, the trailer tire will grip the ground better under lateral forces-out over bumps and washboarded roads.

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For the bug out, there is one feature that will likely not get use and that is the orange security flag that rides atop a flexible pole. However, one flag component that will likely get some use is the bottle opener integrated into the flagpole mount. The value of any particular piece of survival gear is based on its overall contribution to the survival equation with bonus points added for gear you can use now for fun and work. A $40 k dedicated bug out vehicle that sits in your garage is an effective and desirable piece of kit, but perhaps not the most immediately functional. So for one 100 th that cost, you can have the next best thing, the Burley COHO XC bug out motorcycle trailer.

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