As you may remember, over the New Year period we went to the UK, and had a very successful experience with a Burley tagalong trailer. The kids loved it, and it was very easy to ride with it on the bike.

I’ve been thinking about getting one for use at home ever since, especially as the children are really now too big for the ‘two passenger‘ solution I had – their increased weight coupled with the high centre of gravity was making putting them both into the kiddie seats a tiring proposition. If I could put the tagalong on the back of the rack, and leave enough space for another child to sit straddling the rack at the front, I’d have a more manageable solution.

The issue was how to attach it to the bike. I pondered this for a while, whilst doing some internet investigations. And I found a few people who had successfully fashioned a bracket to attached a Burley trailer to an Xtracycle. I reached out to those people, but the information I found was rather old and I couldn’t track them down. But, after some consideration, I figured that I could probably work something out locally. And if not, I’d just have to buy a new bike suitable to fit the Burley to. So I bought a Burley Piccolo trailer, which duly arrived.

The next step was to find someone who could convert the Burley rack into something I could attach to the Radish. The Burley rack as it comes is a well-built steel rack, which fits in the conventional way over the back wheel of a bike. I needed someone who could take the top part of the rack, and fabricate some kind of bracket so I could bolt it down to the rear deck of the Radish. Luckily I had the adapter brackets for the kids seats as a kind of template.

After a bit of ringing around, I found the inestimable Matt Hopkins, of Hopkins Welding. He gamely agreed to have a go at the job, and duly set to with this metalworking tools and welding gear.

I can share a short lesson here if you are every thinking of doing something similar. Don’t simply take the part you need modified to your chosen artisan, along with a rather vague description of what you need. Yes, that’s right; version 1.0 was not quite right. I hadn’t taken the whole hitch mechanism along, so Matt couldn’t see that he needed to avoid some parts of the frame when fabricating brackets, where the hitch slots over them. However, when I subsequently took along the whole thing, he was quickly able to modify it to version 1.1, which worked perfectly. I have to say Matt was very patient with me over what was undoubtedly a much more fiddly job that he at first had imagined, and is a thoroughly nice bloke.

The other requirement was for something for the child sitting on the rack to hold on to. A bit more internet investigation revealed solutions for this too; with an extra long stem, some small handlebars and the correct shim I was easily able to fit some stoker bars behind my saddle, making for a secure ride for the child sitting on the back.

So, with everything fitted it was time for our first ride. We scooted around the block a few times, with the kids swapping places on the tag-a-long and the rack. And it was a great success. The kids love it, and it’s much easier for me to ride; the lower centre of gravity and less weight on the rack makes the bike much more stable. I can also finally do away with the faff of straps and kids seats.

I’m on the lookout for a cushion and some Edgerunners for the Radish, to finish off the job, but for now it works fine as it is. The dual-kid transport solution is back in action!

Views: 168

Comment by Dan on June 5, 2017 at 11:11pm

In years gone by, a post like this would have got dozens of comments. Things aren't what they used to be 'round 'ere...   

Comment by Colin on June 5, 2017 at 11:32pm

Hi Dan, I also have a Burley Piccolo, and it's been great - very practical and easy. If I could change anything it would be to have a 3-speed internal hub instead of 7-speed deraillers, and for the handlebars and a few other bits to be alu instead of steel as all the steel bits got very rusty very quickly. I bought a couple of extra racks and even have one on my tandem, so we can ride as a family, two adults, one child, three in a row. We've even done some short tours like that.

Comment by AdamM on June 6, 2017 at 9:45am

Can't believe I missed this post! Very nice work by Matt. Well done.

I need to make more use of my Mundo, although a bit tough these days when we have moved house and it's now 13km to the kids school. :^(   I keep pondering an electric assist to get riding to school back onto the agenda.

Comment by PeterT on June 7, 2017 at 11:41am

> And if not, I’d just have to buy a new bike suitable to fit the Burley to.

That's the spirit!

Any ballpark figure for engaging the welder + material for your job? An estimate would do - thanks

Comment by Dan on June 8, 2017 at 2:12pm

Cost was about $150. But I gave him a bit more to cover the re-work for version 1.1, so call it $200. 

Re the gears - yes, a hub would be much better.

In actual fact, I meant to buy the Burley Kazoo, which is the same thing but singlespeed. But I somehow bought the Piccolo by mistake.

It's true the kids struggle to change gear whilst pedalling. And in any case, they just push it up into top gear, because it's easier for them to cruise along pedalling more slowly (plus it's harder for small hands to change down, due to the additional pressure required on the lever) But it means I get less assistance from them on the hills!


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