Burley Flatbed User manual

Burley Flatbed User manual
Owner's Instruction
and Safety Manual
Hardware Bag Contents and Tool List 3
Mounting the Reflectors
III. Installing the Quick-Release Levers
IV. Attaching the Wheels and Tongue
V. Hitching the Flatbed to Your Bicycle
VI. Loading Cargo
VII. Trailer Maintenance and Care
VIII. Safety Guidelines
IX. Safety Checklists
X. Parts List and Drawing
You’ve just purchased a Burley® trailer, the leading choice of discriminating
bicycle trailer owners worldwide. Every effort has been made to ensure your
purchase is of top quality and proven design, ready to provide you with
many years and miles of happy, safe trailering.
IMPORTANT: Because some of the features and guidelines for using
the Burley Flatbed merit close attention, it is very important that
you familiarize yourself with the trailer by reading this entire manual
before use. If you have any questions, we encourage you to
contact your authorized Burley dealer.
Your Burley Flatbed is shipped almost completely assembled from the
factory. This manual is written sequentially to assist initial setup. You need
only to install the quick-release skewers, mount the reflectors, and attach the
Before trailering, be sure you have a thorough understanding of the trailer
hitch operation. Check to see that the trailer wheels and hitch are securely
attached. We again request that you read this manual from start to finish
before use, and then refer to it as necessary in the future.
NOTE: Any reference to left or right is made in the direction of
travel, as if you were standing behind the trailer looking forward.
When Loaning or Selling Your Trailer
If you loan or sell your Burley Flatbed, supply the new user with this manual.
They must familiarize themselves with all sections—especially sections
“VIII. Safety Guidelines” and “IX. Safety Checklists” prior to use. It is essential
that they understand the differences between riding a bicycle with a trailer
and without one. It is also essential that they understand correct wheel
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Hardware Bag Contents and Tool List
IMPORTANT: Please verify that you have received all of the
contents listed. Do not proceed with assembly if any parts are
missing; contact Burley immediately for replacement parts.
Hardware Bag Contents
Quick-Release Levers:
(2) Rear reflector, red
(2) Quick-release lever
(2) Self-tapping screw, reflector
(2) Pair tie-down straps
Tools Required:
Trailer Checklist
5/16", 8mm or small adjustable wrench
Warranty Card
Burley Flatbed Owner’s Instruction & Safety Manual
Mounting the Reflectors
Fasten the reflectors to the brackets located on the rear of the main
frame using the self-tapping screws found in the hardware bag. (Note the
designation “Top” on the back of each reflector.)
Installing the Quick-Release Levers
In the bag with the reflectors you’ll find two quick-release levers. Install these
through the hollow axle of the wheel. Make sure the lever is on the flat side
of the wheel, the thumb nut is on the deep-dished side, and the springs are
mounted on each side as shown in the illustration below.
The quick-release lever must
be on flat side of wheel and thumb
nut on deep-dished side. This
ensures that the lever will be on
the outside when wheel is properly
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Attaching the Wheels and Tongue
First, verify that the tires are inflated to 30–35 P.S.I. Next, tip the trailer frame
on its back end. If you are working on a rough or dirty sur face, lay down a
cloth or other protective barrier to avoid damage to your trailer. Move the
quick-release lever to the unlocked position and place the wheels into the
dropouts, making certain that the axles go all the way into the slots.
IMPORTANT: Wheels are dished off-center and must be installed
so that tires are offset away from side rails, closest to outer frame.
Dished wheels are a unique feature from Burley; they create a
wider track, and thus a more stable trailer.
The quick-release
lever and flat side
of wheel must be
installed toward
outside of trailer.
Once the wheels are fully seated in the dropout slots, the quick-release lever
should be positioned so that it operates in the fore and aft direction. The
lever is marked for open or closed positions. Tighten the right-hand wheel by
moving the lever from the front (open) to the rear (closed) position. Tighten
the left-hand wheel by moving the lever from the rear (open) to the front
(closed) position. Use the thumb nut to adjust for correct spacing of the
quick-release lever.
When properly adjusted, you will feel resistance halfway through tightening
the lever (when the lever is pointing straight out away from the trailer). If you
are unfamiliar with the use of quick-release levers, contact your Burley dealer
for a demonstration.
The quick-release lever
operates in fore-aft direction
(with lever below the axle).
The drawing shows left-hand
wheel in the closed position.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Make sure wheels are held securely; you should not be able
to rock or shift wheels. Improperly installed wheels can fall
off, causing accident and serious injury.
Only use dished, 20 x 1.75 wheels supplied with Burley
Flatbed. Do not operate with tires inflated above 35 P.S.I.
Failure to comply can cause trailer tip over, resulting in
accident and serious injury to cyclist.
Swing Tongue and Hitch into Place
Tip your trailer frame on its back end. If you are working on a rough or dirty
surface, lay down a cloth or other protective barrier to avoid damage to
your trailer. Swing the tongue 180˚ forward, so that it snaps into the plastic
tongue receptacle at the front frame. Slip the safety pin through the hole in
the tongue receptacle to lock the tongue in place. Refer to the illustration
below for correct use of the safety pin.
Safety pin must be locked in place before using trailer,
otherwise tongue could shift and cause accident and serious
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Hitching the Burley Flatbed to Your Bicycle
The trailer hitch was
designed to quickly
and safely attach to
virtually all types of
bicycles. It is inserted
in front of the left
rear dropout of your
Loosen the knob
on the eyebolt until
the two arms are
spread fully apart.
Slip the lower hitch
arm under the chainstay (A) and the upper arm above the seatstay (B). (See
illustration above.) Wedge the hitch cone all the way back into the angle
formed by the stays at the wheel. Tighten the knob until the arms are firmly
clamped against the stays. Wrap the safety strap around the inside of the
chainstay, over the hitch body, and back to the D-ring at the end of the
Make sure that the cone is wedged securely into the stays. The knob should
be finger-tight; do not overtighten. The hitch should not move, but should
allow the bicycle complete movement, including lying it down on the
ground. It should clear any racks, bags, or fittings you have on your bicycle. If
there is any interference, contact your Burley dealer.
IMPORTANT: Remove trailer from your bicycle when it’s not in use to
prevent deforming the plastic hitch.
Do not operate trailer without hitch safety strap properly
installed. A dangling safety strap can contact spokes and
damage rear wheel or cause accident resulting in serious
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Hitch must seat properly into stays and not interfere with
racks, bags, or fittings. Inspect hitch and tongue frequently
for damage or loose fasteners. Interfering parts or damaged
hitch can cause accident resulting in serious injury.
Do not use or store trailer at temperatures below 32˚
Fahrenheit as hitch rubber flex connector can become brittle
and possibly break, causing accident resulting in serious
VI. Loading Cargo
Burley has created the Flatbed trailer to be a flexible and useful tool, for
use in a variety of cargo applications. The trailer is not designed to carry
occupants of any kind (with the exception of pets that are secured
within a pet carrier that is securely fastened to the trailer.) This is a
flexible platform utility vehicle allowing cargo of varying sizes and shapes.
The limitations depend on the operator's ability to properly secure cargo for
good performance and trailer safety. Cargo can be fastened by rope, cargo
tie-down cords, netting, or within a container that is securely fastened to the
Flatbed trailer.
Be Sure Cargo is Secure
When loading cargo on your trailer, always ensure that the load is adequately
fastened and centered on the trailer floor. Cargo needs to remain securely
fastened within the perimeter of the trailer. Do not permit cargo to extend
past the perimeter of the fabric floor on either side. Objects loaded too close
to the trailer wheels when stationary risk catching spokes or interfering
with wheels when the trailer is in motion. The area in front of the trailer
frame must also remain clear to avoid interfering with the bicycle's rear
wheel. Objects that extend beyond the back can obscure reflectors, cause an
unstable weight balance on the bicycle's rear wheel, or contact the ground
on uneven terrain (hills, speed bumps, driveways, etc.)
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Secure a Container First
When carrying smaller items, it is suggested that you fasten a sturdy
container to the trailer first and then carefully load the items you wish to
carry. Use of a container simplifies securing cargo, and reduces wear on your
trailer due to rubbing of edges of small items.
Center the load
It is important to center the load you are carrying. A load balanced front and
back will detract the least from bicycle handling. As weight is placed further
forward on the trailer, the rear bicycle wheel carries more load. If the load is
placed behind the trailer wheels, weight is removed from the bicycle wheel,
making the bicycle less stable. The weight center of your cargo is ideally
located over the center of the trailer's fabric floor.
Cargo must be secured and fit within the fabric floor space
of the trailer, avoiding any contact with trailer wheels or the
wheels of the bicycle pulling it. Shifting cargo can interfere
with wheels causing an accident that can result in serious
injury or death. Weight limit: 100 lbs. Speed Limit: 15 m.p.h.
VII. Trailer Maintenance and Care
Hitch and Tongue Maintenance
Your trailer is designed for low maintenance and easy care. Clean and grease
the eyebolt threads on the hitch periodically to ensure that the eyebolt knob
can be properly tightened.
Because of ultraviolet degradation, we recommend that the hitch be
replaced every five years under normal use. In sunny or smoggy locations or
for trailers that are stored outdoors, the hitch should be replaced every two
to three years for safety. Replace your hitch or tongue if there are any signs of
damage—i.e., cracks, dents, scratches.
IMPORTANT: For any eyebolt service other than lubrication, contact
your Burley Dealer.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Fabric Care
Your Burley Flatbed is manufactured from tough, durable vinyl coated
polyester. The fabric is coated for waterproofness and is highly resistant to
fading. The fabric can be easily cleaned with any mild soap or detergent and
warm water. For more persistent soil, use a nylon bristle brush. When not in
use, store your trailer in a dry, well-ventilated area; wipe it dry before storing
to help avoid mildew.
To extend the life of your fabric, as well as the hitch and other components,
do not store your trailer in direct sunlight. Do not use bleach for cleaning, as
it will damage the fabric.
VIII. Safety Guidelines
Bicycling with a trailer is different from bicycling without one, in ways which
aren’t always obvious. It is therefore essential that you read and understand
all of the following safety guidelines—in addition to the warnings and
instructions in the previous sections—prior to using your trailer. Before
loaning your trailer to others, make sure they too understand its proper, safe
use. Contact your dealer or Burley if any of these instructions are unclear.
Bicycling with a trailer, and bicycling in general, can be
hazardous. Failure to observe any of section “VIII. Safety
Guidelines” could result in accident and serious injury or
Use Well-Maintained Bicycle and Trailer
Use a bicycle which is in good working condition, with good brakes. A
frequent safety check of your bicycle is essential. Inspect and maintain your
trailer as outlined in section “IX. Safety Checklists” of this manual. Have your
Burley dealer maintain and inspect your bicycle and trailer if you are not
qualified to do so.
Starting and Stopping
Because of the trailer’s additional weight, a bicycle pulling a trailer will be
slower to start up and stop, and because of its length it requires more time to
cross streets or paths. Your entire vehicle is heavier and less responsive. This
means you should think further ahead in anticipating stops, turns, and starts.
Note that your trailer extends out further on the left; allow for this difference
when turning, passing pedestrians, or approaching obstacles (like posts
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
on bike paths). We recommend you spend some time experimenting with
a loaded trailer in an uncongested area to become familiar with how your
heavier, longer vehicle responds.
Prevent Trailer Tip Over
Just like automobile and motorcycle trailers, bicycle trailers can tip over.
To avoid overturning: Do not pull your trailer over curbs or hit holes or
other obstructions in the road. Do not make high-speed turns or descents
when pulling the trailer. Always corner with caution at 5 m.p.h. or less, as
the trailer cannot lean into a turn the way a bicycle can. Do not under any
circumstances travel faster than 15 m.p.h.—all road irregularities and your
slowness to react are greatly magnified.
Trailers can tip over causing damage to trailer and serious
injury to cyclists. AVOID causes of tip over, especially:
Hitting potholes, curbs, other road
Taking turns too fast
Sudden swerving
Off-banked turns
Improper wheel installation
Improper tire inflation
Fit, Alert, Adult Pilot
To safely pull a trailer, you need to be a fit, experienced cyclist. You must be
alert, have good sight and hearing, and adequate strength in your legs, arms,
and hands. Never let a child or adolescent pull your trailer because it is likely
that they lack the necessary physical ability and judgment.
No Headphones or Other Distraction
Do not bicycle with headphones, radios, or other distractions. You must be
able to hear surrounding traffic, and concentrate on safe bicycling at all
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
No Motorized Vehicles
Your Burley Flatbed is only intended for use with pedal-powered cycles;
never pull it with a motorized vehicle, as the increased acceleration and
speed could damage the trailer or cause the trailer to tip over.
Avoid Riding in Traffic
We recommend against riding in traffic. If you must ride in traffic, do not pull
your trailer on highways or busy streets. Never assume that you will be given
the right-of-way, even if it is legally yours. Use care when pulling your trailer
on bike routes or along bike lanes, especially at intersections.
Ride on Clean, Paved Surfaces
Your Burley Flatbed is not intended for off-road use. Any bumps or
irregularities could cause tip over and serious injury to the bicyclist or
damage to the trailer and/or its contents. Cross over railroad tracks, curb
cutouts, and road grooves at 90˚. Riding parallel or at acute angle to such
obstacles can cause a crash.
Riding When It’s Slippery
Be especially careful in wet, rainy, or freezing conditions. Your ability to
control and stop your bicycle when towing a trailer is greatly impaired. In
wet conditions apply your brakes periodically to be sure the rims and brake
pads are clear of water. Avoid forceful braking which can cause dangerous
skidding. Ride slowly and allow a greater margin of safety when starting,
stopping, and turning.
Do not ride on surfaces where sand, gravel, ice, oil, or other slippery
substances are present; if you must pass over slippery surfaces, walk your
bike and trailer.
Navigating Curbs, Stairs, and Escalators
Never tow your trailer over curbs; rider must dismount and walk over
any curbs. If you must traverse stairs, prevent a hazardous loss of control:
carefully roll your trailer and bike, independently, up or down the stairs.
Never take your bike or trailer on escalators.
Use Cautiously with Pets
Your trailer is not designed to secure pets. A cat or other small pet can be
towed if they are in a pet carrier secured to the trailer frame. Do not exceed
100 lbs. Never tow an excitable dog in your trailer, as it may lunge or try to
jump out causing tip over or other accident.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Avoid Riding at Night
Make every effort to schedule your rides so you are not pulling a trailer at
night. Because your vehicle is longer and heavier you will be less able to
react to unseen hazards. Automobile drivers may not be accustomed to your
longer vehicle and may not react to it appropriately. If you must ride at night,
wear bright, reflective clothing, use a bright headlight and a red blinking
taillight on your bike. Do not operate without properly attached reflectors;
replace cracked or missing reflectors.
Wear Helmets
Numerous studies have shown that:
Head injury is the leading cause of bicycling fatalities; and,
Helmets prevent or reduce bicyclists’ head injuries.
For safety, it is essential that cyclists use approved bicycling helmets at all
times. Don’t take chances.
Proper Wheels and Tires are Essential
Use only the factory-supplied wheels, and keep them properly maintained.
Inflate tires to 30–35 P.S.I. and check pressure before each use. Do not use
higher-pressure tires, as the trailer will be bouncy and prone to tip over with
light loads. We only recommend tires with street tread. Do not use knobbies.
For stability, dished wheels must be offset to the outside of the trailer (with
tires close to the outer frame, providing a wider track).
Know Your Trailer Hitch
Clamp the hitch securely to the bicycle frame, and check for a tight
attachment each time you use the trailer. Refer to sections “V. Hitching the
Burley Flatbed to Your Bicycle” and “VII. Trailer Maintenance and Care” of this
manual for proper installation, use and maintenance of your hitch.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Bicycles are vehicles, and are required to observe all rules of the road. Always
signal turns and stops; ride with both hands on the handlebars except when
signalling. Scan ahead for dangerous situations, and anticipate turning traffic.
Watch out for parked cars and opening doors. Never run stop signals, and
never ride against oncoming traffic. On bike paths, give audible warning
when passing pedestrians from behind. If you are not aware of your local and
state bicycle regulations, contact your nearby police or motor-vehicles office
for more information. Refer to the owner’s manual of your lead bicycle for
safe cycling information.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Have Fun Defensively
Besides being practical and easy-to-use, the Burley Flatbed allows people
and children to get outdoors for some fun together, rain or shine. The fact
that you’re getting exercise and fresh air at the same time is an added
benefit! So, whether you’re going down to the corner store, across town
on a picnic, or off for an extended vacation, enjoy your Burley Flatbed and
Safety Checklists
Before Each Ride, Ensure the Following:
Wheels tightly attached
Tire pressure 30–35 P.S.I.
Hitch properly secured with safety strap in place
Locked safety pin for tongue
Maximum load 100 lbs.
Bicycle safety check, especially brakes and tires
Monthly Checklist
Inspect tongue and hitch for damage, scratches, or loose fasteners
Inspect frame tubing and hardware for cracks, damage, or loose parts
Inspect tires; worn out or cracked tires can lead to blowout
Inspect wheels for trueness and cracks
Inspect wheel bearings for wear
Contact authorized Burley dealer for repairs/replacement of any
damaged or worn out parts
IMPORTANT: Refer to section “VII. Trailer Maintenance and Care” of
this manual for additional periodic maintenance. Unless you are a
qualified bicycle mechanic, contact your Burley dealer for repairs
and maintenance.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Parts List and Drawing
Note: Subassemblies are indented. Inquire for additional parts.
Preassembled Main Frame Assembly
Front Main Frame, 1" Aluminum Tube
Rear Main Frame, 1" Aluminum Tube
Left Inner Frame, 1" Aluminum Tube
Right Inner Frame, 1" Aluminum Tube
Wheel Dropout
(1) Inner Frame Bridge
(4) Side Rail Posts
(2) Side Rail, 3/4" Aluminum Tube
Tongue and Hitch Assembly
Tongue, 1 1/8" Aluminum Tube w/Bushing, Spindle
& Dropout
Hitch w/Hitch Knob & Ball
Hitch Safety Strap
Clip & D-Ring
Rubber Flex Connector
Tongue Receptacle, Plastic
Software Fabric
Reflector Bracket
Rear Casing Anchor Strip
Hardware Bag (not shown) containing:
(2 pair) Tie-down Straps
Rear (Red) Reflector with Self-Tapping Screw
Wheel Quick-Release Levers (not shown)
D-Ring attachments
Your serial number is located on the bottom of the Left Inner Frame in front of the Wheel
Dropout. Please have your serial number ready when requesting replacement parts.
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
Burley Flatbed Owner's Instruction and Safety Manual
About Burley Design Cooperative
Burley has been supplying products to the bicycle industry since 1975.
Burley products are designed and manufactured at our Eugene, Oregon
shop. As worker-owners of our cooperatively owned business, we bring an
uncommon degree of personal pride and attention to our work. Use our
products with confidence and satisfaction!
Burley Trailer Limited Warranty
Burley will repair or replace any original equipment parts
it determines to be defective for the life of the trailer. The
owner of a Burley trailer must present the trailer for repair at
an authorized Burley dealer, together with an original sales
receipt or similar proof of purchase. This warranty applies
only to the original owner and is nontransferable. Burley
cannot be responsible for failure due to improper assembly,
modification of parts or instructions, neglect, abuse,
accident, and/or normal wear. The warranty does not cover
any trailers used for rental, competition, or commercial use.
Burley neither assumes nor authorizes any person to assume
any other liability in connection with Burley trailers, and
there are no oral agreements or warranties collateral to or
affecting this agreement.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights and you may also
have other rights which vary from state to state.
Burley Design Cooperative
4020 Stewart Rd. • Eugene, OR 97402 USA
(541) 687-1644 • Fax (541) 687-0436
Copyright © 2004 by Burley Design Cooperative
“Burley” is a registered trademark of Burley Design Cooperative
and “d’Lite” is a trademark of Burley Design Cooperative
rev. 04/04
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