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Burley Coho XC Review

This model combines the heavy-duty build quality of some two-wheeled trailers with the easy pull of a one-wheel design
Burley Coho XC
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $490 List | $489.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Durable, easy hitch, elastic cargo net, smooth ride, stands on its own, one wheel
Cons:  Heavy
Manufacturer:   Burley
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 24, 2021
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83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 8
  • Capacity - 30% 8
  • Ease of Use - 20% 9
  • Ease of Towing - 20% 8
  • Smoothness of Ride - 20% 8
  • Versatility - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Burley Coho XC offers many different configurations for whatever application you might need and some critical features that make it useful day-to-day, such as a kickstand and one-handed hitching. The combination of single-wheel efficiency and the ability to expand the gear-hauling capacity to 70+ liters makes for an incredibly versatile bike cargo trailer. Out of the box, the Coho came together easily, and the provided thru-axle fit guide provided helpful step-by-step instructions. While this trailer is on the heavy side, if you're looking for a durable and capable bike cargo trailer that is equally at home on a paved bike path as it is on flowing smooth singletrack or dirt roads, look no further.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Burley Coho XC
This Product
Burley Coho XC
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $489.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$299.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$154.99 at Amazon$299.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.99 at Amazon
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Pros Durable, easy hitch, elastic cargo net, smooth ride, stands on its own, one wheelLightweight, large capacity, versatileEasy to assemble, spring loaded connection on the hitch allows for good tracking behind the bike, durableUser friendly, packable, stable haulingEasy to use, good tracking, simple assembly, affordable
Cons HeavyNo straps or dry sack includedPlastic bottom rattles when using empty, heavy, axle mount for the trailer has a tendency to rotate forward due to the torque from the weightSmall wheels, plastic componentsNoisy, wheels out of true, thin fabric top
Bottom Line This model combines the heavy-duty build quality of some two-wheeled trailers with the easy pull of a one-wheel designNo matter what you want to haul, this trailer will probably do itThis burly and affordable trailer is too heavy for the long haul, but useful around townThis is an incredibly easy to use trailer with the ability to transport groceries and fragile materials without damaging themDesigned for simplicity and ease of use, this bike trailer will get you to and from the grocery store without any hassle
Rating Categories Burley Coho XC Burley Design Flatbed Aosom Wanderer Burley Travoy Schwinn Day Tripper
Capacity (30%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
Ease Of Towing (20%)
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Smoothness Of Ride (20%)
8.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Versatility (10%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Burley Coho XC Burley Design Flatbed Aosom Wanderer Burley Travoy Schwinn Day Tripper
Capacity 70 lbs 100 lbs 110 lbs 60 lbs 50 lbs
Weight 21.5 lbs 14.5 lbs 30 lbs 10.2 lbs 18.5 lbs
Number of Wheels 1 2 2 2 2
Size (when open, L x W x H) 32.5” x 22” x 22.5” 33" x 16.1" x 30.9" 57" x 27.6" x 19.2" 43"x 22" x 16" 25" x 16.5" x 10"
Wheel Size 16” 16" 16" 12" 16"
Access into Trailer Top Top Top Top Top
Cover Protection None None None Weatherproof tote Weatherproof cover
Attachment to Bike Quick release Forged Hitch Aosom Type 'B' Bike Trailer Universal Hitch Coupler Quick release Forged Steel Hitch

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're looking for a versatile trailer, the Coho XC is a no-brainer. It can pack away tons of equipment and utilizes a one-wheel design, making it more capable on singletrack. In addition to how smooth this thing rides, it can stand on its own when detached from the bike and has an easy-to-use one-handed hitching system. What else could you want?!

Performance Comparison


The Coho XC offers an easy solution to camping by bike allowing you...
The Coho XC offers an easy solution to camping by bike allowing you to pack enough cargo to be comfortable for days.
Photo: Brian Martin

Capacity


The Coho XC boasts a 70-pound max payload and a 70-liter cargo bay expandable with add-ons and a stretchy cargo net. When compared to other single-wheel trailers, the Coho has a similar weight allowance but a much larger space to pack that material. The result of having a larger cargo bay is the ability to fine-tune where heavier items are placed. This allows you to reduce the sway and improve the ride quality when compared to more restrictive one-wheel trailers. Initially, we felt compelled just to dump our camping supplies into the trailer haphazardly to see how the trailer rode. We discovered quickly that careful packing is essential.


Because of the included stretchy cargo net, we found that we could stretch the capacity of the Coho significantly. When everything was packed, and we realized we forgot to throw our jackets in, we could just drop them on top and lash them down without any concern of them getting loose. All of this expandability did allow us to overpack the trailer. While it boasts a 70-pound weight limit, when you approach that weight, there is a significant amount of side-to-side wobble that emanates from the trailer. Packing weight closer to the wheel of the trailer (counter-intuitive, we know) does help reduce the sway.

The Coho has ample storage capacity for a mega grocery run, camping off your bike for an extended time, or just rolling a cooler full of ice-cold Butterbeer down to the Quiddich match to get "Lumosed." All kidding aside, this trailer can haul more weight and volume than you will realistically want to pedal, plus the space for the perfect payload balance.

We packed around 40 pounds of groceries into this beast on the...
We packed around 40 pounds of groceries into this beast on the regular. Our 5-mile ride home was drama-free every time and groceries were undamaged despite some seriously rough roads along the way.
Photo: Brian Martin

Ease of Use


Once you have the correct thru-axle or skewer for your whip, the Coho is extremely easy to use. If you're entertaining the thought of hitching up this trailer, check out Burley's bike fitting guide and make sure it is compatible with your ride. It most likely will be, but they do have some warnings related to specific carbon frames as the trailer may put forces on the rear triangle that your bike wasn't made for.


The Coho offers both one-handed hitching and unhitching as well as a kickstand to keep the contents in place while you are managing your bike. As our main gear tester has to descend stairs from his apartment before heading to the grocery store, being able to easily detach the trailer and take the bike down separately was critical.

The location of the hitch release and kick stand were well thought...
The location of the hitch release and kick stand were well thought out. We found it easy to steady the bike, drop the trailer kick stand, and unhitch all at once. This left us free to shred some singletrack while leaving our trailer at camp.
Photo: Brian Martin

In addition to being easy to set up out of the box, hitch, and unhitch, the Coho is also easy to load up. While the positioning of heavier items low, towards the middle, and near the trailer wheel is important, lighter equipment can be tossed in and secured with the stretchy cargo net.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Overall, the Coho is extremely easy to use. While determining the correct thru-axle and setup out of the box took a bit of time, the actual use of the trailer is pleasantly simple. All of the removable components of the trailer are attached with quick-release skewers giving you the option of a completely tool-free disassembly (handy if you're flying to a destination to bike tour).

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Ease of Towing


If you're planning a long bike tour on a route like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and are set on utilizing a bike cargo trailer, the Coho XC would definitely get the job done.


The Coho is fantastically easy to tow and offers adjustable coil suspension. Our biggest complaint with the Coho and all other one-wheel trailers we tested is the utilization of such a small wheel. Bike wheels continue to grow in diameter for the added rollover benefits of making rocks seemingly smaller and potholes shallower. The 16-inch wheel of the Coho makes chunky singletrack riding a no-go as it just can't roll over the big stuff. However, as long as we stuck to fire roads, smooth singletrack, and maintained dirt roads, this puppy towed like a champ.

When unloaded and riding on smooth pavement the Coho wasn't even...
When unloaded and riding on smooth pavement the Coho wasn't even noticeable.
Photo: Brian Martin

With careful packing, we found the Coho to pull effortlessly. When we were a bit more careless with our packing, there would be a noticeable pull to whatever side had more weight, as well as difficulties pushing the bike up steeper terrain.

If you are tackling a multi-day overnighter with the Coho, there is an option to add a 16+ inch tire, giving you extra rollover and a fatter tire that won't sink into soft dirt roads or sand. While we didn't test this add-on, we have ridden many fat bikes, and there is no doubt that fat tires offer a huge benefit on soft surfaces as well as some extra rollover for the chunk.

Smoothness of Ride


We often completely forgot we had a trailer hitched on our way to the grocery store. Once we loaded the Coho down, the only noticeable differences in the smoothness of the ride were the pull and sway we would feel if heavy items were loaded too close to the hitch. We quickly discovered that loading heavy items near the trailer wheel kept this sway at bay.


The adjustable coil spring suspension definitley took some of the harshness out of rough dirt roads. While the suspension has no dampening, it is better than nothing and helps keep the trailer tire on the road when things get bumpy. Compared to trailers without any suspension, the Coho is noticeably smoother, especially when we were testing it in isolation riding over a curb.

The adjustable coil spring on the Coho offers a smoother ride than...
The adjustable coil spring on the Coho offers a smoother ride than the unsprung trailers, as well as the feeling of having less cargo weight when hitting larger bumps.
Photo: Brian Martin


The unique hitch system offered a huge range of motion. Like your shoulder joint, the hitch clips over the two ball joints of the thru-axle. This lets the bike and trailer move independently, allowing you to drop and climb steps without too much drama.

The Coho hitch system allows the trailer and bike to move...
The Coho hitch system allows the trailer and bike to move independently giving you greater mobility when trails get a bit technical or for when you want to show off publicly in a gear review situation.
Photo: Brian Martin

The biggest downside to the quality of towing is the large spacing from the rear wheel of the bike to the cargo bay of the trailer. The result of this large spacing is a bit more of a wagging sensation, almost as though the cargo was a hammock and the trailer wheel and bike wheel were the anchors it swung from.

Versatility


The Coho is one of the most versatile bike cargo trailers we have tested. Not only does this trailer boast a high weight allowance at 70 pounds and haul a large volume of material, but it also does this with just one wheel. This means singletrack and chunky roads are significantly more passable than if it had two wheels and a wide profile.


Having the ability to hitch/unhitch the trailer with one hand and have it stand on its own also opens up possibilities that aren't feasible with other trailers. On a past trip, we found ourselves using the Coho as a bike-to-fish companion, allowing us to throw in a small cooler of ice (for the bounty) as well as our fishing equipment, food, and water.

Hitching heavy loads is noticeably easier with the Coho since its...
Hitching heavy loads is noticeably easier with the Coho since its kick stand puts the hitch right below the attachment points on the bike. This lets you focus on steadying the bike and only lifting the trailer about an inch to hitch.
Photo: Brian Martin

Finally, having an elastic cargo net to contain our haphazardly packed equipment was excellent. There were times, such as the fishing trip mentioned above, where we just wanted to dump equipment in the trailer and go without worrying about things flopping out. The cargo net did extremely well at containing the chaos.

Ready to put some fish on ice in the cooler. The Coho was an...
Ready to put some fish on ice in the cooler. The Coho was an excellent bike to fish rig, keeping the weight off our back and allowing us to enjoy the ride.
Photo: Brian Martin

Value


The Coho isn't cheap. However, this trailer is extremely versatile, has a huge range of add-on products, and even offers a fat tire option for sandy or soft terrain. Considering these extras, the Coho is one of a kind. If its capabilities fit your needs, the price is justifiable. It's also worth noting, if your bike utilizes a 12mm thru-axle, there will be an additional cost to order the proper axle.

Conclusion


We feel like the Burley Coho XC is one of the most versatile bike trailers out there, not only allowing for a large payload but also allowing you to haul that stuff down singletrack and to places two-wheel trailers aren't likely to go. Like many of Burley's trailers, this trailer is refined and shows attention to detail, from one-handed hitching to variable packing options and even a cargo net for when the packing gets out of hand. We love this trailer.

While technical singletrack was a challenge with the Coho, the miles...
While technical singletrack was a challenge with the Coho, the miles flew by on flowing forest service dirt roads.
Photo: Brian Martin

Brian Martin