Burley Kazoo Review
The Burley Kazoo is our top pick for single-speed trailer cycles. Super smooth ride with a great turning radius, it attaches to an included rack for best-in-class stability. Read the review!
BEST FOR: The most stable of all the traditional trailer cycles, the Kazoo is our top pick for the average family.
|Suggested Age Range||
4 to 10
|Trailer Cycle Type||
Pros & Cons
- Fits a wide age range of kids - adjustable seat and handlebars
- Lightweight aluminum frame - just 16.5 lbs.
- High-quality and durable frame and components
- Incredibly easy to mount and unmount
- Mounts on rear rack for less wobble factor
- Wide turning radius for a trailer cycle
- Kids can choose to pedal or just go along for the ride
- Soft, comfy saddle
- Doesn't fold for compact storage
- Rack assembly is time intensive and requires cutting metal
Burley Kazoo Review – Results of our Test Rides
Our family is currently obsessed with trailer bikes. My older kids, who are too big to ride in the trailer with our toddler, are finally feeling the thrill of being towed around by mom. And as a parent, I love the feeling of “connectedness” of being so close to my kids as we ride, chat, and work together.
Built and designed by the well-known Burley trailer company, the Burley Kazoo is a family-favorite, top-quality trailer cycle that’s easy to mount, easy to pull, and a much smoother ride than other tag-a-long bikes on the market.
Burley offers two trailer cycles that are exactly the same except for one key difference – gears. The Burley Kazoo does not have gears, while the Burley Piccolo does. Both of Burley’s trailer cycles are exceptional quality and if you can afford their higher price tag, provide a smoother, easier ride than cheaper options.
“Look, Mom! No hands!!!” Seriously… our kids, my friends’ kids, our neighborhood kids… everyone wanted to ride the Burley Kazoo. Over and over and over. And while it’s certainly nice that kids can pedal and help relieve your workload, I did eventually poop out. 🙂
The Burley Kazoo is a fantastic ride just for fun, for short errands, dropping a kid off at school, or extended family bike rides. Our 6-year-old neighbor doesn’t know how to ride a bike yet, and loved the big-kid feeling he got on the Kazoo by riding his first “real” bike. Other parents love the option of being able to cover longer distances without worrying about kids melting down.
At just 16.5 lbs, the Kazoo is pretty lightweight and easier than other trailer cycles to pull. The Burley Piccolo weighs 18 lbs, while our favorite budget trailer cycle, the Weeride Co-Pilot, weighs 24 lbs. As someone who does a lot of kid-towing, I can attest to the fact that pulling less weight makes your ride a lot more enjoyable.
Wobble and Balance
One thing you need to know before you buy any trailer cycle is that they can have a pretty big effect on your balance as they wobble behind your bike. Standard trailer cycles, like the Kazoo, tend to wobble more because the child’s seat is much higher off the ground. As your child leans or wiggles around, you unexpectedly lean too.
Recumbent trailer cycles like the Weehoo Turbo, as well as traditional bike trailers, wobble less because the child sits much lower to the ground and therefore have a much lower center of gravity. Recumbent bikes generally don’t have nearly as much of an effect on the adult’s balance.
Weehoo Turbo Recumbent Trailer Cycle
As far as tag-a-long trailer cycles go, the Kazoo does wobble, but is significantly more stable than less expensive models like the WeeRide Co-Pilot. The Co-Pilot has a longer tow arm that is attached to the adult bike’s seat post, while the Kazoo’s shorter tow arm is attached to a rack on the rear of the bike.
In addition to providing a more stable ride, Burley’s proprietary rack mount has another benefit. When attaching a trailer cycle to the adult bike’s seat post, it’s possible for the weight of the child and the trailer cycle to rotate your saddle out of alignment. This, of course, can’t happen if the trailer cycle is attached to a rack!
Seat Post vs. Rack Mounted Trailer Bike
The increased stability of the Kazoo allows for a smoother ride for the child and adult. And from an adult’s perspective, it’s much less mentally and physically straining when you’re not constantly correcting for balance. Lighter, smaller kids produce less wobble, while with my older, heavier kids, the wobble was much more pronounced.
One particular area where the Burley Kazoo shines over less expensive trailer cycles is its ability to smoothly take turns. While we loved the WeeRide Co-Pilot for its sub-$100 price tag, its turning radius was somewhat limited and the hitch joint was much stiffer.
Turning on the Kazoo was surprisingly easy. As I navigated windy paths and corners, I felt the Kazoo swing out gently behind me and then smoothly return to tracking straight. The smoothness in turning was a huge confidence booster and made me immediately place more trust in the capabilities of the Kazoo.
The turning radius of the Kazoo is actually almost 360 degrees! Not that you’d need that much leeway while riding, but when parking the bike at a park or storing the bike in the garage, it’s a huge space saver.
Gears or No Gears?
Hills and trailer cycles provide a unique challenge. Climbing a hill is the time when you want the child to pedal the hardest to ease your load. But the harder a child pumps their pedals, the more wobble they produce. Catch 22, baby.
One test ride we took was particularly hilly. My 8-year-old was pumping his little heart out to help me on a steady incline, as I was struggling to keep the trailer cycle straight so we wouldn’t fall over. It was a moment when I thought, man, the geared Burley Piccolo would sure be nice right about now!
If you live in a hilly area, the 7-speed Piccolo is definitely something you should consider over the Kazoo. If a kid is able to adjust his gears properly as you ride that incline, his pedaling will be smooth, rather than choppy, and produce less of a wobble effect.
7-Speed Burley Piccolo
That said, the Burley Kazoo (and Piccolo) are a best fit for younger kids – about 4 to 7. In our experience, most kids in this age range have trouble understanding and mastering shifting. You’ll probably need to do a lot of coaching and tell them specifically which “number” to be on as you climb hills. Whether you think your child can manage that is really up to you.
Adult Bike Fit
No matter how stinking awesome the Kazoo is, please make sure that it will fit with your bike before you purchase! The Kazoo’s rack-mounted hitch, in addition to the high arc of the tow arm, offer a pretty universal fit. If your bike has threaded eyelets to mount a rack, your bike will most likely work with the Kazoo.
If your bike has disc brakes, the rack may not be compatible. Before purchase, we suggest contacting Burley’s fantastic customer service team to confirm that your bike will take the rack.
Trailer bikes that attach to the seat post (like the Co-Pilot) are more likely to have difficulty with sufficient clearance between the adult bike’s rear tire and the tow arm.
Kazoo’s Tow Arm is Higher than the WeeRide
Child Fit and Adjustability
The padded seat on the Burley Kazoo adjusts easily up and down with its quick-release seat collar. There is a range of 18.5″ – 24″ from the top of the seat to the top of the pedal, which makes it easy to accommodate your kids, your neighbor’s kids, your friend’s kids… you get the picture. The handlebars can slide up and down the tow arm to be raised or lowered for taller or shorter kids.
Burley recommends the Kazoo be used with 4 to 10-year-olds and a max of 85 lbs. We tested it out with this super excited group of kids ages 4 to 12, weighing 34 to 82 lbs.
Below you can see how the Kazoo fit our 4, 6, 8, and 10-year-old riders. Our smallest rider, at 41″, is about the smallest we would recommend for the Kazoo. In the image below, the seat height is set at its lowest point for both the 4 and 6-year-old. Our 4-year-old’s leg is almost fully extended when the pedal is at its lowest point.
4-Year-Old and 6-Year-Old on Kazoo
We lowered the handlebars about 2″ down the tow arm for our 4 and 6-year-old riders. The handlebar adjustment is less essential than the seat post adjustment, but moving the handlebars down was more comfortable for them.
Compared to the Weeride Co-Pilot, the Kazoo’s handlebars can be positioned much lower, allowing for a more natural drop in the arms. Over time this position is less fatiguing that keeping your arms up higher.
Handlebar Placement: Kazoo vs. Weeride Co-Pilot
While the Kazoo is most likely intended more for little kids who can’t ride long distances on their own, my stronger, older kids probably loved the Kazoo more than anyone! Below you can see how my 53″ 8-year-old (65 lbs.) and 57″ 10-year-old (74 lbs.) still fit quite nicely on the Kazoo!
8-Year-Old and 10-Year-Old on Kazoo
Be aware that not just any rack will work with the Kazoo. Burley’s trailer cycles come with a Burley-specific rack. While this rack can be used to carry luggage, it cannot be used for a child bike seat. If you also use a rear child bike seat, you would have to swap out or remove the rack each time you wanted to use the child bike seat. Not very realistic.
Once the rack is installed, attaching the “patented aluminum ball-bearing guided hitch” is soooooo easy. You simply pull the small black tab on the mounting plate, place the mounting plate on the center of the rack, push down on the mounting knob, and tighten. It’s really the easiest mounting systems I’ve ever encountered.
One minor drawback to the Burley Kazoo is that the tow arm does not fold. This makes it a little harder to transport depending on your vehicle. However, certainly not impossible.
In the back of our 2019 Honda Pilot, we could fit both the bike trailer and the trailer bike in the rear by folding down one seat, still leaving room for 4 kids, 2 adults, and 4 bikes on the hitch rack!
Another drawback involves the assembly of the rack. While the assembly of the bike portion of the Kazoo is straightforward and relatively simple, mounting the rack to the adult bike was much more difficult than we anticipated.
It took almost an hour and involved cutting the rack’s metal stays to their proper length. (The stays are thin metal cylinders that attach the rack to the seat stays of the adult bike.) If you don’t have tools for cutting metal, make friends with a handy neighbor or visit your local bike shop!
Like everything Burley makes, the Kazoo is solidly built with great-quality components. With a lightweight aluminum frame, 20″ wheel on metal rims, plastic chain guard, high-quality crank arms and pedals, a cushioning saddle, and easy size adjustments, the Kazoo is a bike we’re confident will last for years to come.
In the image below, you can see the splash guard that attaches underneath the Kazoo’s handlebars. This plastic guard shields the child rider from water or mud getting kicked up by the adult bike.
One small thing to note. The directions and diagram for attaching the splash guard on the Kazoo are confusing and inaccurate. To attach the splash guard, you have to remove two screws, but then you only use one of the screws/holes to secure the splash guard to the tow arm. We just threw the other screw away.
If you want cool parent points and unforgettable family memories, score yourself a Burley Kazoo. But not only is the Kazoo fun, it’s built for smooth rolling performance for short and long distances alike. Whether you want to drop your kid off at school, or take them along for an all-day ride, the Kazoo will get you there.
For my family, the Kazoo is a great substitute bike that allows us to take our family of six on extended rides away from home. Instead of having to take two cars to load five bikes and a trailer, we load up the rack with two adult bikes and two kids’ bikes, and put a trailer and a trailer cycle in the back!
Burley Piccolo Review – The Burley Piccolo is a higher-end version of the Co-Pilot, and has gears!
Trail Gator Review – A tow bar that allows you to tow your child’s full bicycle behind you.
Weeride Co-Pilot Review– Similar to the Kazoo, but less stable and more budget-friendly.
Burley Bee Review – Burley’s entry-level trailer