When I was a kid I had a tricycle that was made from steel thicker than is used in today’s armored vehicles. It outweighed me by more than a bowling ball and was so durable that it’s probably in use even as I type. The tires were solid rubber and had rolling resistance on a par with a cardboard box.
Clearly, it had some deficiencies.
But it also had some wonderful attributes, like the fact that because it was so durable, multiple kids could ride the thing without it going “Kaput!” It also had real ball bearings in the headset and the wheels, so once you did get it moving, it wasn’t hard to keep moving, or to steer.
I’d been interested in getting The Deuce on a tricycle so that he could try a different form of movement, but I wanted to be careful that I wasn’t forcing something on him that he didn’t dig. I really don’t want to be a Little League Dad.
At Interbike, I spotted Joovy, a company that makes a variety of kids’ products—from joggers to potty training. They were showing, among other things, the Tricycoo, which is to the traditional tricycle what the island of Manhattan is to Key West.
The Tricycoo is at root a normal tricycle. What makes it different are the many accessories it adds. First, is the removable surround that will keep the kid from falling out if the child is still more a blob than a Bob. Second, are the fold-away platforms for a child who can’t quite reach the pedals. Third, there’s a slider in the front wheel that will allow the pedals to freewheel if you’re pushing the child around. Fourth is the removable push handle that allows you to control its movement, making it a reasonable substitute for a stroller. The handle also steers the Tricycoo, but oddly, this is also the unit’s only failing; the turn radius of the Tricycoo is on the order of 12 feet; following the contours of an ordinary sidewalk isn’t easy.
I’ve seen plenty of plastic or mostly plastic tricycles that are utter garbage. The difference between the Joovy and those others is method of manufacture. The crap is generally made with what’s called a blow mold. The Tricycoo is made with injection molding, and that makes it considerably more durable, and gives the pieces a much more precise fit. Think of blow molds as whittling and injection molding as a proper wood shop.
Oh, and the reason I mentioned that cast iron device I grew up with? This thing is the tricycling equivalent of the Trek Emonda. Lighter than a pickpocket’s fingers.
Of course, if the child in question doesn’t like it, you lose. It needs features, right? Well, there’s a bucket in back big enough to carry a couple of Gatorades on a hot day. In more ordinary circumstances, it’s perfect for a stuffed animal and a couple of choo-choos. And the bell is loud enough to announce your presence, even to the old lady napping in 3A.
All this, for $99.99.
Final thought: Gateway drug.