The Dirt King -- WindRoamer Tricycle ~ Original "Some Assembly Required" Project ~
"Oooh, I want one of these"! A Really Cool Tricycle for the Big Kid In All Of Us.
I recently received a call from a good friend, asking if I could help out with a small project of hers. "Bring your tools", was the last thing she said as we exited the phone conversation. No problem, as I probably have more requisite tools than the average Handyman Bear.
Soon, the toolbox was secured, and I headed over to her house to see what was up. I often help her out with small chores and things that need to be repaired. And though I am not an OFFICIAL handyman, I do know the difference between a crescent and monkey in the wrench department, and also know not to scrape an entire ceiling with a flatblade screwdriver. I think this probably rates me out as a handy HelperMan, rather than 'Full-On-Handy'. And yes, I have been known to 'do' plumbing.
I arrived at her house, and there, in the carport, sat a very large, thin box. "It's my new tricycle", she beamed with obvious pride and excitement in here voice. I was impressed, and maybe a tad jealous. I hadn't seen a tricycle for many a year, and envisioned the one's I knew as a much younger person.
Klunky, heavy, no-bearing things with extra-hard rubber wheels that efficiently 'felt' every bump and stone of the road, and a metal seat pan as comfortable as a brick. Oh, those grand days of old! Pedaling my older brother's large-sized version all about our driveway, front walk, and "not too far now"--down the quiet back-street of my youth. Sorry, I wax on here, three-wheeled poetic.
Without going into too much detail, as she is a somewhat private person, I will just say that she has a bit of trouble moving about, and it is physically difficult for her to ride a regular bicycle. And being an avid flower and vegetable gardener, as well as part-time equine wrangler, she wanted some sort of device to get from place to place around the 'paddock', where the ground is too-often uneven, bumpy, and way-too-seasonally muddy to get about efficiently.
She found this new 3-wheeled conveyance online, and wanted to give it a try, as a way to move about more quickly and with ease from job to job.
She soon left me alone to my handy-ness. I dove right in to the project, ripping into the box, spreading the parts all over her carport, and began assembling her new vundertrike. Looking at all the new pieces, and daydreaming back to my brother's beater tricycle of old, really drove home how much the world of sport has changed. It is amazing what is now available for purchase and use in the realm of bicycles in general, and 3-wheeled conveyances of the pedal, in particular.
The tricycle company she chose is called Dirt King, and this particular model is the WindRoamer. The company makes tricycles for both children and adults. This one is called a 'dually', because it has double rear wheels. Peruse on, and see what emerged from the long, skinny box...
"Ooh, what could be in here?" Too big to be a breadbox, and WAY too small to be your average Heffalump.
I was surprised all this fit in the box. There are actually not too many parts to the trike, and some were already assembled for me. The instruction sheet was pretty simple and easy to follow.
A single, air-filled front tire. Guess that WOULD make it a tricycle. I love the large knobby. Should go through just about anything in it's way, and not sink into the mud. Photo shows me putting the bearing set on the down tube.
The front wheel assembly went together very easily, as you can see. Just like a regular bicycle design. The quality of craftsmanship is impressive. Large tag on back says: Made in the USA.
Tightening up the headset. This took about 17 times to get 'just right'. Practice, practice, practice. But it has to be correct...too tight, the wheel won't turn easily. Too loose, and you weeble-wobble, all the way down the hill. Just right is just right.
Handlebars were already fully assembled in the box, so this part was easy. Just fit the stem down into the tube and tighten the top bolt. Have to get it in-line with the front wheel though, or the tendency will be to go round in circles. A few tweaks, and we're all straight.
The all important seat. This one looks comfy. Just my style. The WindRoamer has both a spring-set in the seat, AND a shock absorb-er on the seat frame mechanism. This thing will be comfortable on bumpy roads or other less-than-smooth areas.
The handlebars and basket were easy. The handlebars are totally adjustable, like a regular bike. I jumped ahead here a bit on the 'how to' scene. Don't want to put you to sleep before we get to ride the trike.
The rest all went together very easily. I love the basket. It is designed as a quick-release. Dump your "stuff" in, ride to your destination, and then just pop the whole thing off the handlebars and carry it around with the fold-down handle. How "handy" is that?!
Ah yes, the completed WindRoamer Tricycle, by Dirt Land. Such a cool machine. It has the dual tires in back, which make it VERY stable. It is extremely hard to tip over...unlike my brother's tricycle of old. I often tipped while curb jumping from drive to street. Wish I'd had one of these way back when!
The completed trike, just sitting idly by, waiting for someone to take it for a test-drive. Hmmm.......
That's what I'M talking about!!*
This thing is fun! I think I need to get one for riding about the homestead. It does take a bit of 'oompff' to get it going on an uphill, but once on the roll, it is pretty easy to pedal. I think this is because most of the rider's weight is over the rear of the machine, rather than over the pedal-driven front wheel.
I "spun out" a few times with the front wheel on a gravely hill. But then again, that just made me look more oh-so strong and cool, when the neighbors walked by. Leaning over the front wheel a bit more helped with this problem.
Guarantee you will get exercise from riding the tricycle, with these big tires. I think my friend will greatly enjoy using it, and it will be a real help in allowing her to move about with ease.
The other advantage of the tricycle, is that it is very stable when walking beside the machine, so it is kind of like a 'walker', to assist with balance while pushing the trike. It IS a bit heavy, I'm guessing 50 lbs., but still rolls very easily when pushing while off the trike.
The wheel bearings are all grease-able, and I believe the pneumatic tires can be easily replaced at a hardware store. And get this: you can even get a TRAILER to pull behind the tricycle, to haul even MORE stuff. It has a place for a little trailer hitch.
At first look, I would recommend the Dirt King -- WindRoamer for anyone looking for an off-road tricycle. I can keep you posted on how it works on a daily basis, once it is 'road tested'. (I only rode it up and down the gravel drive, didn't want to get it too dirty, before she got to play with it.) First thought though, these would be great for an adult that has difficulties with or is physically unstable on a bicycle.
However, I am a biker, and have strong pedaling legs. A thin-wheeled tricycle would be much easier to pedal on a hard road surface. These tires are fat and knobby, and there is one speed--you. This machine would be a great way to get exercise, but is not a way to wiz about off-road. As I stated, it takes some serious pedaling to really get it moving fast. This said...they also make a bunch of models for kids...so what fun to get one for each member of the family, and trike together cross-country.
*Poste Script: The gorgeous, yellow, Space-Man looking, OSHA-approved safety helmet worn by the Active-Lifestyle Model, is NOT included with the Dirt King WindRoamer Tricycle.
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