How to Replace a Radio Flyer Tricycle Wheel
The Radio Flyer Trike: Model 33
Many people have had a Radio Flyer toy growing up. The Radio Flyer trike, model 33, seems to be almost as symbolic as the Radio Flyer wagon. A favorite for many children because of the support and ease to pedal them, this is a toy that is a great starter for kids just learning to pedal. My in-laws still had the trike my wife used when she was a child. They love having the grandchildren over and always have some of the old toys my wife or her sister played with when they were children.
Recently, they got the Model 33 Radio Flyer trike out of their attic and put it out to surprise some of the grandkids. Unfortunately, while backing out of the driveway, one of my in-laws did hit the trike and ruined one of the back wheels. I decided that, instead of anyone buying a new one, I would fix the old one for my in-laws, as much for the sentiment of my children riding the trike my wife used growing up as anything else.
Some people will prefer to buy a new trike instead of fixing an old one or buying a used one. There is nothing wrong with that, and the only reason I did not buy a new one is the history with our specific Radio Flyer trike.
Radio Flyer Spoke Wheel
I have to admit that I was pretty lucky that only the wheel was hit. These little trikes are built very solid, but if the axle had been bent, I would hope that only the end of the axle was bent and not the underside sheathing. The axle actually has a tube that it inserts into on the underside of the bottom platform so that the turning axle is not allowed to catch anything up into it.
The spokes actually broke at the welding points, saving me a lot of time and effort. But if you do need to replace the axle, it is 3/8th of an inch. I know my local tractor supply company has stock this width, and I would simply need to shorten to cut some of the play down.
If you do need the assembly instructions, you can look on Radio Flyer's site for assembling instructions for various models and toys.
De-construct Before Constructing
As one of the guys I used to work construction with would say, "You have to know how to de-construct before you can construct." So, simply take a hub off one side of the axle, and then you can slide the whole axle out, and the wheels and spacers will come off.
In my case, I could have gotten away with simply leaving one hub on and putting one new wheel on, but I replaced both hubs and back wheels. I ordered two new back wheels and two hubs from Radio Flyer. I could not find 3/8th axle holes in any tires, so I just bought it all from Radio Flyer, which sells replacement parts for its products.
Assemble the Radio Flyer
First, there has to be a hub on one end, then the tire, and the spacer last. Then you will feed the axle through the chambering and pop it out the other side. Slide the spacer on then the tire. Brace the side that already has a hub on something solid like wood. I would not recommend cement because it will ding up the hub. But have the side with the hub down and then top the other side with a hub.
I use a scrap piece of wood and a hammer to tap the hub on. I do know that there are little plastic tools that are recessed for these hubs, but I put the ones I had from miscellaneous kids' toys in the trash. And if you are careful everything will be fine.
Time for Fun
Well, at least your kids should be having fun after you are finished. Although, if you send me a picture of you riding the trike after you fix it—I would be interested in a good laugh. I surprised my daughter with this when she got back home from running errands with my wife. And she loves it.
She has three or four different style trikes and bicycles, and she probably likes the Radio Flyer trike the most. She is three years old and can ride them all, but she seems to have an easier time with this one, and the posture on it is good for her too.
Radio Flyer Trikes
This is the second generation for this Radio Flyer. I would highly recommend buying them, and if you have the room to store it easily—it can be a great gift for your grandchildren. I enjoy being able to show a picture of my wife riding this Radio Flyer to my daughter and explain to her that she is riding the exact same one that her Mommy had. Call me silly, but it is nice to see that it makes them both happy.