After six months of using Joovy’s Tricycoo, we totally love it. And others do, too. We have turned more heads and have heard so many comments like “where do I get one of those?” or “that would be perfect for our grandson.”
Now, to be fair, Joovy recommends the Tricycoo for tots 18 months and over. We tossed our little tester, Rosie, into it when she was just 8 months as her upper body control was pretty solid back then and is totally bomber now. She loved it right away. Our standard stroller collected dust because it never got used again. Rosie was so much more engaged with the world around her by sitting up in the Tricycoo than she ever was (or could be) by being tucked deep into a stroller.
In October we took a road trip to California to go camping with family in Sequoia National Park and the Tricycoo came along, strapped to the top of the 4-Runner since we were packed to the gills with camping gear. When we flew places, we simply gate checked it like any other stroller before we boarded the plane. Easy.
As expected, the Tricycoo is delivered disassembled but is very simple to put together.
One of the beautiful things about the design of the Tricycoo is how it evolves with your child’s development and ability level. To get the most bang for your buck, start as young as possible and put all the safety features to use like the seat cage (Joovy calls this feature the “baby surround arms”), push bar and unlocked pedals. Rosie is still under the recommended 18 months so we haven’t made any changes to the ride since we started with it, but I’m guessing the first thing to change will be to lock the pedals to let her try to power the ride herself. This will probably be an off and on process and that’s fine. The locking hub is a simple and large switch on the front wheel itself. One feature we’ve made use of but Rosie has yet to really leverage is the storage bucket on the back. This makes the Tricycoo a little version of a pickup truck and she’ll be able to store her toys and whatever else she want’s to have along in there as she rides around.
From there, the seat cage will probably be next when she’s able to get in and out of the seat herself and that’s when we’ll start to enforce the helmet rule. As of now, she’s been too small to even wear a helmet and since an adult was in control of the Tricycoo and able to respond rather quickly to Rosie trying to crawl out, a helmet was more trouble that it was worth. Naturally, as first time parents, we found out the hard way that Rosie is able to tip the Tricycoo over when sitting in it on her own if she tries to get out of it. Fortunately, this was discovered at the campground in Sequoia on soft ground as we figured that was a good spot for her while we set up the tent. She was crawling at this point but not walking yet.
Then, the final evolution will probably be to remove the adult push handle. But like the pedals, any of these changes can be made very easily and as with many kinds of transitions with kids, they are gradual and everything can be moved back and forth and set up in various combinations to suit your little rider and your own comfort zone.
I’ve only come up with a few little changes I’d love to see in the Tricycoo:
• The first one we noticed was when Rosie was smaller (again, keep in mind she’s still under Joovy’s recommended age which may or may not solve some of these concerns) she would grab hold of the seat cage to hold on. It turns out the steering bar handle barely clears the seat cage right where she holds on and presents a pinch point hazard for her fingers when turning corners.
• The second issue might be, at least in part, a solution for the problem above. While it’s great that the pedals unlock to be free spinning, it would be great if the turning/handle bar did the same. If we’re walking along and Rosie decides to give a good yank on the handle bar, the trike goes veering off in that direction only to be corrected by the push handle. And since the handle bar has pretty good leverage on the steering column compared to the push handle, it becomes quite the steering battle if your little one decides it’s fun to pull on the steering bar over and over again (as Rosie does at times). So, it would be great to have a way to disengage the kids steering handle. Joovy does say in their list of features that the adult push handle “overrides” the rider’s steering bar, but after a call to their customer service it turns out their version of “override” is by sheer strength of the pusher and not by any mechanical means.
• Thirdly, we’d love to see the rear fender of the front wheel come down a little lower. While Rosie’s toes don’t quite reach the stationary footrest or pedals, she’s likes to put her feet up on the back part of the fender of the front wheel (see photo at top of post). If she misses (which she regularly does), she puts her feet on the wheel itself and her foot then goes up and under the fender. In all of our experience, this isn’t horrible but two issues arise. First, she ends up with rather dirty shoes, socks or feet (yes, we load her in there barefoot) depending on what is rubbing against the wheel which has freshly rolled on the ground. Second, it provides some breaking friction causing more work for the person pushing her. One temporary on-the-fly sort of solution has been to stop, back up a few inches to dislodge her foot from between the fender and wheel and carry on. This works great until she puts her foot up there again which can be right away or not for the rest of the ride.
• Finally, also related to the push handle steering, our push handle is a little sloppy where it connects to the Tricycoo. Because it’s set up with a bolt that goes through both the handle shaft and the connecting rod to the trike there is no way it will come undone, but it does rattle around in there some. This also adds to some difficulty in steering from the push handle.
None of these are issues that have deterred us from using the Tricycoo. We still highly recommend the Tricycoo for anyone keen to get their groms on wheels. For just over $100, it’s an incredible deal for the amount of use kids will get out of this product, especially considering how young they can be to get started. The recommended maximum weight for riders is 44 pounds. Rosie is quite a ways from that and I’ll try to post an update as she gets older and get more and different kinds of use from it. $110; joovy.com