How to Build a Big Wheel

By Jeri Studt

The Big Wheel is a brand of tricycle that first became available in 1969 and was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The original Big Wheel disappeared from toy store shelves in 2001 when its manufacturer, Empire Industries, went out of business. A limited number of Big Wheel trikes have since been reintroduced, which means with a few basic tools, you can have your child rolling down your driveway on her Big Wheel.

Rear Wheel Assembly

Remove and discard the plastic shipping caps from the rear axle.

Place a metal cap nut on the wooden block. Insert the rear axle. Tap the axle into place with the hammer.

Slide the axle through the rear wheel. Slide the free end of the axle through the body of the Big Wheel. Slide the other wheel on the free end of the axle. Make sure the spokes of both wheels face out. Turn the Big Wheel on its side.

Place the other cap nut over the other end of the axle. Tap into place with the hammer.

Front Wheel Assembly

Center a washer in a pedal with the teeth of the washer facing up. Slide the pedal on the pedal crank. Tap the pedal into place with the hammer.

Slide the front wheel—the "big wheel" that gives the tricycle its name and characteristic shape—onto the pedal crank.

Position two wheel inserts over the pedal crank and push the whole pedal crank assembly into the wheel cavity. Tap the wheel inserts into place with the hammer. Turn over the wheel assembly.

Position the other two wheel inserts onto the wheel hub and tap into place with the hammer.

Center a washer on the other pedal and slide that pedal on the other side of the pedal crank. Tap into place with the hammer.

Final Assembly

Insert the pedal crank into the slots on the front fork. Place a fork block over one end of the pedal crank, holding the front fork in place.

Insert a 1-inch screw in the top hole of the fork block and screw in loosely with the Phillips screwdriver. Insert a 5/8-inch screw in the bottom hole of the fork block and screw in loosely with the Phillips screwdriver. Repeat on the other side. After all screws are in place, tighten them with the Phillips screwdriver.

Position the top post of the front fork through the hole in the body of the Big Wheel. Insert the handlebars on top of the post.

Screw a 1 3/4-inch screw through the hole in the front of the handlebars. Screw a 1 3/4 inch screw through a hole in the back of the handlebars. Tighten with the screwdriver.

Snap the seat into place on the body of the Big Wheel.

Things You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Small wood block
  • Big Wheel assembly kit

Warning

Take care not to overtighten the screws.

About the Author

Based in the wilds of western Iowa, Jeri Studt has been writing and editing articles on food, gardening, pets and people since 1987. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has studied horticulture and biology.