Big Wheel

Big Wheel toy Share your own memories of this toy



This memory was added on: July 15, 2011

Back in the early 80s I used to think I was the king of my dead end street racing back and forth on my BLACK PANTHER BIG WHEEL. It had an e-brake which allowed me to do 180 to sometimes 360 turns (if I was going fast enough). I'm excited to buy my kids their first big wheel, but only wish I could find them one with an E-brake like my old black panther. I rode mine so much that over half of the front big wheel was melted off showing big holes. Use to love riding it in the sand, peddling backwards fast enough to shoot sand at my brother, or friends. Perhaps that's one reason why my childhood friends never stayed in touch even though facebook or social media has made it easier for us all to stay connected.

Dino C


This memory was added on: January 8, 2010

AHHH YES..TURNING MY BIG WHEEL UPSIDE DOWN AND MAKING POPCORN...SO ODD THE CONNECTION EH?...PLUS LOTTA MY FRIENDS I HAVE ASKED RECENTLY USED TO DO THE SAME THING...THEY MADE ICE CREAM TOO....LOL..TRIPPY THAT MOST KIDS IMAGINATION IS SO UNIVERSAL...

XO


This memory was added on: May 3, 2009

The year was 1973, we moved to a new neighborhood...you see, I was the fastest in our old "big wheel gang." That is when I met my match in the neighborhood with the home-schooled neighbor's around our block. They never let me ride their Green Machine...I was glad when they moved!

Thom C


This memory was added on: December 14, 2008

I can remember my first one in 1969, I use to love racing with all of the neighbor kids, all of the kids in my block of row houses had one, and they drove my mother crazy with the roaring and thunder of them coming around the house all together, we would all come around and hook slide into the gravel one at a time and kick up the dust, oh what fun memories, does anyone remember the wheelie? It was made by mattel also, toys are not like those of my time... I miss those times as a child.

Rodger S


This memory was added on: December 6, 2008

When I was 5 years old I had a Rambo big wheel. This was in 1987, my mom got it for me at K Mart for christmas. Anyway I remember one time riding my big wheel I almost died. Yes that's right, I almost died. I was sitting on my big wheel just chillin like a villin behind this car, all of a sudden the car starts up and starts to back up. So as this car is in reverse, it is pushing me back, I was sliding and tumbling. When it was over I was laying on my side, and I had peed on myself. Don't laugh, you would have pissed yourself too. Now that I think about it, this Rambo big wheel saved my life. I survived because this thing was plastic, instead of the car running me over, it just pushed me over. That car would have ran me over and possibly killed me if I was say on a tricycle. Thank you Rambo big wheel, for saving my life.

Chris P.
San Diego, CA


This memory was added on: September 19, 2008

I remember the good old days growing up in Brooklyn, on Ocean Parkway (1984). I was about five years old. I was the youngest of four children. All of them were either roller skating or riding two wheelers. One day to my surprise I got the best gift a child could ask for, "MY SMURF MOBILE". It was a baby blue Big Wheel with a giant smurf head between the handle bars. I was a speed demon. Suddenly I was reeking havoc on Ocean Pkwy. Your best bet was to get in my way. You could hear me coming a mile away though due to the spring in the back wheel though. Now twenty four yrs later, I have a 2 yr old nephew. Just so happens that two days before his second birthday I found a "BIG WHEEL" while shopping in Kmart. Needless to say I bought it. I just hope he enjoys his the way I enjoyed mine.


- Diona


This memory was added on: September 19, 2008

In our family, we had five children... and we ALL enjoyed the Big Wheel! I cannot count how many we went through, as we would regularly zoom down the hill and spin out.... quickly wearing out the side and front tire surfaces... what a blast! One day, our more adventuresome neighbor would plan his descents such that he would JUST make it in front of a passing car at the intersection. Me thinks that is part of why they were taken off of the market. What a blast!

Frank
McMurray, PA


This memory was added on: August 23, 2008

Nancy and Matthew,

I too had one of those! I’m 35 now and grew up in southern CA. I loved my ride on toys (and my pogo stick) I had a the regular Big Wheel, of course for making ice cream, a Green Machine, a Spin-Out 360 and the orange wheel thing! I wish I could find ones them still for my kids. (the big wheel and green machine still seem to be around) but… ahhh great memories.

Chandra


This memory was added on: August 2, 2008

Hey Matthew Petre,

I had that same toy and LOVED it! You are the first person I’ve heard that knows this toy too. I always thought it was called “Big Wheels” but I can’t seem to find anything about it online.

Nancy


This memory was added on: April 22, 2008

I grew up in rural NE Missouri in the mid to late 1970s and had a Big Wheel that was much fun, but my first wheeled machine was a little bit different plastic contraption. It was a round orange flying saucer looking thing that had two big wheels that you sat in between. There was a handle on each wheel and you used these to propel yourself. This thing was a blast being that it could go almost as fast as the big wheel, but you could turn in circles by turning the wheels in opposite directions. I would love to hear from someone else that had one of these... not sure what they were called.

Matthew Petre


This memory was added on: December 18, 2007

It was the early 70's and my two older brothers and two older sisters rode bikes. My brothers were the coolest, jumpimg curbs and ramps and anything they could. I wanted to be like them. Dont remember where my big wheel came from but I was MOBILE so it didnt matter. My helpful older brothers taught me to pull up on the handle bar to jump a curb. One day I was a block away, following my cool brothers and my sister off a curb and i pulled back too hard...over I went. The back of my head hit the curb. Next thing I remember, my sister was pushing me home. I was slumped over my big wheel with a huge knot on my head. My mom wouldnt let me sleep that night and I remember being extra tired. I still loved my big wheel and rode it until I could no longer fit. Wish I had one today...


Rusty:)


This memory was added on: November 18, 2007

Like yesterday that unmistakable sound of my friends sliding around the sidewalk headed to my apartment in Dublin CA. And with a flash I yelled to my mom "I'm going outside" with one firm Kong-Fu grip on my big wheel handlebar and the other closing the door behind me. It's no surprise I went through 2 Dukes of Hazzard and At least 2 knight rider big wheels. We lived on the second floor apartment with a strait staircase of at least 30 steps and I slid me and my big wheel down those steps like I was Colt Seavers himself! I still hear the clatter made from the sidewalk gaps; and the fun I had ducking behind my night rider plastic windshield from the water of the sprinklers lining the walkways. I remember putting together my night rider the first time. All I cared about was putting that shiny red reflective strip on the front so everybody knew I was riding Kit. I got my first black eye on a big wheel. We were using our star wars light sabers as jousting sticks and I got knocked around quite a few times.

These poor kids these days. They grow up in a bubble. Half of them don't want, can't or aren't forced to play outside. I tried hard and long to find a suitable replica of a real big wheel last year. I gave up. I had to take the motors off of an old big foot just so I could go racing down Lombard street. And the worst part NO HANDBRAKE!


Just a crazy kid from the 80's


This memory was added on: October 6, 2007

Oh my gosh! I LOVED my big wheel. I would ride it on the sidewalk in front of our house and get it going as fast as my legs could pedal it and then I would slam on the brakes so I could slide sideways on it--which was my favorite thing to do. My mom and dad told me to quit doing that as it was wearing a hole into the plastic tire. BUMMER! What a great memory!


Stephaney
1967


This memory was added on: June 4, 2007

I had my Big Wheel for over 2 years Having started out on a red tricycle, my career started back in 1976 when my older cousin taught me how to ride her Big Wheel and operate the brake. It took me some time but once I learned how the handbrake worked, I was hooked! Not long after that I was surprised to wake up one morning and discover a brand new Big Wheel in the middle of the living room with the parkay wood floors. I got on it, started riding it around and then once I gained enough momentum I would yank on that handle and make it spin out (like my cousin taught me) and now that I look back on that moment from 30 years ago, I remember my dad having this big smile on his face from seeing me have so much fun!

As the next couple of years went by, the Big Wheel made several transformations from being "showroom new" to the completion of that initial "break-in" period where I lost the streamers, then eventually the saddlebox lid on the back of seat. And as I grew up I went from all 3 positions of the seat holes to no seat at all. By then my tires were fully worn and broken in from the concrete and now I had a bigwheel that looked like everyone elses. Before that I felt a little out of place being that mine was new while everyone else had plenty of "milage" on theirs.

I never wore the front wheel down to being flat because I would use the handbrake for all my stopping. In fact that was still the only original part of the Big Wheel that did not get broken off or discarded. All of the other kids wanted to ride my big wheel because my front wheel was not "flat" and you could still spin out using the hand brake. Unfortunately my career with the Big Wheel abruptly ended when I let a bigger kid ride and the front forks broke away from the handlebars. Thats when I knew it was time to grow up and learn how to ride a bicycle.


Acer
1972


This memory was added on: May 31, 2007

When big wheels came out I was too big to ride one but I thought they were way cool. I finally did get to ride one, in a way, with a custom version we designed. Big wheels were always winding up in the garbage when the front wheels wore out, as many other contributers have recalled. But the fat rear wheels were always fine. After Christmas there were plenty of old big wheels in the trash. My friends and I collected these. We unbolted and removed the front fork and handlebars. The remaining rear wheels and frame served as the rear wheels and cockpit of a rail dragster! We reversed the direction of travel of the big wheel frame, so that the curved part leading to where the fork was served as a back rest for the rail. We bolted a long plank, probably a 2x8, to the seat position of the big wheel. We bolted a baby buggy axel and wheels to the other end. We stapled shag carpet to the plank. We made four or five of these and drag raced them down a big hill in our neighborhood. I don't know how fast they were but they gave a great sensation of speed. They really did look like rails. We steered them with our feet and they did not handel well. We crashed alot and they were probably really dangerous, but a hell of a lot of fun.


geardaddy
1959



This memory was added on: May 30, 2007

My brother and I both had Big wheels with the brake on the side. we lived on a big hill and we road down that hill probably a million times.We tried to ride double ..bad move...my leg rubbed the wheel all the down that hill it was pretty bad, but that didnt stop me from riding my Big Wheel...sure miss those days!!!!


Lori
1971


This memory was added on: May 26, 2007

I have three sons whose ages are now 29-27-25 we were reminicing about Big Wheels just this past Mothers Day they all had some wild story to tell about their adventures on their beloved Big Wheel. Being two years apart each had gotten a big wheel handed down from their older brother obviously they were well "broken in" by that time. When one broke we would cannabalize it and make another sort of a Franken-wheel. The last incarnation saw us taking the front wheel off a broken neighbors tricycle to replace the the severely damaged one from the Davies Boys Jump of Death, a four foot plunge off the front porch! Yes every garage in America had one. They claimed that the reason that they sold so well was that they were voted safer by consumers reports than regular tricycles. Obviously they never met my sons! i was too old for them but that didn't stop me from the occasional cramped leg ride or two and wishing that they made an adult sized one. I have done some research on them as of late. Did you know that they sold over 80 million of them? PR and marketing pros still refer to the Big Wheel campaign as one of the top ten in marketing history and the big wheel as having world wide name recognition right up there with Coke and Pepsi!


Jeffrey
1956 yeah baby
j-n-davies


This memory was added on: May 18, 2007

Where I grew up we had a steep curvy driveway. I can remember going down the driveway and using my weight to make the big wheel go into a 360 spin. Then they came out with the one that had the hand brake and it was like they read my our minds. The hand brake didn't hold up to well though. It was easier to just shift the weight and turn the wheel. Oh, the good ole' days.


Chris
1978


This memory was added on: May 17, 2007

I just took my Grandson to Walmart, I wanted him to have a big wheel and my son bought him a bike with training wheels...the boy isn't even 3 yet! We found a Tyco version that he fell in love with and he spends all his time on it, learning how to pedal is easier on the BIG WHEEL I think, however steering is a whole different concept! I remember how much fun my two kids had riding and I want that for my grandson


cool gam-ma
1954
tricia


This memory was added on: April 25, 2007

Dude!!!I remember riding my Big Wheel until I'd pealed out and skidded to a stop so many times I have a flat spot that had worn threw on the front tire. Still I rode! Every time the wheel made a revolution it would, "thunk" and off I would go down the street! "Thunk, thunk, thunk." It was the best.:)


Kchic
1977



This memory was added on: April 19, 2007

i love the big wheels! i played on mine non-stop!


patricia
1958


This memory was added on: April 18, 2007

Probably the best toy I ever had. My sister, cousin and I would ride these in my parents basement for hours. I learned to ride them on two wheels. My two sons have the Razor metal ones and have fun in our basement.


John
1963



This memory was added on: April 17, 2007

I always wanted the Big Wheel in the above picture. My parents never allowed me to get one because they thought Big Wheels were only for little boys and NOT for Little Girls. I had every bike a girl could wish for but I did not care. All I wanted was the above Big Wheel! I would have exchanged all my bikes just for a Big Wheel! I loved the noise, the thrill, the entire PRODUCT!! I will make sure that my kids will get as many Big Wheels as possible and I will for sure buy my own Adult-Sized Big Wheel--I never had the chance to jhave my own until now. Thank you to the creators of the COOLEST TOy EVER and I am looking forward to get my OWN!!!!


Mandy
June 1 1979


This memory was added on: April 14, 2007

There were about 8 of us on the block I grew up on that had Big Wheels. We threw power slides before the brake even came out. We would position the seat forward and stand between the back wheels and power the Big Wheel into a slide with our legs, no brake necessary. Anyone who slid this way; we are the Originals!


Anthony Trahan
1962


This memory was added on: April 8, 2007

I had several Big Wheels, the most memorable being a horrid dark purple with a yellow seat and the awesome rear hand brake! I remember beating the mess out of my cousin Johnny when he demolished it. Not only did I 'make ice cream' with mine, but I also would sharpen sticks by grinding them to a point on those plastic tires.


SweetErica
1974


This memory was added on: April 6, 2007

My brother and I shared a Big Wheel, KITT from Knight Rider! I have been looking for a pic of it online, it had an orange hand brake and was the dopest ride around! A friend of mine had a Big Wheel gang in his hometown, a whole group of them that would peddle around the neighborhoods...


Danielle
1980



This memory was added on: April 4, 2007

My sister and I had Big Wheels growing up in the mid-70s Loved them! We lived in PA farm country (little town called "Derry" - of all things!). Our house (original homested to the farm) was near the highway and had a awesome hill beside it. We'd come tearing a** down that hill and pull the hand brake just before hitting the edge of the highway. My dad always said there was an invisible line and we knew not to cross it but we came real close many times! My son has the metal razor low riding trike (close to the big wheel but just not the same...). The "Easter Bunny" just bought my 7 yr. old son and 4 yr. old daughter "Original Big Wheels" for Easter. Can't wait to squeeze my butt onto the seat and take one for a spin (lucky for me that i am only 5'1"!)!!!


Tracy
1970


This memory was added on: March 24, 2007

This is soooo cool!! I had a Big Wheel when I was 4 with the brake lever on the right side. You could do power slides all day long. then I got "The Cheetah". That thing was SUPER fast with cables and spring loaded hubs. The next was "Green Machine" Dang.... Those were the days. I still have scars on my head from those.


Christopher Binns
05/17/68


This memory was added on: March 18, 2007

We LOVED our Big Wheels! One with the brake lever and one without. Man we used to hall butt through the neighborhood! We would do power slides and eventually had to ride around with it limping due to the flat spot on the back tires!


Jennifer
1967


This memory was added on: March 16, 2007

I remember mine!! :) it was green and had a brake on the side...the GOOD green machine, not the one with the gear shifts in front. I'm looking for mine. I don't like the green machine today...it's ugly and looks like crap.


michelle
1972


This memory was added on: March 15, 2007

Just saw a neighborhood kid on a modified big wheel doing some outrageous power slides...To be young again!!!





This memory was added on: February 26, 2007

Was there another version of the Big Wheel that had a hand brake lever? You could lock up one of the back wheels and throw it into a sideway drift. Yeah man.


Gaz
1966 NZ



This memory was added on: February 24, 2007

I had a Bigwheel with real big wheels in the back! Everyone in the neighborhood always wanted to ride it! I never seen one with the wheels so big in the back!I was on that thing zooming around corners and up and down the street every day nonstop! Loved my Big wheel!


Michelle



This memory was added on: February 12, 2007

My son who is now 27 still talks about his General Lee big Wheel bike. He loved that Bike. One day when he was 5 years old, we had moved into our new home, and he had left his precious General Lee outside. Well, I told him he could get out of bed and go and get his General from the yard and bring it inside. A few moments went by and then I heard a loud scream. I ran outside thinking something bad had happened to my son. Well I guess it did in a way, because someone had stolen his General. Every since that day he has talked about his General. Every Christmas since. Well, He has two boys of his own now, and I though it would be great if I could find a General Lee to send to him for Christmas, so that he could have his General Lee back and share The General with his two boys. I still havent found a General Lee.


Dawn Gilliams
1956


This memory was added on: February 11, 2007

Back in those days the back end of cars overlapped the sidewalk if they were backed in. My first accident riding my Big Wheel looking back at my friends and running into someones trunk! Those were the good ole days.......


Tonya
1966



This memory was added on: February 9, 2007

I had a cabbage patch kid big wheel. I can't even remember how old I was when I got it but I LOVED it!!!! One time, a boy that lived on my street stole it so I ran after him and he had the nerve to tell me it was his. There he was, sitting on a pink and blue big wheel trying to convince me it was his. Poor kid. I punched him and took it back!! Ha ha! No ones touches my big wheel!!My brother had one too. I think he had kitt from Knight Rider.


Lisa
1977


This memory was added on: February 5, 2007

I do remember this clearly...my brother would make a go cart out of the back tires off of 2 big weels and a 2 7- up crates....


Benjamin Aguirre
1966


This memory was added on: February 2, 2007

no real memories here, now im only sixteen but i remember one child in my neighborhood in hawaii growing up had one and id always try to swindle him off of it so i kould ride it, i want one so bad im aktually gonna make one in my welding class ;)


Trey
1990


This memory was added on: January 30, 2007

big wheels were awesome! my brother and i would drive them around the ping pong table in our basement in ottawa and we would drive them from the top of the driveway and then spin them near the bottom of the driveway! we always had the thunk thunk thunk problem and do you remember when your front tread would be all gone and you would try to go up the driveway but the tire would just spin and you'd have to walk it back up? there was one kid in the neighbourhood who thought he was bad because he had the green machine good times!! :D


steve brooks
1973


This memory was added on: January 28, 2007

Me and my brother both had big wheels. My friend next door had the hot cycle. We were always competing to prove which was best the Big Wheel or Hotcycle. Hahahah. We had a problem of rounding off the wheel by sliding the wheel in a lock position on the concrete. Great times.


Tony
1964


This memory was added on: January 24, 2007

I remember these coming out after I was too big for them. My little sister had one along with everyone else her age. When we were about 14-15 we would go to garage sales and buy these and remove the padals. We would install metal dowels for leg pegs and ride them down the steep hills in the Santa Cruz mountains. They would easily pitch into side slides and the rear tires were only good for a half dozen rides. I'd love to do that again. We reached some pretty incredible speeds.


Mike M
1959



This memory was added on: January 7, 2007

My younger brother got one of these for Xmas one year, so I used to ride his. We lived in a neighborhood with a big hill in a small suburb of Boston. It was the choice hill for sledding when covered in snow and for go carts.

These Big Wheels were pretty cool! You could get going pretty fast, terminal velocity within 10 seconds, and when you realized you were running out of road or an on coming car was coming, it was time to fling this trike into a series of 360+ degree spins!

It's a wonder that any of us survived childhood in the 1960's & 70's. But we were more active than kids today, watching video games and TV all day. I wish they would come out with an adult version of this Big Wheels!


Pixie
1963


This memory was added on: January 3, 2007

I think I got mine for my 6th birthday, which would have been 1984. It was decked out in GI Joe guise, dark green with a gunsight and twin machine gun barrels above the handlebars....very sweet. One kid across the street had the General Lee, and another had KITT from Knightrider.

The house across the street was a funeral home with a circular driveway that went behind the house, so we had a nice racetrack to ride on, and of course we could also ride out into the street.

I can still reember the sound of little rocks bouncing inside the back tire with little holes in it. :)


Tyson
1978


This memory was added on: December 30, 2006

I remeber my Dukes of Hazzard Big Wheel....it was orange with a confederate flag on the back. They wouldnt even be dreamed of today.

I peddeled at fast as I could then pulled the brake scidding on the pavment.

I would give anything for one last ride!!


Derrick
1978


This memory was added on: December 30, 2006

I got my big wheel, fondly referred to as the (smurf moblie), for christmas when I was 4 years old. It was blue and white and had a big smurf head on the handle bars. It was the coolest. I rode it until I was too big and I had to remove the seat. I remember the frame scraping on the ground because I was was too big for it but I couldent give it up. I wore the wheels off of that thing. I made some great memories riding around the yard. my parents kept the box to store their christmas decorations in for years. It finally got ratty and they threw it away. I wish I still had my smurf mobile. it rocked!


kari
1979


From the sound of some of these posts you would think the Big Wheel was one of the most dangerous toys ever made. Running into the backs of cars or careening down a steep driveway at top speed would probably not be recommended by any Los Angeles car accident attorney today, but riding a Big Wheel was definitely a favorite memory for many people.