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75 of 75 found the following review helpful:
Pretty slick ride for a 2-3 year-oldJul 25, 2007
By Ian McAllister
My son has had the Air-Navigator for about a year now and loves it. The bucket is a nice addition - he likes to collect rocks and leaves on our rides and throw them in there. The handle works well and is long enough that I (6' 1") don't have to lean over at all on our walks/rides.
I have two complaints about the item:
1. The tricycle has a locking mechanism in the stem that, when engaged, prevents the front wheel from turning significantly. This helps the bike track better when engaged. Unfortunately, this locking mechanism doesn't work very well and keeps coming disengaged.
2. The tire valves are very short, stiff, and angled towards parallel with the inside of the wheel rather than outwards. I've had trouble finding a pump that can latch on to these valves to reinflate the tires.
99 of 101 found the following review helpful:
Good for pushing, not so good for pedallingJan 08, 2007
I bought this trike for my daughter's 2nd birthday. When she was not able to pedal yet, it worked fine. The parent navigation system is not that easy to use, but easy enough for a short push ride around the block.
The problem surfaced after she really learned to ride a trike over our holiday vacation. It was my nephew's old trike, a cheap plastic one, made by FisherPrice I think. She mastered it perfectly in a couple of days. When we came back we were so excited about her trying her own trike. But she had and is still having trouble with the auto-freewheel design. The design causes the pedals to slip a little before locking into position, and it can happen anytime when the speed of the trike is not perfectly matched with the speed at which she pedals, not just when she tries to start the trike. This makes going on any surface that is not perfectly flat more difficult and confusing. And the trike does not stop when she stops pedaling, which can be scary for a little child, and the parents too, when the road is going downhill a little.
All in all I regret this purchase very much, especially considering we paid $200 for the trike. I wish I had just bought one of those cheap plastic trikes. I still give the product 3 stars since the construction is solid and the product quality is good overall.
84 of 86 found the following review helpful:
Rear-wheel steering explainedSep 10, 2008
By David Nicks
The whole time I was researching this product, I thought that the rear wheel steering was linked to the front wheel - countersteering to provide a reduced turning radius. And I couldn't see from any of the photos or the owner's manual how that was supposed to happen.
Since neither Amazon's nor the manufacturer's description makes this clear, here's how it works:
The rear wheel steering is only used when the parent is pushing with the pushbar. You lock the front wheel, unlock the rear wheels, insert the pushbar, and you can steer it from behind. When it's the kids turn to drive, you remove the pushbar, lock the rear wheels, and unlock the front wheel.
Maybe it's just me, but this certainly wasn't clear from anything I'd read online.
22 of 22 found the following review helpful:
most popular trike on the blockAug 17, 2008
By Scott Hammond
We have had this trike a little over 2 years now. It is a great tricycle, but some of the features were not as useful as I thought they would be. The trike is sturdy, and gets a lot of use being as it is the favorite of the younger kids on the street.
The push rod. We used it a fair amount. The push rod is the only parental-control feature we really needed. Probably the best use was as a back-up in case the child got too tired. I think I had visions of taking some of the same walks with the push-rod as we did with the stroller, but I now know that if you need to push the trike the whole way, chances are the child is young enough he/she doesn't really care what the mode of transportation is, and you are better off (and happier) with the stroller.
The auto-freewheel is a disadvantage for the beginner, but turns into an advantage later. I think the marketing angle is that you can push your child using the push rod and their feet can just rest on the pedals. That's fine but once they can do it themselves you won't be pushing much, and if the need to be pushed a lot, then probably they would be just as happy if not happier with a wagon. What I didn't realize is that a child who doesn't have access to a regular trike (where the pedals always move) can have a hard time catching on to the pedaling motion since these pedals don't force the motion. This was more of a problem than I expected. However, later this feature makes the trike more fun because they can pedal really fast and then coast.
The rear wheel parental steering is unnecessary. Using the push rod you have leverage to lift the front wheel off the ground, thus you can steer when you need to, so I rarely used the real wheel steering and I forgot it existed.
The front wheel steering lock keeps the child from turning the steering wheel. I used this some, but if you're using it because the child isn't cooperating direction-wise, then they will probably figure out how you locked the steering and unlock it anyway.
I like the air tires. It makes for a smoother ride on our cracked streets.
Get the red bell.Kettler Bell Red Metal Bell
The dump bucket on the back is not essential but the kids like to carry things around in it.
We later got the tandem insert, and you can look for my review on it. I'm not as happy with the tandem as I am with the trike, but it too is much enjoyed by the kids and made the trike even more of a hit than it already was.
We bought the trike for a 2yr old, but in retrospect there was no rush, and a wagon would have been just as welcome and easier to figure out at that age. I'm surprised that the product description says the age range starts at 1, I would say it should start at 2. One thing I've noticed, the Air Navigator can't seat a child as close to the handlebars as some other trikes (in fact the tandem insert seats a child closer to the handlebars than the bike can do without the tandem!), so if your child is 2 or less, you might want to go see this trike at a bike shop and see how it fits.
I've discovered that other sturdy trikes do exist. If you don't need the parental control features, visit a bike shop and look at a Trek Trikester.
49 of 55 found the following review helpful:
I'd give it 10 stars if I could.Jul 11, 2006
By M. Howard
"Mo in VA"
After much research and hair pulling I ended up getting the Air Navigator for my son for his first birthday. It seems a lot of money for a tricycle but is worth every penny. My son LOVES it. His feet don't quite hit the pedals yet but he gets such a kick out of going for walks with us pushing him. He has way more fun with this than the jogging stroller we paid twice as much for. This is something we will get years and years of use out of. Even my anal retentive husband loves it! He was completely impressed by the features, durability, and attention to detail and he's an engineer. One note - if you get this especially if your child is young - get the seat belt. Great peace of mind and keeps their little behinds right where they belong. I went back and got all the accessories for this - the bell, the seatbelt, the little basket those goes on front and best of all - the deluxe pushbar. That's awesome for long walks. You can even get a tandem bar for the Kettler which will allow two kids to ride. Guess I'll be getting that as soon as #2 gets here. If you are looking for a well made tricycle that will last years and years and years - this is the one. When I think of the money we've spent on other toys he could care less about I could cringe. Save your money on that other junk and get this - besides the tricycle doesn't take batteries or make annoying noises.
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