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At First OK, then AWESOME- Here's How and Why:
on November 28, 2012
I was very excited to purchase the plasma car for my kids 9 and 6, for Christmas. We have hardwood floors throughout, and my 6 year old and my toddler nieces love to ride around on their big wheel tricycles during winter months, but my 9 yr old is always left out. I read the reviews about the plasma cars and how it can hold up to 200 lbs. Some reviews were saying that parents were even enjoying themselves, riding around during family get- togethers. So I thought, wouldn't it be nice for my 9 yr old to still be able to ride around with her younger sister and cousins. I put the first one together and tested it out. It worked, but it was very very slow..... I was still able to move around on the hardwood floors, but it wasn't much fun, just OK. I'm 135lbs; my 9 yr old is 85 lbs; maybe she would have been able to go a little faster, but i cant imagine that it would be a whole lot faster. So I researched a little and learned that I could replace the plastic wheels with polyurethane wheels. Imagine rollerblades with plastic wheels vs. rollerblades with polyurethane wheels and you'll understand the amount of difference the latter makes! I couldn't find replacement wheels online so I went to sports authority and they showed me rollerblade wheels that fit perfectly. I got the 80/82a size rollerblade wheels. (make sure the ones you get come with the bearings, by the way) All you need is a racket wrench and replacing the front wheels takes less then a minute. Super easy! I tried it out with the polyurethane wheels in front and kept the plastic wheels in the back. Very smooth and fast. I felt like a kid again zipping around, being able to make sharp turns- it became AWESOME! I even sat my 1 year old on my lap and we rode around for 20 minutes because he was having so much fun! I then proceeded to try and change the back wheels... Thats where the problem came in. The back wheels popped off fine with the help of a screwdriver, but pushing the wheels back in/ popping it back into place was ridiculously difficult. My hands became sore, so I tried hammering it in, then bent the plastic, which resulted in a torqued position pushing against the wheel thus making it spin very slowly with lots of resistance. So one plasma car was shot. With the next plasma car, I was a bit more careful and after a great deal of time, pain, and frustration, I finally was successful in getting the back wheels on. I tried it out, and realized it went about as fast as when only the front wheels were changed... Probably because the front wheels are the ones that swivel and turn to propel you, while the back wheels don't do much but support the other end. Basically, it wasn't worth the effort in changing the back wheels since it was the same speed anyway. The only difference was there was less noise if all the wheels were polyurethane. And I could care less about the noise, since the kids are usually laughing louder then their big wheel tricycle wheels.
Bottom line, If I could do it over, I would've only changed the front wheels on both plasma cars, since it is the same speed anyway, and i would've avoided wasting my time, having sore hands, and ruining one plasma car in the process. At least my 9 yr old will be able to ride her plasma car come Christmas, and my 6 year old will have to continue riding her big wheel tricycle. Now to find my 6 yr old a new Christmas present...