Back in the ‘80s, one of the hottest toys on the market was the Big Wheel. This three-wheeled titan (don’t call it a tricycle) of the neighborhood was the Cadillac of childhood transportation. Bikes were great, but the Big Wheel had swag. Today, there is a new titan on the block. With some of the classic flair of the Big Wheel, turned up to 11, Dynacraft’s Black Ice Drifter is a faster, motorized version for the big kids.
Out of the Box
The Black Ice Drifter is pretty large. At around 80 pounds, and just over 25” tall and 50” long, it’s a solid ride. Out of the box, it was quite a simple build as most of the components came already assembled. After opening, I would say it only took about 15 minutes until the kids and I were up and riding.
Performance and Handling
The Black Ice Drifter is great for families. We live at the end of a cul-de-sac, so it’s been popular with my older daughter, age 9, myself, and even my younger daughter, age 6, who is too short to ride alone but loves riding with me. In fact, the Drifter has been quite a hit with the entire neighborhood, and an entertainment mainstay at family parties. There is only one speed, of 12mph, and an easy and reliable hand brake for stopping. I’d say that the Drifter is suitable for kids ages 8 to adult. All in all, it feels very safe to ride, but helmets and awareness of traffic and surroundings are absolute necessities.
Performance and handling of the Drifter is remarkably smooth. There are two options for riding: standard cruising and drifting. Swapping between the two modes requires an easy tire modification, which only takes a few minutes (an air pump is required).
Starting with the namesake, drifting mode: there are two, wide plastic wheel covers which easily fit over the Drifter’s rubber tires. The plastic covers enable the bike to drift on subtle and sharp turns, creating the feeling of gliding over ice, or the infamous Tokyo Drift as popularized by The Fast and the Furious series. Removing the drifting covers allows for a more straightforward, go-kart like riding experience. While it sounds slow, the 12mph speed actually feels quite fast, and the acceleration of the Drifter is impressively quick.
Storage and Charge
My one criticism is that the size and weight of the Drifter makes it a beast to store. For those without an empty garage, like myself, it’s definitely difficult. Plus, because it runs on an electric battery, storing it outside is not an option. Speaking of the battery, the Dynacraft website states that the 24v battery has a charge equivalent to a 45 minute run-time and takes 12 hours to fully charge. Remarkably, every time we’ve plugged it in overnight and used it, the charge seems to last for at least a couple of hours. Sure, after that first hour the speed begins to dwindle, but the kids don’t seem to mind, riding it until they have to push it back into our driveway by hand.
(Disclosure: The Black Ice Drifter was provided for review purposes. All opinions remain our own.)