Over the last few years, vintage tricycles have seen a massive uptick in popularity. This actually makes sense because there are many popular tricycle manufacturers that have been making different models of tricycles throughout the decades. Now, collectors have a completely humungous variety of makes and models that are available to choose from.
While there are many different brands to choose from and they all have their own pros and cons, Schwinn, Western Auto Supply, Big Wheel, Trek, and AMF Junior are the best vintage tricycle brands. Models by these companies either offer and excellent vintage style and offer great reliability.
Top Vintage Tricycle Brands
Schwinn is one of the most popular and most well-recognized bicycle brands on the market. Because of that, its really no surprise that they also happen to make some really fantastic antique and vintage tricycles. In fact, many of their classic designs are still being produced.
So, it’s really important for anyone who is looking to buy a vintage tricycle to be able to determine whether a model is new or vintage.
This actually turns out to be pretty easy, however. This is because the vintage-styled and original-aged modals will look a lot alike while having a considerable price difference.
Schwinn is known for its brightly colored, well-designed frames and iconic, high-arching details. For these and other reasons Schwinn tricycles are often an attractive showpiece as much as they are practical bicycles. They really are quite beautiful machines.
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Wide selection
- Sleek and stylish
2.Western Auto Supply
Western Auto Supply began to gain a high amount of respect and popularity when it started to produce its Western Flyer bicycle line. This family of tricycles included many different attractive tricycle frames with all kinds of different options and accessories.
So, each one of these tricycles are unique and are, as you might expect, worth quite a bit on today’s collector market.
During its hay way, Western Auto Supply was well-known for their constant innovation in the industry from frame style to handling and everything in-between.
Innovations like these are what made Western Auto Supply one of the best vintage tricycle brands. Trikes by this company are known to be far easier and much more comfortable to ride than most other tricycle brands.
- High-quality design
- Esteemed pedigree
Big Wheels are generally a far less-expensive vintage tricycle brand that offers a cheaper plastic frame instead of a more expensive wood or metal one.
While they may be somewhat lower quality than others, these trikes are growing in popularity at the moment. This is probably because a lot of kids that grew up in the 80s and 90s are adults now.
So, for this reason, these models are considered to be extremely valuable to collectors. So, if you are interested in classic tricycles and don’t want to spend a lot of money, then a Big Wheel might be perfect for you!
- Durable plastic construction
- Relatively limited variety
4. Trek – Most Distinct Brand
When Trek comes to mind for most people, they more than likely think a modern sportbike brand. While that is certainly true, most people don’t realize that Trek also makes some of the most exceptional vintage tricycles. Trek makes a handful of tricycle models that are really great for beginners.
These trikes are specially built to help their riders learn how to control it without needing any outside assistance. Also, Trek their own unique building style that really makes it stand out from the crowd.
Are known for their sporting bikes which have grown in popularity. There are several vintage tricycles that are great for new riders. They help them learn to control a tricycle. They have distinct imagery and they fit in many collections nicely.
- Varied styles
- Limited materials selection
5. AMF Junior
If you are looking for a 60s model, AMF Junior makes some of the best tricycle frames you can find from the 1960s.
Most of the time, when you find one of these online they come with the original tires, which is a huge plus. In most listings, the frames on these vintage tricycles looks as good now as they did 40 years ago.
This vintage tricycle brand has several designs from the 1960s that are covered in metallic brown. These models generally have a seat that is fixed to a straight bar, and they have a small metal hood covering their front wheels.
6. Antique Tricycle Miniatures
On websites like Esty and other hand-made markets, you can find adorable vintage-style antique miniature tricycle for sale for reasonable prices. They are generally built with metal frames and have wooden handle bars and seats.
Most miniature vintage tricycles are hand-painted and distressed to give them that classic, vintage appeal.
The great thing about most of these tiny tricycles is that the handle bars, pedals, and even the wheels move! Things like this usually work well in a home office setting and make for a perfect conversation starter.
A Little More About Collecting American Classic Tricycles
In the past few years, it has recently become increasingly popular to collect vintage tricycles. So, for that reason, most well-known bicycle brands offered, at least at one point in time, several different tricycle models.
So, if you look around online, you are sure to find tricycles from many vintage and modern makers. New tricycles are super easy to find and are offered at a great prices and present an excellent value for the money.
So, if you are in the market for an actual vintage tricycle, keep in mind that some of those models are very old and can be pretty rare to find them in good condition. In fact, it may be almost impossible to find a mint condition vintage tricycle at a low price.
The general consensus is that if you are buying an old tricycle, the lower the price you pay, the more money you will have to use to restore it.
The good news is that most American classic bicycle manufacturers sell replacement parts that will work with just about any tricycle. So, the parts are out there to get a vintage trike back into tip-top shape.
So, regardless of whether you are well-versed in tricycle collecting or you are a total newcomer to the tricycle collecting world, we will help you find a vintage tricycle that is perfect for your collection.
Tips for Buying Vintage Tricycles
- Pick materials carefully. High-end luxury tricycles are made from materials like metal whereas value brands can be made of plastic.
- Check functions. See how easy they are to ride.
- Price. Are you looking for a luxury vintage tricycle or something more affordable?
- Color. You want something that will look nice in your collection.
- Age. Is this something you will need to restore?
What Is The Oldest Vintage Tricycle?
While most vintage tricycles are from the 1950s and 1960s, some rare, early models from the late 19th century can be spotted on the market from time to time.
When doing your research online for vintage tricycle brands, you will find that there is quite a bit to choose from. In fact, the sheer number of options that are available to you can be somewhat overwhelming. AMF Junior Toy Co. makes some of the best tricycles from the 1960s. Kids really love the green vintage classic tricycles that have Mickey Mouse and other cartoon illustrations on them.
There are some companies out there that specialize in making 1920s vintage tricycles. In this article, we will go over all the best vintage tricycle brands. We will consider brand recognition, style, and price when making this list.
Can You Ride A vintage Tricycle?
Yes and no. That really depends on the size of the rider and the condition of the vintage tricycle. Another thing that should be taken into consideration is the tricycle’s cost.
So, if you have a $60 or $70 dollar vintage tricycle that a small child wants to play on, then that is probably fine as long as they are well-supervised. On the other hand, if you have a $500 or $1000 ultra-rare piece, you probably don’t want anyone to touch it, let alone a small child.
Who Made The First Tricycle?
Well, that really depends on your definition of tricycle. Technically, the very first the tricycle was invented way back in 1680 by Stephan Farffler in Germany.
This machine operated totally differently than the tricycles we have today. It was operated by a series of hand cranks and gears. The modern pedal-operated tricycle was invented in 1789 by Thomas Blanchard in France.
Are Tricycles Safer Than Bicycles?
Absolutely. If you think about it, a bicycle and a tricycle are essentially the same machine. The main difference comes down to balance. Where a bicycle requires the rider to constantly keep the vehicle balanced, a tricycle does not have this problem. Tricycles don’t fall over as easily as bicycles, so this makes them a lot safer.
Are Tricycles Dangerous?
With their recent increase in popularity in the past few years, its become increasingly difficult to sift through all the different vintage tricycle brands that are out there. So, since collectors have such a massive variety of tricycle makes and models to choose from, we put this list together to make the purchasing choice a bit easier.
When it comes down to the top 5, we feel that Western Auto Supply, Schwinn, Trek, AMF Junior, and Big Wheel are the best choices for someone looking to add a stunning piece to their collection. This is because these companies all make models that offer a specific, classic appeal and are known to be high-quality machines.
We know their is a lot of conflicting information out there. Its especially important to avoid information distributed directly by the tricycle brands themselves. This is because they all claim to be with best, which is another reason why we made this list. We hope this article helped you find the best vintage tricycle to add to your growing collection, thanks for reading!