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 Post subject: Tic Tac wheels
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:41 pm
Posts: 616
*Note. This review is about my use of these wheels for chipmunks, however the product is also suitable for rats and the review is not specific to chipmunks

So I was sick of been woken up by my silent spinner. I saw a few people on a degu group talking about Tic Tac wheels and saw threads about them on here also. I also needed another wheel for my new chipmunk

So I decided to take plunge and buy a new type of wheel. I discounted several other types for various reasons, such a having an axle in the middle (worried about tails getting caught and any animals that like to bounce as they run might bang their backs)

I chose the metal version as I was unsure about the slope on the plastic ones.

I asked questions via the shops facebook page and received quick and helpful replies.

Ordering was easy and they were dispatched quickly. They were ordered Monday afternoon and arrived this morning (Friday)

They arrived well packaged and undamaged.

Putting them in the cage was a little tricky, I ended up having to take the two bars off and fixing them separately then threading the screw on the wheel through it and fixing that one last. I have quite short arms so struggled a little but managed to fix it by myself in the end. The fixings hold the wheel very nicely and are sturdy. My bars are 10mm and it fitted nicely through them.

In use the wheels are perfect. Silent and with plenty of room (I chose the 12 inch version with the 5 inch depth) My chipmunk who has never had a wheel before took to it very well and is able to make it spin with ease. My other chipmunk is more cautious but has had a go on it and again had no trouble making it spin. It gives ample space for running

5/5!

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Ratless
Owned by: Dexter (dog) Ozzy, Loki and Marceline (Cats) Dylan and Darcy (Rabbits) Halo + Tony (Syrian hamsters) Snufkin (Winter White hamster) Toffle (Roborovski) Firefly (Leopard Gecko) Launch and Rocket (Chipmunks) Rebecca (Ribbed Newt) Neo (Cockatiel)


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 Post subject: Re: Tic Tac wheels
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:04 pm
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I used to have both a Wodent Wheel and a Silent Spinner in my rat cage – I have a wheel addict in my group, so two wheels are needed for the others to be able to go for a run too. I was getting sick of the noisiness of the Wodent Wheel and the difficulty in cleaning it, as you can't even give it a quick wipe down without taking it apart. Having heard lots of good reviews of Tic Tac wheels, and having heard of a recent drop in the build quality of Silent Spinners, I decided to try a Tic Tac.

I first ordered a 16" blue metal Tic Tac wheel, as I had been assured by another rat keeper that it wasn't too heavy for even small rats to use, and I wanted to get the biggest wheel that would fit in my SRS. It took my rats a few days to get used to it: it's heavier than plastic wheels, but the bearings are much smoother, so it takes more force to get it going, but once it's going it spins much more easily. At first my rats seemed so unsure about it that I was worried they didn't like it, but once they got the hang of it, they really took to it. They loved it so much that nobody wanted use the Silent Spinner anymore, and there were arguments over who got to go in the "good" wheel.

So I got another Tic Tac wheel, a 14" blue metal one this time to conserve on cage space a bit. Both wheels are greatly enjoyed by my girls; I think there may be a slight preference for the 16", but they love running in the 14" too. It's been especially rewarding to see my largest girl, who previously would only go for a gentle stroll in a Wodent Wheel or Silent Spinner, actually go for a proper run in a Tic Tac. I think this is due to both the smoothness of the bearings, and also the size of the wheel: they all look more comfortable in even a 14" over a 12".

The one downside of the Tic Tac is that it is a bit fiddly to attach to the cage. At first I tried to attach it as one piece, which was a struggle, but on seeing ami_j's review above I realised that of course I could detach the metal cross-pieces from the wheel, attach them to the cage first, and then attach the rest of the wheel to the cross-pieces. That was much easier, but still fiddly. Combined with the fact that you're not supposed to get the bearings wet, this is very much a wheel to clean in situ. Doing so is very easy however: I just give it quick wipe and it's ready to go. Unlike the Wodent Wheel and the Silent Spinner, there are no annoying gaps for dirt to get trapped in. There is a welding join at one point across the running track, and also between the back of the wheel and the track (apparently the non-coloured wheels don't have these joins?); dirt can accumulate here, but it's very easy to clean out.

I've read that the large central bolt that attaches the wheel to the cage doesn't fit through narrow bar spacings: the central bolt on my wheels measures approximately 7mm across. It fits through my SRS bars without difficulty, but I forgot to test it on my Freddy 2, and now that it's been attached to the SRS I don't want to detach it again to test. :lol: There is also the option to buy the wheel attached to a metal stand, so it can be freestanding. I asked the seller if the wheels sold with the stand could be detached from the stand and attached directly to the cage (to give me flexibility in wheel placement); they said that the wheel with the stand doesn't normally come with the cross-pieces that are needed to attach it to the cage, but if I sent them an email when I ordered one, they would include the cross-pieces for me free of charge. They also included instructions on how to swap the stand for the cross-pieces; it was very easy to do and only required an adjustable spanner.

Overall I would happily recommend metal Tic Tac wheels, provided you can clean it in situ. I would also recommend the largest one you have the cage space for: the difference between a 14" and a 12" is already pretty great, but my girls look most comfortable in the 16".

5/5, would buy another one if I had another cage!

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Poo-shoveller to: Zephyr Delanynder, Lia, and Lita.
Fondly remembering: Falere the contrary NLA36, Mirala the best and finest NLA36, Zephyr Opold the serene, and Rila the rodentist.
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