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Modification of a Meridian
#1
I plan on buying a Schwinn Meridian and changing the front crank/sprocket assembly to a 3 gear and adding a front derailleur (and a rear derailleur - to maintain tension only) The 3 gear sprocket assemblies I have are all from bikes with a 2" diameter X 2-5/8" length sprocket tube. Does anyone know the size of the Schwinn Meridian sprocket tube? Whatever crank set I use I will be using the bearing cups that came from the same set.

I am doing this mod because I want to be able to shift to a smaller drive gear when pedaling uphill (I am 65 years old) and changing the intermediate assembly to a freewheel is more cost and trouble than it's worth.
A more expensive trike is not in my future. I know a company in SoCal produces multi-geared trikes...but they are about $800 beyond my means.

Any positive advice would be greatly appreciated.
One question in particular: Will a continuous chain ride in the single-speed rear gear, or will I have to narrow/bevel the gear teeth?
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#2
Which version of the Meridian? There are several......

For example, this one: http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Meridian-Tricycle-24-Inch-14-Inch/dp/B00AWNI1UG/
has a hub then a transfer chain to the rear axle. With this style, and some machining, you can adapt a rear derailleur or internal gear hub.

The trike above come with three piece cotterless cranks, so putting on a different crank set is trivial.

Mounting the front derailleur will be difficult; the easiest solution is the e-type; which is no longer popular:
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-FC-M410-E-Alivio-F-derail-B-pull/dp/B000FE9A8E/
you'll need a matching bottom bracket (which also needs to match you crankset).

You will need a new chain, the original chain will not work with derailleurs - and the speed of the chain needs to match the speed of the rear derailleur (I found that out the hard way).

This change is possible if you are mechanically skilled, and have access to the tools.

If you don't have the tools or the skills - $800- is a bargain.
Here are other choices:
http://www.amazon.com/24-Adult-Tricycle-Speed-Trike/dp/B008TOMXTU/
pretty easy to convert to 7speed or 12 or 14 or 18 or 21

http://www.amazon.com/Worksman-Port-Trike-Three-Tricycle/dp/B003F1WMZC/

Conversion kits that can be adapted to the Meridian:
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-3-Speed-Coaster-Conversion-3-Wheeler/dp/B0063R1PQM/
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-5-Speed-Coaster-Conversion-3-Wheeler/dp/B0063R1ZDU/
Nigel
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#3
Sorry about duplicating your reply...I still haven't mastered the art of forum posting! Thank you for the reply,NFMISSO.
I was going to purchase the 26" version sold on Amazon and/or Target.com . I won't be installing rear gears at all..only a 3 geared front crank assembly. The e-type derailleur looks like it will fill the bill. And only adds $19.00 to my total cost. The rear derailleur will only be used to hold tension on the chain, and I believe I can mount it anywhere along the chain route (like the tension-wheel on an automotive serpentine fan belt). So I regress back to my original concern: will the 2" diameter bearing cups that I already have fit into the crank tube, or will I have to purchase a different crank assembly?
Further purchase past the e-type derailleur would make that Chinese-made 6-speed trike more economical than my conversion plans. I thank you for that info also, as it didn't show up when I searched Amazon.
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#4
Please note that the Meridian; and all current Schwinn bicycles and tricycles are made in China; as are 90+% of all bicycles sold today.

The two inch diameter bearing cups will not fit. As noted above, the Meridian comes with a standard cotterless crankset, so it will be easy to replace the crank with a current crank - it is most likely a square taper, but there is a remote possibility that it is Octalink. This fits square taper:
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-M131-Crankset-170mm-48/dp/B003ZMDJW6/
and here is an Octalink:
http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Acera-170mm-22-32-42t-Octalink/dp/B002I7MA10/

You need a crank puller to remove your current crank:
http://www.amazon.com/Avenir-94-27-228-Octalink-Crank-Puller/dp/B00165P9XQ/
it will work fine with square taper too.

To use the E-type derailleur you NEED an e-type bottom bracket (BB) - which the Meridian does not have. Figure another $25- to $30-

To change out the BB, you'll need a tool that will fit the current BB, similar to this one (this might not be the correct tool):
http://www.amazon.com/BIKEHAND-Bicycle-Shimano-Bracket-Removal/dp/B00811WQJS/
And that assumes you have 3/8" drive ratchet set and a breaker bar. I use a section of gas pipe on a very old Craftsman 3/8" drive (not ratchet).

And don't forget the new chain.

The 5 speed conversion is cheaper than trying to put on a triple chain ring.
Nigel
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#5
Thank you for a lot of pertinent information. Bottom line is...the 6 speed trike at $409 is comparable to a Meridian plus modifications, so I will buy that and donate my 2 crank sets to the Goodwill.

I had a 3 speed trike about 20 years ago with the same hub as the "English Racers" of that era. I wonder why Schwinn decided to go with a single geared bike that has to be pushed up hills?! They must think everybody lives on flat terrain !
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#6
(06-28-2013, 03:22 AM)Papasquee Wrote:  ...... I wonder why Schwinn decided to go with a single geared bike that has to be pushed up hills?! They must think everybody lives on flat terrain !
Unfortunately; most companies today provide for the middle 50%; and ignore everything outside of that.

My newest bike is from the mid 1990's - almost 20 years old now; my oldest dates from the early 1980's. Manufacturers today are not offering bikes that interest me within my budget, so I purchase used, and modify to suit me.

Another example - we'd like to have a small diesel powered pickup with 4WD and manual transmission. Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota and others offer this combination in Thailand and other parts of SE Asia - but not in the USA. So we are not purchasing.....
Nigel
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