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Schwinn Meridian for somebody with stability issues?

Old 07-22-20, 09:54 PM
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cuyd
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Exclamation Schwinn Meridian for somebody with stability issues?

I am looking for a tricycle for older person with stability issues. Technically it's hard for him to walk on two feet, he's often leaning to the left side and falling down. I was wondering would normal tricycle be enough, for example Schwinn Meridian. I've read some good comments, especially that bike is able to carry heavier person(around 250 lbs). But I know that such tricycles have their own issues, like high center of gravity or lack and differential.This could cause massive issues when turning. I've heard that Schwinn Merdian usually has right side drive while left side is freewheel, wouldn't that be special issue for person that is unintentionally leaning left? Not only turning when turning, but in general I would suspect that left side would be carrying higher loads. Additionally, there's lots of curbs in the area where we live in , so I am also afraid that tricycles rear axle, hubs, rims and other parts might easily get broken while sliding down the curbs. Are Schwinn Meridians capable of taking such punishment, or should I search for a different bike - like I said, one that has lower center of gravity and real differential, perhaps geared one?

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Old 07-23-20, 06:39 PM
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Does he lean to the side while sitting in a chair? The seat on this trike isn't much different from sitting in a chair. He is also going to be holding on to the handlebars.

I doubt going off a curb is going to damage a Schwinn meridian. It's built like a brick but that is one of the problems. It is very heavy. Do not buy a one-speed model. I wouldn't even recommend the 3-speed Schwinn for anyone with a disability that limits their ability to pedal. He's going to need a fair amount of strength given the weight of the trike plus his own weight. Taking a one-speed trike up a hill with the combined weight is going to be difficult. There are more suitable trikes. One that is heavy but has more gears is the Sunseeker delta trike (two wheels in the back). There are quite a few available used since a lot of them are sold. There are lighter trikes made for heavier riders and still with easy access but they are $$$$.
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Old 07-23-20, 08:51 PM
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The Schwinn Meridian, 2018 single speed, is solid, heavy, and durable to name a few characteristics. I have stability issues of the mental nature (traumatic brain injury). In 2019, I upgraded to a seven speed, but another <$300 adult trike. I put 4,000 miles on the Schwinn Meridian in the year between adult trikes. Yes, it is a solid ride and grips the road well, but geared low and best for cruising communities. Upgrading to a Sun Classic Adult Trike would've been a nice option, I test road one with gears and the trade mark tractor style seat, but it was double the money and not in my budget. Sunseeker line has excellent specs, but even the heaviest model with low specs starts at 4 times the cost for a Meridian (in So Cal); furthermore, they are recumbent, so they are lower and faster. I might have trouble getting down that low and getting back up, but I might not. I tried the gym exercise version with no problem, but no where local to try one... anyway, for your friend with stability issues, I'd recommend trying first (if possible). In the greater LA section I live in, trikes are hard to find; hence, I order online, get a box and assemble the trike. I've heard stories from around the country of places to try trikes, adult and recumbent, so it might be possible in your area. Your friends personal experience/input in the decision is a key factor. Hope you found something useful in my rambling...
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Old 07-24-20, 03:14 PM
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Thanks for input. I can put that Schwinn on hold and check other options but I am wondering is bicycle with differential much better option or would one-wheel drive be enough? Also, because he is leaning to the left, would left or right wheel drive be better to counter his leaning? And nope, he can sit normally on chairs, the problem with leaning occurs when he's walking, the longer the distance the more support he needs. Also he has his left knee weaker.
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Old 07-25-20, 01:37 PM
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I don't think his leaning is going to affect the drive train but he may have to steer the trike a bit to the right. A test ride would tell you all you need to know.

There are delta trikes out there with differential drive for two wheel drive. They are at the upper end of the price range though - Hase makes one https://www.hasebikesusa.com/delta-trikes.html. The other possibility is retrofitting a Sun trike with a Utah Trikes custom made differential https://www.utahtrikes.com/PROD-11619754.html. Sun delta trikes are fairly common on the used trike market. Here is an example of one for sale locally on CL. The owner is asking $650 so it is about twice the cost of a Schwinn one speed. I wouldn't consider messing with the extra cost for a differential until you see that a standard trike is a problem.



You can see friom the design that the seatback would help support the rider and may lessen the left leaning problem.
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Old 07-26-20, 06:29 PM
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Thanks, I know about delta trikes and I am also considering them, lowered center of gravity is great for stability not to mention comfortable seat.

My question about "drive side" was related to fact that usually in such drives one wheel connects harder to the ground while other just slides most of time. People who serviced trike hubs claimed that it's often that one hub is worn out while other looks brand new because of this effect. Anyway, because of how it connects, turning to one side is considered more risky than turning to the other side, so I wanted to know which side should be drive side on, for person leaning left, just to counter that leaning. Honestly few weeks ago I knew exactly which side should it be but I just forgot.
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Old 07-26-20, 07:37 PM
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The drive side on these adult trikes is on the same side as the chain - the right side of the trike. Unless the trike is a piece of crap the hubs should last for many miles. I'm much more familiar with tadpole recumbent trikes (two wheels in the front). I don't read about owners having to frequently replace a hub on them, even on the entry level models. I have one trike with more than 30K miles on it and the only work on the hubs was to replace bearings after around 20K miles. I think you are needlessly worrying about it. While these trikes are easier to flip than a lower seating trike is this rider likely to get going all that fast on it? It's mostly just remembering the handling limits to any trike and not exceed those limits - same as for a low-seating trike.

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Old 07-26-20, 09:11 PM
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Three of my trikes have been right side drive, and one was left wheel drive. It doesn't make much of a difference for me; on occasion during a sharp turn opposite the power wheel (ie left sharp turn with right power wheel or reverse that) the drive wheel looses contact with the road and the crank spins freely. That seems to happen most while turning right with a left power wheel. Might just be me but 75% of manufacturers I've bought from agree and power the right wheel. The simple solution is not to turn so fast, so I usually don't. A few times a year I forget, but when I do, it is only loss of power for an instance. I've read there are pros and cons to both 1 and 2 wheel drive, but I've only had single wheel drive, so I don't know what they are.

I also have leaning issues when I walk, but they are random and can be to the right one time and left another. I used to walk 10-20 miles three days/week, and that helped; however, I broke my hip a few years ago and had total hip replacement, so now I prefer to ride my trike. Sitting on a trike (upright without back support) is not a problem for me, and neither is the single wheel drive. For the first 1,000 miles post hip replacement, it was harder to pedal on my left side; 80% right/20% left according to the physical therapy bike computer, but it didnít make much performance difference, except when climbing 50% or greater slopes and/or 15++ MPH headwinds. But 10,000++ miles later, no issues. The trike has been helpful for my rehab, and many others. Your friend is lucky to have someone looking out for them. The right side should help with left leaning, but a test ride will verify that.

Originally Posted by cuyd View Post
Thanks, I know about delta trikes and I am also considering them, lowered center of gravity is great for stability not to mention comfortable seat.

My question about "drive side" was related to fact that usually in such drives one wheel connects harder to the ground while other just slides most of time. People who serviced trike hubs claimed that it's often that one hub is worn out while other looks brand new because of this effect. Anyway, because of how it connects, turning to one side is considered more risky than turning to the other side, so I wanted to know which side should be drive side on, for person leaning left, just to counter that leaning. Honestly few weeks ago I knew exactly which side should it be but I just forgot.
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Old 07-26-20, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
The drive side on these adult trikes is on the same side as the chain - the right side of the trike. Unless the trike is a piece of crap the hubs should last for many miles. I'm much more familiar with tadpole recumbent trikes (two wheels in the front). I don't read about owners having to frequently replace a hub on them, even on the entry level models. I have one trike with more than 30K miles on it and the only work on the hubs was to replace bearings after around 20K miles. I think you are needlessly worrying about it. While these trikes are easier to flip than a lower seating trike is this rider likely to get going all that fast on it? It's mostly just remembering the handling limits to any trike and not exceed those limits - same as for a low-seating trike.
Are tadpole trikes more stable than trikes with two rear wheels? Have you ever experienced rear wheel skidding?
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Old 07-26-20, 11:37 PM
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I have one more question, when riding normal upright tricycles downhill(not a serious downhill but lets say steep bridge descent), is braking or turning dangerous? Could sudden braking cause "over-the-bar" effect? How dangerous could sharp turning be when riding downwards?
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Old 07-27-20, 12:09 AM
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Late in my dadís life he wanted to try cycling one last time and got a Schwinn trike. He fell getting on and scratched himself on some part of the bike. Since he was anemic from coumadin and his old skin was paper thin, he bled a lot and bruised too. On that basis I would definitely recommend one of the crank forward Sun trikes instead. Itís just like sitting down in a chair or a recumbent exercise bike.

Tadpoles are way more likely to skid the outer front tire in a turn, than the rear. I enjoyed mine. But a tad has as much going on as a geared bike. Itís got two shifters and two brakes. It has better handling but you have to pay attention to it. You sit very low and your feet go uphill or at least it feels that way. The steering takes a little effort, like an old car without power steering. Itís not at all like riding a single speed coaster brake beach cruiser.

Trikes of all kinds do like to flip. Thatís why three wheel ATCís went away in favor of quads. Less so the tads which have your weight mostly over the axle but I still had a few traction rolls. I was able to steer out of it. I was able to ride Dadís Schwinn on two wheels, it wasnít a difficult trick.

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Old 07-27-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cuyd View Post
I have one more question, when riding normal upright tricycles downhill(not a serious downhill but lets say steep bridge descent), is braking or turning dangerous? Could sudden braking cause "over-the-bar" effect? How dangerous could sharp turning be when riding downwards?
It doesn't make much difference which trike you ride. Apply the brakes before making the turn if you sense you are outside of the normal handling limits for making a turn. If you were talking about a tadpole trike it is quite possible to lift the rear wheels on the trike because the brakes are in the front. My previous trike had Hope hydraulic disc brakes. If you grabbed them hard in a panic stop, the rear wheel would go a couple inches off the ground. Not enough to do the equivalent of "over the handlebars". In well over 40K miles I turned turtle on a trike just once and that at slow speed demonstrating the trike to a friend (who refused to take a spin after that).

Loose gravel can be a problem for starting, stopping, or turning if you use smooth tires. They make recumbent trikes for off-road use and they have tires with a more aggressive tread. I ride what is likely the lowest seating trike available. My feet are straight ahead, not up in the air. It is similar to the other two trikes I rode in the past. It's nice to have a trike with a low seat for stability but some people who have tried my trikes simply could not get up out of the seat without help. You lose some stability with a higher seat but not so much to make the trike dangerous to ride - as long as you respect the handling characteristics and don't exceed the safe limits.

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