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Advice on adjusting new schwinn meridian trike rear hub bearings / axle

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Advice on adjusting new schwinn meridian trike rear hub bearings / axle

Old 09-18-21, 09:10 PM
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trikeBoomer
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Advice on adjusting new schwinn meridian trike rear hub bearings / axle

I have a new schwinn meridian 26" single speed tricycle that I just got in the mail.
First off I inspected the axle component and tried to spin the ends of the axle shaft by hand. It was very difficult but possible with enough force. I then grabbed the sprocket in the middle and tried rotating axle from there, it was slightly easier but still difficult and not smooth rotation.
There was no noise or grinding.
Is this normal? I'm clueless but I assumed that it'd be very easy to spin the axle by hand since I know that when you rotate a bicycle wheel by hand it will make many revolutions until it stops.
If it isn't normal, I assume I need to adjust the hub bearings?
Here is a run down on the axle's components:
1) Non Drive Side: has two thin 23mm nuts threaded against the bearing
2) Drive Side: 22mm flared/collar (not sure of proper term) nut and one thin 23mm nut
3) In the middle by the sprocket, there are two circular clamps up against the bearing and are held in place by 7mm set screws
4) (Not visible in pic) inside the actual hole each bearing slides into) there is a metal tube spacer that the axle inserts into, this spacer presses against the bearing from the inside I think

I made diagram to try and illustrate everything, bottom of post i'll add some extra pics too
Just found out I can't post the diagram here, I uploaded it to my user pictures here on the site in my profile:
bikeforums(dot)net/g/album/22510392
also uploaded it to imgur in case the above doesnt work or is too low resolution:
imgur(dot)com/a/JH3lxsK

I think I have to use my 23mm cone wrench + another wrench to adjust the the 22/23mm nuts that are against the bearings, right?
Then I believe you loosen the outter nut then adjust the inner nut (that's against the bearing) to a certain amount of tightness then I hold the inner nut while I tighten the outter nut, yes?
Is there any specific amount of tightness that I need? Do I adjust a certain side first? Any other specifics that I may be unaware of?
I assume I won't have to adjust the two inside circular clamps that are held in place via set screws?

note: Will try to find out if I can somehow host the pics on here instead, bummer that I have to make 10 random posts

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Old 09-19-21, 12:44 AM
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update:
I disassembled:
  1. 23mm + 22mm drive side nut
  2. 2x inner circle clamps with 7mm set screws
  3. drive sprocket + key
I then threaded the wheel nut on the end of the drive side axle and set a piece of lumber on the ground then lightly dropped the drive side end of the axle onto the lumber and repeated until the axle was able to be removed by hand.

With the rear axle assembly disassembled I inserted my finger all the way into the bearing and rotated it with some light pressure loaded against it. It spins noise free but I can feel some "bumps/notches" in some areas throughout the rotation.
I removed the outter rubber seal on the bearing, it does have grease but it appears to be vaseline and it is kind of gel like, not evenly distributed and doesn't move at all when spinning the bearing.

I believe this means that the original bearings are bad since I can feel rough spots like I mentioned above?
I will look into replacing them with brand name 6003RS from timken/skf etc.
I will update once I make some progress. Any advice/insight would be appreciated as well.
Thanks for your time fellas!
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Old 09-19-21, 07:52 AM
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It appears the 6003RS bearings are radial contact type and should not be preloaded like angular contact bearings would be.

They should spin smoothly when new, unless poorly made. And they may be cheaply made for the trike market, which may not be as discriminating as some. You're doing exactly what I would do, tuning it up.
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Old 10-01-21, 09:18 AM
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Update:
I discovered that the two housings on the rear axle frame were out of alignment.
I replaced the four bearings and then went to install a new axle (confirmed it was straight and not bent)
The axle slid into the first housing's bearings effortlessly.
Once the axle reached the second housing's first bearing it started to bind in the bearing's bore.
Upon inspection, the axle was off center by at least 1-2mm in the bore, forcing the axle wouldve risked damaging the bearings and bending the axle.
I called support and shared my findings, theyre sending me a new axle frame assembly which should arrive today.
Will update.
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Old 10-01-21, 06:32 PM
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Once you get the axle bearing issue sorted out, next up is the drive wheel vs axle interface. On some of the Schwinn three wheeler models it's far too small of a contact area and prone to striping out if ridden loose or pedaled hard or not reinstalled properly. The drive axle has one side machined flat and it fits in to a thick washer that is welded in to the drive wheel. The contact area is ridiculously too small. the welded in washer isn't hard enough and gets rounded out. If the drive wheel isn't fully engaged, it will strip out very fast. You may need to use alternative lock nuts and spacers to get full engagement. Once stripped, you pedal, the axle turns and you go nowhere. The axle gets gouged out as well.

The latest we fixed was repaired by welding a new washer in the bearing cups in the hub and hand filing it to fit. I doubt it will last very long. Perhaps long enough to sell it. A more reliable fix is to just weld the hub to the axle.





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Old 10-02-21, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by trikeBoomer View Post
Update:
I discovered that the two housings on the rear axle frame were out of alignment.
I replaced the four bearings and then went to install a new axle (confirmed it was straight and not bent)
The axle slid into the first housing's bearings effortlessly.
Once the axle reached the second housing's first bearing it started to bind in the bearing's bore.
Upon inspection, the axle was off center by at least 1-2mm in the bore, forcing the axle wouldve risked damaging the bearings and bending the axle.
I called support and shared my findings, theyre sending me a new axle frame assembly which should arrive today.
Will update.
The quality control factor is lacking on these trikes, I have assembled quite a few. The last one came with 2 drive rear wheel (right side)and had to wait 2 weeks to get the replacement left wheel.
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Old 10-05-21, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rickpaulos View Post
axle info
Originally Posted by JoeTBM View Post
The quality control factor is lacking on these trikes
Thanks fellas for the info, added it to my notes.
I got the new axle assembly, everything seemed good but parts were loose on it and sprocket was rusty so I removed axle to put other non rusted sprocket on it. I also shot some mobil1 red synthetic grease around the spacer tube.
I reassembled and maybe im being too critical but one of the lock rings is bugging the hell out of me.
See my two pics here, one of the lock rings is a bit cocked no matter how many times I loosened/adjusted the two set screws.
PIC1: Flush lock ring side

PIC2: the crooked lock ring



Does this matter?
I made sure both screws went down into the small divot milled into the axle for the screw to rest in was lined up.
It stays straight at first but as I tighten it down it always cocks a bit and isnt flush against the bearing.
I spent hours on it last night heh with no luck.
The only thing I can think of is MAYBE the threads in the crooked lock ring are bad and cause the screw to go in crooked, cocking the lockring? Here is a pic of some lockrings they sent me by mistake, note threaded holes


Figured i'd mention the threads but honestly im not sure if that could even cause the issue of the cocked ring.
Appreciate any advice gentlemen, will update if I figure anything out meanwhile

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Old 10-06-21, 02:23 AM
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If it were me, I wouldn't be too concerned with it, the set screw collar is only there to prevent the axle from drifting. Again, this is not a high quality trike with good quality control, it is what it is.

If it is driving you crazy, you can always order a replacement, I also have found that some of them offered via Home Depot work fine, here is a link to some I purchased to use with a 5/8" axle, they utilize a single set screw instead of the double set screw you show but they work fine for the purpose..

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Climax-5...-_-Product_URL
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Old 10-08-21, 01:22 PM
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Thanks Joe, appreciate the link as well!
Those rings you linked seem nice since I don't think they'd rely on having to have the screw sit down inside the divot on the axle which may or may not be milled in the proper place for the axle to be even.

I removed the old rings, got lucky and found 2 rings out of the 4 they sent me that actually had the threads tapped properly.
Reinstalled, no more crooked ring, so it must've been due to poorly tapped thread on the old ring.
The rings still aren't perfectly pressed up against the bearings but are quite close within a mil or so.
Everything seems to rotate pretty good now, will finally try to start assembling the trike. Fingers crossed.
Will update
p.s. I feel bad for the people who buy this and have a bike shop/department store assemble it

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Old 10-12-21, 01:10 PM
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Inspecting the rims/spokes due to horror stories of them failing often.
The spoke nipples are 3.45mm, bought park SW-42 wrench
Spoke dia is 2mm, steel, round, 18 spokes on both sides of wheel.
Used knockoff parktool tension meter. Most spokes read about 25 on the gauge, some are a bit higher and one or two are quite a bit lower around 19.5-20
I assume I just tighten the outliers and try to get all the spokes tension reading around the same (25 in this case) then spin wheel to make sure it doesnt wobble much.
Will update, gettin closer to taking it for a test ride.
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