Schwinn Trike is garbage

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Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Jun 30, 2014 5:43 pm

Hi guys my other thread about this trike I built for my elderly friend ended up being about something else so rather than resurrect it I make a new post.

The Schwinn trike he bought from Canadian Tire for $500 is a piece of shit for that kind of money. I regret allowing him to buy it because at the time I was second guessing it just buy the feel of it and the thin cheap looking parts.

The rims and spokes are about as thin as they could be I assume. I am currently looking to get front wheels from discarded mountain bikes to replace the two on the back. The MP3 motor came laced in a good rim so that took care of the front.

The rear brake is almost 100% useless. It is some old school band type and is completely shit. It BARELY stops the bike unless you are crunching the lever hard and if you continue using the brake in this way soon everything will stretch and loosen until the lever touches the bar. About 3 days riding will get you to this point. I have a feeling something will just snap or break before the adjustment of the cable runs out... in a couple weeks. I have the MP3 regen jacked up up so the rear brake lever is actually slowing the bike down that way, through the front wheel.

Also, as he found out, in reverse the brake band unwraps itself and is literally not applying any brake at all. So... if you are elderly like my friend and dont immediately think to grab the other lever in a panic expect to roll backwards onto the road and get hit by a car if you are on an incline. Useless piece of shit.

The gear/clutch/rear brake assy has now started to crunch and grind. When coasting he can feel the peddles wanting to turn underneath him now. It makes a loud crunch noise. I tool the piece of junk off to see if I could replace a bearing or something and notice the whole thing has notchy bearings in it, no matter what part/bearing I am turning by hand. He doesnt even peddle the damn thing.

He has a 30ah lith-ion batt so he doesnt have to peddle at all... very worn out knees... so I disconnected the front chain from this garbage unit and removed it. so now the peddles do not really do anything aside from hold his feet up. An added benefit is that when in reverse the peddles no longer turn backwards. I set up the MP3 with a handle bar switch to put it in reverse.

I put some foam under the battery in the rear basket to stop the rear of the bike from taking a beating under its weight over the millions of bumps it'll encounter. Now that I have witness the cheapness of this bike I worry about the axles sheering off like I have been told was a problem for these bikes at one point.

One would think for $500 they wouldnt make the bike so cheap. The quality of mountain bike one could get for that sum of money makes this thing look like the painted turd that it is. On a $500 bike you can get front suspension, decent disk brakes, all the parts that make up the derailleur system, much better rims and spokes and just over all better running gear and quality. With the Schwinn you get a third wheel and thats it.

I made the mistake of thinking Schwinn meant quality..... with this trike the exact opposite is true. If you ever do a trike stay the frock away from this thing unless you want constant headaches. I have to make this thing as strong and reliable as possible because I will be moving 6 hours away and can not just return to fix at whenever the need arises. Hopefully it will not give him much trouble but I HIGHLY doubt it.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Chalo » Jun 30, 2014 6:27 pm

The Schwinn name was bought by Pacific Cycle several years ago. Pacific Cycle makes mostly bikes for the big-box retailer market, which is to say they make semi-recyclable waste in the shape of bicycles.

Don't buy bikes at big-box stores, unless you want to be disappointed. The good bikes are at bike shops, even if not all bike shops are good.

Also, trikes are mostly crap. The main market for trikes is people who have not ridden bikes much, but are scared of them anyway. So the design, engineering (I use the word loosely), and workmanship of most trikes is just what you'd expect from a business that exploits ignorant, fearful, and old people for money.

Trike buyers don't understand that you're way more likely to fall off a trike once you get it moving. The only thing trikes do better than bikes is remain standing when they are not moving.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Willow » Jun 30, 2014 8:39 pm

Chalo wrote:Trike buyers don't understand that you're way more likely to fall off a trike once you get it moving. The only thing trikes do better than bikes is remain standing when they are not moving.
unless....


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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Jun 30, 2014 8:41 pm

"semi-recyclable waste in the shape of bicycles"

LOL that's a good one and painfully true. I wish I knew better before letting my friend buy that hunk of crap.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by spinningmagnets » Jun 30, 2014 8:48 pm

"BSO"...Bicycle Shaped Object...

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Jun 30, 2014 8:56 pm

well if anything it will last him this summer until around Oct when he will put it away because it is too cold. Then over the winter I can look into something that isnt such a piece of garbage. Anyone know of better built trikes?

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by mateusleo » Jun 30, 2014 8:59 pm

Willow wrote:
Chalo wrote:Trike buyers don't understand that you're way more likely to fall off a trike once you get it moving. The only thing trikes do better than bikes is remain standing when they are not moving.
unless....

Your trike is FAR beyond the trikes Chalo is talking about =D Nice build btw, i found it amazing the first time i saw it
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by DAND214 » Jun 30, 2014 11:42 pm

I sure hope you have torque arms on that front wheel!
REGEN on a front wheel is an accident wating to happen.
If the wheel doesn't come loose the fork might break.
Remember it's made out of junk!

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Jun 30, 2014 11:49 pm

lol ya I have 2 on it. the regen is decent enough not to torque the forks back too hard and they are fairly large tube diamter and as far as forks go they seem like they can handle it. Of course I could be wrong. I have told him to keep his eye on the spot where they might crack.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Dauntless » Jul 01, 2014 12:58 am

The other one Chalo left out is the Workman, which is a good trike and you PAY for it to be good. As the man says, even that one, don't go fast. I think that traditional trike configuration but more recumbent like around the seat might be suitable for some speed.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by BLUESTREAK » Jul 01, 2014 8:28 am

Those earlier schwinn trikes the (TOWN & COUNTRY and the MERIDIAN) are good (frames "alum. and the forks are steel) tires and rimes are only good for a pedal trike but no good for motor trikes. I have (2) meridians, (1) has a x5306 front drive and I can do 30 mph onflat ground the other WIFE's trike has a (9C 2810 or 6x10) a real climber I have had these since early 2009 and the first thing I did after rear flats and colapsed rimes, I replaced the rims and changed the single speed to a (3 speed conversion kits with coaster brake) factory rear brake was useless. added GRIN tork arms lowered the seat back and down to about 26in. from the ground and on my BLUESTREAK MERIDIAN trike I streached it out about 12in. and made a rear suspension setup and now all is well. :P :P

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by r3volved » Jul 01, 2014 8:32 am

Thanks OP, for the feedback on the trike. I almost but the bullet on one a few months ago for my semi-disabled brother...he ended up buying a jacked up golf kart.
Definitely glad I didn't go for the trike...like you, I thought the higher price tag at CT would have indicated some decency.
I just saw another nice looking DS Schwinn there that interested me...now, not so much

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by dogman dan » Jul 01, 2014 10:56 am

Assuming your trike is the meridian, they definitely have a super cheap wheel. But I beat hard on them for years at work, and never had the problems you describe. Yes the band brake does little, but I never had the stretch out problem you tell of. Spokes were a constant problem on the rear wheels. I rebuilt one of the trikes with good eyletted rims, and good spokes recycled from a quality wheel. That one had no wheel problems.

I think that rear hub on yours was junk, defective. Or they make them all that bad now.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Chalo » Jul 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Dauntless wrote:The other one Chalo left out is the Workman, which is a good trike and you PAY for it to be good. As the man says, even that one, don't go fast. I think that traditional trike configuration but more recumbent like around the seat might be suitable for some speed.
I have a Worksman Adaptable that I fitted with ATV sand slicks and a triple tree fork. It's a solid trike (y'know, for a trike), but it's still more likely to turn over in the street than a bike. I got mine after Boeing had already used it up.

Image

Low slung trikes, both the one-wheel-in-front kind and the two-wheels-in-front kind, are definitely exceptions to my generalization about granny trikes. But those tend to be expensive and hard to find compared to the junky kind from Schwinn, Husky, Trailmate, etc.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by docnjoj » Jul 01, 2014 3:39 pm

You mean like this one Chalo: Steintrikes new tilter. Definitely not cheep @ 4500 euro.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpYIIpYJ ... r_embedded

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Chalo » Jul 01, 2014 3:50 pm

Tilting trikes are another thing altogether. Tripendo made a cool looking one at the turn of the century. And I remember an upright "granny" one that had a tilt brake on it to keep it standing up when stationary.

My only quibble with those is the complexity and expense it takes to make them do what a bicycle does with no fuss at all.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by docnjoj » Jul 02, 2014 8:01 am

Chalo wrote:Tilting trikes are another thing altogether. Tripendo made a cool looking one at the turn of the century. And I remember an upright "granny" one that had a tilt brake on it to keep it standing up when stationary.

My only quibble with those is the complexity and expense it takes to make them do what a bicycle does with no fuss at all.
Except standing up at a stop light without dropping your feet. It is spring loaded and has a lockout for the tilt. The crazy Europeans race them downhill on luge tracks in the summer.
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E-bike stable at our house

Steintrike Mad Max full suspension trike rear Cute 100H going on: Whoops, Cute wheel broke but I fixed it.
Sun USX delta trike EbikeKit small geared front wheel sort of front suspension for wife

Agniusm/A123 AMP 20 36 volts on the Steini has been taken off.
2x16000 Multisport from HK now gone as they died after 2 years
New Luna 10S bottle battery 13.6AH now on mine
Relatively New 10S4Px2 for wife's bike giving 20ah @ 40 volts home made Panasonic from Tumich. BMS's rule.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Jul 02, 2014 11:16 am

dogman wrote:Assuming your trike is the meridian, they definitely have a super cheap wheel. But I beat hard on them for years at work, and never had the problems you describe. Yes the band brake does little, but I never had the stretch out problem you tell of. Spokes were a constant problem on the rear wheels. I rebuilt one of the trikes with good eyletted rims, and good spokes recycled from a quality wheel. That one had no wheel problems.

I think that rear hub on yours was junk, defective. Or they make them all that bad now.
Hi Dogman... I'm not having problems with the wheels yet.... but others have, I've talked to others on this board in other threads. I just want them gone before my friend has any issues that will leave him stranded. The roads and sidewalks in Subdury are awful and the whole bike is constantly receiving jolts from all the cracks and bumps. Add the weight of a 30ah batt in the back as well. Just to make me feel better I want to replace them with front wheels I get from used mountain bikes.

As for the chain wheel assy thing... there is more than one bearing in that thing and depending on what you turn you can isolate a bearing. They are all notchy. The bearing in the chain wheels its self is so bad it was turning the peddles on him during coasting. I'm glad your is working but this one just reflects to poor poor quality of the bike.

And to be honest I dont understand how they get away with that poor excuse for a brake on the back. With his heavily arthritis hands he cant even pull it hard enough to get it to do anything. not to mention is doesnt work at all if rolling backwards. I'm strong and I have to squeeze the thing so hard it's ridiculous. And the whole system is stretching... I mean, any cable brake system on any bike would stretch out if you had the squeeze it so hard. Add the poor quality of this bike and it stretches more maybe.

I have my fingers crossed that they fixed the breaking rear shaft issues a user on this board experience a few years back.

All in all just an awful bike for the money. A scam as far as I'm concerned.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Chalo » Jul 02, 2014 6:44 pm

Those rear wheels are not built on bicycle hubs; you can't just swap out for bicycle wheels. You have to relace the hubs to stronger rims (and ideally, better spokes) if you want the wheels to hold up better.

That kind of brake is called a band brake, and you can get various versions cheaply online. They are relatively easy to change out, but replacing the drum requires removing the rear axle to get at it. None of them is great but not all of them are completely hopeless. The larger the diameter of the drum, the better-- as long as it fits in the assembly.

The freewheel has a bad bearing, because pretty much all freewheels have bad bearings from the get go. They are only intended to turn when there isn't tension on the chain. Loosen the chain if there is tension on it without pedaling, and the pedals should stop riding along.

If I recall correctly, the rear axle bearings are just plain old 5/8" x 1-3/8" wheelbarrow bearings. You can replace them with the cheap nasty kind for a couple of bucks each, or with relatively nice semi-precision bearings for a few bucks more.

That trike, like all department store bikes, has already done the only job it was ever designed to do once money has changed hands. It's not for riding; it's for selling. Call it a scam if you like, but that's the way mass retailers work.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Ypedal » Jul 02, 2014 8:42 pm

Yeah.... i've eyeballed them a few times at Canadian T. ......

I've worked on a few over the years, ex :

http://ypedal.com/TriRider/index.htm

and :

http://ypedal.com/MiamiSun/Index.htm

The Miami was more stable, but had no brakes and a really cheezy fork..

I got the band brakes to work " ok " but it takes time, screws around the outer shell allow you to shape the band ( a leather strap... ugh ) into something that grabs a bit .. run a piece of sand paper over the surface of the drum and make sure the band is grabbing as centered as possible .

The tri-rider is for sale but buyers are rare, one lady that came by to try it went about 10 ft before giving up, terrified... lol..... common problem with most first-timers on the trike is they drift and hit the curb.. obviously the trike does not lean but non-intelligent people freak out when they turn and the frame flexes outwardly, then panic sets in and well.... it's not pretty.

Now my KMX on the other hand, is a joy and smiles per mile with trailer and dog in tow, i love my KMX.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by tomjasz » Jul 02, 2014 9:19 pm

Ypedal wrote: Now my KMX on the other hand, is a joy and smiles per mile with trailer and dog in tow, i love my KMX.
I like the Tri you are selling. Don't you feel vulnerable with KMX in traffic? How do you improve visibility, or is it a matter of adopting a particular ride philosophy? I've never been a scaredy cat, but....

Thanks,

T
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by MP3 Fan » Aug 21, 2014 8:51 am

Just wanted to give an update to this trike... my friend called me couple nights ago to tell me one of the rear wheels is moving in and out. I am 500km away now so cant look at it. I tell him he needs to tale to a bike mechanic. He calls me last night to tell me that bike place told him the shaft is broken and they are unable to fix it. Now I have to drive back to home town and try and figure out what to do because he is not mechanically enclined and has no idea what this type of thing.

$500 peice of junk. What a scam.

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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by ddk » Aug 21, 2014 11:51 am

MP3 Fan wrote:Just wanted to give an update to this trike... my friend called me couple nights ago to tell me one of the rear wheels is moving in and out. I am 500km away now so cant look at it. I tell him he needs to tale to a bike mechanic. He calls me last night to tell me that bike place told him the shaft is broken and they are unable to fix it. Now I have to drive back to home town and try and figure out what to do because he is not mechanically enclined and has no idea what this type of thing.

$500 peice of junk. What a scam.
the shaft...
I'm assuming they mean the axle.
The axles can be had for about $30 from amazon.
They come in two flavors. 5/8" or 15mm.
Changing an axle is simple and rewarding, because you need to use a hammer, and there's nothing more rewarding than hammering on a BSO.

Wheels moving in and out are more usually caused by broken spokes.

I built a trike from a Tririder frame. It's my favorite bike-type vehicle of all time.
Somewhere in this thread I detail how to change an axle... forget which page because old guy and lazy.

EDIT: found the page- https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... &start=125
Last edited by ddk on Aug 21, 2014 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by Chalo » Aug 21, 2014 12:51 pm

ddk wrote:Changing an axle is simple and rewarding, because you need to use a hammer, and there's nothing more rewarding than hammering on a BSO.
LOL

Thanks for that!
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Re: Schwinn Trike is garbage

Post by The fingers » Aug 21, 2014 5:00 pm

Chalo wrote:
ddk wrote:Changing an axle is simple and rewarding, because you need to use a hammer, and there's nothing more rewarding than hammering on a BSO.
LOL

Thanks for that!
Maybe throwing it into a smelter. :lol:
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