Friday, February 15, 2008

Schwinn Meridian vs. Worksman Trifecta Adult Trikes

In a previous post I talked about the Worksman Trifecta adult trike, and said I'd prefer the Schwinn for a few dollars more, without even seeing the Schwinn.

I found a new-in-the-box Schwinn Meridian trike on Craigslist for about $100 less than Walmart sells them for. My initial guess is confirmed. This is a much, much better trike than the Worksman Trifecta.

My biggest complaint about the Trifecta was the lack of anything to locate the rear axle. (This eventually caused a bearing to disintegrate, minor frame damage and severe axle damage. I have an axle on order) The Schwinn has higher quality bearings, and the axle assembly has a stop of some sort in 4 different places. There is also chain tension adjustment possible that the Worksman lacked, although this may be more complicated than necessary. Parts on the Schwinn are what you'd find in a high-end discount store (or low-end bike store) bike, several steps up from the Worksman's very cheap components. The Schwinn has both front and rear brakes instead of two front brakes, and the front brake is a mid-grade direct pull, instead of the low-end caliper of the Worksman. The brake levers have a "parking brake" feature that will lock the brakes by pushing a button--Nice to keep the bike from rolling down a hill unattended. Wheels are 26" aluminum with stainless spokes, tires are slick balloon tires, probably the best suited for this use.

Fenders for the rear wheels strike me as fairly useless, a bit fragile and likely to cause minor trouble--If it had been mine, I would have not installed them. The basket folds--I'm not quite sure why, maybe you can bungee something a bit over-sized to the basket platform.

The Schwinn is a lot bigger, with a longer wheelbase, and it doesn't fold. If you need to take it anywhere by car, it will need extensive disassembly. Despite the larger size, the Schwinn isn't significantly heavier, and the frame appears to be much stronger. Other than the size, the Schwinn is superior in every way.


  1. Anonymous5:16 PM

    My wife bought the Trifecta Trike recently, and so far so good. She uses it only on asphalt bike paths an hour or so per week. After your observations about the Trifecta, I'll pay close attention to any noise coming from the axle. One nice thing about the Trifecta is that we do have to transport via auto to the bike paths and we're able to do so on a bike rack b/c of its smaller size, w/o collapsing it. Collapsing it still leaves the 26" axle, which is too big by far for my sedan trunk. Instead, we bought a portable cross-bar that installs between the trike's front handle stem and the seat post, and then using the portable cross-bar we can mount the bike at an angle in a standard 2-bike trunk carrier for transportation purposes.

  2. Anonymous11:21 AM

    I would probably have gotten the Schwinn if size, transport, and storage was not a concern. I chose the Trifecta which was the same price as the extra $20 I'd have to pay for a smaller Schwinn.

  3. slinder4:51 PM

    Just bought a rusty Trifecta for $50, it taught me really quick I need a trike w/gears, and the pedals out in front instead of straight down, too hard on the knees.

    1. I've had 2 recumbent (with the pedals out front) bicycles, and currently ride a Bike E. Gears are even more necessary on a recumbent, and IMO if you are not careful to spin (use a lower gear but pedal faster) harder on the knees. It surprises me how few trikes have gears or any good way to add them.