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Schwinn Meridian 7-speed Chain/
#1
So I have a couple of questions that I hope someone in this group might know about or have experience with. This is for my Schwinn Meridian 7-speed trike.

1. Are the derailleur chain and the drive chain the same type? Obviously they're different lengths; and I assume the derailleur chain is a typical 7-speed chain. But what about the main drive chain? Same thing? Or is it a standard single speed chain? What's the # of teeth,. size, etc. of both chains; but more specifically the drive chain?

2. The low speed of the 7-speed bike is, in my opinion, not low enough... I'd like a little more power going up inclines and hills. So what I want to do is pull the current 7-speed freewheel and replace it with an 8-speed freewheel as pictured below. I realize I'd also need to replace the shifter handle with an 8-speed one, and possibly replace the derailleur chain with an 8-speed compatible chain. Anyone else done this or something similar? Is it even feasible? Parts are fairly cheap so that isn't an issue.

[Image: 287248817_10220778880413073_900753027316...e=62AF75C1]

Hope that someone out there might have some answers... And thanks in advance.

-Chimp
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#2
6/7/8 speed chain is the same thing.

I doubt the chain is different on the two sides. If it was, then that would mean the cogs are different; and this would mean they are 1/8" single speed cogs/chain.
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#3
(06-17-2022, 10:34 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  6/7/8 speed chain is the same thing.

I doubt the chain is different on the two sides. If it was, then that would mean the cogs are different; and this would mean they are 1/8" single speed cogs/chain.

We own a 2021 Schwinn Meridian and I'm a former Bike Mechanic from many years ago.

Yes, the chains are a different type on the 7-speed drivetrain and the wheel axle sprocket.

On the Schwinn Meridian 7-speed or higher, a "10-speed" style chain with more narrow links is used to accommodate the 7-speed or higher Shimano Freewheel. However, a larger and thicker vintage style chain is still used to drive the axle sprocket.

Newer Meridian 3-speeds ( Shimano 3-speed assembly) and Meridian Coaster-brake models both use a chain with the larger & thicker wheel axle sprocket.

The Meridian wheel axle sprocket chain is different because it requires the larger & thicker coaster-brake or vintage direct-drive style chain that is standard on all Schwinn Meridians as far as I am aware.

The main reason for Schwinn Meridians using 2 different style chains seems to be the wheel axle sprocket is under more stress while driving the wheels and as a result, a stronger & more durable chain is required for the wheel axle sprocket. A thinner 7-speed chain would stretch and wear out too easily if it were used for the wheel axle sprocket.
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#4
You may want to reconsider going to an 8-speed solely for an extra gear...due to the extra parts cost.

If I recall correctly you may have to purchase/change the following parts for the extra freewheel cog:
1.) You would have to change to a different 8-speed derailleur
2.) depending on the 8-speed derailleur, you may need to change to a different Chain
3.) You would have to change to another 8-speed shifter,
4.) you would have to change the freewheel of freehub cog assembly.

I suggest that you consider changing the 7-speed cogs to different 7-speed cogs as a lower cost alternative... By switching to different 7-speed freewheel cogs & # of teeth that you can select with help from others bikers, you can change the Meridian's gear ratios to something that you like better.

Please note that Shimano 7-speed freewheel/freehubs are not common because they were used on older bikes. However, you can find alternate used 7-speed freewheel parts for a lower cost at your local fleamarket, on your local Craigslist, or on eBay.
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#5
(06-18-2022, 03:05 PM)Questor Wrote:  
(06-17-2022, 10:34 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  6/7/8 speed chain is the same thing.

I doubt the chain is different on the two sides. If it was, then that would mean the cogs are different; and this would mean they are 1/8" single speed cogs/chain.

We own a 2021 Schwinn Meridian and I'm a former Bike Mechanic from many years ago.

Yes, the chains are a different type on the 7-speed drivetrain and the wheel axle sprocket.

On the Schwinn Meridian 7-speed or higher, a "10-speed" style chain with more narrow links is used to accommodate the 7-speed or higher Shimano Freewheel. However, a larger and thicker vintage style chain is still used to drive the axle sprocket.

Newer Meridian 3-speeds ( Shimano 3-speed assembly) and Meridian Coaster-brake models both use a chain with the larger & thicker wheel axle sprocket.

The Meridian wheel axle sprocket chain is different because it requires the larger & thicker coaster-brake or vintage direct-drive style chain that is standard on all Schwinn Meridians as far as I am aware.

The main reason for Schwinn Meridians using 2 different style chains seems to be the wheel axle sprocket is under more stress while driving the wheels and as a result, a stronger & more durable chain is required for the wheel axle sprocket. A thinner 7-speed chain would stretch and wear out too easily if it were used for the wheel axle sprocket.

(06-18-2022, 04:08 PM)Questor Wrote:  You may want to reconsider going to an 8-speed solely for an extra gear...due to the extra parts cost.

If I recall correctly you may have to purchase/change the following parts for the extra freewheel cog:
1.) You would have to change to a different 8-speed derailleur
2.) depending on the 8-speed derailleur, you may need to change to a different Chain
3.) You would have to change to another 8-speed shifter,
4.) you would have to change the freewheel of freehub cog assembly.

I suggest that you consider changing the 7-speed cogs to different 7-speed cogs as a lower cost alternative... By switching to different 7-speed freewheel cogs & # of teeth that you can select with help from others bikers, you can change the Meridian's gear ratios to something that you like better.

Please note that Shimano 7-speed freewheel/freehubs are not common because they were used on older bikes. However, you can find alternate used 7-speed freewheel parts for a lower cost at your local fleamarket, on your local Craigslist, or on eBay.

Excellent comments!

As a note: the Shimano cassette cogs are still fairly common to find online. You just need to ensure freewheel/freehub compatibility and ratio you desire.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#6
Thanks all, for the EXCELLENT comments - I post what I'm going to try and how it works out when I get it done, in case others have the same question(s)!

-Chimp

(06-18-2022, 03:05 PM)Questor Wrote:  
(06-17-2022, 10:34 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  6/7/8 speed chain is the same thing.

I doubt the chain is different on the two sides. If it was, then that would mean the cogs are different; and this would mean they are 1/8" single speed cogs/chain.

We own a 2021 Schwinn Meridian and I'm a former Bike Mechanic from many years ago.

Yes, the chains are a different type on the 7-speed drivetrain and the wheel axle sprocket.

On the Schwinn Meridian 7-speed or higher, a "10-speed" style chain with more narrow links is used to accommodate the 7-speed or higher Shimano Freewheel. However, a larger and thicker vintage style chain is still used to drive the axle sprocket.

Newer Meridian 3-speeds ( Shimano 3-speed assembly) and Meridian Coaster-brake models both use a chain with the larger & thicker wheel axle sprocket.

The Meridian wheel axle sprocket chain is different because it requires the larger & thicker coaster-brake or vintage direct-drive style chain that is standard on all Schwinn Meridians as far as I am aware.

The main reason for Schwinn Meridians using 2 different style chains seems to be the wheel axle sprocket is under more stress while driving the wheels and as a result, a stronger & more durable chain is required for the wheel axle sprocket. A thinner 7-speed chain would stretch and wear out too easily if it were used for the wheel axle sprocket.

Thanks! My Meridian is also a 2021 model.

I thought the chains might was different. So for the main drive chain - is there a specific size or model to get? Or will just any old standard Shimano single-speed chain suffice ?

-Chimp
  Reply
#7
(06-15-2022, 03:46 AM)SimpTheChimp Wrote:  So I have a couple of questions that I hope someone in this group might know about or have experience with. This is for my Schwinn Meridian 7-speed trike.

1. Are the derailleur chain and the drive chain the same type? Obviously they're different lengths; and I assume the derailleur chain is a typical 7-speed chain. But what about the main drive chain? Same thing? Or is it a standard single speed chain? What's the # of teeth,. size, etc. of both chains; but more specifically the drive chain?

2. The low speed of the 7-speed bike is, in my opinion, not low enough... I'd like a little more power going up inclines and hills. So what I want to do is pull the current 7-speed freewheel and replace it with an 8-speed freewheel as pictured below. I realize I'd also need to replace the shifter handle with an 8-speed one, and possibly replace the derailleur chain with an 8-speed compatible chain. Anyone else done this or something similar? Is it even feasible? Parts are fairly cheap so that isn't an issue.

I can't see the image on my computer. There may be something in the image I am not aware of.

To get a lower gear, the largest sprocket on the freewheel must be larger. It does not matter how many gears you have, if the largest sprocket is not larger.

You can probably get a 7 speed freewheel with the largest sprocket being larger.

You can probably use an 8 speed freewheel with the same shifter, but only get 7 of the 8 gears. You should be able to set it up to get all but the smallest gear. That is if you are on a limited budget, and don't want to change the shifter.

It is very likely the derailleur will work, but there is a possibility that it wont. It depends on how much larger the sprocket is, and whether the derailleur is long enough to work with the larger sprocket.
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#8
I'm in the same boat, Reap. Looking to change the rear 7 gears out to and 8 spd cassette, if possible as there are other/ wider ratio cassettes available, shimano compatible. But still looking at the front area to mount a derailleur.
  Reply


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