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Schwinn Meridian Drive Wheel Missing Feather Key

So I bought a used Schwinn Meridian sight unseen online auction for $59 & drove 8 hours round trip to get it. It appears to be brand new actually. When I got it home, the next day I checked out my score. When I sat on it and pressed on the pedals, they moved but the bike did not. I inspected the bike and realized that whoever put this trike together, forgot to put what appears to be some kind of round-ended feather key that secures the D-notched wheel hub in place, so it can move. This piece is missing and I cannot seem to locate the part. I went to the biggest bike dealer in my town, and they could not help.

Any advice? Thank you in advance.

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Rebuild the wheel with a new hub and sell the parts to someone who's looking for it.

That's probably the best option.

Trying to do this the other way around is going to be troublesome. Let the enthusiasts and bike nuts come to you.
Any competent bicycle mechanic should be able to fix that or find that missing part. Biggest bike dealer in town should have a competent bicycle mechanic.

A local machinist could make a key to fit that key-way in 4 or five minutes. But they might charge you more than you originally paid for the $400 Schwinn Meridian Trike.

A smaller local bike shop should have a bicycle mechanic, capable of ordering the part by phoning the manufacture.

Do you have a bicycle co-opt in your town, they could also find or modify another key for that hub. Network, find a friend that knows a backyard auto mechanic. They would or should be able to find or make a key for that bicycle hub...

I agree with a @JR Namida
Just for the heck of it I contacted a mechanic friend who gets items fabricated at machine shops on a regular basis. He said stuff like that was fairly common work and would cost $25-$50 labor (1/2 hour or so), plus cost of a couple dollars for the piece of bar stock. He looked at your photo and said you need to bring the axle and hub for measurements.

I highly doubt that you can replace the wheel/hub assy and that specialized axle for equal or less than the cost of having a key fabricated. If you only spent $59 on a trike that appears nearly unused then the investment would be well worth the cost over "Rebuild the wheel with a new hub" which would still require a key to interface with the axle. It does not seem like that method was very well thought out considering the difficulty in just getting a key in the first place, but now needing to get a specialized hub with keyway, and possibly having to pay a bike shop to dismantle and reassemble the wheel if you don't do it yourself. You would probably be in for well over $100 going that route.

Another option would be to find a cheap donor bike, but it is probably a longshot finding something in your area.

Did you by any chance contact the seller once you discovered the missing part? I would be curious what the seller would have to say, but you could ask if they had the part and didn't realize what it was for (not everyone is mechanically minded). If the seller is the original owner and got it assembled elsewhere then you could ask who did it and contact them to see if it is laying about their shop.
There isn't anything wrong with the axle. You just need to fabricate a pin for your wheel hub. I have had a turn at that rear drive wheel too. I bought a set of replacement wheels for my trike because I put too much weight on the originals consistently and they started collapsing. However, I didn't realize that the drive wheel hub was different on the Schwinn than on other trikes, or that the axle had the D end. So, I hadwspent a chunk of money for wheels that didn't work. . In short. You can buy another drive wheel from industrial bikes online for about $100. Or you can get creative and figure a way to create that flat spot in the existing hub. In desperation, I have crammed different pieces of metal objects in the gap and limped it home, ( not recommended) but you do what you gotta do. I'm not a metal worker or fabricator. But if you know one.. easy fix.
If there is a place that repairs electric motors near you, I would ask there first. They should have a wide range of odd parts for electric motors. You may find a suitable key.

If no luck there, I would try to measure the size of the key, and search on the internet for a key that size.

If no luck there, I would search the internet for places that sell Schwinn Meridian parts.

(02-06-2024, 02:50 PM)Shannon Rene Wrote:  I bought a set of replacement wheels for my trike because I put too much weight on the originals consistently and they started collapsing.

I put together a wheel using a stainless steel rim from a bike around 40 years old. I rescued the wheels from a bike in the trash. I also used thicker spokes. These old stainless steel rims are much stronger than modern aluminum rims. You wont break a stainless steel rim.

If you use a 26 inch rim or smaller, the size will already be correct. I converted a 27 inch rim to a 29 inch rim.

You could use your original hubs, if they are still good.

I suggest keeping your eyes open for old bikes with stainless steel rims.

I met a lady recently who bought a bike about 40 years old, in good condition, with stainless steel rims, for $40.


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