Front wheel vibration on Schwinn Meridian

I have a Schwinn Meridian trike with a 212cc predator engine. At about 30MPH the front wheel hops and vibrates so bad its hard to control. The wheel looks true in both axis. I checked the bearing cones for correct adjustment, no play. wheel turns easy. Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, what did you do to correct it. I am going to tear the wheel down and check the bearings and grease. I am also going to remove the tire and see if the tube is twisted or folded. I will then rotate the tire 180 degrees and put it back on the bike for a trial run, Any more suggestions while I have it apart.
 
Checked the fork bearings and they were tight. Repacked front wheel bearings (they had only a smear of grease) and adjusted the cones. Replaced the factory tires as they were really thin and light. Went out for a trial ride and it did the same thing at about 30MPH. I watched the front wheel while this was going on and noticed it was badly flexing side to side. Dangerous, this could crack a rim. Can anybody recommend a good vendor for a front wheel????
 

indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
3,845
4,604
113
Oklahoma
If the previously posted suggestions do not solve your problem I feel steering trail may be at fault. The Meridian was intended for pedal power & relatively sedate speeds with easy handling characteristics around town. A bike or trikes fork design along with weight distribution, tires & numerous other variables can setup the dreaded "death wobble" at higher speeds...common even on factory built motorcycles. Vendors on Ebay do a big business selling steering dampers to bikers as well as off road truck owners.

Do you recall if the road was also rough where you noticed wheel wobble occur? Often hitting a bump, not necessarily a big one, will induce the wobble at speed. I had one bike that was great on a smooth surface at most any speed, but hit a small bump at 60 plus and it went into wobble...try to hold that speed and it only got more violent shakes...slow the flack up & it would start to behave & recover.

I hope your problem is something simple, but fear it's not. Of course the dampers aren't expensive $50. or so and re-configuring the bikes neck is also easy enough; if you want to invest the time. I've had to do both in the past on dirt bikes with this really nasty flaw. In my experience not having enough steering "trail" was the most common denominator on the bikes I've witnessed the "wobble" on & the speeds they occurred at were quite a bit past 30 mph. Just a heads up it can do much more than damage a wheel so you got to figure it out or slow it down. Rick C.
 

Steele

New Member
May 6, 2017
10
3
3
Michigan
If the previously posted suggestions do not solve your problem I feel steering trail may be at fault. The Meridian was intended for pedal power & relatively sedate speeds with easy handling characteristics around town. A bike or trikes fork design along with weight distribution, tires & numerous other variables can setup the dreaded "death wobble" at higher speeds...common even on factory built motorcycles. Vendors on Ebay do a big business selling steering dampers to bikers as well as off road truck owners.

Do you recall if the road was also rough where you noticed wheel wobble occur? Often hitting a bump, not necessarily a big one, will induce the wobble at speed. I had one bike that was great on a smooth surface at most any speed, but hit a small bump at 60 plus and it went into wobble...try to hold that speed and it only got more violent shakes...slow the flack up & it would start to behave & recover.

I hope your problem is something simple, but fear it's not. Of course the dampers aren't expensive $50. or so and re-configuring the bikes neck is also easy enough; if you want to invest the time. I've had to do both in the past on dirt bikes with this really nasty flaw. In my experience not having enough steering "trail" was the most common denominator on the bikes I've witnessed the "wobble" on & the speeds they occurred at were quite a bit past 30 mph. Just a heads up it can do much more than damage a wheel so you got to figure it out or slow it down. Rick C.
I had the same problem with my 20" wheel Trailmate Desoto at any speed over 15-20 mph. The easiest solution(s) found were to install a suspension fork, which worked pretty well, then I simply pulled the rear end and put it into an OCC Stingray (required spacers between the rear dropouts) the added rake keeps it REAL stable at high speeds. My top speed is around 37 with 79cc predator, 10 tooth clutch, 60 tooth sprocket (biggest I could find for reasonable price, $24 shipped from boygoesfast ebay) with the stock 20" rear tires.
But with stock fork, I had to white-knuckle grip the bars any speed over 15mph