Schwinn Meridian Review 2022: My Honest Opinion After Testing

By Mark Plummer •  Updated: 10/31/22 •  16 min read

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The Schwinn Meridian is a product I believe lives up to the staggering reputation of the Schwinn brand. But it’s more than just the name. With 24” or 26” wheel sizes, a low aluminum drop frame, and three speeds to choose from, the Schwinn Meridian accommodates people of all different heights, sizes, fitness levels, and capabilities. 

The Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle is a statement piece and deserves all the attention it gets.

Schwinn Meridian
The Schwinn Meridian Is An Exceptional Tricycle For Adults!

It is suited to any adults and adolescents looking to get out and exercise, run errands or ride in style. It’s an attention-grabber and is best for those who enjoy the outdoors but have no intention of riding on very hilly or rough terrains.

If you want the simple yet sophisticated things in life, the Schwinn Meridian will be your new best friend. 

Why I Like It

I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for how much I would enjoy riding this stylish, stable, smooth, retro trike. 

Getting onto the tricycle was almost effortless because of the low aluminum drop frame. This is an intuitive and inclusive design because it’s easy to get on and off. You won’t struggle as much as you would on the Barbella Adult Tricycle, which has a much higher-set frame. 

Because of its wide set frame, what sets the Schwinn Meridian apart from its competitors, like the Barbella Adult Tricycle, is its stability factor. I found the Schwinn Meridian handles like a dream when riding around corners, and I didn’t feel the tipping sensation that other tricycles usually have.

A convenient feature I liked about the Schwinn Meridian is its large basket.

It’s one of the bigger-sized baskets that you’ll see on a tricycle, and it’s foldable, so if you’d like to transport a more oversized item, you are not limited to the basket size.

How We Picked

As an experienced tricycle rider, I have enjoyed riding, assembling, and manufacturing a wide range of trikes. After extensive research and testing, which you can read about in my Best Adult Tricycles guide, I rated the Schwinn Meridian as my top pick of all adult tricycles!

Our Testing Process - How We Picked Folding Tricycles
Our Testing Process – How We Picked

The reason why I picked the Schwinn Meridian as the best performer was based on a combination of its superb riding performance and stability. It also achieved the highest overall rating against the following selection criteria:

  1. Weight limit – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  2. Comfort – 4 out of 5 stars
  3. Ride Performance – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  4. Safety and stability – 5 out of 5 stars
  5. Value for money – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  6. Weight – 4 out of 5 stars
  7. Overall rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars

In this review, I will share my honest thoughts and opinions on whether the Schwinn Meridian is the ideal adult tricycle for you, how to pick the optimum wheel size and gearing combination for your riding needs, and identify suitable alternatives for specific needs, e.g., foldable options.

Schwinn Meridian Review 2022

Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle

What set the Schwinn Meridian apart from its competitors; like the Barbella Adult Tricycle (L61” x W29.2” x H43”), for me is its stability factor because of its wide set frame (L49” x W27” x H13.5”). When riding around corners I found that the Schwinn Meridian handles them like a dream, and I didn’t feel the tipping sensation that other tricycles usually have.

Product SKU: S4053AZA

Product Brand: Schwinn

Editor's Rating:
4.5

Pros

  • The low-set frame makes it easy to get on and off no matter your height.
  • The wide-set design, 49” x 27” x 13.5” (LxWxH) gives it a slightly sturdier and more stable feel compared to the Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed, 61” x 29.2” x 43” (LxWxH).
  • Its basket is large and foldable, so convenient for transporting larger items.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a foldable option, which would make it more convenient for storage and transportation.
  • The saddle is not as comfortable an option because it just doesn’t feel wide enough.
  • Its heavier frame can make going up hills and transporting it more difficult.

See It On Amazon

Build Quality

Schwinn is a household name globally. An original American brand, and they have been in the cycling industry for over 127 years. Throughout those years, Schwinn has produced crowd-pleasers like the Schwinn High Timber and the Schwinn Meridian Trike. 

The Schwinn Meridian is like a confidence booster for anyone who wants to enjoy cycling.

It’s safe and stable to ride and comes in so many colors. I honestly had such a hard time choosing. It has such an awe-inspiring design; it’s a show-stopper of note and a smooth ride you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Schwinn Meridian Tricycle Weight Limit

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I found the Schwinn Meridian is such a solid build, but surprisingly it has a manufacturer’s weight limit of 350 pounds. If you’re looking for a heftier bike that can handle more weight, I’d suggest taking the Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed for a spin; it has a weight limit of 420 pounds, which includes the rider as the cargo.

You can also read our Best Tricycles For Heavy Adults guide here.

Comfort

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The Schwinn Meridian has a large seat that is spring-loaded. The saddle was designed to make a comfortable ride, but unfortunately, I found it uncomfortable because it was just not wide enough. This seat would be much more comfortable if it had a backrest.

An excellent design I think Schwinn Meridian has mastered is how it improves your posture when you ride. Its handlebars are set wide to ensure the rider sits up as straight as possible, which helps to take a lot of strain off your neck.

Performance

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Schwinn Meridian’s tires have excellent traction and are very thin, which makes it perfect for riding on the road at a fast speed and still handling very well.

Schwinn Meridian Tricycle For Adults Review
Schwinn Meridian Tricycle For Adults Review

It has two options for wheel sizes, 24” and 26” wheels, so it doesn’t just cater to one specific height and leave everybody else uncomfortable. 

I recommend that the 24” wheels be best suited to riders with a height of 4 foot 8” to 5 foot 6” tall to ensure a comfortable ride where the brakes and pedals are easy to reach.

Yeah, the 24” wheels may not achieve the top speed that a 26” is going to get. Still, you’re not going to reach your top speed if you can’t control the trike. 

The 26” wheels are best suited to riders between 5 foot 4” to 6 foot 2” tall.

With the bigger size comes the drawback of having a slower initial acceleration than the 24” wheels, but it has a higher top speed and improved ride quality through better bump absorption. 

This tricycle was built to last for years for the user who intends to ride it for leisure activities. For example, using stainless steel spokes, an aluminum frame, and alloy rims mean that the Schwinn Meridian is built for a smooth ride and to last its owner a long time.

Safety And Stability

Our rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Schwinn Meridian is one of the most stable tricycles I have ever ridden.

The wide-set structure, 49” L x 27” W x 13.5” H, ensures you won’t lose your balance as easily on corners or sharp turns as other tricycles. This means there is less chance of falling or crashing. 

Your chances of getting injured while riding the Schwinn Meridian are significantly less than other tricycles I’ve ridden.

It would help if you always aimed to take corners wider and slower on the tricycle and follow local safety protocol. There’s always a possibility of getting hurt, and you’re not indestructible.

The Schwinn Meridian is one of the most stable tricycles I have ever ridden.
The Schwinn Meridian is one of the most stable tricycles I have ever ridden.

As far as brakes are concerned, I think the Schwinn Meridian has an excellent braking system that puts the rider’s safety first. It has two sets of brakes; the front linear-pull brake and the rear hand brake.

This helped me to stop as fast as possible, but in light of safety, it’s good to know that when using the brakes, you might feel a slight pull to each side, especially when braking abruptly.

So, try not to pull too hard on the brakes to avoid any chance of tipping the tricycle.

When you must stop on the Schwinn Meridian, it is always safest to use the back and front brakes simultaneously; try to avoid only using the front brakes.

This dual linear-pull braking system delivers an intuitive and smooth stop to prevent any chance of the bike jolting forward if you need to stop rapidly or unexpectedly. 

If you want to see some tips on riding the Schwinn Meridian safely, watch this Schwinn Meridian Trike Youtube video, which will explain how to take your turns without tipping:

Something I found convenient and a remarkable safety aspect that not every tricycle comes with is the locking brake lever at the front of the bike.

This also acts as a parking brake to keep it still so you can load and unload the trike without worrying it might roll away. This works well on flat ground, but I would be more cautious on an incline. 

Value For Money

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Schwinn Meridian is not the most affordable adult tricycle on the market if you compare it to the Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed. But even though it costs a bit more than most tricycles, I still believe it’s worth every cent. 

Aside from its brilliant design, solid feel, and ample cargo basket, when I bought this tricycle, I knew that I would purchase a product with the long-trusted reputation of Schwinn, one of the leading cycling brands in America.

There’s nothing worse than buying from an unknown brand, and then when something goes wrong, you find out they no longer exist.

Schwinn is a household name and will be for years to come, and if there’s a problem with the trike, I know I have options for getting it sorted.

Moreover, this product comes with a 5-year limited warranty period, most notably for the frame, with every purchase of a new Schwinn Meridian, to the original buyer only. 

Weight

Our rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Because of the sturdy and solid nature of the Schwinn Meridian, it weighs in at 70 to 74lbs. It is a bit heavier than its competitors, like the Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed and the Barbella Adult Tricycle, which both weigh approximately 64lbs.

Test Ride

So when I received the Schwinn Meridian, it came partially assembled. So, be prepared to start from scratch, but it was relatively easy to assemble. The brakes and chain are attached to the frame, so you don’t worry because the most critical and challenging part has been done for you.

Make sure to have a wrench on hand because you will need to mount the handlebars onto the frame and tighten them, and a wrench is not included in the package.

Then you will need to attach the rear end of the tricycle to the frame and the chain. Once you have connected both wheels and the basket, you’re done and ready to ride if you like.

When riding the Schwinn Meridian, I chose my route deliberately to check out precisely what it was capable of.

Mainly a flat road, with a few tight bends and a slight incline here and there, but I then took it to a park to see how it handles off-road.

I was impressed with its maneuverability on and off-road. It handles corners brilliantly because of its weight distribution and wide-set frame, but always be careful to avoid tipping.

Speaking of its weight, I’d avoid large hills with this one if you’re not planning on having an intense full-body workout.

I tested the Schwinn Meridian 7-speed trike, so it took a steep hill well as I shifted down, but the Schwinn Meridian’s heavy nature made it more of a mission to master the mountain.

If you choose the single or 3-speed Schwinn Meridian, you will find yourself pushing the trike up steeper hills, so plan your routes well.

One thing that takes getting used to when starting with the Schwinn is that the braking system feels a bit different from the traditional bicycle, so it’s best to ride around a safe area where you can get used to the feel of the tricycle brakes because they feel like they pull a bit to the sides.

Overall, it was relatively easy to set up and gave a smooth, enjoyable ride.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Schwinn Meridian Adult Trike

BenefitsDrawbacks
The low-set frame makes it easy to get on and off, no matter your height.It doesn’t have a foldable option, which would make it more convenient for storage and transportation.
The wide-set design, 49” x 27” x 13.5” (LxWxH), gives it a slightly sturdier and more stable feel compared to the Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed, 61” x 29.2” x 43” (LxWxH).The saddle is not as comfortable an option because it just doesn’t feel wide enough.
Its basket is large and foldable, so convenient for transporting larger items.Its heavier frame can make going up hills and transporting it more difficult.

Which Schwinn Meridian Tricycle Model Should I Choose? 

I love it when a brand gives me options, and Schwinn gives a choice between their standard Meridian Adult Tricycle and Meridian Deluxe Adult Tricycle.

The Deluxe comes with a charming little bell and a removable fabric liner for the basket. It looks appealing, but I don’t think paying the extra hundred dollars for a few add-ons is worth it.

You only have one frame size available, but at least that means there’s one less decision you have to make. There is a choice in wheel sizes and speeds.

For speed options, we have the single, 3-speed, and 7-speed Schwinn Meridian:

Schwinn Meridian 3 Speed

The single-speed is best suited to people who like a simpler ride. If you’re not planning on conquering hills or if you want to use your tricycle for more relaxed outings, then the single-speed is perfect.

Without a gearing system and derailleurs, this also means fewer parts you have to pay for and less maintenance. 

The 3-speed is your go-to bike if you want more versatility and plan on riding on slightly more rough terrains than just the road.

Believe me, if you have hills in the area you’re riding in, you at least need the 3-speed. 

Schwinn Meridian 7-speed

The 7-speed is the best performer when taking hills or rougher terrains.

On the Schwinn Meridian, I don’t recommend too much off-roading; for that, you should get a mountain tricycle like the Barbella Adult Tricycle, but it will handle riding through fields and going up hills easier than the single or 3-speed.

If you want to hit a faster speed or be able to adjust the amount of energy you exert, then the 7-speed is your best option. 

Schwinn Meridian 24″ vs. 26″ Wheel Size: Which is Better For You?

Schwinn Meridian 24 vs 26
Schwinn Meridian 24 vs. 26″: Which Should I Choose?

I always think that when a company provides products in a variety of sizes, then it shows a more professional approach to accommodating the customers’ needs. Schwinn does this because the Schwinn Meridian allows us to choose between the 24” and the 26”.

But how do you know whether to buy the 24-inch or the 26-inch wheel size? 

Schwinn Meridian 24” TricycleSchwinn Meridian 26” Tricycle
The 24” are better suited to riders between 4′ 8” to 5′ 6” tall.The 26” are better suited to riders between 5′ 4”  to 6′ 2” tall.
Because of the smaller sized wheel, it is easier to accelerate initially, but it will not cover as much ground at the same time that the 26” will and have a slower top speed.Because of the bigger wheel, it will naturally be more difficult to accelerate initially, but it will roll faster on the ground than the 24” wheel and reach a higher top speed.
Because of the smaller wheels, it has superior maneuverability and handling regarding more technical control.Because of the bigger wheel, it is not as easy to handle as the 24-inch.
A better option for riders needing a smaller tricycle due to limited storage space.A good option for riders not limited by the amount of storage space.

I am 5 foot 7 inches but have a long torso and shorter legs, so my go-to size is 26.”

The 26” allows me to comfortably ride the tricycle and access the brakes or gears. Most people think that the bigger tires look more fabulous, and they’re not wrong, but always put safety and functionality above looks when choosing the size of your tricycle. 

Check out the YouTube Video Does Size Matter for Trike Wheels?  

Does the Schwinn Meridian Fold?

Does the Schwinn Meridian Fold

Unfortunately, the Schwinn Meridian is not foldable, but if it were, nothing could stand in its way of being the best adult tricycle on the market. Here is our complete guide to the best foldable tricycles for adults in case that’s something you would like to explore.

Schwinn Meridian Alternatives

The Schwinn Meridian is a top-of-the-range tricycle, but if you’re looking for something the Schwinn Meridian doesn’t have or can improve on, then some great alternatives I found are 

Slsy Adult Tricycle 7 Speed

This is the closest competitor to the Schwinn Meridian Adult Tricycle I have seen in terms of value for money and design. 

If you’re looking for more options in tire size, the Slsy Adult Tricycle has options of 20”, 24”, and 26” wheels, which is great because no matter if you’re short or tall, there’s an option for you. This trike also has the Schwinn Meridian beat regarding comfort. The seat has a large, padded seat with a backrest for extra comfort and stability when riding.

Slsy Adult Tricycles 7 Speed, Adult Trikes 20 inch...
  • ★PLEASE MAKE SURE THE SIZE before purchasing: 20" wheel...
  • ★STURDY DESIGN: Sturdy steel construction supports...
  • ★LARGE CAPACITY BASKET: SLSY tricycle has a large rear...

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Slsy Adult Tricycle also has a fantastic price, so if you’re not looking to spend as much as you would on the Schwinn Meridian. It’s quite a save on cash.

Kent 26” Alameda Folding Adult Trike

If you’re looking for a collapsible option for a tricycle, then the Kent 26” Alameda is the way to go. As impressive as the Schwinn Meridian is, being foldable would have taken it to the next level.

No products found.

See It On Kent Bicycles

The Kent 26” Alameda is a great alternative when you need to save space, especially when transporting or having limited storage.

Barbella Adult Tricycle

Suppose you lean more towards being a lover of mountainous rides. In that case, the Barbella Adult Tricycle will give you off-roading opportunities with all the stability, comfort, and storage that the Schwinn Meridian won’t be able to offer you.

No products found.

This tricycle is adapted to rougher terrains with granular tires, which gives better traction to keep you in control. 

Final Thoughts

The Schwinn Meridian is a top-of-the-range adult tricycle suited for anyone getting into cycling but wanting added stability. The Schwinn Meridian hits the trifecta of safety, strength, and style and is great for doing your day-to-day tasks and activities.

I imagine going for picnics, running errands, picking up groceries, or just taking it out for a spin. So, get out there, have fun and make a statement with the Schwinn Meridian.

Mark Plummer

Mark Plummer is an experienced bike mechanic who has built, repaired, and customized thousands of bikes over the years. A former mountain biking athlete, his cycling adventures have taken him all over the globe from the mountains of Scotland to the South Island of New Zealand. These days he enjoys the benefits of commuting to work and touring on his Dahon and Brompton folding bikes.

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