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Old 09-25-08, 06:02 PM   #1
deburn
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Chain is stuck - does not go forward or back

I did search this forum and also read Sheldon Brown's and Park Tools sites amongst others, but I couldnt find anything relating to the problem that I have.

I'm very new to this so I may have made some dumb mistakes, hopefully not too expensive!

The bike is a Shogun Trail Breaker, older bike, maybe from the 80's, steel frame, Shimano SIS gears, 18 spd. So I cleaned the chain basically using Simple Green (50% mixed with water) and then running a cloth along the chain as best as I could - I dont have a stand so rotating the pedals is awkward.

I didnt dry it excessively ie I wasnt obsessive about removing all the grease. I then took it for a very brief ride and ran through all the gears - no problem. I probably should have oiled the chain before going for a ride, but I didnt thinking there was enough lubrication for a very short ride - literally 2 minutes.

Came back put some oil on it, not too much, and found that it was difficult to rotate the pedals, so I went out for another brief ride. Not only was it difficult to rotate the pedals but I started to hear some clunking sounds coming from the crank (I think it was clunking, maybe groaning) and the pedals just stopped moving. I put some more oil on it which didnt help and then I had to go pick up my son from his daycare and now it's too dark to work on it but I'm hoping to get some advice so I can work on it in the morning.

Appreciate any advice on what might be the problem and what I need to do. Thanks!!

Bernard
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Old 09-25-08, 06:35 PM   #2
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Take the chain off the crank and check to see if you can spin the pedals with your hand. I suspect that you're going to find that the crank is difficult to move, or if it does it binds and doesn't move smoothly. If that's the case you're going to need to service the bottom bracket.

If the crankset moves smoothly, put the chain back on and check to see that you can spin the rear wheel with your hand. If it does spin, listen for any of the noise that you heard.

If you can spin the crankset and rear wheel with your hands you should be able to pedal the bike. Even a chain that's in bad shape shouldn't be enough to keep you from being able to pedal. It may skip all over the cassette and shift poorly but it shouldn't be enough that it keeps you from being able to pedal the bike. As I said earlier, I suspect you're going to need to service the bottom bracket. Park Tool has an illustrated guide for doing this. Follow this link to their site.

Good luck,
Mike
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Old 09-25-08, 07:12 PM   #3
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#@$# I'm screwed!! I think you're right, it's not the chain that's stuck. That looks like a major job, going by what the Park Tools site had to say! How would you rate the level of difficulty to service the BB on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being the most difficult?

I'm very much a novice, and though I hope to eventually learn to do stuff like this, I think I need to work up to it, so I'll probably have to give it to an LBS, unless it's not as tough as I think it's going to be

Thanks Mike!!
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Old 09-25-08, 07:21 PM   #4
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It's not as bad as you're fretting over. However it WILL require that you buy a special tool or two to fit your bottom bracket for removal and re-installation. I'm guessing that it's a multi part deal that has exposed bearings that have siezed up for some reason be it hardened grease or a total bearing failure.

You COULD just take it in to a shop but for the same amount of money you can likely buy the tools you need to take it apart and check it out yourself.

The other option is don't even bother. Just take it into a shop and ask them to install a new sealed cartridge BB and re-install the cranks. This is a really basic job and shouldn't cost more than 10 12 pounds (you ARE in England I take it. Or is there a Cambridge in the US?) over the cost of the BB unit.

If you have access to mail order online purchasing and can buy the BB and tools online then we can help out. But we'll need some pictures of your BB area to know what to help you order for tools.
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Old 09-25-08, 08:18 PM   #5
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BCR, I live in Cambridge MA, just over the river from Boston but I lived in T.O. before I moved here!

So it sounds like I have 4 options:

1. Get LBS to service BB
2. Get LBS to replace BB for a few bucks (or pounds!) more
3. Service BB myself
4. Replace BB myself

so what I understand from your post is that the labor to install a new BB is less (option 2), but wouldnt the cost of a new BB wipe out the savings in labor, making it more or less the same cost as option 1?

I dont mind investing in the tools to do it myself, I'm just concerned about how long/frustrating it might be for a newb like myself. Anyway, if I do myself, is it safe to assume that it is easier to replace the BB than service it?

Here are pics I just took http://s408.photobucket.com/albums/p...n/Shogun%20BB/ . Let me know if you need a different angle. Thanks!

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It's not as bad as you're fretting over. However it WILL require that you buy a special tool or two to fit your bottom bracket for removal and re-installation. I'm guessing that it's a multi part deal that has exposed bearings that have siezed up for some reason be it hardened grease or a total bearing failure.

You COULD just take it in to a shop but for the same amount of money you can likely buy the tools you need to take it apart and check it out yourself.

The other option is don't even bother. Just take it into a shop and ask them to install a new sealed cartridge BB and re-install the cranks. This is a really basic job and shouldn't cost more than 10 12 pounds (you ARE in England I take it. Or is there a Cambridge in the US?) over the cost of the BB unit.

If you have access to mail order online purchasing and can buy the BB and tools online then we can help out. But we'll need some pictures of your BB area to know what to help you order for tools.
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Old 09-25-08, 10:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deburn View Post
BCR, I live in Cambridge MA, just over the river from Boston but I lived in T.O. before I moved here!

So it sounds like I have 4 options:

1. Get LBS to service BB
2. Get LBS to replace BB for a few bucks (or pounds!) more
3. Service BB myself
4. Replace BB myself

so what I understand from your post is that the labor to install a new BB is less (option 2), but wouldnt the cost of a new BB wipe out the savings in labor, making it more or less the same cost as option 1?

I dont mind investing in the tools to do it myself, I'm just concerned about how long/frustrating it might be for a newb like myself. Anyway, if I do myself, is it safe to assume that it is easier to replace the BB than service it?

Here are pics I just took http://s408.photobucket.com/albums/p...n/Shogun%20BB/ . Let me know if you need a different angle. Thanks!
Please just go with option 1. Unless you are prepared to spend more time and money than you would pay a shop to take the BB out for you. Installing one is easy, it's removing the old ones that require a billion different tools.

Otherwise you should follow post #4.
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Old 09-25-08, 11:04 PM   #7
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I found a guy on CL who says he'll service it for 20.00 based on what I described to him. He'll give me the final estimate when he sees the bike however, 20.00 sounds quite reasonable. Thanks operator!

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Please just go with option 1. Unless you are prepared to spend more time and money than you would pay a shop to take the BB out for you. Installing one is easy, it's removing the old ones that require a billion different tools.

Otherwise you should follow post #4.
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Old 09-26-08, 08:25 AM   #8
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From what I remember, that Simple Green stuff is a killer when it comes to any sort of oil or grease on metal. It will dry out a bearing so hard that it starts rusting the next day.

Your chain sounds like it has some tight spots in it, due to the clunking.
I think either soak your chain in oil (not WD40!) or replace it.

As for your pedals.. oil them (not WD40) or replace them.
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Old 09-26-08, 10:40 AM   #9
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Simple Green really sucks as a degreaser. And being aqueous, it'll also cause rust if you don't remove every single last piece of it. Kinda hard to do on the inside of a chain.
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Old 09-26-08, 11:05 AM   #10
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Simple Green, then alcohol, then lube. That's worked for me in supercrud situations.

On the other hand, citrus oil (Goo-Gone, e.g.) works *really* well and dissolves in oil, so you can dry and lube immediately.

There are lots of great LBSes around Cambridge. You could even head out to Newton and hit up Harris. In any event, replacing a bottom bracket isn't a big deal, and you'll want to learn how to do it anyway. You'll need a crank puller and a bottom bracket tool.

It's possible that it's a bottom bracket type that's not common anymore. If that's the case, watch while the LBS removes it if you can just so you can see what's in there. They'll replace it with a modern type, and you can get the tool to swap it out when it dies.

Crank pullers are about ten bucks and BB tools are usually less.You can't really get by with substitute tools. They both do weird things.
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Old 09-26-08, 11:07 AM   #11
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If your bike shop installs the new cartridge BB units, they have to select the correct one (which they usually know). There are lots of ways you can get it wrong. A basic Shimano unit should last several years of all-weather commuting.
They are generally non-serviceable so keep all degreaser, solvent, wd40 PRESSURISED WATER, STEAM, and even oil well away from the bits that rotate (ie that let stuff into the innards). Clean externally (rarely) with a normal hose or bucket of detergent and a stiff brush. I try to keep detergent away from mine and never force dirt into the seals with a cleaning cloth.
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Old 09-26-08, 06:39 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the replies! Well, the guy I found off CL, who works at a LBS and does this part-time, serviced the BB for me. He said it would be 20.00 which I thought was reasonable and he would do it while I waited, which was great since I want to sell the bike and had a buyer ready.

He's a cool guy and allowed me to watch which was very helpful since this is all completely new to me. I grew up in India where there is or was no concept of DIY and even though I've lived here for many years I've always rented or lived in a condo and didnt need much work done.

Re Simple Green, I read a lot of opinions and while there were a few who said dont use it on the chain there were much more who swore by it and said it was as effective as anything you could get at a bike store and obviously much cheaper.

On to the next bike!
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Old 09-26-08, 06:57 PM   #13
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So what was the problem? Was there a broken ball inside the bottom bracket, of did he just replace the whole thing without looking inside? (Which is fine.)
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Old 09-26-08, 07:40 PM   #14
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One of the bearings had come loose and that was the problem

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So what was the problem? Was there a broken ball inside the bottom bracket, of did he just replace the whole thing without looking inside? (Which is fine.)
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