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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 09-15-10, 07:19 PM   #1
Sniph
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Rear wheel won't spin forward and I cannot pedal!

Hello everyone! First of all, I'd like to qualify this post by saying I know very little about bikes!

The bike: Schwinn Varsity Road Bike 1970ish

The problem: Yesterday, I had a flat so I replaced the rear tube and tire. It was the first time I had done this on my own. After riding my bike to work today, I assumed I had performed the tire change just fine! Anyway, after work today, I unlocked my bike and started to ride home. 10 seconds into the ride, my rear wheel began to tighten, and eventually stopped spinning altogether. It felt as if I was braking... which I was not. I first checked to see if the tire was rubbing against the breaks or something else, it was not.

Since the bike would not move forward, I tried moving it backwards. As I did this, I could feel the back wheel loosening, and then it felt like it was spinning normally again... I tried riding once more, but the same thing occurred. The next few miles home was one miserable backwards bike-walk home...

On the walk home, I found that after walking it backwards for a while, I could walk it forward for a few minutes before it would tighten again. If I tried riding it forward, t would tighten and stop within 5 seconds.

Any idea what could be causing this? All opinions and advice is appreciated!
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Old 09-15-10, 08:01 PM   #2
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Sounds like when you loosened the axle nut to remove the wheel, the axle turned and managed to loosen the cone on one side. It's an easy fix, but you need a cone wrench and depending on which side, the freewheel might need to be removed.

Hopefully when you tried to ride it and it tightened, it didn't damage the bearings, races, or cones. I would take it into your local shop and have it checked out.
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Old 09-15-10, 09:37 PM   #3
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I'd have to say that Michael's thought sounds darn likely. Nothing else I can think of would have the same symptom.

NEXT time you change out the tire be sure to loosen the axle nut on the first side only about a quarter to third of a turn and then do the second side a quarter to third of a turn. Go back to the first and loosen a quarter to third of a turn, etc. That way the axle won't spin and cause the same issue again.

Oh, and I hate to say this but with the axles being threaded the way they are it'll be the cone and nut that is hiding under the freewheel that got messed up. You'll need to remove the non drive side fully to let the axle slide out the other side, tighten the cone to the locknut and then replace the axle and set the bearing preload correctly by playing with the non drive side cone and locknut to get just the right feel.

Last edited by BCRider; 09-15-10 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 09-15-10, 10:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll give it a shot in the morning and let you know how it goes!
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Old 09-16-10, 11:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniph View Post
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll give it a shot in the morning and let you know how it goes!
Perhaps you misunderstood BCRider. You will have to remove the freewheel from the hub to work on the bearing. I somehow doubt you have the tools/know-how to perform this if you just changed your first flat yesterday. Visit parktool.com for tips on how this works, visit your local bike shop to buy the appropriate tools (freewheel remover, cone wrenches), and then go for it. OR you could pay your bikeshop to work on it.

http://parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=48
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Old 09-16-10, 11:32 AM   #6
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Maybe or maybe not. I've had a few axles that will slip out through the freewheel core. It just depends on the sizes of the freewheel's opening and the cone diameter. But I'd say that more than half needed to have the freewheel removed first.
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