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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 09-26-10, 03:49 PM   #1
Franfrank
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Sluggish Wheel

Hi, I purchased a Bianchi Camaleonte about 4 months ago. Please see link for full specs

http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/pr...Sora_Bike_2010

I noticed that the ride became very sluggish after rain storms, this would clear up after a few days but eventually it seemed to stay so I took it into cycle surgery for an expert opinion.

They had a look at it and said it that the bearings were covered in rust so they cleaned them up and repacked them with grease.

But when I rode home the sluggishness was worse than ever, it was like they had greased the hub with glue.

On the rack I spun the front wheel and by the time it had stopped spinning I had spun the rear wheel 5 times and it had come to a halt 5 times. Also, the characteristic clicking that I associate with coasting along had gone which was very disconcerting This didn't seem right so I took it back the next morning to complain.

They said that the could have made the bearings less tight and the rear wheel would have spun forever but that would have damaged the hub in the long term, they said the silence was normal and was a sign of well lubed pawls. But they were clicking when the bike was brand new, so does that mean they weren't lubed out of the factory? In fact I've never owned a bike that doesn't click when coasting along. They kept on saying that there was nothing wrong with it.

Should I go back and insist they loosen up the bearings? Can I just do it myself? Or are they right, will that damage the bike in the long term? What about the silent hub, is that normal? Should water have been getting into the hub in the first place? It's only a few months old, although we have no covered storage at my work so the bike spends all day exposed to the elements.

The bike is no longer a pleasure to ride, it feels just like my heavy old mountain bike that had great big tractor tires. It's unresponsive and takes much more effort to pedal. I'm tempted to just buy a new rear wheel.

All help much appreciated.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:17 PM   #2
davidad
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The Joytech hubs aren't the greatest, but they should hold up better than yours are.
When the bearings are properly adjusted there should be a small amount of play that goes away when the quick release is closed. They will wear out quickly if they are adjusted too loose.
If the bearings were rusted they should have been replaced.
A better qaulity rear wheel with a shimano hub would be a great improvement on what you have.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:20 PM   #3
Franfrank
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Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:45 PM   #4
Al1943
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A wheel with a well greased hub will not spin like a wheel with a dry hub, of course you need the grease. The wheel(s) may turn better after a break-in period.

Don't worry about the lack of a pawl noise, some are louder than others, some are totally quiet. Greasing the pawls will reduce the noise.

Under inflation will make a bike sluggish. Pump the tires up often. High pressure road tires need to be fully inflated before each ride.
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Old 09-27-10, 03:35 PM   #5
Franfrank
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Thanks For the help.
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Old 09-27-10, 03:43 PM   #6
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If you rotate the axle when the wheel is off the bike you should not feel roughness, especially any catching. I would find it amazing if the ball bearings were covered in rust and the bearing surfaces (cones and cups) were not pitted. Most hubs of decent quality if well maintained will be quite smooth once properly worn in - even Joytech, but no hub can be made to work well when the surfaces are pitted. Cones can usually be replaced, damaged cups call for a new wheel.
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Old 09-27-10, 03:51 PM   #7
Franfrank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
If you rotate the axle when the wheel is off the bike you should not feel roughness, especially any catching. I would find it amazing if the ball bearings were covered in rust and the bearing surfaces (cones and cups) were not pitted. Most hubs of decent quality if well maintained will be quite smooth once properly worn in - even Joytech, but no hub can be made to work well when the surfaces are pitted. Cones can usually be replaced, damaged cups call for a new wheel.
Thanks, yeah the wheel felt rough when spinning before i took it for repair, i could even hear some grinding. It's definitely smoother now.

Actually, today the bike felt much speedier, maybe the new lube just needed wearing in. On the other hand it has been raining, I hope the whole process hasn't started again!
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