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Old 02-22-11, 03:40 PM   #1
Oostal
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weird "problem" (wheel spinning backward)

I just finished building up a road bike (early 90s steel). The last thing I did was changing out the cables and STI shifters. I had to adjust the derailleurs after that. The gears seem to shift nicely now, but to my great surprise I found that when I move the pedals backward (counter clockwise) there appears to be a lot of tension to put the rear wheel to spin backwards. The same cassette, chain and cranks were on the bike before and worked nicely. Any idea, where the problem could lie? Thanks!
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Old 02-22-11, 03:57 PM   #2
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Ok, an update to the problem. The chain is not the quilty one! I turned the bike upside down and found that when I hold on to the cassette and try to spin the wheel backward, then it kind of hooks on to the cassette once in every turn. I never evend removed the cassette from the wheel! May be something got in between as I cleaned the bike? Any other ideas? I guess I should try to remove it and see whats up.
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Old 02-22-11, 05:28 PM   #3
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rear derailer's hanger bent ?
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Old 02-22-11, 05:53 PM   #4
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Any idea how long it's been since the freehub was greased? Is the axle bent?
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Old 02-22-11, 09:04 PM   #5
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Does it spin backwards quickly? If its just a very slight backwards spinning (say you are spinning the cranks backwards quickly and the wheel is only slowly spinning) this is kind of normal, though not definitely ideal. Its generally from an old freehub that is getting gunked up, or sometimes from new freehubs that haven't broken in yet, like Chris King or Industry 9. When it spins slowly like this, you don't really feel tension in the drivetrain when pedalling backwards, it just picks up on the momentum from the freehub going backwards.

If its moving quicker and you can feel tension on the drivetrain as you pedal backwards, I'd keep looking at what you've been - drivetrain components, meaning chain, cassette, or rear derailleur misalignment.
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Old 02-23-11, 02:48 AM   #6
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Its spinning pretty fast backward and there is definitely a lot of tension. I can make it spin as fast as it goes in the forward direction. It wasn't like this before I took the bike apart. I first noticed it after I cleaned the bike now. That is why I wonder, whether I could have brushed some gunk into the hub. It seems to me that the problem is related to the freehub/cassette. When I hold on to the cassette and try to spin the wheel, then at a certain position I can feel a click at where the wheel gets clamped on to the cassette.

The Cassette is a new 9-speed Ultegra. May be half a year old. I haven't serviced it since. I have a really stupid question now. I took the bike apart and built it up again, doing all the different tasks. Yet, there is just one single thing I have never done on a bike. Namely, changing the cassette and hub. I got the wheels with them already installed. I like to do things myself so I wonder, do I absolutely need special tools for this task?
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Old 02-23-11, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oostal View Post
Its spinning pretty fast backward and there is definitely a lot of tension. I can make it spin as fast as it goes in the forward direction. It wasn't like this before I took the bike apart. I first noticed it after I cleaned the bike now. That is why I wonder, whether I could have brushed some gunk into the hub. It seems to me that the problem is related to the freehub/cassette. When I hold on to the cassette and try to spin the wheel, then at a certain position I can feel a click at where the wheel gets clamped on to the cassette.

The Cassette is a new 9-speed Ultegra. May be half a year old. I haven't serviced it since. I have a really stupid question now. I took the bike apart and built it up again, doing all the different tasks. Yet, there is just one single thing I have never done on a bike. Namely, changing the cassette and hub. I got the wheels with them already installed. I like to do things myself so I wonder, do I absolutely need special tools for this task?
Weird. Without seeing it I'm not sure what it would be coming from other than what you have already pointed out. To get the cassette off you will absolutely need the cassette lockring tool (FR-5 or FR-5g from Park Tool) and a Chain Whip (SR-1 or SR-2 from Park Tool). You'll also need a crescent wrench, but I assume you've got something like that already. These tools safely remove the cassette. Without using them you will damage the cassette - not something that you'd want to do to an Ultegra 9-speed that you may want to keep around for a while. ;-)
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Old 02-23-11, 02:56 PM   #8
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If it's that draggy then you may have picked up some string or long grass or similar that is spun into the gap between the freehub and wheel hub. Or it may well be that it's just coincidence and your freehub is gunked up from age and riding in gritty conditions.

I'd suspect the derailleur hanger as well except this sounds more like it's a grab between the cassete itself and the wheel. If you remove the rear wheel from the bike is the same drag still there? If so then it's certainly the freehub not turning or some string or grass that got caught in the gap.

It's possible to strip down the rear axle and then remove the freehub and flush it out with solvent and then re-oil it. If that doesn't do the trick then just by a new freehub. It's even possible to take a freehub apart but I don't recomend it. I did that to two of mine and it turned out that I was able to flush and lube more easily by just dunking and draining multiple times in solvent to clean the hub and then in a mix of solvent and thick oil to lube the freehub. Do NOT mix grease in with the solvent for lubing. It's too thick and when the solvent finally dries away the freewheel pawls will not move smartly and the freehub skips as a result. Use a thick oil like chain saw bar oil or rear end oil instead thinned to a thin cream like consistency to lube the insides. Dunk for a while and then drain the excess out until it stops dripping. Re-install and test.
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Old 02-23-11, 03:15 PM   #9
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If it's a 10 speed bike he may be missing the spacer behind the cassette for shimano/shimano.
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Old 02-24-11, 03:07 AM   #10
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Thanks guys! I'll try to check it out today. If I remove the wheel, then there is still the drag between the cassette and the wheel. We'll see. There was some fine sand and dust on the cassette and I'm afraid that some of it might have got into the hub, causing the problem. It is a full 9sp bike, built up with NOS Ultegra parts. The wheels and hubs are from Reynolds (max 1000 km on them). I also just noticed that the particular hubs have small holes between the cassette and wheel. What is the purpose of these? It looks like an easy way for dirt to get in.
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Old 02-25-11, 12:59 PM   #11
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Hi guys! Another update.

I tried to see what I could do myself, but did not have much luck. I then took the wheel to the largest bike shop here and just got a call back that they have no clue how to solve the problem. They claimed that one has to either open the hub or replace it. The bad thing is that noone sells here Reynolds wheels or components. They suggested me to write to Reynolds.

I hate it if it would take too long. Would it be a good idea to try to fix it myself? May be try to wash it extensively and lube?
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Old 02-25-11, 09:42 PM   #12
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A bike shop that cannot diagnose a bad freehub is a shop I'd NEVER return to.

You need to buy the lockring removal tool and chainwhip and the other necessary tools and then disassemble the rear wheel yourself. Once you have it apart you can see what's causing the problem. I suspect that either the freehub has some grit in it (unlikely) or a bearing has failed/is about to fail. I think it's a bearing issue from you saying that there's a "catch" in the freehub as it is rotated backwards. There is NOTHING inside there to "catch" when it's rotating backwards. The only thing that can cause that to happen is a bad bearing. Usually the inner freehub bearing is at fault because it's so small compared to the other bearings in the wheelhub.
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Old 02-25-11, 10:16 PM   #13
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I had a similar problem so I removed my cassette and cleaned it. It turned so much smoother and faster. This cured my problem.
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Old 02-26-11, 02:51 AM   #14
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Thank you very much Rob! I have had major problems finding a reliable bicycle mechanic here. I think I have had bad luck in 4-5 places. This was now the largest place in Mannheim/Heidelberg (Germany) area that I expected to be more competent, but it does not seem to be the case. That is the reason I have learned to do most of the things myself. Could you possibly give me more advice? In case I need to change a bearing, do I have to stick with Reynolds components? These are rather hard to find (may be you happen to know a good online shop? Could be US/UK or wherever.). The hubs were labelled as "Reynolds specific design". I have the Shadow wheels, but I believe that the Solitude wheels have the same hubs.

Could I have caused the problem by putting the quick-release skewers too tight?

In case I open the hub, how much grease should I use? I have a teflon grease from duPont that I used for the headset. I quess it would be fine for the task.




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A bike shop that cannot diagnose a bad freehub is a shop I'd NEVER return to.

You need to buy the lockring removal tool and chainwhip and the other necessary tools and then disassemble the rear wheel yourself. Once you have it apart you can see what's causing the problem. I suspect that either the freehub has some grit in it (unlikely) or a bearing has failed/is about to fail. I think it's a bearing issue from you saying that there's a "catch" in the freehub as it is rotated backwards. There is NOTHING inside there to "catch" when it's rotating backwards. The only thing that can cause that to happen is a bad bearing. Usually the inner freehub bearing is at fault because it's so small compared to the other bearings in the wheelhub.
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