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Old 03-21-08, 10:49 PM   #1
ridethecliche
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Broken Freewheel=No coasting?

I help run the bike co-op on campus.

A friend visited me yesterday showing off an interesting problem. She can't freewheel on her old 6 speed freewheel!

If she stops pedaling, the chain just goes slack and falls off the chainring.

Is this what happens when a freewheel mechanism breaks? Or can it possibly be saved with some grease?

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-08, 10:52 PM   #2
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having trouble understanding what you are describing.... sometimes when they get gummed up and you spin the cranks in the stand the crank will keep spinning as the freewheel does not... well freewheel.. but I don't suppose that is what you mean.
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Old 03-21-08, 11:01 PM   #3
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Yeah, you either need to re-build the freewheel (boo!) or replace it. I'd recommend replacement.
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Old 03-21-08, 11:14 PM   #4
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Replacing is definitely preferable to rebuilding but it sounds like the pawls may just be gummed up - liberal dosing with WD-40 followed by regreasing will likely resolve it.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:01 AM   #5
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It could have possibly seized too. I'm dealing with a Suntour Perfect with the same symptoms. The freewheel and cogs continuously spin. Nearly impossible to spin it counterclockwise by hand.
If a WD40 soak doesn't work, toss it.
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Old 03-22-08, 01:13 AM   #6
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I told her we could possibly have luck by cleaning it out, or we'd need a new one.

Thanks for the confirmation!
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Old 03-22-08, 05:37 AM   #7
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I had the same problems with a Suntour of some sort. I'm going to make wind chimes out of it.
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Old 03-22-08, 06:31 AM   #8
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I think she's invented a 6-speed fixed gear!

Neal
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Old 03-22-08, 07:47 AM   #9
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I think she's invented a 6-speed fixed gear!

Neal
If she can get it to market faster than Sturmey Archers 3-speed fixed hub, I'll get in line for it
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Old 03-22-08, 08:31 AM   #10
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I had similar problem with a suntour winner 6 speed. wouldn't freewheel and would
drop chain if I tried to backpedal. Lubrication time.
Here's what Sheldon had to say about that:
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The bike should be held with the rear wheel off the ground, and leaning to the left at about a 45 degree angle. An assistant may be helpful for this. Turn the pedals around a couple of times to get the wheel spinning fast, then let it coast (helps to be in high gear for this.)

Look inside the smallest sprocket. The sprocket will be stationary, since the wheel is coasting, but you'll see an inner part of the freewheel that is spinning with the wheel. Drip oil onto the crack between the turning part and the stationary part. Gravity and capillary action will help work oil into the freewheel.

Repeat this a few times, until you hear a change in the sound of the clicking pawls (they'll generally get quieter when the oil reaches them.)
worst case scenario pull the freewheel and soak in oil, remove and drain most of the oil off (and out)
of the freewheel. this should resolve almost all issues with gummed up pawls etc.

Marty
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Old 03-22-08, 08:54 AM   #11
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The freewheel seemed hesitant if nothing else. It was moving, but it was more like a sputtering movement.
I'll hit it up later and see what happens. I don't have the removal tool, but my friend does and we'll figure something out once he gets back on campus.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:57 AM   #12
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At this point it would probably be a good idea to add a new freewheel/chain/chainrings. No sense in start ing with a half fresh drivetrain.
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Old 03-22-08, 09:20 AM   #13
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I used to take old freewheels and soak them in gasoline, then oil the crap out of them...worked on all but the broken ones.

Aaron
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Old 03-22-08, 11:15 AM   #14
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I think everyone is on the right track. Use a good solvent first, followed by a good lubricant if the solvent loosens things up. I would not toss a freewheel body without first salvaging any cogs which are still in good condition.
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