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  1. #1
    Village Idiot
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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!
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclotoine's Avatar
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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.
    1 Super Record bike, 1 Nuovo Record bike, 1 Pista, 1 Road, 1 Cyclocross/Allrounder, 1 MTB, 1 Touring, 1 Fixed gear

  3. #3
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Yeah, you either need to re-build the freewheel (boo!) or replace it. I'd recommend replacement.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  4. #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.

  5. #5
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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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.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Village Idiot
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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!
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
    -Albert Camus

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  7. #7
    hi YoKev's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
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    I think she's invented a 6-speed fixed gear!

    Neal

  9. #9
    hi YoKev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    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

  10. #10
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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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:
    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
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
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  11. #11
    Village Idiot
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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.
    Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.
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  12. #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.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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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
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  14. #14
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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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.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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