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Old 10-03-11, 06:59 PM   #1
Wreader
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that burning smell is probably not good..... right?

I went out for a little ride this evening. This was in the immediate neighborhood which is very hilly. I had to stop and walk a couple of hills, but did pretty well. At the end of the ride, about 1/2 mile from home, it suddenly got very hard to pedal. It was up a little hill, and just too hard to ride, so I stopped to rest. I smelled something burning, but could not see anything that looked hot. I felt the brakes, and they were not hot. I could not pedal backwards to get the pedal where I wanted to start off again. That's when I realized that something was broken. The rear hub was moving freely when I pushed the bike along beside me, and the chains were on the sprockets, but it was extremely hard to pedal forward, and impossible to spin the pedals backwards. I don't know what is wrong with it. I walked the level parts, and coasted it down the hill to the house. I did not see anything that looked obviously out of place or broken. Any ideas? I am going to take a closer look at it tomorrow, and if I can't see anything, I will take it to the local bike shop.
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Old 10-03-11, 07:45 PM   #2
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Burning smell implies rubber and, to my knowledge, that exists on a bike only in the tires and brake pads. Maybe a total crankset bearing failure friction heating the grease.
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Old 10-03-11, 09:05 PM   #3
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if the crank won't spin the casette backwards,its(the casette) probably defective ,unless the bottom bracket is seized up,
take the chain off of the front rings and spin the cranks,it should feel nice and smooth,,(in both directions)
Bud
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Old 10-04-11, 06:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wreader View Post
I went out for a little ride this evening. This was in the immediate neighborhood which is very hilly. I had to stop and walk a couple of hills, but did pretty well. At the end of the ride, about 1/2 mile from home, it suddenly got very hard to pedal. It was up a little hill, and just too hard to ride, so I stopped to rest. I smelled something burning, but could not see anything that looked hot. I felt the brakes, and they were not hot. I could not pedal backwards to get the pedal where I wanted to start off again. That's when I realized that something was broken. The rear hub was moving freely when I pushed the bike along beside me, and the chains were on the sprockets, but it was extremely hard to pedal forward, and impossible to spin the pedals backwards. I don't know what is wrong with it. I walked the level parts, and coasted it down the hill to the house. I did not see anything that looked obviously out of place or broken. Any ideas? I am going to take a closer look at it tomorrow, and if I can't see anything, I will take it to the local bike shop.
I would think bottom bracket bearing failure, the thing to check, drop the chain off the crank onto the top of the BB, and try turning the cranks, if the crank is hard to move it's the BB, if the crank turns easily it's the rear hub. You want it to be the BB, because they are a lot easier and cheaper to fix.
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Old 10-04-11, 09:15 AM   #5
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Axle Slip

Your rear wheel quick release or (axle nuts) has (have) loosened? The wheel shifted (to the left as you look downward toward the front of it) under tension from the chain. Your tire is rubbing on the left chainstay?

Just a guess...

Phil
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Old 10-04-11, 10:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Your rear wheel quick release or (axle nuts) has (have) loosened? The wheel shifted (to the left as you look downward toward the front of it) under tension from the chain. Your tire is rubbing on the left chainstay?

Just a guess...

Phil
My guess as well. I have, on occasion, been able to overcome the tension holding the rear axle in place when applying more than usual torque on the cranks (usually during out of the saddle climbing). Check your wheel alignment and then tighten the axle a bit more securely. You may have some paint to touch up too.

Good luck,

Gary
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Old 10-04-11, 11:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Your rear wheel quick release or (axle nuts) has (have) loosened? The wheel shifted (to the left as you look downward toward the front of it) under tension from the chain. Your tire is rubbing on the left chainstay?

Just a guess...

Phil
I thought he indicated that it rolled downhill just fine.
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Old 10-04-11, 05:46 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I read what you had to offer, and did what I could to test it. It rolled fine, and when I disengaged the chain, the crank was still very hard to turn. At that point I was out of my league so took it to the local bike shop. The guy immediately diagnosed a bad bearing, and had it fixed and me back on the road in an hour. I was really bummed about the bike breaking down because it was not something obvious and simple, and I was afraid that I would be bike-less for days if I had to take it to the shop. Fortunately, the shop was not busy today and he got right to me. The weather is perfect, and I have a few days off work, so I really wanted to get some rides in. I was able to pick up the bike and go for a ride right away. The multi-use path runs right past the bike shop.

Last edited by Wreader; 10-04-11 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 10-04-11, 06:11 PM   #9
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Glad you got it taken care of OK.
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Old 10-04-11, 06:28 PM   #10
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Happy ending.
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Old 10-04-11, 06:39 PM   #11
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good that it was that easy, and fast!!Good luck..
Bud
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Old 10-05-11, 09:28 AM   #12
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Bottom brackets can go two ways- Tight or loose. You got the wrong one but it made you notice it. Been on several rides where a loose BB has disintegrated on riders and is the end of the ride. A tight one just makes the ride harder.
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Old 10-05-11, 09:47 AM   #13
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Bottom brackets can go two ways- Tight or loose. You got the wrong one but it made you notice it. Been on several rides where a loose BB has disintegrated on riders and is the end of the ride. A tight one just makes the ride harder.
Had a loose one, it started making an audible "tic" that could be heard and also felt through the pedal once every crank revolution.
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Old 10-05-11, 10:12 AM   #14
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I was really bummed about the bike breaking down because it was not something obvious and simple, and I was afraid that I would be bike-less for days if I had to take it to the shop.
All the more reason for that second bike. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now to show my wife just how important that new ride is going to be.=)
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Old 10-05-11, 12:36 PM   #15
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All the more reason for that second bike. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now to show my wife just how important that new ride is going to be.=)
Yep. You gotta have a Backup Bike.
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Old 10-05-11, 02:06 PM   #16
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Usually when I burn one it doesn't smell good.
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Old 10-05-11, 03:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Bottom brackets can go two ways- Tight or loose. You got the wrong one but it made you notice it. Been on several rides where a loose BB has disintegrated on riders and is the end of the ride. A tight one just makes the ride harder.
My Campagnolo BB was on the way out for a couple of rides while I ordered a replacement. It had got so bad that there was about 1 cm play at the pedal end of the crank!

I finally sorted it out on Saturday night and went out on Sunday and did a tough 8 hour ride. The difference the new BB has made to the bike is amazing. It was obvious on the recent rides that something serious was wrong, but it must have been on the way out for much longer. Pedalling just feels so smooth now!

I also discovered that I'd been riding for 2 years with the wrong length BB axle! I have a triple chainset and replaced the BB with a 115.5 mm one, as recommended, and discovered that the old one had been 111 mm. No wonder I'd had problems with my chainline and front shifting!
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Old 10-06-11, 05:20 AM   #18
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Bottom brackets can go two ways- Tight or loose. You got the wrong one but it made you notice it. Been on several rides where a loose BB has disintegrated on riders and is the end of the ride. A tight one just makes the ride harder.
Actually they can go out 3 ways, the third one is actually both ways. When it starts to fail it gets a little loose, then it gets looser, then when it completely fails, it gets really tight, really fast. Modern cartridge style tend to take the third way out, older cup and cone tend not to.
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Old 10-06-11, 05:48 AM   #19
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Usually when I burn one it doesn't smell good.
Smells like skunk?
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