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Old 10-05-15, 05:12 PM
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Location: Morris County, NJ
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Bikes: 90's Bianchi Premio, Raleigh-framed fixed gear, Trek 3500, Centurion hybrid, Dunelt 3-spd, Trek 800

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When you pedal forward, you exert forward force on the rear wheel because the ratcheting pawls in your freewheel or freehub (whichever) engage the gear-teeth inside the FW or FH. When you roll the bike backward, the pawls are still engaged and are now driving the pedals backward. When you are on the bike and it's rolling forward, your pedals can stop rotating and you can coast. That's because the pawls are "slipping" past the gear-teeth, as they are designed to do in a ratcheting system.

Just a different way of saying what others have said.

If you aren't cross-chained, the chain jumping when you spin the rear wheel backward can be due to an insufficiently lubed chain.

Last edited by habilis; 10-05-15 at 05:26 PM.
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