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Road Bike won't back pedal in certain gears

Old 03-04-18, 05:18 PM
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BikingViking793
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Road Bike won't back pedal in certain gears

I test road a bike yesterday and everything functioned well except I had an issue with back pedaling. When on the smallest front gear and largest gear on the cassette it would not back pedal. The gear on the derailleur was really close to the gear on the cassette stopping it from back pedaling. The seller had it to the shop today to get it checked and they said everything is functioning properly and this is normal when in these gears. It is a 105 derailleur and cassette. Should I have any issue with buying this bike?
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Old 03-04-18, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
I test road a bike yesterday and everything functioned well except I had an issue with back pedaling. When on the smallest front gear and largest gear on the cassette it would not back pedal. The gear on the derailleur was really close to the gear on the cassette stopping it from back pedaling. The seller had it to the shop today to get it checked and they said everything is functioning properly and this is normal when in these gears. It is a 105 derailleur and cassette. Should I have any issue with buying this bike?
If you mean the top pulley on the derailleur was causing the chain to interfere with the large cassette cog that may or may not indicate a problem. It's difficult to determine without seeing the bike, especially you don't specify what you mean by "would not backpedal". Did the chain go down to the next cog or did it stay on the same cog but went slack where it goes from top of chainring to top of large cog? I would note that it's not usually advisable to backpedal much at all.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:32 PM
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It could be something as simple as the chain being a bit longer than needed?
We can't see any potentially bent parts from here.
Personally, if it seemed to back pedal fine in the more centered gears, I wouldn't be too concerned.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
If you mean the top pulley on the derailleur was interfering with the large cassette cog that may or may not indicate a problem. It's difficult to determine without seeing the bike, especially you don't specify what you mean by "would not backpedal". Did the chain go down to the next cog or did it stay on the same cog but went slack where it goes from top of chainring to top of large cog? I would note that it's not usually advisable to backpedal much at all.
Chain stayed on the largest cog and the gear in the front and the chain would go slack rather than pedal backwards. Just like you describe, slack from the top of the chainring to the top of the largest cog.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
It could be something as simple as the chain being a bit longer than needed?
We can't see any potentially bent parts from here.
Personally, if it seemed to back pedal fine in the more centered gears, I wouldn't be too concerned.
Definitely wasn't the chain. Pulled it a little tighter to see if it would move the derailleur farther and it didn't. Bike showed very little wear so I tend to believe it's a low mileage bike. Everything seemed still to be original parts and no signs of any damage, didn't even see and chips or scratches.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
Chain stayed on the largest cog and the gear in the front and the chain would go slack rather than pedal backwards. Just like you describe, slack from the top of the chainring to the top of the largest cog.
I'd get behind the bike and sight along the chain line.
Does the RDER "line up" under the correct cog, or is it "angled over"?

IF the bike has been 'dormant", or it's cold, thick, old grease might be a contributing factor to the rear hub free wheeling back.
If that's the case, possibly just riding a few files may "loosen" things up a bit.
Basically, it's up to you to look for these things, since we can't.

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Old 03-04-18, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
Chain stayed on the largest cog and the gear in the front and the chain would go slack rather than pedal backwards. Just like you describe, slack from the top of the chainring to the top of the largest cog.
Again, I'm not there to see it, but that would normally indicate either excess friction in the freehub or interference at the pulley/chain/cog interface, and either of those can and should be corrected. If it's the freehub there would be some slack as well when you coast, but not if the latter is the cause.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I'd get behind the bike and sight along the chain line.
Does the RDER "line up" under the correct cog, or is it "angled over"?
It looked like it was under the correct cog, the gear on the derailleur was just too close to the cog. Went forward fine.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Again, I'm not there to see it, but that would normally indicate excess friction in the freehub, or interference at the pulley/chain/cog interface, and either of those can and should be corrected. If it's the freehub there would be some slack as well when you coast, but not if the latter is the cause.
Would the gear matter if it was the freehub? Seemed to coast fine and backpedal fine in all other gears.

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Old 03-04-18, 05:56 PM
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It is an 11 speed 105 btw.

I don't think I am very likely to use these gears in real riding, but are there any real concerns buying this bike or is this not a big deal?
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Old 03-04-18, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingViking793 View Post
Would the gear matter if it was the freehub? Seemed to coast fine and backpedal fine in all other gears.
Well, that's an excellent point/observation. I would say it sounds like the B tension or chain length needs to be corrected.
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Old 03-04-18, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Well, that's an excellent point/observation. I would say it sounds like the B tension or chain length needs to be corrected.
We played around with the B tension when I was there and it did seem to make it better, but didn't fix it. I guess this doesn't sound like too big a deal?
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Old 03-04-18, 07:35 PM
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What is the size of the largest sprocket (number of teeth)?

Is the B-tension screw all the way in? That would be an extreme, but you should have enough adjustment in that B-tension screw to get the derailleur angled back enough so that the top pulley doesn't contact the largest sprocket on the cassette. If you're truly out of adjustment on that screw, and you still have interference (you should hear some noise as well), then it sounds like something could still be amiss.

I wouldn't consider this "normal". It may be okay and not cause any performance issues, but I would be surprised if this is the way the bicycle manufacturer intends for it to be.
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Old 03-05-18, 08:00 AM
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I agree this should not be occurring. Speak to the head mechanic or manager and explain what is happening as you have here (rather than "I can't backpedal"). Just realized you said above it is a "low mileage bike" and I assumed it was a new bike. If used, then it's possible that the derailleur does not have sufficient capacity for the large cog size.
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please respect others by taking the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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