Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

slow spinning wheels on kid bike

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

slow spinning wheels on kid bike

Old 01-18-22, 04:55 AM
  #1  
brainiii
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
slow spinning wheels on kid bike

Hello fellow bikers,

got my kid some 18" cheap bike, single speed. Kid complains the bike is difficult to ride the pedals, especially uphill. Kid can ride a bike in general (this is the 3rd bike) so the rider is not the issue. Also got a 20 inch bike which can ride so bike size is also not the issue. What I checked:
1) Tyres have the proper amount of air
2) I calibrated the brakes and they are not rubbing
3) Chain is in good condition and lubed.

The problem seems to be with the hubs. Basically, when u put the bike upside down and spin the wheel, it relatively quickly comes to a stop, unlike my mountain bike and all other bikes.
I don't know if this can be fixed at all? I've tried spraying oil in the hubs but it made no difference, to me it looks they are sealed???

anything that can be done? I can't seem to post pictures as this is a new account.
thanks
brainiii is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 07:30 AM
  #2  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,046
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4915 Post(s)
Liked 7,077 Times in 3,067 Posts
Remove the wheels and turn the axles by hand. If they feel rough, then they are probably open bearing (i.e., cup and cone) bearings that need adjustment - and they might need more grease, too. Instructions. (You'll need appropriately-sized cone wrenches.)
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 09:11 AM
  #3  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4153 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
Is this a kids bike with or without multiple gears on the rear?

I've never looked at the actual ratios on the kids bikes, but at a glance, many kids bikes don't really have the gears for climbing with out it being very hard to pedal.

But maybe your kids bike and my idea of a kids bike aren't the same. So it'd help to know what bike this is....... even if it were a adult bike that would help greatly.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 01-18-22, 09:11 AM
  #4  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,408

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1838 Post(s)
Liked 1,091 Times in 691 Posts
If Koyote's bearing suggestion doesn't work, have you checked the tire pressure?
pdlamb is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 09:24 AM
  #5  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,046
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4915 Post(s)
Liked 7,077 Times in 3,067 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Is this a kids bike with or without multiple gears on the rear?

I've never looked at the actual ratios on the kids bikes, but at a glance, many kids bikes don't really have the gears for climbing with out it being very hard to pedal.

But maybe your kids bike and my idea of a kids bike aren't the same. So it'd help to know what bike this is....... even if it were a adult bike that would help greatly.
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
If Koyote's bearing suggestion doesn't work, have you checked the tire pressure?
OP states that the bike is a SS and the tire pressure has been checked. States that the problem is "Basically, when u put the bike upside down and spin the wheel, it relatively quickly comes to a stop,"

I doubt that this issue would make a bike feel noticeably sluggish, but the OP asked about the hubs...Hence my suggestion.
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 09:41 AM
  #6  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4153 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
OP states that the bike is a SS and the tire pressure has been checked. States that the problem is "Basically, when u put the bike upside down and spin the wheel, it relatively quickly comes to a stop,"

I doubt that this issue would make a bike feel noticeably sluggish, but the OP asked about the hubs...Hence my suggestion.
Missed the part about being a single speed.

Not sure why you feel you have to defend your suggestion. I didn't have any issue with that.

Though being a single speed bike, it will be much harder to go up hills as the child reported. And if the child isn't use to that particular gear ratio because their previous bike was an easier ratio, then their initial gripe will be that it's harder to pedal.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 09:53 AM
  #7  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 5,046
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4915 Post(s)
Liked 7,077 Times in 3,067 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Missed the part about being a single speed.

Not sure why you feel you have to defend your suggestion. I didn't have any issue with that.

Though being a single speed bike, it will be much harder to go up hills as the child reported. And if the child isn't use to that particular gear ratio because their previous bike was an easier ratio, then their initial gripe will be that it's harder to pedal.
No, not really defending my suggestion. I thought your comment about the gearing might be the real issue, and that had not occurred to me -- so was explaining why I gave the advice about hubs.
Koyote is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 10:37 AM
  #8  
cxwrench
Senior Member
 
cxwrench's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Nor-Cal
Posts: 2,849

Bikes: lots

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1395 Post(s)
Liked 1,941 Times in 1,031 Posts
Originally Posted by brainiii View Post
Hello fellow bikers,

got my kid some 18" cheap bike, single speed. Kid complains the bike is difficult to ride the pedals, especially uphill. Kid can ride a bike in general (this is the 3rd bike) so the rider is not the issue. Also got a 20 inch bike which can ride so bike size is also not the issue. What I checked:
1) Tyres have the proper amount of air
2) I calibrated the brakes and they are not rubbing
3) Chain is in good condition and lubed.

The problem seems to be with the hubs. Basically, when u put the bike upside down and spin the wheel, it relatively quickly comes to a stop, unlike my mountain bike and all other bikes.
I don't know if this can be fixed at all? I've tried spraying oil in the hubs but it made no difference, to me it looks they are sealed???

anything that can be done? I can't seem to post pictures as this is a new account.
thanks
There's your answer. Is it a coaster brake? They don't spin well either.
cxwrench is offline  
Likes For cxwrench:
Old 01-18-22, 10:06 PM
  #9  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,483

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3307 Post(s)
Liked 1,535 Times in 841 Posts
One more idea - I've seen kids' single speeds that were built with the chain too tight - since the cranks aren't usually high quality they're sometimes out of round so the chain tension is fine at one spot, and tight enough to bind 90° later.

But why are you turning it upside down to spin the wheel? Just pick up the front or back end and give a little spin.
DiabloScott is offline  
Old 01-18-22, 11:22 PM
  #10  
TPL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 88 Times in 63 Posts
Adjust your hub axles
TPL is offline  
Likes For TPL:
Old 01-19-22, 12:50 AM
  #11  
GamblerGORD53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Elevation 666m Edmonton Canada
Posts: 1,930

Bikes: 2013 Custom SA5w / Rohloff Tourster

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 887 Post(s)
Liked 146 Times in 117 Posts
Bearings are likely poorly lubed and tight. Common on ANY new bike or gotten used.
My old CCM front wheel will spin 3 or 4 minutes. Same with both my SA drum brake IGHs. My roller brake wheels both stop in 25 to 35 secs.

One day last year I was at a convenience store when a teen came in with a BMX bike and set it upsidedown. As a lark, I gave the front wheel a little spin and it wouldn't quit before he went back to it. LOL.

I bought a new bike this year for $1,000, so not cheap. It came with roller brakes and Nexus 7i.
I sooner or later figured out that ALL the bearings were tight. I took apart the pedals right away, because they wouldn't spin even one whole rev. WTF.

Last edited by GamblerGORD53; 01-19-22 at 12:56 AM.
GamblerGORD53 is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 03:31 AM
  #12  
JoeTBM 
Droid on a mission
 
JoeTBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 735

Bikes: Diamondback Wildwood Classic

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 144 Times in 102 Posts
Originally Posted by brainiii View Post
Hello fellow bikers,

got my kid some 18" cheap bike, single speed. Kid complains the bike is difficult to ride the pedals, especially uphill. Kid can ride a bike in general (this is the 3rd bike) so the rider is not the issue. Also got a 20 inch bike which can ride so bike size is also not the issue. What I checked:
1) Tyres have the proper amount of air
2) I calibrated the brakes and they are not rubbing
3) Chain is in good condition and lubed.

The problem seems to be with the hubs. Basically, when u put the bike upside down and spin the wheel, it relatively quickly comes to a stop, unlike my mountain bike and all other bikes.
I don't know if this can be fixed at all? I've tried spraying oil in the hubs but it made no difference, to me it looks they are sealed???

anything that can be done? I can't seem to post pictures as this is a new account.
thanks
Many fine suggestions here but one I didn't see and recommend that to check if the chain from the crank to the rear wheel is too tight and causing binding. We have seen that on a lot of children's bikes lately from Chinese manufacturers
__________________
JoeTBM (The Bike Man) - I'm a black & white type of guy, the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
www.TheBikeMenOfFlaglerCounty.com





Last edited by JoeTBM; 01-20-22 at 03:17 AM.
JoeTBM is offline  
Likes For JoeTBM:
Old 01-19-22, 04:11 AM
  #13  
dabac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 8,665
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1068 Post(s)
Liked 276 Times in 204 Posts
My money would be on the gearing ratio.
wheel bearings have to be VERY poor before they become an obvious obstacle.
How a wheel spins unloaded doesn’t give a good indication of how much they contribute to the overall drag during riding.
2nd guess would be chain binding.
3rd would be crank arm length.
Cheap kids bikes can come with just about anything, even ”adult” crank lengths. A kid might not have the vocabulary to explain why that feels wrong.
dabac is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 04:28 AM
  #14  
brainiii
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
One more idea - I've seen kids' single speeds that were built with the chain too tight - since the cranks aren't usually high quality they're sometimes out of round so the chain tension is fine at one spot, and tight enough to bind 90° later.

But why are you turning it upside down to spin the wheel? Just pick up the front or back end and give a little spin.

1) chain is not too tight, it's just right so that it doesn't fall off the chain ring (which did happen a couple of times before i adjusted it)
2) I find that upside down is so much easier to check and compare front and rear wheel spin and generally "work" on the bike
brainiii is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 04:35 AM
  #15  
brainiii
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I should add here that the bike has normal v brakes (someone asked about coaster brakes) and that one noticeable difference from the previous, smaller 16" bike is that this one is heavier, so naturally it was gonna be harder to pedal compared to the previous one.
However, I just wanna see if the riding experience can be improved, hence the slow wheel spinning question.

Thank you all for the suggestions. I would like to try to open up the bearings and relube them but have no idea on how to or even if they can be opened. I wish I could post a picture.
brainiii is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 07:12 AM
  #16  
Moe Zhoost
Half way there
 
Moe Zhoost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,644

Bikes: Many, and the list changes frequently

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 880 Post(s)
Liked 677 Times in 408 Posts
Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Remove the wheels and turn the axles by hand. If they feel rough, then they are probably open bearing (i.e., cup and cone) bearings that need adjustment - and they might need more grease, too. Instructions. (You'll need appropriately-sized cone wrenches.)
This is what you need to do first. Having worked on dozens of cheap kid's bikes this past year, I've found almost all of them with wheel bearings that were too tight.
Moe Zhoost is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 09:35 AM
  #17  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4153 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
Originally Posted by brainiii View Post
I wish I could post a picture.
You can.

You just can't do it in a post here yet. But you can put the pic on a hosting site and then in the plain text of your next message, write the URL of the sharing link to the pic. Remove/delete https:// from it and then put a space on either side of any . in it.

Someone here will know how to fix it and will post your pics for you. imgur.com works real well for this, but others too work if you insure you get the link to share with other non-members of that site if they require a membership.

Don't use any of the linking tools in the editor. There is a gallery here on BF you can use too, but in the past it's still taken some time for pics from noobs to show up. You could go out and participate in other conversation here on BF. After you get past 10 total posts your restrictions for image posting drop away. Don't try to do that in the same day though. As a noob there are daily limits for posting or some such thing.

It's all for helping with spam on the site. Unfortunately it's impact affects noobs with no intention of spamming.

Last edited by Iride01; 01-19-22 at 09:38 AM.
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 10:39 AM
  #18  
JoeTBM 
Droid on a mission
 
JoeTBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 735

Bikes: Diamondback Wildwood Classic

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 144 Times in 102 Posts
Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
One more idea - I've seen kids' single speeds that were built with the chain too tight - since the cranks aren't usually high quality they're sometimes out of round so the chain tension is fine at one spot, and tight enough to bind 90° later.

But why are you turning it upside down to spin the wheel? Just pick up the front or back end and give a little spin.
Sorry, I missed your replied about a too tight chain
__________________
JoeTBM (The Bike Man) - I'm a black & white type of guy, the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
www.TheBikeMenOfFlaglerCounty.com





Last edited by JoeTBM; 01-20-22 at 03:12 AM.
JoeTBM is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 11:27 PM
  #19  
brainiii
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ok, here are the pics of the bike.

ibb.co/rfkTsKh
ibb.co/xY572VB

add https in front
brainiii is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 03:16 AM
  #20  
JoeTBM 
Droid on a mission
 
JoeTBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 735

Bikes: Diamondback Wildwood Classic

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Liked 144 Times in 102 Posts
Well the chain doesn't look too tight but the chain looks dry, could use a little oil there but I see you said it was lubed in the OP

So without being able to put my hands on the bike, I go along with a slight cone adjustment of both wheels
__________________
JoeTBM (The Bike Man) - I'm a black & white type of guy, the only gray in my life is the hair on my head
www.TheBikeMenOfFlaglerCounty.com




JoeTBM is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 02:03 PM
  #21  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4153 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
Here we go...


https://ibb.co/rfkTsKh

https://ibb.co/xY572VB
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 02:07 PM
  #22  
Iride01
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,300

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4153 Post(s)
Liked 2,681 Times in 1,867 Posts
It could be the bearings too tight, but still that look to be a big chain ring for a children's bike. Which means it'll be harder to pedal than any children's bike with a smaller chain ring.

Is that 34 teeth or better on the front and only 14 on the back?
Iride01 is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 03:08 PM
  #23  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,076

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked 629 Times in 477 Posts
You've already said the wheels don't spin freely, pull the wheels off and adjust the hubs till they do. You'll need 2 sets of cone wrenches ideally, 13mm in the front and 15mm in the back. Adjust the cones outward till the wheel spins smoothly, check the bottom bracket for the same, that can often be tight as well. All those will effect the ease of pedaling. I doubt the gearing is much of an issue, plenty of kids run around on the factory gearing without ever changing it and do fine but if the wheels are tight and the BB is tight, that's all just excess resistance.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 04:47 PM
  #24  
UniChris
Senior Member
 
UniChris's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Northampton, MA
Posts: 1,767

Bikes: 36" Unicycle, winter knock-around hybrid bike

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 860 Post(s)
Liked 351 Times in 256 Posts
Would agree the wheel bearings should be adjusted right.

In terms of gearing that model doesn't appear to be on the vendors site and they don't say what's upfront but it looks like they're using 18T in the back on most of their kids bikes.

Looking at some others I'm seeing a specialized that's 26:16 on a 16" wheel for 26 gear inches or 36:18 on a 20 for 40 gear inches

Single speed kids bikes are made for driveways, parking lots, and rail trails more than climbs, but those aren't crazy ratios for climbing moderate things.

Another biggie with kids bikes is the seat often being set too low as that gives more confidence - but it may have to come up only a little bit at time, possibly a small measured step after bedtime, and another a week later. When they start doing the whole pedal out of saddle then sit down and coast routine, adjustment is needed.

Last edited by UniChris; 01-20-22 at 04:54 PM.
UniChris is offline  
Old 01-20-22, 07:28 PM
  #25  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,483

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3307 Post(s)
Liked 1,535 Times in 841 Posts
Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
You've already said the wheels don't spin freely, pull the wheels off and adjust the hubs till they do. You'll need 2 sets of cone wrenches ideally, 13mm in the front and 15mm in the back. Adjust the cones outward till the wheel spins smoothly, check the bottom bracket for the same, that can often be tight as well. All those will effect the ease of pedaling. I doubt the gearing is much of an issue, plenty of kids run around on the factory gearing without ever changing it and do fine but if the wheels are tight and the BB is tight, that's all just excess resistance.
Exactly - the kid's complaint that riding is hard is not useful. The OP's statement that the wheels don't spin freely IS. He didn't say if the front or back is a bigger problem or both the same, but big gears don't stop wheels. If the wheel doesn't spin well when it's off the bike, it's a hub/lube issue. If it does, but it doesn't spin well ON the bike, it's an alignment or truing issue.
DiabloScott is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.