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Can bikes go backwards? Total newb.

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Can bikes go backwards? Total newb.

Old 05-17-04, 09:05 AM
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LiL ChaiNsaW
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Hey. I know NOTHING about bikes. I know how to get on one and not fall off instantly, but that's about it. My dad just bought one for me for my birthday, it's a "Norco mountaineer" and has 21 gears, I think. It's a female's bike. Has shock absorbers, wheels that flick off and some other stuff that I have no idea about. Anyway... this may seem like a REALLY strange question, but can bikes go backwards with ease? Because mine can't... the chain makes this loud clunking noise and scratches against this other thing as if it's too close to it... like the chain kind of catches on it over and over. What the chain catches on isn't the spikey, circular things that move the chain, it's like this little metal thing that I THINK the brakes or gears are connected to, next to the spikey chain mover things, connected to the pole that the seat is on. It makes the clunk noise every time a little piece of the chain frees itself from being caught on the metal thing. Sorry if that's confusing. The bike can actually GO backward, but not very easily. I would have thought bikes could go backward with ease, since you might need to quickly reverse off of a road or something like that. The bike also always makes this constant little clicking noise when going foward, is that standard too? BY THE WAY, with the clunking noise while reversing, it does this whether pedaling or not... but the pedals go backward by themselves while I am OFF the bike, when I just move the bike backward, if that means anything?

Last edited by LiL ChaiNsaW; 05-17-04 at 09:27 AM.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:14 AM
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Something is wrong.

Can you post a picture?

Only fixed gear bicycles can be pedalled backwards (and yours is definitely
not that), but all bicycles should be able to roll backwards without
difficulty, and one should be able to pedal the chain backwards and
have it simply glide freely without noise.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:15 AM
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When coasting, basically going forward but not pedaling, it is normal for the bike to make a clicking sound that should with speed.

As for the bike going backward, it should. I am not exactly sure what you are talking about that is catching on though. Maybe the front derailer? It is what shifts the chain in the front.

Is this what the chain is catching on?
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Old 05-17-04, 09:17 AM
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No, bikes can't go backwards under power. There is no reverse gear. The noise you are hearing is the chain rubbing against the front derailleur. To get rid of the noise, use your left hand shifter to "trim" the derailleur position- there should be a few positions between actual shifts from one chainring to the next that give you relatively noise free pedaling. As for the clicking sound that you hear when going forward, that is perfectly normal. It is the ratchet machanism inside your rear wheel advancing over the pawls that allow you to coast.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:19 AM
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LiL ChaiNsaW

I think it needs adjustment. Where did your Dad get it? Will they check it out for you?

Welcome to the forms.

Joe
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Old 05-17-04, 09:20 AM
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No, your bike should not go backwards.

It needs to be adjusted, sounds minor, but too hard to explain how to do it over the net. I'd find a friend who can do it. It would take less than a minute if it is not a major adjustment.

In short, there should be barrel bolts that adjust the tension on the derailleur. If it is a new bike, I suspect it needs to be tightened. The cables stretch when new.

The other option is to take it back to the store and have them adjust it, it should be free.

Hope this helps,

ehenz
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Old 05-17-04, 09:22 AM
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LiL ChaiNsaW
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Originally Posted by bg4533
When coasting, basically going forward but not pedaling, it is normal for the bike to make a clicking sound that should with speed.

As for the bike going backward, it should. I am not exactly sure what you are talking about that is catching on though. Maybe the front derailer? It is what shifts the chain in the front.

Is this what the chain is catching on?
Umm... it might be, it looks pretty similar... I think. If this is any help, it says "top-swing SIS" on it, and "050 SHIMANO" as well.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:23 AM
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LiL ChaiNsaW
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It doesn't just make the noise either, the chain actually gets stuck for a second which makes the bike pause when I move it backward... as for when it's just standing still and I push the pedals backward with my hands, the chain gets severely stuck and I have to push the pedal/s harder to make it come free. Thanks, everyone, for your posts so far...

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Old 05-17-04, 09:35 AM
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the thing that is catching your chain when you roll the bike backwards is your front derailleur.

your derailleurs are the things that derail the chain from one gear onto another.

it's not much to worry about.

as far as being able to reverse a bike... the best way is to get off of the bike!

bikes aren't designed to ride backwards because it would be almost impossible to balance. bicycle balance only works well when the wheel that steers is the one that's in front, and if you were going backwards the wheel that can turn would be actings as the rear wheel. riding a bike backwards would be a little bit like trying to drive a truck, at highway speeds, in reverse, with a trailer attached.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:37 AM
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LiL ChaiNsaW
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cerewa, you mean get off the bike, then turn it around? Because I can't just push my bike backward either, the chain gets stuck again
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Old 05-17-04, 09:46 AM
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Chainsaw, your bike needs adjustment. As "ehenz" said: take it back to the
shop for adjustment. It should be free.
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Old 05-17-04, 10:03 AM
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i didn't mean to turn the bike around. as others have said, your bike needs to be adjusted. when it's working properly, you'll be able to roll it backwards.
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Old 05-17-04, 10:10 AM
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You might be stuck in a gear while shifting or something and decided to go backwards. I am a newb too but i know I think I know what you are talking about. I need to learn the parts though.
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Old 05-17-04, 10:35 AM
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A bicycle can be pushed backward provided you don't resist that backward movement of the pedals.
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Old 05-17-04, 10:38 AM
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Can't you just throw it into reverse???

Last edited by roadfix; 05-17-04 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 05-17-04, 12:00 PM
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Sounds like either it needs adjustment, or like Kin said, stuck in a gear while trying to shift. Have you used the shifters? In case you're not familiar with them (since you said you're new), they're on the handlebars and will either be twistable or little levers to push. One of them controls the back gears (spikey things), and one controls the front gears. The part that bg4533 posted the picture of (derailuer) will move a little bit when you shift front gears. This pushes the chain over the a different gear. Sometimes it may catch, especially if it is adjusted wrong.

Does your dad bike and has he looked at it? Do you have any friends with bikes who can help you out? I hope you get it worked out soon and enjoy it when you do.
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Old 05-17-04, 02:34 PM
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Norco is a big box store brand, so the store where it was purchased is unlikely to know jack about it. I think forging a relationship with a local bike shop (LBS) is in order. The thing may not have been assembled correctly. Let them give it a once over.
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Old 05-17-04, 02:58 PM
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A bicycle can be pushed backward provided you don't resist that backward movement of the pedals.
right. in case anybody didn't already know, bikes with kickstands that block the pedal motion can't be rolled backwards very far unless the kickstand is put up out of the way.
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Old 05-17-04, 07:36 PM
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i can roll backward on my bmx for a rather long distance...and track bikes can be ridden backwards, it's just not very easy.
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