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

Freewheel spins freely forwards?

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.

Freewheel spins freely forwards?

Old 03-25-11, 06:20 PM
  #1  
tenkerman
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Freewheel spins freely forwards?

I'm fixing up an old 10 speed for the neighbor kid. I've noticed that sometimes the pedals spin freely forwards before the freewheel engages. What causes this? It only happens when starting from a stop or if you have been coasting.
tenkerman is offline  
Old 03-25-11, 06:38 PM
  #2  
Steve530
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 909

Bikes: Klein

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I assume it's a freewheel, not a cassette. It sounds like the pawls are not engaging. Probably gunked up with old lubricant. I'd probably try dripping some oil in the body. Or just replace the freewheel.
Steve530 is offline  
Old 03-25-11, 07:12 PM
  #3  
tenkerman
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
I assume it's a freewheel, not a cassette. It sounds like the pawls are not engaging. Probably gunked up with old lubricant. I'd probably try dripping some oil in the body. Or just replace the freewheel.
It's an old Huffy 10 speed bike, 5 speed freewheel. Not really worth spending money on parts. Will 3 In 1 oil do the trick?
tenkerman is offline  
Old 03-25-11, 08:46 PM
  #4  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
It might, but I'd try to wash things out with some really light lubricant such as WD-40. Then drip in some regular oil once the pawls engage ok.
prathmann is offline  
Old 03-26-11, 08:53 AM
  #5  
TugaDude
Senior Member
 
TugaDude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,305
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 224 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 81 Posts
+1, I use penetrating oil in a spray can. Spray liberally into the gaps around the edge of the freewheel and let it soak in good, laying it horizontally. Go ahead and let the excess drip out after it has soaked for an hour or so and then put some 5W-30 or similar engine oil into the freewheel. Should do the trick.
TugaDude is offline  
Old 03-26-11, 09:33 AM
  #6  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4361 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 15 Times in 15 Posts
If you have the correct freewheel remover, take off the freewheel and toss it into a can of solvent - kerosene, diesel fuel, mineral spirits, or napatha. Let it soak overnight then continue the next day agitating and lifting and draining then re-dunking from time to time. This is overkill, but doesn't realy take much time.

The goal is to flush any old dried grease and oil from the freewheel. When finished it should be what I call "rattling clean" and the pawls engage cleanly every time. Drain and dry it completely. Naphtha and mineral spirits will dry completely on their own, diesel fuel and kerosene requiring a bit of heat so put it in a warm place for a while. If it's warm out, put it on a pan inside your car parked in the sun with the window cracked open slightly for a few hours.

Re-oil with a 30 weight or higher oil (not that it needs heavy oil, but thin stuff spins out) or Chain-L or Phil tenacopus (if you have them). To apply, drip the oil on the upper gap, spin to work it in a bit, and lay the freewheel on a paper towel to drain. If none drains out the bottom, repeat, and keep adding until some drains through.

I suggest the remove and soak method, because an effective cleaning and oiling on the wheel will make a mess and have you wiping the spokes for days.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 03-26-11, 10:29 AM
  #7  
BCRider
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,466

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
On a bike of that age it's also possible that the freewheel is gunked up with rust. But you won't know if it's salvagable or not until you flush it out with some solvent using the dunk n' drain methods already described. If it cleans up then it was just old dried gunky oil or grease. If it stays rough and intermittent and sounds like it's got a handful of coarse sand in it after flushing with solvent then it is rust and it can't be saved.

The good news is that 5 speed freewheels are so cheap that it's worth replacing it even for an old Huffy. Or if there's some second hand shops around that specialized in old bikes you can often find a servicable used one for likely a fiver.
BCRider is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
microcord
Bicycle Mechanics
28
06-30-18 05:41 PM
spock345
Classic & Vintage
14
05-27-16 05:14 AM
Phil_gretz
Bicycle Mechanics
4
09-12-13 08:12 AM
gerv
Bicycle Mechanics
5
12-25-11 08:51 PM
insub2
Bicycle Mechanics
3
05-26-11 04:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.