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

Front Wheel doesn't spin freely - Troubleshooting tips?

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.

Front Wheel doesn't spin freely - Troubleshooting tips?

Old 06-20-11, 10:44 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Front Wheel doesn't spin freely - Troubleshooting tips?


I have a 1979 Schwinn World Sport which I've been using to learn about bicycle repair/maintenance. I had the bike up in my stand yesterday, and I noticed that when I spin the front wheel it makes three full rotations and stops. If I spin the back wheel with the same amount of force, it'll spin for quite a while before stopping.

I've confirmed that the wheel isn't rubbing on the brake pads or anything... what should I look at next? Is there anything I can do to confirm whether it's the hub or not?

fumoh is offline  
Old 06-20-11, 10:57 AM
Senior Member
BCRider's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,551

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

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
Wheel bearings are likely in bad need of cleaning, grease and some tuning. It may be just dried up old grease and grunge. Or you may find that the cups and or cones are badly rusty and pitted.

First step is to get some cone wrenches so you can take it apart and put it together. Second step is to look at what you need to do for the front hub rebuild using www.parktool.com/repair .

If you find that the bearing tracks on the cups are badly pitted and rough I'm afraid that the wheel is basically toast and you'll want to find a newer used one or a new one. The bearing cups are not replaceable. If the cups are OK but the cones are shot you can get new or good used cones by taking your axle and the old cones with you to find some replacements at the LBS.

But most often it's easier to just find another donor bike and do a wheel transplant.
BCRider is offline  
Old 06-20-11, 11:01 AM
Old fart
JohnDThompson's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Appleton WI
Posts: 24,198

Bikes: Several, mostly not name brands.

Mentioned: 148 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3242 Post(s)
Liked 2,643 Times in 1,535 Posts
Take the wheel out of the frame and spin the axle with your fingers. If it doesn't turn freely, it probably needs service. It's not a difficult job; Park Tools' web site has tutorials on this type of thing.
JohnDThompson is offline  
Old 06-20-11, 04:17 PM
Senior Member
rydabent's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lincoln Ne
Posts: 9,805

Bikes: RANS Stratus TerraTrike Tour II

Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3234 Post(s)
Liked 997 Times in 598 Posts
New bearing and grease is probably need. Also make sure the proper cone with a curved bearing seat is used. There were shops that used a straight cone surface. Then there is proper adjustment of the cones. This means that the cones are never run up tight. With the wheel out of the bike the cones and their lock nuts need to be run up so you can feel the smallest amout of motion, something like half a thousandth of looseness. Then when the quick release exerts compression, the bearing is not binding. That slightest amount of "looseness" also asssures that when out in the sun and hot weather the bearing doesnt run into a binding condition due to expansion because of heat.
rydabent is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
General Cycling Discussion
01-25-18 06:22 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
04-03-16 05:55 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
06-16-15 11:45 AM
Bicycle Mechanics
04-20-15 11:53 PM
Bicycle Mechanics
04-22-10 06:41 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 or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.