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Strange issue with what I assume is my drivetrain

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Strange issue with what I assume is my drivetrain

Old 10-04-12, 04:34 PM
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Tad Ghostal
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Strange issue with what I assume is my drivetrain

I have an older model road bike which I bought used called a Sovereign Free Spirit. I believe it's from the late 70's but don't know much about the brand. I believe it has all the original components, at least in the drive train and derailleurs.

My issue is that, on occasion, when pedaling forward thew drive train will not catch and actually make the bike go, almost as if I'm pedaling backward with a freewheel. It's possible to make it catch and actually turn the rear wheel/move the bike, but it is infrequent and I've had numerous times where I've essentially coasted to a stop despite pedaling madly. The gears themselves actually rotate but they don't catch and make the rear wheel turn.

Strange as it may seem, I think it's related to the temperature, as it first occurred in early spring and then essentially stopped all throughout the summer. Now that fall is here in Colorado, it's gotten colder and the problem's returned.

I can do really basic repairs and maintenance, but I don't want to start taking apart the drive train if it isn't necessary. If it's too complex I can just take it to a local coop/shop. Any advice is appreciated, as I basically use this bike every day and would hate to have it in the shop for any amount of time.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:39 PM
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Airburst
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The freewheel is probably gummed up with old oil or grease which is causing the pawls inside it to stick. It could well be related to temperature, as lower temperatures will thicken the oil or grease and make it more likely to gum up. I'd suggest taking it to the co-op, because you'll need to remove the freewheel to fix it, as the cure involves flushing it out with mineral spirits or degreaser or somesuch, and you don't want to get those near the grease in the rear wheel bearings.

Once you've flushed it out, oil it with a decent thick oil (the co-op should have something that'll do) and if that doesn't cure it, the chances are one of the pawls or pawl springs has failed, and you need a new freewheel.
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Old 10-04-12, 04:48 PM
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Tad Ghostal
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Thanks for the quick reply. I will take it in to the coop then.
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