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single speed (flip/flop) hub maintenance

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single speed (flip/flop) hub maintenance

Old 08-26-13, 03:44 PM
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single speed (flip/flop) hub maintenance

So I just purchased my first single speed bike since my Schwinn Stingray - 30+ years riding gears. The bike is used and needs a little maintenance.

It has Suzue Fixed/Free Promax Track Hub with a Shimano sf-1200 freewheel. I've only used the freewheel side.

When I spin the cranks in reverse, the cranks and the freewheel seem to spin fine. With the rear wheel off the ground, when I spin the wheel there is considerable drag. The wheel only makes a few rotations. Also, if I don't hold onto the cranks, they tend to spin with the wheel - they don't "coast" properly. I believe the hub is positioned for correct chain tension.

Do I just need to repack the hub?
Does the freewheel also need maintenance?
Does anything need to be replaced?
Beyond grease, should I have any other parts on hand before I get started?

I have repacked hubs on geared bikes once or twice, so I'm not operating with complete ignorance. Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:05 PM
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Think about what you are observing - the wheel stops soon when freewheeling and the pedals turn when freewheeling. The only thing that can drive the pedals forward is friction between the hub and freewheel driving the chain, and the same resistance that causes the freewheel to travel with the hub would slow down the hub if you hold the pedals in place. So that means the freewheel is binding. That could be due to a problem with the freewheel, lack of freewheel lubrication OR too tight a chain. The chain should have no tension at it's loosest point. The hub bearings are not a factor in what you describe, but no guarantee they don't need to be adjusted.

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 08-26-13 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:34 PM
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These hubs have very nice sealed bearings so the hub should be fine. The issue is either with your freewheel or chain tension.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:39 PM
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+1 Freewheel or chain tension issue. Make sure you get the chain tension right (there should be none!) then drip some oil into the freewheel and see if that makes it coast properly. If not you can try removing the freewheel, flushing it with solvent, and lubing with oil. If all else fails get a new freewheel, good ones are less than $20.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:50 PM
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The posts above are correct; the order-of-operations from here are: check the chain and loosen it if necessary. If that doesn't work, identify your freewheel. Some ppl will use pin spanners to open up and relube the freewheel, check the pawls/etc-- most freewheels have zillions of tiny bits in them, and are a hassle to take apart, clean, check, and reassemble. Others just leave 'em closed up and soak 'em down with a degreaser for a while, then drip some heavier oil in the gaps at the outer side of the freewheel. Me, unless it's a White, I tend to pull em off, toss them, and get a new freewheel. If i like the gear ratio, I prefer to replace it with a White.

As for whether or not the hubs bearings need servicing, well, you'll want to check that as well.
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