Rear hub/freewheel query

by NIrish   January 15, 2014  

I have been reading other posts regarding hubs and play and I haven't seen an answer , please forgive me for my mechanically infancy.

I have a felt MTB (just for commuting) with felt hubs, the axle was replace a number of years ago following a manufacturing fault. I tightened the cone the other day to mend play that was allowing the wheel to rub the chain stays at points but I now have an issue with back pedalling with the chain being sucked. The chain is chain is clean as are all the sprockets and freewheel. The other night when I was nursing it home I was pedalling forward and got no traction at all, the pedals and chain were spinning but the wheel wasn't. It appears to be intermittent though as after walking the last mile it seemed fine when inspecting at home.

Please help, thanks in advance.

3 user comments

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Take it to a qualified Bike Mechanic.

posted by simeond [20 posts]
15th January 2014 - 12:49

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Sounds like a problem with the freehub to me. What you can do about it will depend on your wheels. Some are serviceable, some are not. Probably best to go to a bike shop, unless you have a good selection of tools and are prepared to hunt around the internet for how to do it yourself.

As a short term solution it might be possible to put some penetrating oil in behind the cassette where the freehub meets the hub and let that work in (don't get it on the brake tracks!). You might be able to coax some life out of it by doing that but it's not a long term solution.

posted by pirnie [176 posts]
15th January 2014 - 13:53

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Defo a freehub problem, I've seen this a few times in BMX cassette hubs. My best guess is that the pawls and/or engagement ring may be worn or you may have lost one or more pawl springs. If you over-tightened the cones this might also be the cause of the problem as the freehub might be 'squeezed' preventing it from operating as it should (some hubs have a little washer-thingy designed to prevent this which can wear too).

The first thing that I would try is to loosen the cones to the point where you have a bit of play in the hub (ie more than you would actually want when riding) and see if this 'fixes' the problem. If so you might be able to find a happy medium that gives acceptable performance. If its more serious you might be able to replace some parts and overhaul the hub but it may be more economical to replace the hub outright.

posted by Matt eaton [260 posts]
15th January 2014 - 14:52

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