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Please help me diagnose SS problem: freewheel not free enuf(8 posts)

Please help me diagnose SS problem: freewheel not free enufmdehner
Dec 22, 2003 11:50 AM
I have a beater I built-up myself, using 42/16 gearing. When cleaning my chain I noticed that when freewheeling, I get significant back-pressure on the pedals; in other words, when the bike is in a stand, if I pedal forward and then stop the pedals from turning, then let go while the wheels spin, the pedals immediately start spinning.

This can't be the most efficient situation; any ideas?

Thanks much for any suggestions.
Chain TensionPaulNYC
Dec 22, 2003 12:02 PM
Chain tension is your problem. Make sure you've got about 1/2 inch of slack in the chain. You may have to move your wheel in closer to the cranks. I hope this helps.
Chain Tensionmdehner
Dec 22, 2003 12:06 PM
Wow, I thought 1/2 inch slack would be too much, I will give it a try. Thanks!
I don't think it's the chain tension.Alex-in-Evanston
Dec 23, 2003 7:52 AM
This happens on all my ss's, regardless of the tension. The freewheel gets "stickier" as it ages. The Shimano bmx and ACS claw are both poorly sealed and need replacing frequently.

The White Ind. freewheel has a good reputation, but costs about 7 times the price of the others. They claim extra long life makes the cost a wash. In my experience with the others, if you can get 7,000 miles on the Whitie, it is indeed a wash.

Agreed. I change freewheels every 1000 miles.Dave Hickey
Dec 23, 2003 8:29 AM
I use sewing machine oil(3 in 1 or similar) on my freewheels when they start getting stiff. If you use oil you need to lubricate more often but it keeps them loose and quit...
That's not a problem...eddie m
Dec 23, 2003 10:10 AM
All it shows is that there is more friction in the freewheel than there is in the bottom bracket and chain combined. That's a good thing. There are no friction losses in the freewheel when you are pedaling, and the losses while coasting are probably not noticeable either.
re: Please help me diagnose SS problem: freewheel not free enufukiahb
Dec 23, 2003 11:24 AM
If you have an old wheel w/ a Shimano freehub you could run a Shimano BMX cassette cog (splines are the same and the cogs are only about $5) w/ some extra spacers...this might be more durable and efficient than a BMX freewheel...FWIW it would also be possible to run two cogs and two chainrings for two speeds with this setup.
re: Please help me diagnose SS problem: freewheel not free enuftoonces
Dec 28, 2003 9:40 PM
I think both thoughts are possibly right here. If you have too much tension in the chain, it'll 'squash' the freewheel and the whole bit together in a sense and cause it to lose it's un-tensioned freewheeling. If you have a lot of buildup in the pawls, this can cause the inards to get sticky which can have the same effect.

Being a poor feller, I've taken to dunking my freewheels in a jar of degreaser or acetone, then spraying the guts with WD-40 (or taking it apart and cleaning if you can figure it out), then rinsing with acetone, then lubing with a light lube like Triflo. Sounds so nice when it's all done, spins great, and I can eek a few more rides out of it.