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Back tire not engaged when pedaling

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szellman Offline
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Post: #1
Back tire not engaged when pedaling
I just got a new bike as a gift. I rode it maybe 100ft then something happened and when I continued to pedal, the back tire was no longer being moved by pedaling. I brought it in the garage and tipped it upside down to see if I could see what was wrong. The pedals move freely without powering the back tire. It's as if the pedal and back tire are not engaged with one another. So essentially I can pedal and pedal and the bike won't go anywhere. The gears still change and work. The chain seems fine, both the front and rear sprockets move but, the back tire isn't set into motion. I ran out of time last night but I was hoping to get some advice on ideas to look at when I take it apart tonight. I was going to take off the back tire and see if there was something that is disengaged from the rear sprocket to the back tire. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
-Hope to be biker
Jun 1, 2010 11:13 AM
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Bill Offline
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NY,USA
Posts: 2,765
Joined: Sep 2009
Post: #2
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
(Jun 1, 2010 11:13 AM)szellman Wrote:  I just got a new bike as a gift. I rode it maybe 100ft then something happened and when I continued to pedal, the back tire was no longer being moved by pedaling. I brought it in the garage and tipped it upside down to see if I could see what was wrong. The pedals move freely without powering the back tire. It's as if the pedal and back tire are not engaged with one another. So essentially I can pedal and pedal and the bike won't go anywhere. The gears still change and work. The chain seems fine, both the front and rear sprockets move but, the back tire isn't set into motion. I ran out of time last night but I was hoping to get some advice on ideas to look at when I take it apart tonight. I was going to take off the back tire and see if there was something that is disengaged from the rear sprocket to the back tire. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
-Hope to be biker

szellman,

Hello and welcome to the forums. I am guessing that you have a multispeed bike. Sounds like your freewheel (the cluster of gears) is gummed up. Try laying the wheel on its side (with it off the bike) and spraying some penetrating oil/spray into the crevis of the freewheel. After that move the freewheel forwards and backwards. Repeat these steps again to see if it starts catching in the right direction. If it does not catch then you may end having to go to a LBS to get a newer freewheel. They are not that much these days. If you think the LBS is way too much then come back here and we can probably find one online. If you can also upload and/or give us a description of the bike that would be helpful too.

Hope this helps,
Bill

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Jun 1, 2010 11:29 AM
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xerxes Offline
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Kent, UK
Posts: 609
Joined: May 2010
Post: #3
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Remove the back wheel. Now try turning the cogs attached to the hub, the freewheel, or cassette. With the cogs facing you, they should turn freely anti-clockwise, but not turn clockwise.

If the cogs turn freely in both directions it means the ratchet in the freewheel mechanism has either broken, or the springs that force the pawls outwards have broken, or possibly that they have just gummed up with old oil. If that's the case, try squirting in some light oil to see if it frees up the ratchet.
Jun 1, 2010 11:32 AM
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szellman Offline
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Posts: 4
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Post: #4
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Thanks for the advice. I will take a look at it tonight. If I recall, it is a Titan Pioneer 12 speed, if that makes a difference. I am NOT bike savvy. My parents won this bike at a silent auction and I am just looking to use to it get some exercise. It is brand new and was very surprised when I was unable to even make it around the block before having an issue. I will post again tomorrow whether I was able to get this thing working or not. I will try and be more descriptive or even use pictures if I am unable to get it fixed tonight. Thanks again!
Jun 1, 2010 01:11 PM
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ou2mame Offline
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Posts: 28
Joined: May 2010
Post: #5
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
thats kinda crappy to give a broken bike to a silent auction. was it brand new, as in, not assembled? could be a few things, if you don't know what you're doing i'd suggest bring it to an lbs i guess..
Jun 1, 2010 05:36 PM
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szellman Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Yes it was brand new and assembled.

So tonight, I took off the back tire and yes the gear thingy (sprocket) was spinning in both directions which was obviously my problem. I brought it in a to a local bike shop and they took the sprocket off of the wheel and informed me that the hub on the wheel was stripped causing the issue. So I need a new back tire. The guy at the store assumes the person who assembled the bike over tighten this part causing it to be stripped. Any idea where I can get a cheap 26" wheel frame? The tire itself is like 1.5-2 inches wide. In my time I would call this a mountain bike, not a ten speed with thin tires if that makes sense. Like I said I am not bike savvy. Thanks for all your advice although it turned out to be a helpless cause. I'm sure the bike in total isn't worth more than $100 bucks and I was just hoping for something to get some exercise on. Well that exercise is just going to have to wait.
What is LBS?
Jun 1, 2010 07:38 PM
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Joe_W Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
LBS = Local Bike Shop

OK, we need a bit more information:
You (probably) have a freewheel (you have six sprockets in the rear, right?). What is "stripped"? The threads on the hub? If so: yeah, the hub is done for. You need to be really ham fisted to do that...

Getting a 26" rear wheel with a 6 speed freewheel will be a bit difficult as those are not made any more. Maybe try garage sales? Most bikes now have what is called a "freehub" (look at http://www.sheldonbrown.com/k7.html for the terms and descriptions and how to check what you have). The exception are cheap department store bikes where outdated, lowest end components are used, those sometimes come with seven speed freewheels that were a really bad idea and prone to failure.

Do you have friction shifting (as opposed to indexed shifting)? If you do, you could just use a more modern wheel with a seven speed cluster in the rear. (Indexed means the shifters will only move to certain, well defined positions so that the rear dérailleur lines up with the sprockets in the rear).
Jun 2, 2010 12:56 AM
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xerxes Offline
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Kent, UK
Posts: 609
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Post: #8
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Is it possible to re-use the freewheel? It's unlikely that you can't, I imagine that the soft alloy hub is more likely damaged than the thread in the tough steel freewheel.

In which case, you can get hold of a new rear wheel with a hub suitable for a freewheel. If you have no joy with the LBS, you could try Ebay, for example: http://cgi.ebay.com/WHEEL-REAR-BIKE-MTB-26-X1-5-FREEWHEEL-ALLY-HUB-Q-R-/170431254354 .

You could also look through the local papers, garage sales, recycling centre etc. for a similar bike that you can take the rear wheel from. If as you suspect this is a $100.00 bike, you'll might find similar whole bike being sold used for a few dollars and less than just a new rear wheel.

If this is a cheap $100.00 bike and you can get it running and keep it going for peanuts, all well and good, just don't spend too much on it.
Jun 2, 2010 06:27 AM
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szellman Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Wow. You guys know your bikes! Yes, I have a 6-sprocket free wheel that is in great shape. (Like I said the bike was brand new, never been used) What is stripped, is the threads on the hub. The guy at my lbs recommend a bike shop across town that is kind of a co-op bikeshop (junkyard) for bikes. I guess it's a find your part, you name the price type of a deal.

Xerxes - your link in your post, I think is exactly what I am after. Can I just put my sprocket on to that rear wheel and be up and running? Granted I might need a bike shop to do that but really is that all I need is a new rear wheel with a hub suitable for a freewheel?
Jun 2, 2010 07:52 AM
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xerxes Offline
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Kent, UK
Posts: 609
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Post: #10
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Quote:Can I just put my sprocket on to that rear wheel and be up and running?

Yes you can, the freewheel tightens clockwise when the ratchet engages, so you can just carefully tighten it on by hand, being careful not to cross the fairly fine threads, then when you ride the bike, it will tighten fully. Obviously you'll have to fit your existing tyre and inner tube as well.

As I said before, try not to spend too much, and you should be able to find something cheaper than the Ebay wheel if you look around locally, the junkyard place sounds ideal, take your old wheel along to match it up.
Jun 2, 2010 08:16 AM
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richgain Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
(Jun 1, 2010 11:13 AM)szellman Wrote:  I rode it maybe 100ft then something happened and when I continued to pedal, the back tire was no longer being moved by pedaling.

Hi. I just had to reply as exactly the same thing has just happened to me. I live in the UK and last weekend I bought a brand new Apollo Highway 700C for £199. Assembling the bike just involved fitting the front wheel, saddle and handlebars, and slotting in the brake and gear cables. Last night, I set off down the road for my first ride and after only 200 yards the pedals kept going round but the bike got slower and slower, until eventually I wasn't going anywhere.

The cogs on the freewheel seemed much too loose so I removed the back wheel and the freewheel just fell away from the hub. The thread on the hub looks completely stripped.

At first, I was quite upset and wondered what I'd done wrong but it seems that, although unusual, I am not the only one to suffer this problem.

The rear mechanism is a Shimano RD-TZ50D and the bike was assembled in Thailand.
The bike will be going straight back to the shop today, under warranty, and I'm hoping it can be fixed quickly.

Richard
Jun 17, 2010 11:13 PM
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richgain Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
(Jun 17, 2010 11:13 PM)richgain Wrote:  The cogs on the freewheel seemed much too loose so I removed the back wheel and the freewheel just fell away from the hub. The thread on the hub looks completely stripped.

Pics added for info and interest.

   
   

Richard
Jun 18, 2010 01:50 AM
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Bill Offline
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NY,USA
Posts: 2,765
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Post: #13
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
WOW first time I ever seen one do that!!! As Joe_W always says "Wheels are Consumables"! Here is proof of that. Had to be some major riding torque? You can always salvage the spoke protector as an extra, lol. They will have to more then likely give you a different wheel.

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Jun 18, 2010 02:44 AM
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Joe_W Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
I say "rims are consumables". Hubs should last longer. And here is another reason not to buy bikes with freewheels anymore (so that rules out most department store bikes).
Jun 18, 2010 06:30 AM
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Bill Offline
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NY,USA
Posts: 2,765
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Post: #15
RE: Back tire not engaged when pedaling
Oooops , haha Joe I stand corrected. You are right though hubs should last much much longer!

Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
Jun 18, 2010 07:09 AM
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