I have received numerous e-mails, IM’s, and PMs asking about a few problems associated with different freecoasters. I do enjoy these as I get to see the different amounts of issues with different freecoasters. So please, if you have further questions, or are not satisfied with these answers, please send me an e-mail at ————-, I have compiled some common questions (specific coasters’ internals
will be addressed if necessary).
Always, always always, disassemble and inspect your hub parts if you have problems with your hub… (if you are not comfortable with this, then you can have a shop do it for you (though they often do not know much), or learn how to. It is a great learning experience.
I just got my _________ freecoaster and it tries to stay engaged after I stop pedaling (sometimes makes a clicking noise)… Is this bad?
I know this seems bad, but it really is not. What is happening (as with many brand new freecoasters) is that the “splines” on the drive side of the clutch are sharp When they dig into the hub shell, they stick pretty well, and do not want to release back off. I usually recommend that people just ride the hub for about a week or week and a half, then pull it all apart, clean it all off (watch for bits of metal), then
re-grease and put it all back together. You will notice this feeling start to go away over time. If you have an unsealed freecoaster, then you may want to do
this sooner than that, as the bearings have much less protection from metal shavings
Some people will tell you to just put grease on the splines. Although this does quiet the hub down, it increases the risk of the clutch slipping off of the hub shell (which is not fun for you knees).
My freecoaster will not engage when I pedal forward, it just feels like it spins, but never catches… WTF?
This problem is a result of the friction between your spring (or resistor) and the axle. You need resistance. And this is why. Your hub needs to be able to “tell” the difference between you pedaling forward and the hub rolling backward. The way to fix this problem is add more friction. On Butterfly springs (like Haro, and Odyssey, where this problem is most prevalent) you bend the springs flatter. On C-clips you want to bend the spring into a tighter circle. Taska style hubs can be altered a couple of ways. They come stock with a lot of friction, so this is usually not a problem, but you can try making an alternate spring (which is what I am doing) or use the “tabs” on the end of the spring to create the resistance, rather than the spring in the clutch. However, if you are using a fully threaded axle, this poses problems of consistency. Poverty, KHE, and Federal hubs thus far cannot be adjusted easily in this fashion. Although, I have not heard of any cases where this has happened. If it does though, I would try removing and grease or lube on your spring/clutch interface in order to increase the friction.
Alternatively (albeit rarely) the driver could have broken, so check for this) If so, then get a replacement either by warranty or your shop.
My freecoaster will engage, but if I use a certain amount of pressure it slips. I am fearing for my knees, what should I do?
There are a few causes of this problem:
- Worn splines on clutch (if the hub is old, or has a serious warranty issue)
- Too much grease on the splines (as explained in the first question, this can be used to quiet your hub down, but should be removed after a while)
- Loose engagement ring (very rare, you almost never have to even consider it, but it is good to note it here)
- Broken driver (only very rarely will it result in this
feeling, most of the time, you will just feel it snap and have your driver freely rotate)
Open up the hub and check for all of these. A worn clutch will have splines that look rounded. Clean everything out and reassemble.
When my hub spins freely, it makes a grinding noise. Is this OK?
NO! Your bike should never make a grinding noise. This is usually the bearings (especially since freecoaster drive side bearings receive constant force, in the direction you do not want them to be taking it, and will wear more quickly). Take all of your bearings out. If they are unsealed, clean them with a good degreaser. If they are sealed, inspect the seals for damage or debris (if there is none and it continues after all other steps, then remove the seals with a small poker, spray out the bearings with an air compressor and degreaser, then repack the bearings). Grease the bearing seats in your drive shell (and driver, but that is not the issue if it is making the noise when spinning freely) and press in the bearings (with all of the internals in place of course). Then go back with a mallet (or hammer if you are careful and ensure that everything is in place. For unsealed hubs, make sure that your cone nuts and the races in the hub are smooth, free of debris, and strait. This should solve the problem. If not, then look to the internals to see if there is any rubbing there, and send me an e-mail.
My hub just feels weird… what could it be?
These are just some things that can cause odd feelings in the performance of the hub:
- Bent axle. Causes damage to the bearings, prevents the driver/clutch interface from operating properly, prevents the clutch from lining up with the drive ring properly and prevents proper alignment with your dropouts (which can cause slipping and frame damage).
- Twisted driver. Does not happen often now because most drives are hardened steel, so they are much less likely to bend or twist. But this used to be a major problem (especially on 3/8” axle hubs, because the driver thread diameter was much smaller and could not take the stresses as well). This can cause the clutch to not line up correctly (or move at all), higher friction, and just an over all bad feeling in the hub.
- Misassembled hub. If you are having trouble with your hub, take it apart. Reassemble it. Most times there is a problem it is because the hub was not assembled correctly (don’t feel bad, I have destroyed hubs with some of my assemblies. It is the only way you can get good at it, and understand how to solve problems). Check out the maintenance guides (I will try to get a poverty up soon, but just imagine it as a mix between an Odyssey and a KHE) and the specific pages for the hub.
- Broken spring. If your springs are broken your hub will be inconsistent, or not even work, or just feel like crap.
- There could be others, but those are the ones that are best asked in an e-mail (as I don’t know what they are yet)