Have questions or want to discuss cycling? Join Now or Sign In to participate in the BikeRide community.

New: Take part in the October Giveaway for a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot urban gravel bike from Van Dessel Cycles

Having some strange chain (I think) problems
Hey everyone,

I don't know much about bikes, so I'd really appreciate some help. I bought a 1960s Western Flyer on craigslist. Its a beautiful bike and in pretty good shape, but I'm having problems while I'm riding it. When I'm riding, the bike will suddenly "jerk" and I loose all resistance in the pedals. If I mess with the shift for a second (it has "speeds") then it will work again, sometimes for the rest of my ride, sometimes only for a second before it repeatedly does this over and over.

If you genuinely lose all resistance when this happens, I would guess it is the ratchet in your freewheel (rear gear cluster) that is slipping. Sometimes flushing a little oil through the freewheel will help. Lay the bike on its side, prop it up so you can pedal backwards freely, find the point of the gear cluster where the center stays still and the outer part rotates as you pedal backwards, drip some thin oil or chain lube at that point and keep rotating to let it work in.

Other possible problems are that the shifter is loose and it is slipping out of gear, but this would normally cause a lot of noise as the chain starts to hit the next gear. Also could be a worn chain, but this would usually slip mainly when you put a lot of pressure on the pedals.

Possibly Related Threads...
Last Post
12-10-2017, 02:46 PM
Last Post: garrett01
01-25-2013, 03:48 AM
Last Post: 1FJEF
11-11-2012, 08:06 PM
Last Post: GeorgeET
10-06-2012, 12:00 AM
Last Post: Bill
01-21-2012, 12:02 PM
Last Post: MaccyDG
05-26-2011, 11:04 AM
Last Post: Dalton2250
12-10-2010, 07:42 AM
Last Post: cyclerUK

Forum Jump:

10 Latest Posts
Can these bars go up higher?
Today 04:16 PM
Hello from Maine!
Today 11:46 AM
Today 04:28 AM
Disc Rotor / Lockring Play
Yesterday 09:29 PM
Yesterday 08:49 PM
90's Raleigh R600
Yesterday 07:32 PM
Shimano tourney
Yesterday 12:53 PM
Biking in the rain
Yesterday 04:30 AM
2020 road cycling season
10-21-2020 07:29 PM
hello from the windy city
10-21-2020 07:24 PM

Top 5 Posters This Month
no avatar 1. Jesper
27 posts
no avatar 2. Painkiller
9 posts
no avatar 3. Sagan97
7 posts
no avatar 4. Papa Dom
7 posts
no avatar 5. Nikko
6 posts