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I have an old bike it says Via Montega on the body if that helps. I was riding it earlier when the pedaling stopped resulting in forward motion.

I thought the chain might have come loose but it is definitely where it is supposed to be. The chain is attached and will shift gears but the back wheel doesn't turn. The wheel does spin freely if pushed. It seems like the gears and the wheel aren't connected but there is some sort of plastic guard between the gears and wheel so I can't see the problem.

Is this something I can fix myself with limited to know bike repair knowledge or do I need to take it in?

If so how expensive is it likely to be?

  • Yeah, you need to take it to a bike shop, unless you're a lot more mechanically inclined than you seem. It takes some special tools and may require some parts. Hard to say how expensive, but the shop should be able to give you an estimate after looking at it for a couple of minutes, since the basic problem will be pretty obvious. – Daniel R Hicks Nov 14 '14 at 2:36
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The bike is made by Univega and probably has a freewheel.

If the pedaling motion still works, I'd guess your freewheel is shot (the thing that the gears are on in the back). You have to remove it with a freewheel remover and put on a new one. This requires a freewheel remover tool and a large wrench or vise, so you might want to take it to a shop and let them check it over and swap the freewheel out.

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Here are a couple of links you can check out and gauge for yourself if it's something you want to tackle. This is kinda towards the deep end of the pool.

http://sheldonbrown.com/freewheels.html

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The freewheel may not be completely bad, it's typical for older ones to get gummed up inside and the ratchet pawls inside to be stuck open. Sounds like what you've got.

If you look at the link above to Sheldon Brown's site in Kennah's answer above, check the section on Lubricating Freewheels. It's pretty simple to do this, no special tools or disassembly required. But it is easier with the wheel off and held horizontal.

That said, you should consider replacing the freewheel. You can get a new Shimano freewheel pretty cheap and it will have more modern "ramped" teeth that will make shifting much smoother. If the old one is 5-speed but you have older shifters that don't "click" into gears you can replace it with a 6-speed like MF-TZ20

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