My pedals are moving when I'm coasting, and if I try to stop them the upper segment of the chain gets really loose, and the rear derailleur does this thing, where it gets almost horizontal, and then something gives and the chain moves – then the whole process repeats.

Here's a video that shows what's happening – you may want to download the video, otherwise the quality is quite poor.

This makes the bike pretty much unridable – I'm new to bicycling, I'd appreciate any suggestions for how to figure this one out.

EDIT 8th Sept 2015

Thank you guys for helping me. I read the link given in second answer, and there were a lot words unknown to me, so I focused on common speeds, and according to that, I have a freewheel. I took it apart and cleaned it, according to this Youtube video. It didn't fix my problem.

But, I took a couple of photos of my cassete/freewheel (I'm not sure what it is), so maybe you guys can tell me what it is after all: Photos (download for full resolution).

  • 1
    Your video does not play. And your description is unclear, but it sounds like your freewheel/freehub is sticking. It may simply need cleaning, or it may need overhaul or replacement. If whatever cleaning you attempt does not seem effective then you should take it to a bike shop, as special tools are required to disassemble it. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 6 '15 at 19:14
  • @DanielRHicks Have you tried clicking on the play icon in the middle of the image? – The Onin Sep 6 '15 at 19:16

Most likely it is drag in the free hub / freewheel. You can start with breaking it down and cleaning it and lubricating. There are videos on YouTube.

Saw the update to the question. Does the freewheel spin freely. Of the bike if you spin it will it make 3+ revolutions.

What is all the brown stuff? Clean and lube in general.

  • I updated my question. Thank you for your time. – The Onin Sep 8 '15 at 17:53
  • @NinoŠkopac See update to answer – paparazzo Sep 8 '15 at 18:04
  • It's rust. I had the bike for 13 years, and before a week ago, I haven't touched it in about 10 years, but it was stored in basement. – The Onin Sep 8 '15 at 19:16
  • Dude, clean and lubricate – paparazzo Sep 8 '15 at 21:57
  • I did! :D I'm gonna update you all tomorrow. – The Onin Sep 8 '15 at 22:09

You seem to have a problem with the freewheel mechanism sticking. What to do about it will depend on whether the mechanism is part of the wheel.


If you have a thread-on freewheel, the best option may be simply to replace it, unless you can get it working with just a bit of lubricant / rust remover. This is a good idea if the sprockets are worn out but the wheel is in good condition. Take the whole wheel to the bike shop as they will have the special tool required for the replacement.

If you have a freehub, in which the freewheel mechanism is part of the wheel, then you should put more effort into breaking down and cleaning the existing mechanism. Again, it may be better to let the bike shop do this, as special tools are required.

  • I updated my question. Thank you for your time. – The Onin Sep 8 '15 at 17:53
  • Your answer was really good, I appreciate it, really. – The Onin Sep 12 '15 at 21:09

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