enter image description hereim new to this site and don't know anything about how to repair bikes. My Problem is I put my bike into my shed (the shed is cold and damp) and never used it for 3 weeks, it was ok when I put it in but when I took it out to use it the back wheel has become very stiff, you're not able to spin it freely its just stiff. Im not sure where to start, is it the brakes or can it be something else ???

Any help would be great, the bike is less than a year old so not sure why this has happened. Thanks

This is my bike

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    Well, are the brake pads rubbing on the rim (assuming rim brakes)? You can test this easily by releasing them and then spinning the wheel, or visually inspecting them. – Batman May 10 '16 at 22:56
  • Hi Batman, thanks for getting back to me so quick. My bike has disk brakes so im not sure where to go from here, do you know any common reasons for a back wheel to suddenly become stiff ? could it be anything other than the brakes ? – Gary May 11 '16 at 0:06
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    Is if the wheel is rubbing the frame anywhere? Does the brake disk or wheel 'wobble' when its turned. if these all appear good, remove the wheel from the bike. Hold the axle and see if it rotates cleanly. if so, spin the cassette (cogs) - they should move freely in one direction and lock in the other. Report back here what you find. – mattnz May 11 '16 at 4:17
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    What do you mean by "stiff"? Do you mean the wheel does not rotate freel y if you lift the bike off the ground and spin the wheel? Then please edit your question and title - "stiff" is not something most readers will understand, I think. – sleske May 11 '16 at 9:19
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    Try releasing the quick release with the bike upright on the ground, and listen for a click or clunk as the wheel settles into the dropouts, then do the QR back up. That may be why it doesn't rotate properly after you removed it. I generally do this while resting weight on the bike to hold it up, often by resting my stomach on the seat so I have both hands free. If you adjust the brake after doing that it shouldn't need adjusting aga8in. – Nuі May 12 '16 at 7:19

I am pretty sure the issue comes from your disc brake. Check the brake pads first : there must be something wrong here because you say it was worse after you removed and put the wheel back.

I guess your brakes are hydraulic : sometimes when you store your bike in a humid place for a long time, the braking fluid will kind of "dilate", resulting in less space between the two pads, hence rubbing on the disk even if you don't press the lever.

Another test you could do is removing the caliper : if the wheel spins freely, that confirms my theory.

In that case, you need to push the pistons back to their initial position (using something to pry them apart, without damaging the pads). If you cannot, you might need to remove some fluid from the hose (there should be a small screw at the lever), but be careful not let some air go in the hose.

  • Thanks for that, i can't push the pistons back, so how much fluid do you think i should remove ? and again thanks :0) – Gary May 12 '16 at 20:43
  • Start with something like five drops, close the screw, and try to push the pistons again. Beware, the fluid is quite corrosive and can damage the paint on your lever/bar, so use a tissue to put on the hole where you removed the screw (that also prevents air from going in). – Boris May 13 '16 at 8:20

It might not be the disc brake. It might be that the hub is seized up from rust. You can check if it is the brake or not by loosening the caliper and spinning the wheel. If it spins freely it is the brake not the hub.

If it is the hub you might need to get it regreased. Alternatively it might just be overtightened (although its not likely to tighten by itself in the shed).

If it is the disc, check the alignment of the caliper and that the pistons inside are not pushed in too far, e.g. from putting on the brake where there is no disc in the caliper. you can take out the pads, prize apart the piston, put the pads bad in then pump the lever (with the wheel and rotor in place obvs).

  • I think it is pretty unlikely that rust in the hub will lock the wheel in such a short period. But, of course, greasing, if there is no "machine bearing" is always a good idea. – krzyski May 12 '16 at 14:01
  • 3 years in a cold and damp shed. It depends how cold and how damp :) – Andrew Welch May 13 '16 at 12:06
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    He said: 3 weeks ... – krzyski May 13 '16 at 14:46
  • haha yes my bad. Some cheap disc rotors rust up quick. – Andrew Welch May 13 '16 at 14:50

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