I have an older road bike. I noticed that when I tried to go up large hills a few years ago, I would pedal but the back wheel wouldn't get any power. Now the wheel will not turn at all when I am attempting to ride it. When you crank the pedals, te cigarette on the back just spins. What can I do to fix this issue?

  • Just so there's no doubt whether you're running a freehub or a cassette, how many gears on the back?
    – PeteH
    Jul 7, 2016 at 6:56
  • The rear hub needs to be serviced. Unless you are comfortable being a bike mechanic you will need to take it to a bike shop. Jul 7, 2016 at 11:52
  • 1
    I have never heard a cassette called a cigarette. What area of the world is this a name?
    – Criggie
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:53
  • 1
    Every place where autocowrecked is used. Jul 8, 2016 at 2:15

1 Answer 1


Your rear freehub or freewheel is damaged and/or needing service. The mechanism that engages when you pedal forward, then releases to spin/idle when you are not pedaling or pedaling backwards is broken. Much of the time these are not serviceable, or are damaged beyond service once they are spinning forward freely. If you have a freehub, you will most likely need to buy a new rear wheel. If you have an older style freewheel, it will need to be replaced.

  • 1
    Actually, the freewheel on the old freewheel style bikes is easily replaced, and on some freehub-style bikes the freehub can be removed from the hub and replaced. Especially on an older freewheel bike there would be no need to replace the wheel. Jul 8, 2016 at 1:38
  • 1
    Completely correct. Edited accordingly. Jul 8, 2016 at 2:13

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