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This question already has an answer here:

My bike is an adult mountain bike with different gear shifts and all.

Suddenly my rear tire stopped going but the chain and everything still works - the gear and chain still spins.

What is the easiest way to fix the rear chain/cog if it's not turning the rear wheel?

marked as duplicate by paparazzo, David Richerby, Criggie, Chris H, Argenti Apparatus Oct 23 '17 at 13:17

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  • Most likely the internal gearing. If it is freewheel not much you can do. A free hub you can typically tear down clean and lube. – paparazzo Oct 18 '17 at 1:23
  • Do you store your bike outside in the rain and damp ? Thats a common root cause to problems like this. Store your bike inside, or at least in the dry to reduce future problems. – Criggie Oct 18 '17 at 3:06
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If you mean that that the cassette can turn both forward and backwards without engaging the rear wheel hub; the freewheel or freehub is broken.

Whether the freehub/wheel can be repaired, or whether the hub or possibly the whole wheel would need to be replaced depends on a number of things. Suggest you the bike to bike repair shop.

  • It may be possible to free up the jammed pawls, but in practice its cheaper and easier to replace a freewheel. If its a freehub then the repair seems to have a higher chance of success. – Criggie Oct 18 '17 at 3:05
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The quickest fix is to flood the cassette with solvent to free up the pawls that are stuck. Often they wedge up in the grease that has been exposed to water and turns into a thicker and harder gum.

Solvent (be it citrus, diesel, petrol, turps, etc) will dissolve the existing gunk and allow the pawls to be pushed out by their springs.

Once the solvent has done its job you want to let it all evaporate, then relubricate with something new. Don't be tempted to ride around without, cos it will rust up real quick.

Another very temp fix is to simply tap the cassette to try and make a pawl drop. if this works at all, its not a long term solution.

Personally I'd look at replacing the part, but you specified an easy solution.

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