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My son has had an Early Rider Belter for around 14 months. Recently, I've noticed the free-wheel sounds "gritty", and there is quite a bit of friction if you move the cranks backwards while the rear wheel is spinning, exactly as shown in this YouTube video (posted by someone else... clearly the hub has issues).

I've removed the rear wheel and taken a look at the sprocket. It's not like Shimano hubs I'm familiar with.

Can this hub be serviced? If so, how does it come apart, and what tools will I need?

It appears to have "KENGMIN fastace" printed on it, but a google for this term doesn't provide anything useful.

Here are two pictures of it:

three-quarter view

looking straight ahead

  • The rear hub is pretty dirty - does this bike live outside in the rain or something? Could contribute to grit in the wrong places. – Criggie Jan 14 at 22:35
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    He'd ridden it on a pretty wet ride the day before. It doesn't live in the rain, no! The freehub looks to be unsealed, and therefore very susceptible to water and grit ingress. – Paul Suart Jan 15 at 6:29
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Fastace is a maker of bicycle components. That looks like a freewheel with one belt drive sprocket instead of 5 or more chain drive sprockets.

See the Terminology Index for a description of the difference between freewheel and freehub/cassette systems.

The belt drive freewheel should be removable with a four tooth removal tool (see the Park Tool video below for tool selection guidance). You'll then need to get inside the freehub to clean and re-lube the bearings and racheting mechanism. I believe that's done using a pin spanner to unscrew the rings with 'KENGMIN fastace' written on it. See the RJ the Bike Guy video below for a idea how the might be accomplished - your freewheel might be a bit different, but it gives you and idea of what to expect.

As an aside, that's an interesting kids bike. Not sure I like the radial lacing of the rear wheel though.

  • Thanks for this. I'll report back in the next few days with a progress report! It's a great kids' bike - very light and smooth. You're right about the radial spokes - weird how I'd not noticed until you pointed it out. – Paul Suart Jan 14 at 20:29
  • Exactly my thoughts about radial spoking. I guess the wheel diameter and intended riders' weight, acceleration and shredding capabilities justify such lacing pattern to be sturdy enough. – Grigory Rechistov Jan 14 at 20:52
  • @GrigoryRechistov I guess they did it for weight savings (or looks). Questionable decision IMHO as even low torque from kids legs is going to rotate the hub relative to the rim to some extent. – Argenti Apparatus Jan 14 at 20:56
  • @ArgentiApparatus - On a small-diameter wheel with a relatively large hub, non-radial spokes will tend to approach the rim at too shallow of an angle, resulting in premature spoke failure at the nipples. The wheel can be drilled at an angle to combat this, but it's a lot of extra work. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 14 at 21:30
  • @DanielRHicks Good point – Argenti Apparatus Jan 14 at 22:16
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Currently, I do have the same issue with my son's bike. Here's a nice tutorial

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    Welcome to bikes.se! We tend to disprefer link-only and video-only answers as the links can die and videos can be removed. Can you include a textual summary of the video? – RoboKaren Apr 5 at 18:19
  • Thanks. This will be handy for when I finally manage to get hold of the right 4-tooth tool... – Paul Suart Apr 6 at 9:53

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