Complete bearing failure or somethin else?

Went out riding today and only got a few miles before it became impossible to pedal. My bike will freewheel smoothly enough but actual pedaling was out of the question until I undid the quick release. This allowed me to ride the 2 miles or so back home. There isnt any lateral play in the rear wheel which is what I thought was a symptom of shot wheel bearings.


Über Member
Does the back wheel spin freely when bike off the ground?
Does the crank turn freely without chain on?


Does the back wheel spin freely when bike off the ground? Yes and No. It spins freely when spun backwards. It does not spin much when spun in the direction the wheel would turn if pedaling.
Does the crank turn freely without chain on? Yes, I also pedaled it home when I undone the QE.


Über Member
I would take the back wheel off and try to spin in your hands while holding the axil, also turning the axil with your fingers will give you an idea on the state of the bearings, it might be notchy or not spin etc but it does sound like the bearings have failed or something has got caught around the axil..


I was right about that saddle
How many miles has the Bike / Wheel done - and in what weather.
If its done a few thousand miles, probably needs stripping down, replacement bearings and then regreasing. If you can do this yourself you will save some cash.
Water can get in, the bearings can get rough, rusty or even mangled inside the hub.
Does not sound like a freehub problem, but hard to say without seeing it


Legendary Member
Was the rear wheel tight ? in was it secured correctly. The following is just a theory, but one that can and does happen...
If your QR was loose, possibly only slightly, as you pedal it could cause the hub to get pulled sideways in the dropouts and potentially your rim would rub against the stays . That would give you a hard to pedal scenario.
It would potentially freewheel ok because when you're not pedalling, you're not pulling the hub in the dropouts therefore the rim would not then be rubbing.
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