Author Topic: Child's bike repair  (Read 3328 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4350
Child's bike repair
« on: August 22, 2014, 07:17:06 AM »
Can someone point me toward a good resource for maintaining children's bikes? We got our three-year-old a little twelve-inch two-wheeler (yes, he rides without training wheels!) at a secondhand shop and I'm having trouble with it. You can turn the pedals and make the wheels move, but it has gotten really difficult to do so--there seems to be some kind of invisible resistance. Normally I would just Google around, but I don't know what terms I would use or where to start. Any help?

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13599
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 07:38:04 AM »
It should follow the rules of typical bike repair.  Check out park tools website and sheldon brown's articles online.

If you can answer a few questions maybe we can point you in the right direction though . . .

Is the chain rusty/in need of oiling?  Does the wheel spin freely on it's own if you just lift the bike off the ground and rotate it?  Are there any noises coming from the bike (grinding/rubbing/etc.)?  Is a tire pushing into the frame?

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 11:00:06 AM »
This happened to my son's bike as well, also no training wheels by the age of three ;).  I took it to the bike shop and the nut of the crankshaft, at the base of the pedals, just had to be loosened.  The guy said they tighten up from time to time and just adjust it until there is no more friction.  Look at this video as a guide but don't take it off completely just loosen it up a bit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rhAC5YUoZI.

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2908
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 11:34:30 AM »
Also, check that the back wheel hasn't moved out of place. I've had to make this adjustment on my kids' bikes. Since there's an open backwards C shaped opening in the frame for the back axle, rather than a proper hole the back wheel can move too far back. It can also be bumped so the wheel isn't mounted straight anymore.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4350
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 12:30:16 PM »
It should follow the rules of typical bike repair.  Check out park tools website and sheldon brown's articles online.

If you can answer a few questions maybe we can point you in the right direction though . . .

Is the chain rusty/in need of oiling?  Does the wheel spin freely on it's own if you just lift the bike off the ground and rotate it?  Are there any noises coming from the bike (grinding/rubbing/etc.)?  Is a tire pushing into the frame?

A little right-direction-pointing would be excellent. I want to learn, but there is such a flood of information out there--I'd like to learn just one or two things at a time!

None of the specific suggestions made seem to pan out, but when I lift the bike off the ground, I notice that the back wheel spins fine, but the front wheel is hard to spin. There are no obvious obstacles, it just won't go. Obviously, a 12-inch bike doesn't have a problem with the brakes, so what should I be trying?

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 12:36:07 PM »
So the back wheel spins fine but turning the pedals is harder than is should be?  That sounds like the exact problem my kids bike had and you tried to loosen the crackshaft nut a bit and it didn't work?

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13599
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 12:40:00 PM »
Maybe there's something wrong with the front bearings/hub causing the problem.  If the wheel is bolted on it's possible that the bolt has somehow worked it's way too tight.  Try loosening it with a socket wrench or adjustable wrench first.  If this doesn't work you might want to take apart the front hub for adjustment and greasing - but this will require a cone wrench (can be had cheaply at any bike store).

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/hub-overhaul-and-adjustment
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 12:41:40 PM by GuitarStv »

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4350
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2014, 04:20:49 PM »
Maybe there's something wrong with the front bearings/hub causing the problem.  If the wheel is bolted on it's possible that the bolt has somehow worked it's way too tight.  Try loosening it with a socket wrench or adjustable wrench first.  If this doesn't work you might want to take apart the front hub for adjustment and greasing - but this will require a cone wrench (can be had cheaply at any bike store).

http://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/hub-overhaul-and-adjustment

This was exactly it! The bolt was too tight. I fixed it in about sixty seconds using a six-inch monkey wrench my father gave me when I went away to college. The little guy was so excited to be back in business! Thanks so much.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13599
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Child's bike repair
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2014, 04:59:59 PM »
Cool, glad to help!