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Rear wheel drag

875 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  stickerbush
Hi guys.
Just did my first chain adjustment IAW the specs (it was way slack). Now after tightening rear axel (all in alignment) the rear wheel is very draggy. I can rotate it by hand but the wheel won’t spin freely. As I’m new to the bike I’m not sure what normal is???
Could it be a bearing?
Brake drag?
Chain too tight?? (I’ve got it at 30mm so the loose end of spec).
…anyway just want to know how freely the rear wheel should spin before I go troubleshooting any further.
Thanks in advance
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I've never noticed, but that may be normal. I just installed a new chain, (not my 1st rodeo, everything done right), and the wheel doesn't spin as long as it did with the old chain. Spins freely, just stops spinning sooner.
1. Should be 50mm/2" to allow for adequate slack. 2. did your axle nut firm up when you tightened it demonstrating the correct spacer is in there? No kinks and adequate lube of the chain? Odd that this happened coincident to an adjustment. Listening carefully may be helpful if odd noises occur.
There would be a certain amount of light drag when you spin the suspended rear wheel. This is most due to the brake pad that has minimal rotor clearance plus some drag from the chain.

Easy to prove, gently slide a paint scraper between the caliper side brake pad and slowly lever the caliper pistion deeper into the brake caliper. A work of caution, don't press the pistion in too deep as the brake fluid under pressure will force brake fluid out of the brake master cylinder. The master cylinder is hidden under a side panel.

With both brake pads now clear of the rotor, spin the wheel to see whether this has made any difference. Don't worry about brake adjustment, the first time that you reapply the rear brake, it will return to the previous rear wheel drag state.
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Don't worry about brake adjustment, the first time that you reapply the rear brake, it will return to the previous rear wheel drag state.
If the caliper is getting sticky or the brake pad plates have worn a notch in the sliding/retaining pin- the level of friction will increase. You should be able to push the caliper block toward the wheel with your hand slightly to establish piston movement. If there is too much drag of the pads the disc and caliper will be quite warm to touch. Slightly warm is normal. Sounds like a constant scraping when wheel turns.
You're not just rotating the wheel, you're also rotating the chain, sprockets, and output shaft of the transmission so the rear wheel is not going to spin around like the front wheel. If you suspect the rear brake is dragging just go for a short ride without using the brake, then stop and see if the rotor feels hot. It be just slightly warm but not hot.
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