Bike Is Hard To Pedal: [Causes & How To Fix!]

There are many reasons why your bike might be difficult to pedal. For starters, the chain could be too loose or the gears might need to be adjusted. The bike could also have a flat tire or it might need a new gear cable. There are also other reasons why your bike is hard to pedal, such as if you have installed a new stem or handlebar and you aren’t used to it yet.

This article will take you through the different reasons why your bike might be harder to pedal than usual. It will also explain how you can fix them.

10 Reasons Why Is My Bike Hard To Pedal

There are a lot of reasons why your bike might be hard to pedal. It could be because the pedals are not aligned properly, the gears are not adjusted, or there is too much air in the tires.

The following are 10 reasons why your bike is hard to pedal:

  1. Your brakes are not properly adjusted
  2. Hard Tighten Wheel
  3. The gears are not set properly or damaged
  4. Chain rusty or needs lubrication
  5. The cranks are too tight
  6. You don’t have enough air in your tires
  7. Your pedal setup could need adjustment
  8. Rubbing Mudguards
  9. There’s a problem with the chain tension
  10. It has a single-speed gear system or the wrong gear

✔️ Your brakes are not properly adjusted

When the brakes on your bike are not properly adjusted, you may experience some difficulties in steering and pedaling. When you use the brakes, you should feel like you are pushing down on the handlebars and the front wheel is not moving at all. If this is not happening, then your bike may be hard to pedal because the brakes are not working properly.

To make sure that your brakes are working well, you should check out the following:

  • The brake pads should be in good condition and not worn out.
  • The brake cable should be tight with no fraying or kinks in it.

⚙️ How to fix it

To determine if your brakes need adjusting, get off the bike and push down on both pedals at the same time. If you feel resistance, then your brakes need adjusting. If you feel nothing at all, then they are probably worn out and should be replaced.

✔️ Hard Tighten Wheel

Your bike might be hard to pedal because of your bike’s wheel being tightened too much.

The wheel is the only contact point with the ground. When it’s tightened, the bike becomes harder to pedal. This will cause you to use more force and tire out faster.

When you tighten your bike’s wheel, you’re tightening a spoke of the wheel and making the tension on that spoke go up. The more tension on a spoke, the harder it is for your bike’s wheel to rotate because it has less flex in its spokes.

⚙️ How to fix it

To reduce this effect, loosen the spokes by turning them clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on where they are located on your bike’s rim. You can loosen the wheels approximately 1/4 turn from their original position.

✔️ The gears are not set properly or damaged

The most common reason for the bike being hard to pedal is that the gears are not set correctly or are damaged.

One of the most common reasons is that there is too much resistance from the chain. This can happen when your chain is too tight and it’s rubbing against the sprocket. The other reason could be that your chain has stretched and needs to be replaced.

⚙️ How to fix it

If you want to fix this problem, make sure that your gears are set correctly by checking them with a gear-measuring device like a ruler. If they’re not set correctly, adjust them accordingly and test again.

Next, check for any loose bolts or fasteners holding on your bicycle’s chain – tighten these bolts or fasteners before continuing on with testing other parts of your bike’s drivetrain. Finally, check for any damage to the chain.

✔️ Chain rusty or needs lubrication

The chain of your bike is the most important part of the bike. It’s the connection between the gears and the wheel, transferring power from one to another. If your chain is rusty, it can be difficult for you to pedal, or if you need lubrication, it can be difficult for you to ride.

>> Chain rust

When the metal in the chain becomes exposed, it can oxidize and rust. This can cause the chain to become harder to pedal, as well as make it more difficult for the bike to shift gears smoothly and efficiently.

>> Chain lubrication

Chain lubrication is necessary for keeping your bike running smoothly and efficiently. The most common reason why your bike doesn’t run smoothly is because of worn-out or dirty gear oil in the gear train of your bicycle’s transmission system.

⚙️ How to fix it

If it’s rusty, then you need to remove the rust by using a wire brush, sandpaper, and a piece of cloth. You can use baking soda as an alternative for sandpaper. You should also use a lubricant on the chain before re-assembling it.

If you need to lubricate your bike chain, use a light oil like WD-40 or silicone spray before applying a heavier oil like motor oil on the moving parts of the chain.

✔️ Cranks are too tight

The most common reason why your bike is hard to pedal is that the crankset is too tight. It’s a good idea to check the tightness of your crankset every so often, especially if you’re riding on a bumpy surface or going uphill.

⚙️ How to fix it

If you want to check whether or not the crankset needs tightening, just remove the pedals and hold the pedals on either side of the crank with one hand while tightening it with your other hand. If it’s easy for you to grab onto, then it’s likely that it needs tightening.

You can use a crank wrench or a crank puller that can help loosen them up so they’re not as hard to pedal. You can also lubricate them so they don’t get stuck in place when you’re pedaling harder.

✔️ You don’t have enough air in your tires

It is difficult to pedal a bike when it has low air pressure in its tires. This is because the tire cannot hold onto the road and will not grip as well. The most common cause of low tire pressure is a leak in the valve stem.

A bike with low tire pressure can also be caused by a puncture, which can be fixed by inflating your tires, or by excessive wear on the bike’s tires, which requires replacing them.

If you want to know how much air your bike needs, check the PSI (pounds per square inch) on the side of the tire.

  • Hybrid: 40-70 PSI
  • Road: 80-130 PSI
  • Mountain: 25-30 PSI

⚙️ How to fix it

There are a number of ways to fix this issue and make your bike easier to pedal. One way is to add more air into the tires by using an inflator tool. Another way is by checking your tire pressure and adding more if needed.

  1. Check your tire pressure: The first step to fixing this problem is to make sure that your tire pressure is correct. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a friend or family member for help or watch a video on YouTube.
  2. Check for leaks: The next step would be checking for leaks in the tire valves or tubes. Leaks happen when there’s air escaping from the valve stem or tube causing your tire not to inflate properly because of low-pressure levels.

✔️ Your pedal setup could need adjustment

One reason your bike is hard to pedal is that the pedal configuration may need adjustment. It might be because the pedals are too far apart, or they may be too close together. Adjusting them can make a huge difference in how easy it is to pedal your bike.

The best way to make sure your bike is easy to pedal would be to find out what type of pedals your bike has and adjust them accordingly. The following are some of the most common reasons for a poorly adjusted pedal configuration:

  1. If you have flat pedals, then your foot is too far forward on the pedal and it’s hard for you to push yourself off of it.
  2. If you have clipless pedals, then your heel is too far back on the pedal and it’s hard for you to push yourself up off of it.

⚙️ How to fix it

Adjust the angle of your crank arm so that your feet cannot touch the ground when you are pedaling. This should be done with a wrench and an adjustment tool. You can also change your pedals so that they are set up differently.

✔️ Rubbing Mudguards

When your bike is hard to pedal, it can be because the wheels are rubbing against the mudguards. This issue is common among people who ride mountain bikes. If you have a mountain bike, you should make sure that your bike has enough clearance between the tires and the frame.

When it comes to mountain bikes, there are two main issues that can cause your bike to be difficult to pedal: tire clearance and frame clearance. Tires need enough space on either side of the frame so they don’t rub against it while riding.

Frame clearance refers to how much space is between your bottom bracket and the ground or frame of your bike when you’re in a seated position.

There are many reasons why the wheel can rub against the fender, but the most common ones are:

  1. The wheel is too large for your frame size.
  2. The wheel has a defect on its rim or spoke.
  3. The tire size is too large for your frame size.

⚙️ How to fix it

This problem can be solved by using a different kind of tire, or by adjusting the position of the mudguards.

✔️ There’s a problem with the chain tension

If your bike is hard to pedal, it could be because the chain tension is too low or tight. The chain tension should be checked to ensure that it is not too loose or too tight. This is because the chain might not be moving freely and you might also have to deal with a lot of noise.

There are many factors that can lead to this, including:

  • The chain is too tight, causing the pedals to not turn smoothly.
  • The chain is too loose, causing it to slip off of the sprocket and cause the bike to lose power.
  • The sprockets are worn down or damaged.
  • The derailleur is not adjusted correctly.

⚙️ How to fix it

Chain tension can be adjusted by turning a screw at one end of your rear derailleur, or by adjusting your front derailleur cable tension.

Also, check your gear and make sure that you’re in the right gear for your speed. If you’re not, adjust accordingly.

Check your pedal alignment by pressing down on each pedal with one hand and then pushing up with the other hand to see if they move in unison or if one moves more than the other. If they don’t move in unison, then adjust them.

✔️ It has a single-speed gear system or the wrong gear

There are many reasons why your bike might be hard to pedal. One of them is because it has a single-speed gear system or the wrong gear.

A single-speed gear system is a type of gear system where the gears are in one single location. This means that when you pedal, your bike is always in the same gear. This can make your bike harder to pedal because it doesn’t have any other gears to help you out.

A wrong gear is when you are riding on a bike with more than one gear and your pedals are not in the right position.

⚙️ How to fix it

If you have a single-speed gear system, then you need to make sure that your bike is properly adjusted and in good condition. If you have the wrong gear, then you need to adjust the gears or replace the chain if it is worn out and the gears are not adjustable.

Conclusion

When looking for the cause of your bike’s difficulty in pedaling, keep in mind that it could be due to any of these potential issues. If you’re not sure what the issue is, stop by a local bike shop and ask them for help.

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Author
Allen
Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Bikes were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my bikes or repair them.

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