is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Why is my Bike so Hard to Pedal

why is my bike so hard to pedal

Biking should be fun and comfortable for anyone. But when the time comes that it is too hard to pedal your bike on the road, there must be a problem with one of its components. Many newbies are not aware of the reasons behind this situation.

In fact, when I was the same, I was asking why is my bike so hard to pedal? This article will tell you the different causes and how they can be corrected so that the bike can be pedaled normally again.

Reason 1: Your Bike is Having a Flat Tire

When your bike has a flat tire, it can be very difficult to pedal with it. But why is that? A flat tire or even a tire with low air pressure will provide a stiff rolling resistance which results in pedaling difficulty.

Many bikers often neglect the tire pressure value in relation to rolling resistance. In addition, every tire comes with recommended air pressure which must be followed to make the pedaling easier. So, you will need to inflate the tire according to what air pressure is required.

Also, using the wrong set of tires can also have an impact on the difficulty of your pedaling. If you are using downhill tires on the road or vice versa, it can make the pedaling difficult. So, make sure to ensure the correct type of tires for your biking activity.

Reason 2: The Chain is Rusty or Dry

An unlubed chain becomes dry and rusty, which will cause a hard flex and alignment to the drivetrain. The result of this bike issue is hard pedaling. When your bike comes to this situation, it is definitely an issue of bike maintenance.

The rust on the chain can also lead to so many issues in the bike apart from hard pedaling. Any rust in the chain will be converted into debris and can infect other parts of the bike as well. The cogs, the derailleur, and the chainrings will have the chance of being rusty if you will not do anything.

You will need to clean the chain and put the proper lubricant in the rusted parts to address this issue. It is also a must for the bike owner to regularly clean and maintain the chain to prevent it from rusting. It is also recommended to put lubricants regularly to prevent the chain from getting dry.

Reason : Misaligned and Unadjusted Brakes

Misaligned brakes can also be the reason why a bike is difficult to pedal. When this situation happens to your brake, it starts rubbing against the rim of the wheel, which will help in increasing the resistance and eventually make the bike hard to pedal.

To correct this issue, you will need to check the alignment of the brake pads to the rim of the wheel. Keep spinning the wheel while checking for inconsistent gaps. You will need to make sure that it should stand true instead of at an angle.

In addition, unadjusted brakes can also make it challenging to pedal your bike. You can rectify this issue by checking on the trueness of the rotor. If it happens that your rotor is already damaged due to wear and tear, replacing it with a new one is an excellent idea.

inappropriate bike frame size

Reason 4: Gear Usage

The way a biker uses the bike’s gear can also contribute to the hardness of the pedaling. When you are in high gear, you will be exerting more effort in covering a distance. This situation is the reason that high gear is only perfect when going downhill or you are having a workout through your bike.

Always remember that gear usage can affect pedaling efficiency. Using wrong combinations of gears will make the bike harder to ride in any terrain. So, it is a must for the biker to use the right equipment to prevent the bike from being hard to pedal.

Reason  5: Bike Wheels is Out-of-True

It is normal for a bike wheel to become out-of-true over time, especially if your bike experiences so many potholes along the way. Those out-of-true wheels will make the bike ride uncomfortable and hard to pedal.

When the bike’s wheel becomes wobbly, the rim brake system will make the rim rub against the pad. This situation will make the braking force important in making the bike hard to pedal. You can true the wheel yourself or ask a bike mechanic to rectify the issue.

Reason 6: The Bottom Bracket is Overtightened

If your bike comes with a cartridge bearing bottom bracket, it can cause the bike to be hard to pedal. However, this situation rarely happens, but bottom brackets that use the cup and cone bearing system can make the bike hard to pedal when it is over-tightened.

An over-tightened bottom bracket will make the crank-set spindle difficult to spin, which makes the bike hard to pedal. What you will do is remove the bike chain from the crankset while giving it a spin. You might need to loosen the locks if you feel some hard resistance.

Reason 7: The Fender is Long and IMproperly Installed

The fender is very useful in protecting them from being wet when it is raining. It will prevent the tire from spraying the biker when biking in wet conditions. However, if the fender is too long or not properly installed, it can make the bike hard to pedal.

When the fender is too long and improperly installed, it will have the tendency to rub against the back tire. The friction created from the rubbing will make the bike hard to pedal. To prevent this situation from happening, make sure that the fender is in the right size and properly installed.

Reason 8: Inappropriate Bike Frame Size

Another apparent reason why a bike is hard to pedal is when it has an inappropriate bike frame size. When the bike frame size is too small for the physical structure of the biker, his legs will not have the right clearance to pedal efficiently. It will result in a very difficult position and make the bike very hard to pedal.

To solve this issue is very easy. Every biker should ride with the appropriate bike frame size. You can buy a bike which should compliment to your physical structure. Knowing the right size of the bike which is right for you is important.


Why is my bike hard to pedal? There are several reasons why it happens but all of them can be corrected. When you will experience this issue, do not panic as this problem is not a major concern. You just have to inspect your bike properly to find ways to rectify the issue.

4.7/5 - (13 votes)

Leave a Comment