Nowadays, more people are joining the use of bicycles to exercise every time they go places, either to their workplace or just for a walk.
One of the common failures that usually arise to all those who use bicycles is that for various reasons when you go to pedal the bike feels very hard, therefore, we must be very careful with the reasons that produce this because the consequences can be several, from damaging the bike, have an accident or an injury to the rider.
So that this does not happen, you should check all possible sources of undue friction, lifting the bike upside down with the wheels raised and turning them with your hands, you should observe that they rotate freely.
We will name some of the reasons that can produce that when pedaling the bicycle feels harder, among which we have: friction between rubber and the brake pads, friction between the frame and a rubber, too tight bottom bracket, little pressure on the rubbers and some trivial reasons.
You are in the wrong gear
By far, the most common, and easiest to fix reason why you may have a hard time pedaling, is the fact that you are in the wrong gear. If you are going up hill, or just starting out on your ride, you may find that your pedals are extremely difficult to pedal, and then get easier as you go.
However if you start out in a lower gear, by using your shifter, you will find it is easier to get going! Then you can slowly adjust to the higher gears once you pick up that speed.
Friction between rubber and the brake pads
A very common reason for friction is the rubbing of one of the rims against one of the brake pads. The fix may be as simple as just adjusting the brake, but it may also depend on a bent rubber, which is a more complicated inconvenience to accommodate.
Also, there have been times when new bicycles have very tight bearings, this can be verified by removing the wheel and turning the hub axle with your hand. Although performing this procedure will require the use of several special tools and some knowledge in the area of bicycle mechanics, so it is recommended to take it to a mechanic directly.
Rubbing between the rubber and the frame
One reason that your bike feels hard when pedaling is that the rubber is rubbing against the frame, and it may be due to a bent rubber, a fork (in the case of the front wheel), or a frame (if it is the rear wheel), as well as a misaligned rubber.
This often happens on older bicycles, those that had eyelets in the frame where it was possible to accommodate the chain tension. So if the rear wheel axle is not properly adjusted in the frame, the wheel can become misaligned due to the pull on the chain when pedaling.
Too tight bottom bracket
It may happen that the bottom bracket, around which the cranks of the pedals rotate, is usually too tight and produces significant friction. This problem commonly occurs on very cheap or very old bicycles that still have a bottom bracket that adjusts.
This can be checked by removing the chain from the chainring and verifying that there is no friction with something that rotates.
Also, properly adjust the bottom bracket requires several special tools and practical knowledge about mechanics, so we recommend that you go to a specialist to do the procedure. If this is the reason for the friction, it is best to replace the adjustable bottom bracket with a modern cartridge-type bottom bracket.
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Low tire pressure
Riding a bike with too low tire pressure is directly related to the speed the bike can reach. So you would have to pedal much harder to keep up with a specific pace. For example, if you are riding with other riders, you would have to pedal much harder than them to keep up with the same pace.
Two situations can arise. First, small punctures often occur very often, which cause the air to be lost progressively instead of deflating all at once. So if this happens to you, you should stop and change the inner tube as soon as possible. Although you should also check the rubber very carefully in case the puncture is caused by some barbs and the tire is not necessarily spiked.
And although it may not seem so, there are very simple reasons to solve that generate hardness when pedaling, such as flat tires or using the gears too hard. Therefore, if it is the case of flat tires, simple as we indicated above, but if it is the gears, you must learn to use the gears correctly, so that when pedaling, you do not feel that the bike is very hard as if you were braking it.