Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Is My Bike So Hard To Pedal?

Oh how I have missed riding my bike. I just got it back this Monday and already I feel like a better person!

However, just this morning, I noticed something was terribly wrong…

I mean, biking in 80-degree weather without shade is hard enough, especially when you have a dark helmet absorbing and retaining all the heat. Well, I guess it is better to be overheated rather than lying on the ground with a fatal head injury. So I guess a little heat is a small price to pay for living…but anyway. The heat wasn’t the main problem.

Normally, when you’re riding your bike, typically you don’t feel like you’re biking up a mountain when you’re on a TINY incline? I know I usually don’t, unless I’ve got virtually my entire bookcase in my backpack while riding to my art history class. With only a water bottle and a few notebooks, clearly something wasn’t right.

I stopped on the bike path to take a look at my bike to see if any of the gears were grinding, or if the brake pads were rubbing. Nope, everything checked out fine. My tires felt firm too, so what was wrong with this bike?

It wasn’t until I looked down and saw that the chain was a gear higher than it should be… I had been riding in 24th gear when my gauge told me it was in 16th.
AND I noticed there’s a lot of accumulated gunk in the hubs. It’s probably due to the INSANE monsoon-weather we’ve been having.
I intend to take my bike down to get it tuned up before I attempt that ride again.

My situation was a rare one. But there are a multitude of different factors that can make your bike feel like you’re pedaling through molasses, and all of which the people at the CU Bike Station can help you fix!

1) Tire deflation
2) A dirty or dry chain (which probably lead to my chain getting stuck on that gear)
3) Brakes rubbing
4) Wobbly/crooked wheel
5) If your wheels are straight AND the brake pads look okay, but your wheel still slows to a stop without them, you might have some gunk stuck in the bearings or the hubs (it’s GOOD to have grease though!)

Fatigued muscles are the ONLY things the bike shop can’t fix (which could also be an issue).
But if you make sure your bike is happy, you will be too!

1 comment:

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