Why Is It Hard To Pedal My Bike? This Is How To Fix It

* Products recommended in the post contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through our posts, we may receive a commission at no extra charge to you. See our full disclosures here.

If you bought a mountain bike and haven't used your bike for a long time, or your bike has not been serviced for a long time when you return to your beloved bike, cycling becomes extremely difficult. These issues make you ask: "why is it hard to pedal my bike?". There are many reasons why cycling is hard, and you will need to refer to this article to find out exactly why and how to fix your bike's trouble.

Why is it hard to pedal my bike?

Cycling difficulty is a pretty typical mechanical issue with poorly maintained bicycles. This can happen to your bike even if you're riding on flat ground, and it causes bikers to lose a lot of strength. In addition, the bike in this state does not fulfill the requirements for long-distance travel and must be repaired to avoid further issues.

So, why is it so difficult for me to pedal my bike?

A variety of factors can cause this mechanical state. Some are straightforward to repair at home, but others are more complex and require specialist technicians, so taking them to a repair shop is necessary. Here are some of the causes of cycling difficulty, as well as some solutions:

Hard to pedal my bike because the chain is rusted or dry

Dry or rusted chains are common issues on bicycles that have not been serviced for a long time. If you have these issues, the chain will not function properly and will become quickly jammed, making cycling difficult.

Because the chain is rusted or dry, riding the bike is tough

Because the chain is rusted or dry, riding the bike is tough

When the cycle moves through muddy terrain, the chain might become dirty, causing it to become stuck and difficult to operate. But the most typical reason is that the chain is dry because it hasn't been oil in a long time.

Depending on the situation, riding difficulties caused by a broken chain can be mended at home or require a trip to a repair shop. If it is confirmed that your chain is not unclean or exhibits signs of excessive wear, merely cleaning it and adding more oil will allow it to function correctly. If there are indicators of a jam due to filth and rust, cleaning will take more time and effort, and you will need to take your bike to a repair shop. A clean bike is a fast bike.

How To Fix: 

A chain cleaning tool like the park tool chain cleaning system and a chain lube like the much off hydrodynamic chain lube is needed to clean and lube your chain. You should check your chain after every ride. Dry conditions require less maintenance than wet ones. It would help if you also cleaned your chain regularly. If you notice any signs of rust, replace your chain. It costs about $15-$20 to install a new chain. A new chain doesn't make your bike feel any different than before.

It's hard to ride a bike because the tires are flat.

If the tire pressure is too low, the tire rubs against the road surface, making pedaling harder and making movement feel heavier. A flat tire has a greater effect on rolling resistance than high tire pressure.

It would help if you thought about why the bike's tire ran out of air in this scenario. If the tires haven't been used in a long time, they may be flat, and you'll need to pump full of air into the tube. In cases related to damaged tubes or tires, if you are technical enough, you can fix them yourself or seek the help of experts.

It's hard to ride a bike because the tires are flat

It's hard to ride a bike because the tires are flat

If you're doing your bike repair at home, be sure you're technically capable and that the tires are properly inflated afterward. To do this, a pump with a pressure gauge is a good option.

How To Fix: 

The pressure you should inflate your tire varies from tire to tire. You check the recommended tire pressure printed on your tire's sidewalls and inflate it to a pressure that falls within this range. Make sure you use a pump with a gauge. Use a pump with the same size tires as yours. Pump up your tires to the maximum recommended pressure. It will give you the best rolling performance and protect you from pinch flats.

Brakes are misaligned, making it challenging to pedal.

A brake is a special tool that raises the resistance on the rim to allow the bicycle to slow down when needed. If the brake deviates, slowing the bike's operation increases friction, making it challenging to ride. Towel for cycling, It only takes a small amount of force to knock the brakes off-center. It increases rotor drag and makes bike pedaling more difficult, even on a flat road.

Brakes are misaligned, making it difficult to pedal

Brakes are misaligned, making it difficult to pedal

To determine if the brakes are misaligned, look at the vehicle's rear wheel and compare the symmetry of the brakes with the gear. If they are parallel, the vehicle's brakes are normal; otherwise, they have been misaligned and must be fixed.

Turn the rear wheel slightly to locate irregular clearances between the disc brake and the rim and fix the problem. If there is a collision, loosen the brake pads or adjust the rotor or rim properly to ensure they do not influence the back wheel's performance. 

How To Fix: 

When adjusting rim brakes, loosen the cable tension by using an Allen key or small spanner. Adjust the cable tension and then re-tighten the bolts. Loosen the hydraulic disc brakes by pushing them outwards. It would be best if you did this while holding the brake lever. Squeeze the brake lever to move the brake pads closer together.

Confused about what gear to use led to hard pedaling my bike

Bikes with multiple gears are often confusing for new cyclists because you don't know which one to use. Many new riders do not master the basic knowledge of equipment but choose oversized gears that make cycling difficult. Check the gear ratio to ensure you're using the right gear size. If not, change the wrong gear to the correct one.

To choose the right gear size, you need to remember:

  • The smaller of gear, the lower the power loss when pedaling, but the number of the wheel roll is also less, requiring you to pedal more times when moving. It is especially ideal for steep terrain or high vehicle loads because of this attribute.
  • The larger of gear when cycling, the more power it takes, and the number of wheel rolls for one pedal cycle are larger, so it is suitable when the mountain bike goes downhill or ideal if you require strength training exercises.
Confused about what gear to use

Confused about what gear to use

So, if your bike ride is difficult to pedal, look at the rear gear sprockets on the back wheel to discover which gear ring your bike chain is in. It will be tough to pedal your bike if the gear is massive, but you may overcome this by changing the gear down in order until you feel the easiest and most comfortable ride. If there are more gears attached to your bike's pedal crank, check them too because they affect your riding equipment.

How To Fix: 

You shift into a lower gear when you're riding uphill because then you'll be able to pedal faster. When you reach a certain speed, you change into a higher gear.

Wheels out of actual cause difficulty cycling and wheel deformation

Does having the wheel out-of-true have any effect on cycling? The answer is definitely yes. The wrong wheel will cause an imbalance in the force between the spokes and cause them to become deformed. In the long run, when the spokes on one side are too loose while the other side is subjected to excessive tension, which will cause the rim to shift and totter when cycling.

This phenomenon of reversing the rim will accidentally cause the rim to collide with the brake, and you will feel heavy, lose strength when pedaling, and the steering wheel will be difficult to hold.

In this case, the best way is to check the bike's spokes to see which side is tense or loose to recreate the balancing force. But if you can't repair it yourself, you will need to change the wheel to make it work more smoothly.

If you don't feel comfortable removing the wheels, you can bring your bike to your local bike shop.

Wheels out of actual cause difficulty cycling and wheel deformation

Wheels out of actual cause difficulty cycling and wheel deformation

How To Fix:

To fix an out-of-true wheel, you must first loosen the spokes by turning them counterclockwise. Then tighten them by turning clockwise until the wheel is aligned correctly.


Cycling difficulty is a typical occurrence, but there are numerous causes and treatments for various scenarios. Self-repair and home checkups are not recommended if you are a beginning bike rider; instead, you should seek expert assistance. Long-time bike riders who understand repair techniques can refer to the article and follow the recommendations. 

If your bike is difficult to pedal, don't worry; there's nothing wrong with it. You may not realize it, but the solution is usually as simple as inflating your tires, lubricating your chain, or adjusting your cable tension. If fixing the problem doesn't seem too big a task for someone else, they may be able to help you out.

Don't forget to check out our website's other bicycle-related posts.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: