Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Completely new to owning a bike just wanted to ask a quick question about pedals

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.
View Poll Results: Is this right?
Yes this is normal
50.00%
No it needs fixing
50.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

Completely new to owning a bike just wanted to ask a quick question about pedals

Old 07-31-22, 07:16 AM
  #1  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Completely new to owning a bike just wanted to ask a quick question about pedals

Im completely new to bikes and just bought a used bike £10 to learn how to ride on ( im 22). everything seems to be in working order I pumped up the tyres, as that was the only fault specified, gears seem to work as they click into place, and it moves only had a quick question about pedals. if I push the pedal backwards with my hands it spins but I can't push the pedal forward with my hand. It moves when I'm sitting on the bike and I put some pressure on the pedal it does make the bike move forward but if I'm not sitting on the bike I can't make the pedal move forward with just my arm I just wanted to check if that's right? it still moves if I put pressure on the pedal with my foot just not with my hand.

Last edited by Tammynovice; 07-31-22 at 07:19 AM.
Tammynovice is offline  
Old 07-31-22, 07:24 AM
  #2  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,621

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Srewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3589 Post(s)
Liked 2,468 Times in 1,561 Posts
The first thing I think of is that your legs are stronger than your arms are and there's some friction that your arms can't over come but your legs do. A common cause is a rubbing brake. There are other reasons this might be happening but a brake pad pressing on the rim's side wall happens often. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 07-31-22, 07:49 AM
  #3  
Crankycrank
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 666 Post(s)
Liked 656 Times in 498 Posts
Try to isolate the problem. Can you spin the rear wheel freely forward and backward without peddaling, is it hard to pedal in all the different gears? The fact that it moves easily pedaling backwards can at least rule out, to some extent, a stiff chain, gunked up derailleur pulley wheels and a bad bottom bracket (the bearing that your crankset turns on). Also, I'm assuming you live in the UK and in the US we have co-op's where people there can offer you, assistance, advice and tools to use for usually a nominal fee to work on your bike. Not sure if they use the same name where you live but something to look into.
Crankycrank is offline  
Old 07-31-22, 10:07 AM
  #4  
sovende
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Western WI (USA)
Posts: 548

Bikes: TNTL (Too numerous to list)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Liked 143 Times in 113 Posts
Having some difficulty visualizing your issue . If your bike is standing with both wheels on a solid surface (driveway, road, street, etc.), pressing down on the forward pedal will make the bike roll forward. If the bike is kept from rolling forward, you won’t be able to move the crank arm by pushing on the pedal. If the rear wheel is lifted off of the solid surface and free to spin in both directions, you should be able to push the forward crank arm down with just your hand. If not there’s an issue.
sovende is offline  
Old 07-31-22, 10:21 AM
  #5  
Aardwolf
Old Git
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: London UK
Posts: 270

Bikes: 1982 Holdsworth Avanti

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 87 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 86 Posts
You could always turn the bike upside down and stand it on a flat surface.
That's 'frowned' upon because it may damage cables etc long term,
But if you do that the back wheel should be free to rotate in both directions and you can check if the pedals rotate freely or if anything is sticking.
Aardwolf is offline  
Old 07-31-22, 10:24 AM
  #6  
Iride01 
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,505

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4677 Post(s)
Liked 3,172 Times in 2,213 Posts
Is the rear wheel on the ground when you try to move the pedal and crankarm with your hand? If so, then lift up the rear wheel so it can spin freely and then try moving the pedal and crankarm with your hand.

If this is multiple speed bike then depending on what gear ratio is selected, even with the wheel off the ground it might be difficult to turn the crank/pedals initially if in a high ratio gear selection.

Oh...

Putting air in your tires is a normal thing to do. Depending on a lot of stuff, this might be something you do weekly or every time you ride the bike. With my 700C 25mm tires and butyl rubber tubes I usually have to air up my tires every every other ride, or about every 4 days to keep them within the pressure I prefer to ride. The thin higher pressure tubes and tires we use for cycling aren't like the big low pressure tires we use on our cars.

Last edited by Iride01; 07-31-22 at 10:29 AM.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 08-02-22, 06:48 AM
  #7  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,134

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2569 Post(s)
Liked 3,551 Times in 1,890 Posts
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 08-02-22, 07:00 AM
  #8  
tkamd73 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Posts: 1,632

Bikes: 1984 Schwinn Supersport, 1988 Trek 400T, 1977 Trek TX900, 1982 Bianchi Champione del Mondo, 1978 Raleigh Supercourse, 1986 Trek 400 Elance, 1991 Waterford PDG OS Paramount, 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer, 1985 Trek 670

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Liked 777 Times in 419 Posts
Well, your supposed to pedal a bike with your feet anyway, so I think your good.
Tim
tkamd73 is offline  
Likes For tkamd73:
Old 08-03-22, 09:33 AM
  #9  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Why laughing?

Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Why laugh?
Tammynovice is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 09:35 AM
  #10  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Thank you all for your help!

Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
Im completely new to bikes and just bought a used bike £10 to learn how to ride on ( im 22). everything seems to be in working order I pumped up the tyres, as that was the only fault specified, gears seem to work as they click into place, and it moves only had a quick question about pedals. if I push the pedal backwards with my hands it spins but I can't push the pedal forward with my hand. It moves when I'm sitting on the bike and I put some pressure on the pedal it does make the bike move forward but if I'm not sitting on the bike I can't make the pedal move forward with just my arm I just wanted to check if that's right? it still moves if I put pressure on the pedal with my foot just not with my hand.

Thank you all for your help!
Tammynovice is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 09:37 AM
  #11  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,134

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2569 Post(s)
Liked 3,551 Times in 1,890 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
Why laugh?
Insane, nonsensical post.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 09:45 AM
  #12  
Andrew R Stewart 
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 16,621

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Srewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3589 Post(s)
Liked 2,468 Times in 1,561 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
Thank you all for your help!

Does this post mean you have found what was going on? If so please share so we can stop wondering what you really were experiencing. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 10:42 AM
  #13  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,577
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 839 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 187 Posts
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Insane, nonsensical post.
no.
Not everyone is good at mechanical things. Standing next to the bike, trying to spin the crank forward with both wheels on the ground, the crank won't spin forward, but will go backward, just like the OP asked.
You and I know to have the rear wheel off the ground, or notice that the bike is trying to move forward. It's not obvious to every person.
rm -rf is offline  
Likes For rm -rf:
Old 08-03-22, 10:45 AM
  #14  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,577
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 839 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 187 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
Im completely new to bikes and just bought a used bike £10 to learn how to ride on ( im 22). everything seems to be in working order I pumped up the tyres, as that was the only fault specified, gears seem to work as they click into place, and it moves only had a quick question about pedals. if I push the pedal backwards with my hands it spins but I can't push the pedal forward with my hand. It moves when I'm sitting on the bike and I put some pressure on the pedal it does make the bike move forward but if I'm not sitting on the bike I can't make the pedal move forward with just my arm I just wanted to check if that's right? it still moves if I put pressure on the pedal with my foot just not with my hand.
Have someone hold the seat to lift the rear wheel off the ground. Can you turn the pedal and crank arm to spin the rear wheel forward, or is it very hard to turn? It should turn easily with light hand pressure. If it's very hard to turn, the bearings at the crank axle probably need servicing. (I'm guessing it's easy to turn, though.)
rm -rf is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 11:33 AM
  #15  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,134

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2569 Post(s)
Liked 3,551 Times in 1,890 Posts
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
You and I know to have the rear wheel off the ground, or notice that the bike is trying to move forward. It's not obvious to every person.
It's not??
SurferRosa is offline  
Likes For SurferRosa:
Old 08-03-22, 02:25 PM
  #16  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Does this post mean you have found what was going on? If so please share so we can stop wondering what you really were experiencing. Andy
i think it was just me not understanding how bikes work i didnt know the pedals would not move forward without the back tyre up so i thought it was stiff, this is the first bike ive had so im just learning the basics. But thanks to the people here im getting there
Tammynovice is offline  
Likes For Tammynovice:
Old 08-03-22, 02:28 PM
  #17  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Insane, nonsensical post.
thats a bit rude i said ive never had a bike before. this is the first time ive even been around one i dont know thatkind of stuff i saw the pedal spin backwards and not forwards and thought it might be a problem now i know its not a problem this stuff isnt common knowledge to me
Tammynovice is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 02:30 PM
  #18  
Tammynovice
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Have someone hold the seat to lift the rear wheel off the ground. Can you turn the pedal and crank arm to spin the rear wheel forward, or is it very hard to turn? It should turn easily with light hand pressure. If it's very hard to turn, the bearings at the crank axle probably need servicing. (I'm guessing it's easy to turn, though.)
yep it spins freely when the back tyres up!
Tammynovice is offline  
Likes For Tammynovice:
Old 08-03-22, 02:41 PM
  #19  
Hondo6
Full Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 374

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
Liked 120 Times in 84 Posts
First: welcome to Bike Forums. I don't think anyone has welcomed you here yet.

Second: please don't be put off by a couple of the somewhat terse responses above. Some of the commenters here are literally professional bike mechanics with years or decades of experience, or are amateurs with similar levels of expertise who've worked on and around their own bikes most of their lives. It's easy to forget that newcomers really can be completely naive concerning a given subject - and they often have answered the same question literally hundreds of times before.

That can get tiresome, and sometimes it shows. Replies are sometimes terse or abrasive as a result.

Please stick around. This is a great place to learn the practical and technical end of biking. Whether or not that's your "thing", knowledge about how your equipment works is always good. It can help you get out of a jam - or avoid getting taken.

Again: welcome. I'm glad you got an answer to your question.
Hondo6 is offline  
Likes For Hondo6:
Old 08-03-22, 02:52 PM
  #20  
epnnf
Full Member
 
epnnf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 356

Bikes: 2016 Masi strada vita due, 2019 Kona Dew Plus

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 244 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 47 Posts
yea, this place can be kinda harsh. jus sayin
epnnf is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 03:37 PM
  #21  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,134

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2569 Post(s)
Liked 3,551 Times in 1,890 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
thats a bit rude i said ive never had a bike before. this is the first time ive even been around one i dont know thatkind of stuff i saw the pedal spin backwards and not forwards and thought it might be a problem now i know its not a problem this stuff isnt common knowledge to me
Sorry. It sounded so absurd, I just assumed you were trolling us. The next question I expected was, "is the seat for sitting? Where do my hands go?"
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 05:11 PM
  #22  
Bill Kapaun
Really Old Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Posts: 13,198

Bikes: 87 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1524 Post(s)
Liked 812 Times in 593 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
thats a bit rude i said ive never had a bike before. this is the first time ive even been around one i dont know thatkind of stuff i saw the pedal spin backwards and not forwards and thought it might be a problem now i know its not a problem this stuff isnt common knowledge to me
Just one of the many people that have achieved my Ignore List.
Bill Kapaun is offline  
Old 08-04-22, 05:47 PM
  #23  
etherhuffer 
Senior Member
 
etherhuffer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: West Seattle
Posts: 1,079

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker,81 Fuji Gran Tour SE, 83 Fuji S12S LTD, Voyageur 11.8 chrome, Raleigh R300 Touring, Voyageur 11.8

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 117 Posts
Originally Posted by Tammynovice View Post
yep it spins freely when the back tyres up!
Cool! Now you have to post a picture of the bike so everyone here can give you all sorts of unsolicited advice! This is a fun forum and you can learn a ton on how to care for your new ride. No matter how obscure a problem, someone here always has the answer.
etherhuffer is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.