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Pedalling weirdness

Old 05-18-21, 03:51 PM
  #1  
Mickmeister
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Pedalling weirdness

I just took my new bike for a test drive. It's been decades since I've ridden a bike...and the first time I've been on one that required shifting, so I'm wondering if what I'm feeling is normal: I'll be feeling resistance in the pedals, but then for a second I'll lose the feeling of resistance and the pedals feel like they're turning freely for a few degrees - as if they're not connected to anything...then all is back to normal. It's not something that happens during shifting, it's while I'm in gear. I bought the bike at Dick's, and I was totally sure they mis-adjusted something, but I took it back in and they checked it out and said everything's fine. Is this the way a normal functioning bike should feel? It seems like it would get annoying pretty fast.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:12 PM
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That almost sounds like pawls in the freehub or a freewheel are sticking and not engaging...If that happens the freehub or the freewheel needs to be cleaned up and lubed.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:31 PM
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Did the tech person at Dick's take it for a test ride in order to experience this phenomenon?
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Old 05-18-21, 04:49 PM
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If there are wide gaps in the cogs' teeth count you may feel while pedaling a momentary gap where it will take a full crank turn or more to get the chain engaged in the next cog.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
That almost sounds like pawls in the freehub or a freewheel are sticking and not engaging...If that happens the freehub or the freewheel needs to be cleaned up and lubed.
Yep. Problem is that it usually occurs when at "speed" (cannot re-engage fast enough, or merely skip) so just checking it on a workstand etc. will not induce the malfunction.

Quick "fix" is to get some light oil in there to dilute things a tad and get the pawls to stay engaged. You can do that without taking it apart. Not 100% the correct fix, but to get underway until the real fix gets implemented.

More than likely this is your issue, but it could be a defective component too.

ETA- Can be from wear, too heavy/excess lubricant, too little or no lubricant, or simply not manufactured/assembled properly.

And NO. Not normal at all!

Last edited by Erzulis Boat; 05-18-21 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Did the tech person at Dick's take it for a test ride in order to experience this phenomenon?
Wait...the 'tech' at Dick's?
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Old 05-18-21, 05:00 PM
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Might not be keeping up with the pressure required for power. Apply hand brakes lightly and pedal like when it happens for a quick check.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:18 PM
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Are you "slacking off" a bit in your pedaling (like a mini-coast) just before you notice this?

GM
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Old 05-18-21, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Wait...the 'tech' at Dick's?
Hey, at least I didn’t use the word “mechanic.”
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Old 05-18-21, 07:12 PM
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Did the tech person at Dick's take it for a test ride in order to experience this phenomenon?
No...he put it on a workstand and turned the pedals by hand...then shifted up and down a few times and said all looks normal.


Are you "slacking off" a bit in your pedaling (like a mini-coast) just before you notice this?
Hmmm...not sure...I'm just giving it whatever power is required for the speed I'm trying for. I wasn't going very fast...just cruising around in a deserted parking lot to get a feel for the bike. I'm going to take it out again tomorrow for another test ride.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:18 PM
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Your rear hub has only so many pawls…it is normal that there is a bit of slack when you start pedaling after having coasted.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:29 PM
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Are your chain rings (the ones in the front) perfectly round or are they slightly ovalled (elliptical)? If they latter, you will want the round ones.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:11 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
That almost sounds like pawls in the freehub or a freewheel are sticking and not engaging...If that happens the freehub or the freewheel needs to be cleaned up and lubed.
Cheap freewheels from China tend to do that even if brand-new, clean, and properly lubed. Defective from the beginning.

Especially those 7 speed, 14-28t freewheels.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:27 AM
  #14  
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Sounds like the DR's aren't adjusted correctly and it's trying to shift gears even when you aren't.

I've had that happen to me before. More likely I'd think than a slipping free hub which I've never had happen. Though I have had some very rusted up freewheels do that, but the bikes had more issues than just that.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:40 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Mickmeister View Post
I just took my new bike for a test drive. It's been decades since I've ridden a bike...and the first time I've been on one that required shifting, so I'm wondering if what I'm feeling is normal: I'll be feeling resistance in the pedals, but then for a second I'll lose the feeling of resistance and the pedals feel like they're turning freely for a few degrees - as if they're not connected to anything...then all is back to normal. It's not something that happens during shifting, it's while I'm in gear. I bought the bike at Dick's, and I was totally sure they mis-adjusted something, but I took it back in and they checked it out and said everything's fine. Is this the way a normal functioning bike should feel? It seems like it would get annoying pretty fast.
Nowhere in this post do you mention what make and model bike you have or what sort of shifting system you have. Diagnosing a problem at a distance depends on having enough information about the bike. Otherwise people have to guess about the bike in question
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Old 05-19-21, 09:40 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Are your chain rings (the ones in the front) perfectly round or are they slightly ovalled (elliptical)? If they latter, you will want the round ones.
​​​​​I've ridden several elliptical. Old Biopace and even messed around with new absolute black. I don't care for them and have switched to round, but oval rings absolutely do not cause the issues he's having. At all, ever.
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Old 05-19-21, 10:05 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Nowhere in this post do you mention what make and model bike you have or what sort of shifting system you have. Diagnosing a problem at a distance depends on having enough information about the bike. Otherwise people have to guess about the bike in question
Ah...my bad. It's a GT Aggressor Pro. The forum won't let me link to a page with specs, but here's some info:

Frame: All new 6061-T6 Aluminum Triple Triangle Frame, w/ Replaceable Derailleur Hanger, and 1 1/8 Head Tub
Fork: MTB suspension fork, 80mm travel
Crankset: Forged Alloy 42/34/24T
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge Sealed
Pedals: GT Slim Line Flat Pedal
Front Derailleur: MTB Type
Rear Derailleur: MTB Type for 21spd gearing
Shifters: MTB Trigger type, 8spd right/3spd left
Cog Set: 11-34T, 8-Speed Cassette UPC
Chain: 8spd type
Rims: Alloy Double Wall, 32H 27.5, disc specific
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Old 05-19-21, 10:28 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Mickmeister View Post
Ah...my bad. It's a GT Aggressor Pro. The forum won't let me link to a page with specs, but here's some info:

Frame: All new 6061-T6 Aluminum Triple Triangle Frame, w/ Replaceable Derailleur Hanger, and 1 1/8 Head Tub
Fork: MTB suspension fork, 80mm travel
Crankset: Forged Alloy 42/34/24T
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge Sealed
Pedals: GT Slim Line Flat Pedal
Front Derailleur: MTB Type
Rear Derailleur: MTB Type for 21spd gearing
Shifters: MTB Trigger type, 8spd right/3spd left
Cog Set: 11-34T, 8-Speed Cassette UPC
Chain: 8spd type
Rims: Alloy Double Wall, 32H 27.5, disc specific
That will put to rest speculation that you have oval chainrings or a cheap 7 speed freewheel
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Old 05-19-21, 11:31 AM
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I've had this sensation when the cassette lockring was not tightened properly. Check that.
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Old 05-19-21, 02:30 PM
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I just took it in to a (hopefully!) reputable shop so they can give it the once-over and look into this issue, as well as check for anything else that may not have been set up correctly (the face he made when I told him Dick's did the setup told me he wasn't too sold on their reputation!). He agreed with those on this thread who say the problem can't be diagnosed on a workstand...he said they test ride all bikes they service. They're backed up, so I won't have it back til probably early next week...I'll keep you posted.
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Old 05-19-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil View Post
Nowhere in this post do you mention what make and model bike you have or what sort of shifting system you have. Diagnosing a problem at a distance depends on having enough information about the bike. Otherwise people have to guess about the bike in question
Did not he mention the "tech at Dick's"? We might assume it is a Dick bike!

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Old 05-19-21, 06:39 PM
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Did not he mention the "tech at Dick's"? We might assume it is a Dick bike!
"Dick bike"...hahaha...love it! I always wonder why they named the store "Dick's"...I've also bought art supplies from Dick Blick...it always makes me think of a venereal disease!
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Old 05-19-21, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by redcon1 View Post
I've had this sensation when the cassette lockring was not tightened properly. Check that.
Ooh, good one. I think that would make a noise, too - right?
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Old 05-19-21, 07:29 PM
  #24  
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Sometimes if a chain link or two sticks, from rust or reinserting a pin after using a chain breaker, that sort of thing can happen. If you get it back from the shop with no answer, try running the chain through your fingers to see if the links flex smoothly.
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Old 05-19-21, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Sometimes if a chain link or two sticks, from rust or reinserting a pin after using a chain breaker, that sort of thing can happen. If you get it back from the shop with no answer, try running the chain through your fingers to see if the links flex smoothly.
It's a brand new bike though...it's only logged about twenty minutes of me cruising around a deserted parking lot to try it out...
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