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Major dragging while climbing in lowest gear

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Major dragging while climbing in lowest gear

Old 04-22-22, 09:50 AM
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patvickroy
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Major dragging while climbing in lowest gear

Trek Edmonds SL6, 2014, recently started dragging, exceptionally so while trying to climb even the smallest hill, eventually not able to pedal. Took bike to shop and had them check all the usual suspects (brake pad rub, chain, out of true wheels, bottom bracket, too tight read hub) and all were fine. Mechanic didn’t test it on a hill, but said everything looked good, with an adjustment on rear hub. I took it out for a test and problem still exist. Been riding for over 40 years and never had this issue. Any ideas what could be causing this?
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Old 04-22-22, 09:58 AM
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The motor is getting older. <grin>

Don't know, but I've had some hills, typically in the heat of the summer, where I'd swear I was riding in sticky tar or something that made my bike seem to drag up a hill. Road surface seemed fine and smooth and didn't seem sticky. So I never found out and just imagined it was just a combination of many little things that added up to a perception I had that I could never even see in the data I collected.

Though that's not to say something isn't amiss in your particular instance. But instead of grasping at all sorts of imagined solutions that might involve significant costs, just wait until it becomes very evident what the reason is.

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Trek Edmonds = Trek Émonda ?

Last edited by Iride01; 04-22-22 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 04-22-22, 09:59 AM
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Welcome to Bike Forums.
Sorry to say we have quite the sense of humor around here.

So, being as this is your first post, I will simply point out that you are missing in the details dept and then bite my tongue.
(Too many possible jokes)

At least add details of any noises, or lack of.

All the best
Barry
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Old 04-22-22, 10:04 AM
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Pass the popcorn. Welcome to the forums. When you can't go any further, does if drag when you're pushing it?
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Old 04-22-22, 10:07 AM
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It's springtime. The weather is nice. I've noticed many people walking with their bikes along the bike trail. I've stopped to offer assistance for whatever mechanical issue they might've had. It turns out that you can lose strength & endurance.

Who knew?
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Old 04-22-22, 10:09 AM
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Thanks… I think 😎

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
The motor is getting older. <grin>

Don't know, but I've had some hills, typically in the heat of the summer, where I'd swear I was riding in sticky tar or something that made my bike seem to drag up a hill. Road surface seemed fine and smooth and didn't seem sticky. So I never found out and just imagined it was just a combination of many little things that added up to a perception I had that I could never even see in the data I collected.

Though that's not to say something isn't amiss in your particular instance. But instead of grasping at all sorts of imagined solutions that might involve significant costs, just wait until it becomes very evident what the reason is.

Welcome to BF!
Yes, a bit older, but alas, cannot attribute it to hot road.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:11 AM
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Probably the first question is if you spin up a hill or mash up a hill?

You can always open the brake calipers quick release at the bottom of the climb and see if it helps.

John
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Old 04-22-22, 10:16 AM
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Thanks for the welcome! Love the humor. No, not tired. Hills I could climb in third or fourth ring, can barely turn pedals on the first ring.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:17 AM
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What about your tires. Have you changed to a different brand or model recently? Once I started using better and more expensive tires with lower rolling resistance the harsher characteristics of the cheaper tires I once used really stood out.

I've also read some people that claim to have gone to wider tires and felt like they had a harder time climbing hills in them. Though I don't know if they just felt that way or could support it with data for slower climbing or having to put out more power.

And of course how fussy you are about maintaining the ideal PSI for you in your tires can matter too.

I think noobs have a daily 5 post limit, so reply wisely. Maybe wait till you have many to reply to in one message.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-22-22 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:20 AM
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Tried spinning, but same result… mashing same. I did open brakes, not rubbing. It literally feels like somebody holding you back.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:22 AM
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Same great Continental 5000 700 x 23, 120 psi.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:24 AM
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Another SWAG is the bottom bracket binding under extreme load.

John
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Old 04-22-22, 10:24 AM
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so only up hill an donly in that one gear?
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Old 04-22-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by patvickroy View Post
Mechanic didn’t test it on a hill
Take it back to the mechanic. It's hard to know if something is fixed without testing it in the conditions under which the problem occurs. If you literally can't turn the cranks, something is amiss internally.

You might ask the mods to move this to the Bike Mechanics subforum.

Last edited by Rolla; 04-22-22 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:30 AM
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Do you have a second bike or wheels you can swap in? If your shop has a suitable hill nearby, may see if you can borrow a wheel. I second the idea of opening the brakes and seeing if that makes a difference. If you have a riding friend, maybe have him ride behind you up a hill and see if he can see or hear anything. Also inspect your bike carefully for cracks.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:42 AM
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you either have to get a competent person to fix it (harder than it sounds) or just unfasten the brake so you cant use it and it doesn't mess with you
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Old 04-22-22, 10:57 AM
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This has happened to me. Culprit was the rear tire rubbing on inside of NDS chainstay. How's the clearance there??

Try putting a piece of blue painter's tape on chainstay alongside tire line and go climb a hill to see if that's the cause.
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Old 04-22-22, 11:05 AM
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does this happen with bike on a stand? Or a helper holding it off the ground? I.e. does this happen with bike unladen ?
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Old 04-22-22, 01:06 PM
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do you have access to a stationary trainer that can mount ur bike (frame and wheel) ?
run a control experiment without that hill, but resistance from the trainer
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Old 04-22-22, 07:49 PM
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in low gear the chain will be closest to the tire, maybe when it is all the way over it is rubbing the tire, or the front deraulleur cage.
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Old 04-22-22, 10:07 PM
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Have a friend that can ride your bike up one of the hills and get their read while you ride their bike and observe?
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Old 04-23-22, 12:34 AM
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You might be getting hooked

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Old 04-23-22, 04:32 AM
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Geez Dude, your bike is 8 years old. It’s dragging up a hill because it’s old, not you my friend!
The solution is quite simple. The issue can only be addressed by a brand new bike.
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Old 04-23-22, 05:59 AM
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It sounds like you need more spinach in your diet. Also, if you eat cereal for breakfast, switch to the Wheaties brand.
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Old 04-23-22, 06:46 AM
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I had this problem with my 1984 Nishiki International. Under load the thin chain stays (and seat stays) tend to flex. Then the axle broke. I was unaware of it at first, but the wheel seemed to deflect even more under tough uphills (made worse by relatively tall low gears).

And the fact I was running 700x32s meant there was barely any clearance.

When I had the shop replace the original rear gears with a wider spread (including lower gears) the tech came out and showed me the broken axle.

I didn't think the bike could work like that, but apparently it can.

Since then the bike has been running fine. I have backed down to 700x28s and have a bit more room for wheel deflection, which is still quite a bit, but not as much as when the axle broke.

Also, check to see if your rear tire is centered in the frame.
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