As a fixie rider, you probably enjoy the simplicity and straightforwardness of your bike. However, nothing is more frustrating than feeling like you’re pedaling in mud or struggling to make it up even the slightest incline. In this article, we’ll discuss some common causes of fixie resistance and provide helpful tips on how to solve them for a smoother ride.
Why Is My Fixie Hard to Pedal? (5 Reasons)
A fixed gear bikes can be hard to peal due to various reasons including, underinflated tires, wheel alignment issues, lubrication problems, rubbing of brakes, or a flat tire.
#1- The Impact of Underinflated Tires on Energy Efficiency
Riding with less inflated tires means investing more energy to overcome the additional rolling resistance, which can make pedaling harder and less efficient. This also leads to the flexing of the tires, which takes up additional energy.
Correcting the tire pressure can go a long way in ensuring a smooth and efficient ride.
Checking Tire Pressure for Optimal Performance
Proper tire pressure is crucial for an optimal riding experience on a fixie. In fact, it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to make sure a fixie is easy to pedal.
The ideal tire pressure gives you a comfortable ride with a confident feeling in corners. The maximum tire pressure rating is also listed on the tire itself.
Checking tire pressure is easy and can be done with a gauge or by flipping your bike upside down and spinning the pedals by hand.
It’s important to err on the side of “too low” rather than “too high” when it comes to road bike tire pressure.
In addition, underinflated tires can impact energy efficiency, leading to harder pedaling.
#2- Issues with Wheel Alignment
One of the most common reasons for a hard-to-pedal fixie is misaligned wheels. If your brake pads are rubbing against the rim or rotor, it creates extra resistance and makes it harder for you to pedal.
This can also cause your bike to veer to one side, making it difficult to keep a straight line.
In order to correct this issue, you’ll want to loosen the axle nuts or quick release skewers, then adjust the wheel until it’s centered between the frame. Hold the wheel steady and tighten the nuts, making sure the wheel is still aligned.
Once that’s done, you’ll want to check the brake pads to make sure they’re not still rubbing against the wheel and causing extra resistance.
Taking care of wheel alignment will not only make pedaling easier, but it’ll also make your ride smoother and more enjoyable.
#3- Lubrication Can Impact Pedaling
Proper lubrication is crucial for a smooth and comfortable ride on a fixie. Lubricating the pedals and chains can reduce friction and make it easier to pedal. A rusty and dirty chain can make pedal effort more difficult, so it is important to regularly clean and lubricate the chain. Lubrication can also help extend the life of your bike’s components, as they will be less prone to wear and tear. It is recommended that you use bike-specific lubricants, as they are designed to protect against water and dirt, while reducing friction.
#4- Brakes Rub against the Frame, Creating Pedal Resistance
When riding a fixie, one of the most frustrating issues you may encounter is pedal resistance due to brake rubbing against the frame. It can make you work harder, and the experience becomes less enjoyable.
This issue occurs when the brakes are poorly adjusted or misaligned.
It is important to check your brake pads if they are too close to the rim or when the wheels are not properly aligned.
Ensuring your brakes are not rubbing against the frame while you pedal can make a huge difference in your riding experience.
#5- Addressing Issues with a Flat Tire
Flat tires create rolling resistance, which makes pedaling more difficult. It is crucial to check tire pressure regularly to ensure optimal performance.
If a flat tire does occur, replacing the tube or patching it up is a simple fix that prevents unnecessary wear on the tire.
While replacing the tire, it is essential to inspect the wheel alignment to avoid any issues with rubbing against the brakes or frame, which can also create resistance to pedaling.