Really stiff gearing/pedalling

Mart74 Posts: 111
edited January 2016 in Workshop
Hi All

I had a strange thing happen with my gearing while out on ride last night. The background is:

Specialized Allez winter bike
Upgraded to 105 11 speed a couple of months ago, whole groupset.
Been working perfectly since upgrade, about 500 miles ish.

Last night a group of us were out on a short training ride, 20 miles into a 25 mile ride we picked up the pace on the fast road home. I was in the big ring and probably 6-7th gear on the back, I went down into the heavier gears as we were shifting along. Everything just seemed to tighten up in regards to pedalling, pedals would still turn and it didn't seem to make any grinding noises. I went up a couple of easier gears on the back and it helped but didn't stop it. Dropping into the small front cog all was fine.
Put it back into the big ring again and seemed ok for about 5-6 pedal rotations then seizing again!
I must have done this 4-5 times with the same results.

When I got home I put it into the biggest gear and turns the pedals for quite a while but all seemed well.

Any ideas what it might be?


  • Rear wheel not aligned in dropouts?
    Cassette coming loose?
    Chainset/cranks not tightened enough?
  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    If the gears are heavier won't they harder to turn? Did you fit a new BB when you replaced the groupset?
    Do the rear wheel bearings needs servicing? Rear wheel freehub needs servicing?
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Might be worth dropping the chain and ensuring that the BB spins smoothly and freely, if nothing else it will rule it out quickly.
  • MikeBrew
    MikeBrew Posts: 814
    Sounds like either an incorrect chain line or tired legs....
  • Mart74
    Mart74 Posts: 111
    Thanks for the replys.

    I did change the BB with the new groupset.

    I'll check that, cassette coming loose, freehub and cranks later.

    One thing I forgot was the last time I was out I had a flat, replaced on the side of the road and all ok. When checking the tyre at home I notice a split so I swapped that with another tyre (in a bit of a rush).
    I'll check when I get home but I think northcliffe66 might have the answer, rear wheel not aligned correctly!?

    Will let you know :-)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I had a similar feeling a few days ago. Everything seemed fine but as I went up the gears it felt harder to get up to speed than I was expecting. I thought maybe bb area but it was in fact the rear brake rubbing very slightly on the rim. Just enough to make it hard to get any real speed up. In low gears I didn't notice a thing. No noise or locking up. Could be worth looking to see if wheels are in the dropouts correctly.
  • Mart74
    Mart74 Posts: 111
    Checked everything and all is fine regarding wheel, cassette, bb etc.

    It looks like the rear mech is slightly twisted (out) meaning the chain slips off the bottom jockey wheel when in the big ring front and low gears at the back. Not sure how this has happened but guess I need to twist it back by hand?
  • k-dog
    k-dog Posts: 1,652
    You'll never get it right eyeballing it - sort of possible up to about 9 speed but beyond that the hanger needs to be more accurately aligned. You'll either want the proper tool or take it somewhere to have it done.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • Mart74
    Mart74 Posts: 111
    I gave it a bit of a twist and it seems better.
    I'll take it to LBS and get them to adjust it I think.
  • MikeBrew
    MikeBrew Posts: 814
    Hard to imagine that it's that. Surely if the rear mech was causing such resistance that it was making pedaling hard, you would have ripped the mech off or at least significantly damaged it. It's really quite a frail structure compared to the force exerted by your legs when going hard.
  • Mart74
    Mart74 Posts: 111
    That's a great idea! I'll give it a go :-)