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Bike is very hard to peddle.

Hi, My Felt VR3 seems very hard to peddle since I've started riding it again. It was last serviced in May 2020. It has been ridden about 6 times since that service. The two times I rode it in the summer it was fine but since I've started riding it again in Late October it just feels extremely sluggish and very very hard work on the hills. Even a slight rise feels like a mountain forcing me to stand and peddle it never used to be like this. I changed the tyres to some Pirelli Cinturato velo which according to bicycle tyre rolling resistance website have a rolling resistance of 15.4 watts at 120 psi but nobody runs their tyres at 120 psi do they? So being as they are tubeless you are supposed to run them at 86 psi so the rolling resistance is probably closer to 18 watts. The tyres I was running before were Schwalbe one v guard with a rolling resistance of 12.2 watts could this be the reason for the downgrade in performance ? My summer bike which is a Giant Defy advanced pro 0 it has a compact 50/34 crank and a 11/32 cassette my Felt VR3 has a 46/30 crank and a 11/36 cassette and it harder up the hills than the Giant why is that ? It doesn't make sense to me. I bought it for hilly rides and it's harder so it's defeating the object of why I bought it in the first place. Any advice would be very much appreciated thankyou.
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  • "to peddle" is not a verb that means "to pedal", which is probably what you wanted to say.

    Lift the bike and try to spin the wheels, if they spin freely, then it's just your form that has deteriorated since May... if they don't spin freely, find out why they don't... maybe they catch in the brake pads, or against one of the tubes of the frame or something
  • Haven't you already posted on exactly this issue?
  • Haven't you already posted on exactly this issue?

    Quite so, here - why a new thread?

  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313

    "to peddle" is not a verb that means "to pedal", which is probably what you wanted to say.

    Lift the bike and try to spin the wheels, if they spin freely, then it's just your form that has deteriorated since May... if they don't spin freely, find out why they don't... maybe they catch in the brake pads, or against one of the tubes of the frame or something

    I disagree Ugo. I was in the market recently and there were many people trying to Peddle their wares :smiley:
  • Now is the best time to peddle your bike. Prices are at an all time high as is demand with supply issues from the far East.
  • Hi David37, The Felt VR3 is my winter bike. I only had 2 weeks off due to a crash on my mtb. I started riding the felt when I started riding again and I know what this bike should ride like. Even a slight rise of 2 percent is like a mountain because the pedalling is so stiff and it wasn't like it when I rode my clubs 100 miler last July.
    Like I said the only change I have made is changing the tyres from the schwalbe one v guards to the Pirelli Cinturato velo ones. The Pirellis are a very heavy duty winter tyre about 17 to 18 watts rolling resistance at 86 psi where the Schwabe ones are 12.2 watts at 100 psi. I am a regular cyclist I'm used to riding 200+ miles a week in the summer and I do around 13 to 14 centuries each summer so I don't think I'm out of condition and I have to fight tooth and nail to get to even 14.2 mph average normally j would be around 15.2 mph so I'm at least 1 mph down on my average speed.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 24,117 Lives Here
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,460
    Swop the wheels with the Giant and see how it feels then.
  • As I've said average speed is low. I should be going faster for the effort I'm putting in the training effect for my last five Sunday rides have been 4.9/4.6/5/5/5 I have a Farm in edge 1030 Garmins method goes from 0 no effort to 5 very strenuous so for the last 5 weeks I've at or near maximum on the range.
  • pangolinpangolin Posts: 3,550
    How far away is the farm? If it's a long ride it will be hard to keep up a high average speed.

    More seriously I doubt you're noticing a ~6w difference in rolling resistance from the tyres. What was your average speed before and what is it now?

    If the wheels turn freely, what about the pedals? If you lift up the back of the bike can you turn them easily with a hand?
    Genesis Croix de Fer
    Cube Attain
  • Stick some more air in tyres.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302
    edited November 2020
    Why does it matter so much? I think you're obsessing too much about the numbers and that's stopping you enjoying your riding.

    IMO Winter is about getting the miles done and sticking to some kind of training plan, not smashing out PR's on Strava.

    If you do that you'll be flying again next Spring/summer.

    If it helps, I read something once about the air being more dense in winter which contributes to slower speeds. Also there's less grip on the roads so you can't corner as quickly.
  • I was averaging about 14.7 to 15.1 before but I was using tyres with 5 watts less roling resistance. I can only get about 14.3 average now and I have to run myself into the ground to get that. Every hill or even a slight gradient 3% feels more like 8 or 9 % the bike just wasn't like that in the summer just gone. I did my clubs 100 miler on it with 6500ft of elevation and I comfortably got 14.6 mph average I would have got higher but we had some slower riders with us.
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313

    I was averaging about 14.7 to 15.1 before but I was using tyres with 5 watts less roling resistance. I can only get about 14.3 average now and I have to run myself into the ground to get that. Every hill or even a slight gradient 3% feels more like 8 or 9 % the bike just wasn't like that in the summer just gone. I did my clubs 100 miler on it with 6500ft of elevation and I comfortably got 14.6 mph average I would have got higher but we had some slower riders with us.

    You were hardly worldclass before but maybee you had covid and have long covid. I know i have and now 8 months later im starting to get performance back but prior to this ive ridden like a cripple.


  • mr_eddymr_eddy Posts: 791
    Try flipping the bike upside down (or better yet put in a bike stand) so the wheels are free to move then try spinning the cranks in a low gear. get up some speed on the back wheel and let it free wheel - Can you hear any rubbing? If so the brakes are probably catching. If no rubbing but it still slows down really quickly then it could be either the tyre catching or something sticking like the freehub

    Re the front spin with your hand and again check the same

    If its all spinning freely then its not the wheels/brakes so the logical conclusion after that would possibly be a rusty / old chain causing friction or tyres

    Also lets not forget that you said you 'started riding again' if you have been off the bike for a while it will have a massive effect. I know this to my cost , my riding has dropped of a cliff since me and the missus had a baby in Jan (zero time to ride) and now I can barely average 15mph on a 1 hour ride (a year ago I was 18mph avg)

    Not sure where you had your bike serviced but bear in mind bike servicing done at somewhere like halfords will literally be squirting WD-40 onto the chain and giving the bike a wipe with a rag (I have witnessed them do this) where as a proper LBS will adjust brakes / check chain / freehub etc.

  • Has this bike been peddled yet?
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 4,221
    mr_eddy said:



    Not sure where you had your bike serviced but bear in mind bike servicing done at somewhere like halfords will literally be squirting WD-40 onto the chain and giving the bike a wipe with a rag (I have witnessed them do this) where as a proper LBS will adjust brakes / check chain / freehub etc.

    What a load of bollox. Total bollox.

    Everywhere has good mechanics and bad mechanics, some places are great, some trash.

    Halfords or a “proper” lbs are no different.

    Some of the disasters I have seen coming out of “proper” lbs’, some of the good stuff from Halfords etc.

    I’d be intrigued to see you say what you posted above to a decent Halfords mechanic.

    Clubbies, eh....

    #ooooh,bethe’sinaclub
    #fastchaingang

  • Got to agree with the MF's here.

    Mrs Totale bought a new bike from Halfords last week, a Boardman ADV 8.9.
    The front brake lever had quite a lot of travel, the Halfords mechanics were happy to rebleed it there and then and also adjusted the reach for her smaller hands. Brakes are working lovely now.
    They gave everything else a proper once over and having run my eye over it everything seems good.

    Throughout the whole thing they couldn't have been more helpful, for example they were happy to hold the bike for her until she came down to the shop and could try it, it also meant she could use her BC discount as you can only use that instore. That's despite these bikes selling like hot cakes meaning they could have easily told her to shove off and order it online.

    Contrast that to some of the 'work' that has been done at some independent shops that I'll never return to, I've had bikes return with rounded off bolts, gears functioning worse than before...
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 4,221
    Yeah, but remember real club cyclists in real club matching clothes wouldn't go to Halfords and only use the club preferred shop who will sell them overpriced stuff and fluff their egos before they leave with Serious Cyclist Face (TM) in place

    #clubbies,eh
  • I guess a bike mechanic is a bit like a chef... wants to work in the best shops (restaurants), rather than in chains (Pizza Express)... that doesn't mean there aren't good chefs in chain restaurants... they might not do fine dining (Pinarello Di2) but they cook a mean roast joint...
    Let's say that if you go to Condor, you are unlikely to get a bad job on your bike, but otherwise... I've eaten in some seriously bad independent restaurants... worst of all was in Bethune, France
  • Halfords the only lbs with campag sized cone spanners. Other local lbs chain is Rutland who are excellent.
  • david37david37 Posts: 1,313

    Halfords the only lbs with campag sized cone spanners. Other local lbs chain is Rutland who are excellent.

    13/14mm? arent they in every set of Cone spanners? not much of a bike shop without old school cone spanners. someone half inched my park set last year and i replaced it with lifeline or something. 11.99 :) for a set! and theyre ok. hardly get a hammering so well pleased.
  • I seem to recall the ones I needed to remove a freehub from a pair of zondas weren't in my planet X 'all the tools' toolbox. I have a feeling they're 17mm or something stupid
  • There's always the option of buying the tools and doing it yourself, cut out the risk of putting your trust in any shop and praying that a good mechanic is fixing an issue.

    #Rollingthedice
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 4,221
    At the end of the day guys, its a bicycle, not the space shuttle. none of this stuff is very difficult.

    #itsfiddly,notdifficult
  • webboowebboo Posts: 3,460
    At the end of the day if a bike wasn’t hard to pedal what would be the point. If it’s too hard get an ebike.
  • Hard work doesn't bother me, I push myself very hard as any of my club mates would tell you. What I don't like is working my balls off for nothing. Getting training effect scores of 5 regularly and only getting averages of 14.2 mph is never right there must be something wrong somewhere. The bike wasn't like it until I changed to these Pirelli Cinturato velo tyres. I've bought them now so I'm going to use them and swap them out for some gp 5000 tl tyres in the spring, see what difference a saving of 8 Watts makes? Helpful comments only please. Sarcasm isn't appreciated.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 15,281
    Still not sold it yet then?
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 5,772
    MattFalle said:

    At the end of the day guys, its a bicycle, not the space shuttle. none of this stuff is very difficult.

    #itsfiddly,notdifficult

    Do you use the Mr Man plasters on the bike in an emergency?
    Felt F1 2014
    Felt Z6 2012
    Red Arthur Caygill steel frame ??
    Tall....
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 1,302
    I'm afraid I feel there's a degree of confirmation bias at play here. You've seen on a website that the winter tyres are 8 watts slower on a spinning metal drum and now you're convinced it's all to do with them.

    Have a play around with this:

    http://bikecalculator.com/examples.html

    The drop in temperature has as big an impact as the 8 watt difference in tyres according to this.
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