sorry for dumb question: Bike feels slower and there seems to be a lot of noise when im pedaling

Richard Griffin

New Member
Jul 29, 2011
hi, guys
sorry for the noob question and ive searched the internet but I keep getting motorcycle info
I cycled a lot last year, 3-4 times a week
this year my bike (hybrid, nothing fancy) seems a lot slower/takes much more effort it seems to pedal and there is just a lot of noise going on when I do pedal

pedal *noise* pedal *noise* ect

Do I just need to clean the chain and gears or is something else going on (is it all in my head)

Clean the chain and gears, lube the chain but not the gears. Go to your local bike shop to purchase your chain lube so that you get something that is appropriate. You might also want to get a chain cleaner and solvent for it too. This will run you $30 - $40 but will be worth it rather than replacing the chain every three months. Here is a link on chain cleaning:

If your bike does not have sealed bearings, then the wheel bearings, bottom bracket, and head set bearings should be cleaned and repacked. If they are sealed bearings then they should not b a problem. If all else fails, take it to you local bike shop, tell them that it is harder to pedal than last year and have them do a tune up.

By the way, cleaning and lubing the chain should be done about every 200 - 300 miles, more often if you ride in the rain or in extremely dusty conditions. Cleaning and repacking loose bearings is usually done once a year, more often if riding in a dusty or sandy environment. You should also get a teflon based oil or silicon to lubricate the pivot points of the derailleurs and brakes so that they will last longer. These should be lubricated about once a month.

Part of it may be in your current state of fitness. If you rode a lot last year and then put up your bike for the winter, you will have lost some of your fitness gains from last year. For most riders there is a noticeable loss of performance after just taking a week off from riding. There is going to be a big loss of performance if you are just getting back on the bike after putting it up last year.