My wheel feels harder to spin than usual. I just put new tires on, and at first I thought a tire must be rubbing, but that's not the case. Seems like the hub might just be gunked up inside, but I'm just speculating.

From this video, does anyone else think this is higher-than-normal resistance? https://vimeo.com/57230216

  • 1
    You would be surprised how much resistance an overly tensioned chain can create.
    – joelmdev
    Jan 13, 2013 at 18:37
  • I was going to say that it was probably a problem with the rear cones! We have been seeing many of those at the shop and don't really understand how other shops can make such silly mistake! Good to hear you solved the problem!
    – user5981
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:22

5 Answers 5


The chain looks a little bit too taut for what I use in my fixie. But I don't rely on my chain to stop the bike, as I am of the sissy kind that rides with brakes, so dropping the chain is not that bad of an issue, although it has never actually happened.

But from your video, there basically does not seem to be any slack in the chain, I try go with 1-2 cm (1/2-1 inches) when pressing on it. That means that you see some curvature on the bottom side, yours appears to be running straight.

This other question may help you get the tension right.

  • I use a front brake, but I like the chain pretty tight. Thanks for the tension suggestion, I'll look into it.
    – devth
    Jan 11, 2013 at 20:43
  • Don't worry. You're not a sissy. Using brakes means you can use a manly gear ratio. If you ask me, the people riding around without brakes are the sissies with their small gear ratios. :) Unless you use a really weak gear ratio and brakes. Then you are truly a sissy.
    – Kibbee
    Jan 11, 2013 at 21:31
  • I wouldn't ride my fixie without brakes, I find it far easier to do an emergency stop. On a track its different but on the road its a no-brainer.
    – PeteH
    Jan 11, 2013 at 22:05
  • @Kibbee Oh, I am a big time sissy! 42x18 on 700 wheels barely qualifies as manly. But it does come out to the legendary 63 gear inches: 63xc.com/faq/faq.htm#whycall
    – Jaime
    Jan 11, 2013 at 22:49
  • Yeah, I'm running 48x16 (78.8 gear inches) which is pretty much impossible to skid with. The brakes are pretty much necessary unless you have a long distance in which to slow down.
    – Kibbee
    Jan 12, 2013 at 3:38

It does appear a bit off. Looks like there is some extra resistance present somewhere in your drivetrain.

Check your chain tension. If it's too tight, that could be adding resistance.

You could also remove the chain from the fixed cog and spin the wheel to see if the resistance is coming from the hub.


There are two things to check here.

Is your chain too tight? When you push on it, it should have some movement. A cm or two.

When tightening your wheel nuts, did you manage to upset the cones on your hubs? Take the wheel off and turn the axel by hand, if it feels like its moving in steps then the cones have got overtightened.

To fix that, you'll need Mr Sheldon Brown's help. http://sheldonbrown.com/tooltips/hubs.html

  • It's possible that's what happened, though I have had my cones adjusted by bike shop mechanics several times (seems they need adjusting every 6mo).
    – devth
    Jan 12, 2013 at 4:50

I rode over to the bike shop and had the mechanic take a look. My rear cones were way too tight from a previous adjustment from a different bike shop. He adjusted those and the wheel spins freely now. I'll post another video tomorrow so people can see the difference.


It may be that, with the wheel off, you somehow overtightened the wheel bearings.

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