I got a new bike a three or four weeks ago and have noticed the issue arise this last week or two.

When I'm going up a hill (or any heavy load), my gears will slip. I don't think it's moving gears, it just seems to slip a bit. My pedals will lose tension as I hear it slip, then will regain traction about a half a crank later.

This happens pretty regularly while pedaling in low gear, maybe once or twice a minute.

  • 1
    Is this a derailleur bike, or internally geared hub, or what? If derailleur then the chain is probably slipping. If internally geared hub the hub is either defective or in need of adjustment. In any event, take it back to the shop! Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 3:59
  • What kind of bike are you riding and what kind of place did you get if from?
    – BPugh
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 11:40
  • Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc from a LBS. I've taken it in a few times, but they seem to not take that much interest in actually getting fixed. Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 11:50
  • I hope I am not too late for this post. I am having a similar problem. I have just bought a bicycle and the gears are slipping just randomly. I have cycled for about 20 Km and I must say, I am very disappointed with the abrupt slips. Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 17:32
  • @TalhaMasood For me it was my weight and the force I was pushing on the pedals. Tightening cables and adjusting derailleurs didn't do the trick. I did have my LBS do a complete tune up and it was better, but never completely gone. Commented Mar 6, 2014 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


If the bike is three or four weeks old it is most likely due for an initial readjustment. It takes a few weeks for the cables to stretch a bit and the derailleurs and springs to seat. This is why most shops want you to return the bike after a month or so to retorque the hardware and readjust the shifters usually for free.

  • So I'm guessing my LBS isn't that skilled at setting up derailers? Should probably just bite the bullet and learn to adjust them myself. To Sheldon Brown's Website! Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:21
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    @Dropped.on.Caprica that might be the case, but this month-old-service is recommended for all new bikes. Think of it as "bedding in" as much as anything - new cables will stretch slightly, etc. But yeah, as maintenance goes this is minor stuff so nothing to stop you learning how to do things yourself
    – PeteH
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 16:41
  • I know I need to have it serviced for the first few hundred miles. I've taken the bugger in a couple times, but they haven't been able to fix either this or my front gear not shifting correctly. C'est la vie, I guess I'll bring it in this weekend. Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 16:59
  • If the cables hadn't fully stretched when you took it in, which is likely after only three weeks, they could have stretched more after the shop worked on them. It's still a good idea to learn to do it yourself. It's usually literally just turning a knob, which is way easier than hauling it into the shop.
    – jimchristie
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 21:59
  • @Dropped.on.Caprica setting up derailleurs isn't that hard, so the bike shop probably could do it without trouble. What's more likely is that they've carried on stretching or creeping. I recommend having a go yourself, you don't need any special tools.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:44

I experienced the exact same issue as you when I install fresh cables for my mtb. What I did was to tension up the cable for my rear d via the barrel adjuster, making sure to check for correct shifting on all cogs. Follow by re-adjusting the limit screws on the rear d. This solved my skipping issue. Hope this helps.


Inspect your chain rings and rear cogs for any visible damage, like missing or rounded teeth.

I had this problem with the department store bike I ride now (2008ish Schwinn High Timber). It was slipping on my first few rides around the neighborhood. When I looked it over, I found that I had broken some teeth on the rear (no name) freewheel . I managed to get it replaced via warranty and the new one held up for 1500~2000 miles of multi-use path riding. However I managed to break teeth again when I started commuting and climbing up the hill to work. I replaced it with a Shimano freewheel from the bike shop and haven't had any problems with it since.

  • I've looked at my cassette/ cogs and their teeth all seem to be ok. Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:19

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