Bicycle keeps 'skipping a beat', especially when I exert more force, or go uphill. I don't know what you call this.

What is the problem and how can I resolve it?

Lubricating it helps get rid of the problem for a bit but soon it resurfaces.

  • 3
    Define better what "skipping a beat" refers to. Also, what are you lubricating to temporarily stop the problem.
    – Kibbee
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 18:59
  • 7
    Probably time for a new chain and a new cassette. Commented May 5, 2014 at 19:29
  • I've had this happen with worn chainset teeth too.
    – mjsqu
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 20:09
  • Does it only happen in certain gears? What does it sound like?
    – jimchristie
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 1:12
  • The chain and possibly some of the cogs are worn out. If you're not familiar with bike maintenance then take it to your local bike shop. Commented May 6, 2014 at 1:33

2 Answers 2


Adding to Carson's answer:

If you experience this "skipping a beat" in every combination of front and rear gears, it is most likely a chain issue.

I have had that before and I found out that I had a small deformation on one of the links that was preventing it to roll in relation to the other link. It was probably caused in a harder than usual gear change by one of the teeth.

Look for dents on the links and check if all of them rotate without resistence.

If one of them does not, every time or at least a significative number of times, you will feel this "skip a beat" sensation.


It is hard to tell, but it is most likely one of these (assuming you have a cassette and free hub system):

  1. The cassette and chain needs to be replaced. This can happen when either a tooth is bent on the cassette or the chain and cassette teeth are not lined up.
  2. The free hub body needs to be serviced or even replaced. This can happen when the springs in the ratching mechanism are not pushing down into the teeth that gives you the bite.

For both of these, you would require special tools to remove the cassette and possibly the free hub body.

  • 1
    Assuming you have a freehub+cassette system, but ratcheting freewheel mechanisms would just be thrown out.
    – Batman
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 19:12
  • @Batman, was not aware of that, added assumption. Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:08

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