I have owned a bike for many years, it's a cheap one but it's perfectly fine. Recently, I've bought a bike for my girlfriend, second hand from someone quite clueless about bike maintenance.
- Mine is 26" front and rear suspension 2.125 tires, 3x7 gears.
- Hers is 26" hardtail 1.95 tires, 3x6 gears
When I bought her bike I had to ride it home, a 15km ride, and after that I was exhausted. I trued the wheels, aligned the brakes, did a little test ride and it was fine.
My girlfriend said it was much harder to ride than mine. I felt that too, but was not sure if it's just because it's hardtailed and the ride is much stiffer. Rode it today again, and it's really much more exhausting than riding mine.
Wheels spin freely and don't have significant play.
Any ideas what should I check ?
Update: About geometry and fit, I can feel almost instantly that something is not right with the ride, but can't put my finger around it.
Brakes are V-brakes. Both tires are chunky mtb tires. As I'm 35kg heavier than my girlfriend mine are pumped to 55 psi while her's to 45 psi. When the bike is upside down everything is as smooth as butter. Crank, chain, freewheel, spinning freely. Wheels are spinning for a long duration of time. All bits and bolts aligned and tightened so nothing moves, rubbing, catching under load.
As more testing was done, it seems the bike won't roll quite well as mine, while on my bike I can pedal some and roll some, on the same bit of road, on the other bike I won't stop pedaling in order to continue going.
Another clue is weird knocking sound with the rhythm of a car turn signal relay.
I now guess it's the hubs, but I hope its fixable by just overhauling and without replacing, have to get some cone wrenches to check them.
Fixed: It was the rear hub, whole assembly was loose, and the most shocking thing : there was one ball bearing missing on one side, 8 of 9 balls, I don't know how much it affects the performance but i'm sure its not recommended (ordered new bearings), even more, the freewheel assembly itself was loose as well, so I overhauled it too, it was a bit hard, lots of tiny balls but I managed it quite well.