Rebuild bike converted to a single speed. Using a tensioner on the chain. Have a three ring chainring and using the high gear (46T) and a 16T cog. Bike spins great on the work stand but riding it I can't get the pedals to work. Can't understand why I can pedal on the stand but not on the pavement. Thanks for help.

  • 3
    You've got to explain that a little better. By "not work" do you mean that the pedals won't move, or that they move and don't turn the wheel? Or what? Mar 11, 2015 at 0:12
  • Have you checked your chainline?
    – Batman
    Mar 11, 2015 at 1:39
  • 1
    Is the chain too tight? So that when you put the bike on the wheels the chain tensioned even further. There should be about 1cm slag.
    – Carel
    Mar 11, 2015 at 20:53
  • Welcome to Bicycles SE. Your question has received a few flags and close votes because it is not clear what the problem is, as indicated in the above comments. For now, your question has been closed. You should see an "edit" button just below your post. Edit in some additional information and your question will automatically be flagged for reopening. We also have a short guide on how to ask a question that gets good answers that is worth a read.
    – jimchristie
    Mar 12, 2015 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


There are three things to check (well, more, but let's start here):

  1. Chainline. Is the front cog so offset from the rear cog that the teeth are catching on the chain? Is the offset so great that when you introduce variance i.e. take the bike off the rack and put it on the road, it's overly-resistant to turning.

  2. Chain tension - per Carel's comment above, make sure your chain is not overly tensioned. This will also cause seizure. I'm guessing this is it.

  3. And because I'm so smart, I have first-hand knowledge of this one, bmx versus road chain, cog, etc. i.e. make sure if you're using a road chain that you're not using a BMX cog and visa versa.

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