My bike feels like it is getting stuck when I start pedaling or increase pressure as I go up hills. Of course, I checked to see if the brakes were rubbing but they are completely free of the wheel. When I try to start riding after a stop I get the rubbing noise and feeling of tremendous friction but once I reach a constant speed it disappears. It will reappear as I speed up quickly or climb a serious hill.

  • 3
    Could it be that applying extra torque causes the rear tire to hit the frame?
    – BSO rider
    Jul 18, 2015 at 21:11
  • Welcome to Bicycles @Ryan. As BSO rider suggests, it could be the wheel rubbing the frame. This can happen if the quick release or axle nuts are not tight enough.
    – andy256
    Jul 19, 2015 at 10:23
  • Yeah, the rear wheel is likely twisting in the frame. This can happen especially on bikes with "old-fashioned" nutted axles, if the nut on one side comes loose. Jul 20, 2015 at 16:50
  • 1
    If the problem settles when freewheeling, it could also be a broken axle.
    – ojs
    Jul 20, 2015 at 19:03
  • Would the loose QR/axle nuts cause the problem to come and go? I can kind of see it with a nutted axle, where one side stayed tight and provided an "anchor" for the wheel to realign when tension on the chain dropped (if it was the left nut that was loose), but it seems like a QR would just pull over to the left side and stay there.
    – dlu
    Jul 20, 2015 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


To summarise the comments, it sounds like your rear wheel has some freedom of movement where it shouldn't.

If you stand beside the bike and wiggle the top of the tyre sideways, can you perceive any movement? You shouldn't be able to feel anything.

Try the same sideways push at the front or rear of the rear wheel. Again no motion should be detectable.

I'm going to go with a broken axle, a loose axle nut or stretched skewer, or a bearing problem that is permitting lateral play in the wheel rim when under load.

Good news is all this is fixable. Take the rear wheel out and start investigating, and do let us know what you find.


Check your shoes. You might be changing the position of your feet to bring them closer to the cranks. The rubbing noise will be when your shoe rubs against the crank with each rotation.

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