For awhile pedalling my bike has been getting increasingly difficult. First there was a squeaking. I figured maybe because I had put too much force riding uphill. Then there was a screeching cracking sound with the high squeaking. I saw there was just build up and figured that's why there was noises.

I bought oil and grease coated well, and fixed the problem. But then it go worse now the pedals will either get stuck and I have to reset, or it will be very loose feeling like the chain popped off.

Worst of all, now when I bring my foot down to pedal every down motion will make the bike feel like it shifts from the back tire moving left or right, not sure which way. But it's in a side to side motion. I don't feel it while walking the bike.

  • My question is basically how urgent do I need to take my bike in,likely cost of said fix, and termage so I don't get ripped off at a bike hop. Apr 6, 2019 at 23:20
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    First thing to do is to grasp the rear wheel by the tire and wiggle it back and forth sideways. If you get more than about 3mm (1/8 inch) wiggle then there is something wrong with the wheel bearings. Apr 7, 2019 at 4:15
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    Note that an option is to find a replacement wheel somewhere. To test that the wheel is the problem you can borrow a similar wheel from another bike. Apr 7, 2019 at 4:16
  • Shannon - we can't tell you what your bike shop will charge - the planet is quite large and you could be anywhere. But it could range from "your nuts are loose" for free right up to "your wheel needs replacing" plus labour charge.
    – Criggie
    Apr 7, 2019 at 9:36

2 Answers 2


There is something seriously wrong with your rear hub. From your description I think the bearings have collapsed, and the freewheel mechanism is failing also. This is possibly safety issue - and obviously the bike is not working right, so you need to have it seen to immediately and don't ride the bike until it is fixed.

You will either need a hub rebuild, or a completely new hub. Having one built into the wheel is expensive (it's labor intensive to build a wheel), so it's often easier and cheaper to buy a whole wheel.

It's absolutely impossible to tell you how much this will cost, as we don't know what make/model of bike you have. Do some research, find a reputable bike repair store and they will not rip you off.


Argenti Apparatus is probably right. But with the vague description I think it could also be broken spokes or a loose cassette or single-speed sprocket.

For broken spokes: Are all spokes present and intact? Is the wheel wobbling left-to-right? Is the rim rubbing on the brakes? Is the tire rubbing on the frame?

For loose cassette or single-speed sprocket: You need special tools to tighten those, but you should be able to take out the wheel and check by hand if it’s loose.

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