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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308

    Why is my bike SO slow?!

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    And I'm pretty certain it's the bike ('09 Cannondale F5) and not me. Similar rides on a 5-10# heavier Salsa Mukluk 3 feel like they're turbo-charged (DH didn't really believe how much I was struggling with this bike until he saw how much easier it was for me to get up to speed and stay up to speed on a massive fat bike). Rides on a friend's Salsa Ala Carte feel zippy and effortless. By contrast EVERY ride on the F5 feels like I'm dragging a full half-barrel of beer behind the bike. An hour of ride time and I'm toast and struggle to maintain speed even on the flats.

    Fortunately I have a Salsa El Mariachi that should be arriving any day now, but DS is going to inherit the F5 and he hates riding it. Like me, it is brutally hard for him to ride for long and he can't keep up at all. We've done rides where he's on my friend's Ala Carte and he ZOOMS along and leaves me in the dust.

    The bike has decent components for the original retail price--a mix of SRAM X5 & X7, BB5 brakes, FSA TH-7420ST bottom bracket, front hubs: Formula DC20, rear hubs: Formula DC22, rims - Jalco X-320 Disc. Rock Shox Dart 3 fork.

    I keep thinking the brakes must be dragging, but DH is not finding evidence of excessive drag (they squeak a bit sort of consistently at lower speeds).

    We'd love to figure out how to make this bike less of a dog without dumping a lot of money into it. I'm a reasonably strong rider and the effort required to make it go kills me--years ago I had a too-big, low-rent Schwinn that was WORLDS easier to get up to decent speeds on comparable stretches of road (I didn't really ride off-road when I had that thing), even when I was far less fit than I am now. DS is a skinny kid and I don't blame him when he gets frustrated and doesn't want to ride it long...it's exhausting.

    Any thoughts on what could be responsible for it being so sluggish?
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    983
    I know that you mentioned that it wasn't the brakes, so I would tend to think it is the wheels. It could be that the bearings need to be repacked, or perhaps the adjustment it too tight on the bearings and the wheel can't roll freely. It might be something that new bearings/grease will help.

    The one thing that I always remind people of is to compare only that set of wheels, quite often we compare it them to more expensive wheels which better quality bearings, races, seals etc...

    Let us know what you find out!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    I was a rear wheel free-wheel fail on me. It would definitely make that bike harder to roll. Simple test - hold the bike up, give each wheel a spin and see how long they spin before slowing. Try it again on another bike and see if there's a significant difference.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedal Wench View Post
    I was a rear wheel free-wheel fail on me. It would definitely make that bike harder to roll. Simple test - hold the bike up, give each wheel a spin and see how long they spin before slowing. Try it again on another bike and see if there's a significant difference.
    I just asked hubby and he said when he checked the wheels they spun as he'd expect them to--no obvious issues. He wonders if it's my fit on the bike (it's a size too small), but my fit is probably worse on my friend's Ala Carte (a 12.5" frame--tiny. My bike is just a hair <14" seat-tube) and that thing is easy peasy to move and keep moving.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I was thinking it could be the freehub also, but mine never made any noise or significant drag until I was coasting above 30 mph for enough time to heat it up. LBS owner couldn't replicate it on the flats no matter how fast he got the bike, since he couldn't coast long enough to heat up (and therefore he wouldn't believe me... but that's another story ).

    Still, that wouldn't affect you unless you're freewheeling. If it feels slow when the pawls are engaged - when you're pedaling fast enough to keep up with the wheel - it isn't the freehub.

    Loose spokes - or just a floppier wheel overall? I had no idea how flexy spoked wheels are, and how much power you lose there, until the first time I rode a disc.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    212
    It could be due to many things-
    -the grease in the wheel bearings is "packed up" (sorta solidified)
    -the freehub needs cleaning & lubrication
    -the wheels are not tensioned properly
    -tires a/o tubes are clunkers
    -the frame is misaligned or the dropouts are misaligned.

    Frame and/or dropout misalignment (i.e., the front and rear wheels are not spinning in exactly the same plane) is often overlooked, but I had this problem on one of my bikes and the effects are very noticeable.
    JEAN

    2011 Specialized Ruby Elite - carbon fiber go-fast bike
    DiamondBack Expert - steel road bike
    Klein Pinnacle - classic no-suspension aluminum MTB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,617
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I was thinking it could be the freehub also, but mine never made any noise or significant drag until I was coasting above 30 mph for enough time to heat it up. LBS owner couldn't replicate it on the flats no matter how fast he got the bike, since he couldn't coast long enough to heat up (and therefore he wouldn't believe me... but that's another story ).
    Lemme guess... Mavic's? Mine would only happen after a long downhill (spent the summer in Colorado, they're hard to avoid!) and then would make a god-awful screeching sound.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I think we may have talked about this when it happened. Mine was so loud that cars coming the other direction pulled over.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Hi Ho Silver View Post
    It could be due to many things-
    -the grease in the wheel bearings is "packed up" (sorta solidified)
    -the freehub needs cleaning & lubrication
    -the wheels are not tensioned properly
    -tires a/o tubes are clunkers
    -the frame is misaligned or the dropouts are misaligned.

    Frame and/or dropout misalignment (i.e., the front and rear wheels are not spinning in exactly the same plane) is often overlooked, but I had this problem on one of my bikes and the effects are very noticeable.
    Those are all interesting possibilities. How easy is it to determine any of these possibilities and diagnose? The tubes and tires would be my last suspicion. I have Kenda Nevegals, which people around here always seem to rave about.

    What is so frustrating is all the glowing reviews I read of the Cannondale F5. I have a friend with the EXACT same bike (Cdale had a bunch of the petite size sitting in a warehouse and essentially liquidated them about a year ago). She rides far less than I do and on the road with our road bikes I can ride circles around her. On trails I can barely keep up with her and end up beating myself up trying to do so.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    I was thinking it could be the freehub also, but mine never made any noise or significant drag until I was coasting above 30 mph for enough time to heat it up. LBS owner couldn't replicate it on the flats no matter how fast he got the bike, since he couldn't coast long enough to heat up (and therefore he wouldn't believe me... but that's another story ).

    Still, that wouldn't affect you unless you're freewheeling. If it feels slow when the pawls are engaged - when you're pedaling fast enough to keep up with the wheel - it isn't the freehub.

    Loose spokes - or just a floppier wheel overall? I had no idea how flexy spoked wheels are, and how much power you lose there, until the first time I rode a disc.
    Yeah, it still feels slow when I pedal. People in front of me can be coasting down a hill and I can't even gain on them while pedaling like mad.

    Maybe floppy wheels. They are definitely low-end wheels. Unfortunately we'd likely not put money into replacing them, even though they do seem to be the lowest-rent componentry on the bike.. I'm not sure how I can convinced DS to want to ride with us when this thing is such a dog. It's pretty demoralizing for a kid to have to work so hard to keep up with his chubby old folks!
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,738
    Nevs are definitely a slow tire (but they grip everything!!), so I wouldn't discount that. If it were me, I'd start with re-packing and re-adjusting the hubs, and see what results that yields.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky View Post
    Nevs are definitely a slow tire (but they grip everything!!), so I wouldn't discount that. If it were me, I'd start with re-packing and re-adjusting the hubs, and see what results that yields.
    I suggested looking at the hubs (since that seems to be such a common suggestion) to DH and he's out monkeying with our CX bikes for tomorrow's race and said if he has time he'll see what he can figure out. He knows his way around bikes pretty well (has changed out the drive-train multiple times on his kludged-together CX bike and does nearly all the maintenance on our bikes), but I'm not sure he's ever done much with hubs.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    I should add that the bike only has maybe 225 miles or so on it.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,476
    How much could you get for it if you sell it?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    How much could you get for it if you sell it?
    I don't know. We paid $350. Full retail was $700.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

 

 

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