Why are the gears on our woom ORIGINAL 4 so stiff?

There may be a number of reasons behind your child struggling with the gears. To start with, riding a bike with gears for the first time is bound to be challenging for your child. Changing gears is a brand-new movement that your child has to learn to master – just like every other aspect of riding a bike. This is more likely to be the case if your child is still very young (five or even four years old) when they switch to a woom ORIGINAL 4 or if they have a slight build. The reason for this is that their hands won't necessarily be strong enough yet and they'll need to take some time to practice twisting their hand in this unfamiliar way.

Switching gears efficiently is also all about keeping the movement nice and fluid so as to keep the effort required as low as possible. If the movement is fluid, the chain will glide smoothly onto the teeth of the sprocket without any friction when the gears are changed. This can only happen if the chain keeps moving. In other words, your child needs to pedal slightly harder just before they want to change gears. And they need to keep pedalling gently while changing gears. You can read more about how your child can get used to their first bike with gears and change gears properly in this blog post.

If your child is still struggling with the gears once they've had enough practice and their hands are strong enough, the gears might need adjusting. The gears changing unexpectedly and the chain coming off are other signs that this is the case. Watch this video to learn how to adjust the gears correctly. You should only attempt to do this yourself if you're familiar with bikes and how they work. If not, we recommend that you find a woom retailer near you or take your bike to your local bike mechanic so that a professional can readjust your gears.

There is also a chance that the gear problems are being caused by damage that occurred during transportation, assembly or an accident. In this case, we would recommend having your woom bike checked over by a bike mechanic. You're always welcome to get in touch with our customer service team before you take any action. If you're not sure what might be causing the gear problems with your woom bike, they'll be happy to advise you on what to do.

We have to say that on rare occasions the only way to stop the gears being stiff is to replace the gear cable with a slicker one. This works by reducing the friction, meaning it takes less effort to change gears. We've actually been working with our supplier microSHIFT to make some changes that should allow us to stop this uncommon issue before our bikes even leave the factory within the next few months. The engineers at microSHIFT are also still working on other parameters to try to reduce the friction even further. For example, they're checking whether they can optimise the position of the gear cable clamp on the derailleur.

If you think your woom bike may be affected by this problem and none of the solutions outlined above make the gears any less stiff, please get in touch with our customer service team directly. We'll be happy to help you and your child as quickly and efficiently as possible. We thank you for your understanding and for your patience.

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.