Bike noises are unpredictable. There is nothing more worrying than hearing a clicking sound while on your bike ride. It’s worse when you do not know where the noises are coming from because your bike may have serious mechanical issues. Instead of taking your bike back on the road, it would be better to find the source of the sound and fix it. Taking out the bike for a ride might result to something breaking or result to some sort of accident whether small or big.
Here is why your bike makes clicking noises when you are pedaling and how to fix it.
Table of Contents
- Bike Parts That Cause Creaks, Squeaks, and Clicks
- Other Bike Noises and How to Fix Them
- Keep Your Bike Regularly Maintained
Bike Parts That Cause Creaks, Squeaks, and Clicks
It is important to inspect your bike before every ride. If you notice that bike is clicking you should find the source of the clicking sound and fix it before raiding. Making sure that bolts on your bike are tightened and there are no squeaking sounds can prevent injuries and any damage to a bike. Lets take a look at most common bike parts that can cause bike to creaks, squeaks and clicks.
The Derailleur Hanger
A misaligned or bent derailleur hanger will cause bike clicking sound when pedaling. Regardless of the size of the bend on the hanger, it will still throw off shifting and cause the bike clicking noises. In other instances, the clicking sounds occur when the hanger rubs against the bike frame.
–How to fix bike derailleur hanger clicking:
In the case where the hanger is rubbing against the frame you can try following to fix it
- Detach the hanger and clean up all components.
- Make sure you oil the surfaces to reduce any friction.
- Repair the hanger if you need to before re-installing it back.
- Remove them pulleys and oil/grease them before putting them back up.
Pedals and Shoes (Cleats)
One easy way to diagnose the clicking sound on your bike is to listen to its rhythm. If the pedals are the issue, you will notice the clicking noise when you pedal after every single pedal stroke. Clicking and squeaking with every stroke or rotation can also be as a result of faulty cleats.
–How to fix bike pedal clicking noise:
Remove the pedals from the bike and grease them. Make sure the crank arm, washers and pedal are intact when re-installing them. Lubing the pedal springs every now and will help you prevent squeaky bike noises.
If your shoes get noisy during pedaling it’s a sign that you need to clean and lubricate them.
Unsteady Brake Pads
When the brake pads rub against the rims of the bike pedal while you are pedaling they can cause a clicking noise.
–How to fix bike brakes knocking noise:
First, make sure that the brake pads are toes in and in optimum condition. The front pads should only make contact with the rear part of the bike.
If the sound is not coming from your drivetrain and pedals, then the bottom bracket is definitely your culprit. Parts of your bike like the bottom brackets can be loose, causing annoying clicking sounds when you pedal.
–How to fix bottom bracket clicking sounds:
Check to see if the bottom brackets are tight. To reduce the clicking sounds, you have to tighten the bottom bracket cups. If your bike has a pre—fit bottom bracket you and you don’t have the tools to fix them, it would be better to take the bike to the bike shop for a quick repair.
Constant clicking sounds in certain gears means there is an issue with your shifter cables. If the shifter cable stretch, they can pull the derailleur out of alignment. This causes the chain to rub against the derailleur cage ride between the gears, making a constant clicking sound.
–How to fix shifter cables rubbing noises:
If your derailleur hanger is not bent and the derailleur is aligned, then the next solution is to tune the tension on the derailleur. If this does not fix the clicking sounds on your bike then you will need to replace the shifter cables.
Poorly Lubricated Parts
Difficulty pedaling the bike, followed by a clicking and nocking sound while you are pedaling is a clear indication that you are working with poorly lubricated bike.
Without lubrication, the chain won’t give you guaranteed performance while cycling. When it’s not well maintained, the chain will not accommodate the energy received during cycling.
–How to fix poorly lubricated bike:
The solution here is as simple as lubricating the bike. Use a lubricant lube or spray on the rollers to avoid the clicking and knocking sounds. Applying lube on your bike every two weeks should work out fine.
Other Bike Noises and How to Fix Them
Creaking and Squeaking Sounds
While it’s uncommon, defective bike frames can be the cause of persistent creaking noise while you are pedaling hard.
–How to fix bike frame creaking noise:
Unfortunately, bike frame malfunctions can be hard to diagnose. Frame defects like hairline cracks are hard to find if you are not a professional. The main solution is to take the bike to your local bike shop for diagnosis and fixing.
Quick Release or Thru Axle
The quick release will cause a squeaking noise when loose or dirty.
–How to fix quick release squeaking noise:
To fix this, you need to tighten the quick release or thru acle and make sure it is not cracked or broken on which case will need fixing. Otherwise, make sure to remove, clean and grease the thru axle for a better riding experience.
Clunking or Rattling Noises
If you hear a clunking or rattling noise while riding your bike, it could be due to a loose bike chain. A loose chain can cause the links to bounce around and hit the adjacent gears, causing a clunking noise.
Loose chain can also produce a rattling noise when the chain slaps against the chainstay or derailleur. Make sure to inspect your bike chain regularly in order to prevent any problems.
–How to fix loose chain rattling noise:
To fix this issue, chain will need to be tightened.
- The first step is to shift the chain to the smallest chainring and sprocket, so that there is less tension on the chain.
- Then, use a chain tool to loosen the bolt that attaches the chain to the derailleur.
- Pull the chain taut by lifting the rear wheel off the ground and rotating the cranks.
- Once the chain is sufficiently tight, reattach the bolt to the derailleur.
Be sure not to over-tighten the chain, as this can cause damage to your bike’s gears or derailleur. With a properly tightened chain, you can enjoy a smooth and quiet ride. .
If you hear clunking or rattling sounds from the front end of the bike while pedaling, the problem could be a lose headset. To check if this is the issue, you choose grab the front brake lever and rock it from front to back. You will hear the clunking sound and feel movement if you have a loose headset.
–How to fix loose headset rattling sounds:
To fix this, you should tighten the bolds in your headset. Start by loosening the stem bolts, tightening your headset then securing the stem bolts to make sure everything is fixed in tightly.
Loose Bottle Cage
Once common causes for rattling sounds while on the road is a loose bottle cage.
–How to fix loose bottle cage noise:
This is an easy fix: check the bolts that attach the bottle cage to your bike frame. Tighten all loose bolts to the manufacture’s specifications especially when you are dealing with carbon parts.
Too Many Wires
Too many cables at the front of the bike could cause consistent rattling sounds while you are riding. One of the main reasons for this is poor wire set-up or having excessive wires on the front end of the bike. The cables click against the frame or each other, causing a rattling sound. Internal cable routing will cause even launder rattling sounds
–How to fix rattling caused by cables:
The best way to fix this would be by rerouting or replacing the brake and shifter cables. You would be better off taking the bike to your local bike shop if you lack the tools and skills to repair it.
Keep Your Bike Regularly Maintained
Maintaining your bike is crucial to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Neglecting your bike’s maintenance can lead to more severe problems down the line that will cost more money to fix. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to service your bike regularly.
Regular bike maintenance ensures that small issues are caught before they become bigger problems, meaning you can catch and eliminate any potential noise problems before they turn into something worse.
When your bike needs maintenance or repair, it is best to take it to a reputable bike repair shop. Experienced bike technicians will know exactly how to diagnose and repair any issues with your bike.
Bike riding is more peaceful and enjoyable when you have a smooth-running and noise-free bike. If you notice some clicking, squeaking, clunking and ratting sounds, it could be one of the reasons mentioned in this article.
Your bike making noises as you pedal is a clear indication that it needs readjustments and repairs. The best thing to do is find the cause of the noise and have it fixed immediately. If you are unsure of the source of your noise, take the bike to your Local bike shop for inspection.
If you find yourself unable to fix a clicking noise or any other issues with your bike, it’s best to take your bike to a qualified bike mechanic. It is essential to keep up with your bike’s needs and not to fall behind on taking it to a professional when problems arise.
How do you know that your water bottle cage is creaking?
This is one of the hardest noises to find, especially while pedaling. If you stop pedaling and place the bike on a stand, you notice that the is no noise coming out. this is because the stand holds the frame firmly and the water bottle does not rock from side to side.
Can you replace your shifter cable at home?
Yes, with the right tools, shifter cable replacement is easy. you only need a new cable set, cable housing cutters, diagonal cutters, hex wrenches and a small pick.