Bike Makes a Clicking Noise When Pedaling – How to Fix

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 you bike makes clicking noises when you are pedaling and how to fix it

The Derailleur Hanger

A misaligned or bent derailleur hanger will cause clicking sounds when you pedal. Regardless of the size of the bend on the hanger, it will still throw off shifting and cause the clicking noises. In other instances, the clicking sounds occur when the hanger rubs against the bike frame.

How to fix this

In the case where the hanger is rubbing against the frame, 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 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 this

Remove the pedals from the bike and grease them. Make sure you the crank arm, washers and pedal are intact when re-installing them. If your shoes get noisy during pedaling it’s a sign that you need to clean and lubricate them.

Unsteady Brake Pads

A clicking sound is produced when the brake pads rub against the rims of the bike pedal while you are pedaling.

How to fix

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.

Bottom Bracket

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

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.

Shifter Cables

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 this

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.

Poor Lubrication

Difficulty is pedaling the bike, followed by a clicking/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 this issue

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


Bike frame

While it’s uncommon, defective bike frames can be the cause of persistent creaking while you are pedaling.

How to fix

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

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

Loose headset

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

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

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

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.


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.


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.

Patrick Flinch

Patrick Flinch is a professional cyclist, according to him, cycling is a sport that also helps people stay in good shape. Cycling takes many forms, and styles and so does the cycling equipment, however, this information is not available to everyone and that is why Patrick thought it wise to consolidate the most important information about cycling on “For the Bike Magazine.” Beginner, intermediate and professional cyclists will be furnished with useful insights. They will be able to understand the differences and benefits of both online and physical cycling. Apart from Cycling, Patrick is a family man, he is passionate about cycling and when not on duty, he loves to enjoy biking with his crew.