How to Fix Bike Making Clicking and Creaking Noise When Pedaling
There is nothing more irritating than when you are out in the open or trail biking and enjoying a wonderful ride in the woods far away from city noise then all of a sudden, you start hearing clicking and creaking noises from your bike as you pedal. This annoying noise can destroy your peaceful ride and your ability to listen to natural sounds like birds chirping and wind whistling. It is often difficult to figure out where this noise is coming from.
However, creaking and clicking noise from your bike usually signal underlying problems that need to be fixed urgently to prevent these issues from growing into bigger ones which may lead to huge repair costs in the future.
Some of the effective ways to fix the creaking and clicking issues in your bike when pedaling are; to check the pedals, tighten up loose bottom brackets shells, inspect the brake pads, check out the derailleur pulleys and lubricate the chain.
Why Does My Bike Creak When I Paddle?
Hearing creaking noise from your bike is usually an indication of dry metals rubbing against each other normally from the chains and bearings. It can also be a sign of worn-out, dirty, and damaged parts.
Here are some components parts that may likely cause the creaking noise in your bike;
- The dry axle
- The pedal bearings
- The cranks and spindle
- The bottom bracket bearings
- The chain, cassette, and derailleur
- The saddle
- The headset bearings
Why Does My Bike Make Click Noises When Pedaling?
Any bearing in your bike, like the headset pedals and wheel hubs, maybe the cause of the clicking noise in your bike. However worn-out frame-bearing housing and lose bolts can also induce noise.
Here are some possible parts that may induce the clicking noise in your bike:
- The crankset
- The frame bearings
- Cable hoses
How to Fix Clicking and Creaking Noise in Bike When Paddling
Check the Crank Arm
One of the common causes of creaking noise in your bike is the loosing of the cranks on the spindle. To remedy this problem, Take out the cranks, apply lubricant on the threads and below the bolt heads and reinstall it.
Tighten up the nuts based on the manufacturer’s recommended torque. You can use a wrench to do this if available. Usually, 300 inch-pound is regarded as the minimum torque, which is roughly about 50 pounds of effort of keeping a wrench six inches from the bolt.
Check the Chainrings and Spiders
The chainrings sometimes move a little closer against the mounting tab, which is usually during paddling efforts. Most new cranks are often assembled without retaining compound or grease and this normally intensifies the creaking noise as you paddle.
The chainrings are fastened to the crank arm by chainrings bolts. Use a hex key wrench to loosen the chainrings bolts and take out the chainrings from the crank arm. clean up the jointing points between the crank arm spider tabs and the chainrings. Reassemble the chainrings and apply a medium-retaining compound on the bolts, threads, and heads.
However, most of the modern cranks now have disjointed chainring spiders that are bolted or pressed to the arm. This may likely be another cause of the creaking.
For the bolted spider tabs, unscrew the bolts, take out the spiders and replace them with Loctite 609.
For the press-fit spiders, trickle a little of the Loctite around the interface and let it wick into any available space between the parts.
Check the Pedals
Your bike pedals and cleats can cause creaking noise when riding. You can get rid of the creaking noise by cleaning up the cleats and applying wax-based furniture polish spray on it or silicone-based spray.
However the pedals aren’t removed frequently, this makes the primary component to inspect, especially if you aggressively wash your bike regularly. Is likely that whatever grease was applied to it will wear out.
Take out the pedals from the cranks, clean them up, grease and reinstall them again.
Check the Chaining Bolts
The chaining bolts may click intermittently due to adequate lubrication or it being loose.
To remedy this problem, tighten up the chaining bolts. If the clicking noise doesn’t stop. Try taking out the chaining bolts, grease them and reinsert them.
Tighten Up Loose Bottom Brackets Shells
Debris and dirt can build up in between the bottom bracket threads and the shell. The buildup of dirt will induce noise in the bottom brackets shells as you pedal. This is particularly common when you ride in wet and muddy areas.
To solve this problem you need to take out the bottom bracket and shells completely from the bike frame. Next, scrub it with a brush and clean it thoroughly.
Put a considerable amount of grease on it and reassemble it. You can also use thin white plumbers tape and tightly seal between the threads.
Check Out the Spokes
The spokes can induce creaking when they cross each other, especially if you are on a wheel that is not properly tensioned.
The best way to solve this problem is to retain the wheels to the correct spec. You can also put oil on each of the crossing spokes, rim eyelet, and spoke nipple doing this will get rid of the noise.
Lubricate the Chain
If you realize the rollers are dry and shiny then you need to spray a considerable amount of lubricant on them. As it could be a possible cause of clicking in your bike as you pedal. You should try to lubricate your chain every two weeks as doing this will bring down the noise.
Check the Headset
The headset of your bike joins the main frame to the front wheel and fork. In most instances, the headset depends on a tightly pressed fit to get into the frame or fork properly. However, if the headset is properly fitted it can cause other parts to move and creak when it is stressed.
To remedy this problem, you can use a retaining compound on the headset to make it tight.
You can also take out the fork from the head tube, clean it up and grease all the contact surfaces. If that doesn’t work consider removing the crown race and cups, and reinstalling them with some grease.
Check Out the Derailleur Pulleys
Another possible cause of the clicking noise in your bike is the derailleur pulleys, if the click noise becomes louder and faster as you pedal faster then the derailleur is the culprit.
To remedy this problem, turn your bike upside-down and apply a considerable amount of oil between the pulley and side plates. Allow the lubricant to penetrate and wipe off the excess.
However if the noise doesn’t stop, then you need to take out the pulleys and grease each before reassembling and putting them back again.
Check Out the Cassette Cogs
The cassette cogs can be the culprit behind the clicking noise you hear when pedaling. The noise usually occurs when the cassette cogs become loose. To mitigate this problem, you need to use an adjustable wrench and any cassette cogs locking tool to tighten up the loose components. Doing this will help get rid of the clicking noise.
Inspect the Brake Pads
Your bike brake pads vibrate against the rims of the pedal and induce a clicking noise. To mitigate this problem, ensure the brake pads are in good condition and are properly tied in. Once this is done the front side of your brake pads will get in contact with the rear part. This will get rid of the clicking noise.
Also, ensure to keep your rims clean and free from debris as this can contribute to the click noise. However, if your rim is dirty, use solvent to clean it up.
Inspect Your Bicycle Frame
In the worst-case scenario, the creaking noise from your bike may be due to a crack in the frame. A crack can occur in the welded joints of two separate frames, particularly those that link up chainstays to the brackets. If you are a bigger rider who puts a lot of weight and stress on the frame, your bike may likely develop a crack especially if you are riding an old steel frame.
If you realize the noise from your bike is a result of a crack in the frame, quickly send your bike to a professional for evaluation. As it is very difficult and near impossible to repair a cracked frame.
Check the Saddle
The saddle can cause a creaking noise in your bike. Over time the saddle may become loose on the seat post and induce a creaking noise as the saddle rails move and shake. You can tighten up the saddle rail binders to get rid of the noise.
Inspect the Seat
Out of components in your bike, the seat can also induce noise when pedaling. Especially when the noise occurs once you are seated on it.
The best way to mitigate this problem is to remove the seat post and put a considerable amount of grease on it. Ensure the seat is firmly tightened to the Seatpost as that can induce the noise if they are loose.
Check Your Shoes
If you are using riding shoes, the cleats below the shoe can become loose and cause noise. To remedy this issue, use a moderate of any type of locking compound or grease up the bolts and tighten them up.
Surprisingly regular street shoes on the pedals can induce noise. Your shoelace can pat against the crank arm and plastic can move below your sole and creak.
Inspect the Presta Valve Nuts
The clicking noise from your bike may be caused by the Presta valve nuts. Over time the Presta valve nuts tend to lose and their ability to hold the inner valve also decreases, resulting in the click noise.
To solve this problem you need to tighten up the valve snuggle. You can also install O-rings below the valve nuts to keep them steady.
Inspect the Stem and Handlebars
Another possible cause of the creaking in your can be due to loose stems or bar bolts. The bolt threads can also induce noise if they lack lubrication, are dry or are not properly fastened. To remedy this problem, take out the bolts, and grease up the threads and below the bolt head.
Some bikes have a center section that is pressed on and it is popularly called a sleeve.
This sleeve may become loose over time and cause creaks in your bike. The best way to remedy this problem is to replace the sleeve.
There are several causes of the click and creak when pedaling your bike. You should try to solve one issue at a time and tackle the possibilities as you go on. Trying to solve multiple problems at once may be time-consuming and frustrating.
Cleaning up your bike and servicing it regularly will save a lot of headaches and time off the road.