MAINTENANCE – Noisy Bicycle Getting to You?


Bicycling has recently posted a quick fix guide  to finding that noise on your bike. Bicycles should be silent, with maybe a hint of a whirl from the chain and the sound of the wind rushing past your ears, so when a noise interrupts they can be frustrating indeed.

The guide is written by Daimeon Shanks, a former bicycle mechanic for Team Garmin-Cervélo and now owner of The Service Course in Boulder, Colorado.

The parts of the bicycle to check are. :

  1. Spokes and valve stem: Check for loose spokes and valve stems. Otherwise, spokes may be rubbing the nipples. It seems matt-black spokes are known to creak.
  2. Wheel skewers: Open them up and then tension them up nice and firm. A bit of grease does not hurt here either.
  3. Pedal bearings and cleats: It is suggested to check the tightness off the pedals and to grease the cleats. Not sure what there is to grease on a cleat but.  I do tend to grease my pedal clip-in mechanisms regularly but.
  4. Seatpost and saddle rails: Carbon paste is handy here.
  5. Bottom bracket: Check for smoothness and remove, re-grease, and re-install if necessary. Chain-ring bolts can click if loose too.
  6. Handlebar and stem: Check for tightness. Carbon paste comes in handy here.
  7. Hubs: Check for loose spokes and valve stems. Otherwise, spokes may be rubbing the nipples.Wiggle your wheels to feel for side-to-side play. Hold the hubs and spin the wheels to ensure the bearings roll smoothly. If you suspect the rear wheel is the culprit, also check that the cassette is tight and the freehub bearings are in good shape.
  8. Headset: To identify continuous clicking, ride with no hands. To check for occasional creaking, stand over your top tube and keep the front wheel planted. Then grab the drops and pull up on one while pushing down on the other.

There is no mention of order in the article but I would be inclined to follow the order as given. Go for the easy fix first … it so often is a skewer or spoke causing the issue.

The full article with suggested fixes can be found at Bicycling.


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