Common Bike Noises – Bike Tour Tips & Tricks
As you start to prepare for your upcoming biking vacation, you want to make sure your bike is in tip-top shape. It is important to take your bike to a local shop for regular tune ups if you aren’t a mechanic yourself. But, what if you start hearing abnormal clicks and creaks while riding? A lot of these common bike noises are metal-on-metal parts that are not properly lubricated. Most of the time, these are simple fixes that just require a few tools, oil and grease.
Identify & Isolate the Noise
When you start to hear something odd from your bike, the first step is figuring out exactly where the noise is located. There are a few quick ways you can check your bike for noises.
First, hold the bike in front of you with the saddle in one hand and brake lever in the other. Hold down the brake and place one foot on the pedal when it is closest to the ground. Apply just enough pressure to the pedal to flex the frame of the bike. If the front or rear axels are creaking, you will hear it while applying pressure. Additionally, the crank may squeak under your foot. Check the other pedal by repeating this process on the other side of the bike.
You can also straddle your bike and apply pressure on either side of the handlebars. A clicking sound may indicate that the any of the bolts on the stem may need attention.
Front & Rear Axel Noise
By far the most common reason for clicks and creaks while you are riding are going to be your axels. In this case, take the wheel off of the bike. After that, remove the axel.
If the axel is bone dry, the noise is definitely from metal-on-metal rubbing. Paint on some grease, and reassemble your bike.
Click. Click. Click. If you are hearing a clicking noise as you pedal, this tends to indicate that you have dry pedal threads. To check that, remove the pedal from your bike.
The threads of the pedal need to be nicely greased. Take some grease and paint it on to the pedal threads. Also, clean up the threads of the crank arms as well to make sure no sand or dirt is in there, causing even more noise. Then, go ahead and reinstall the pedal.
If you hear a clicking noise while applying pressure on either side of the handlebar, oftentimes that’s going to be the faceplate of the stem. To fix that, the stem bolts need to be lubricated. Most of the time, there is no need to completely take off the bolts, though.
A quick fix is to use a light lubricant, drip it onto the heads of the bolts and onto the threads. A lot of the time that will totally take care of the noise. However, double check that all of the bolts are tight as well.
If you notice a creak when you sit down in your saddle, a lot of the time it will be the seat post itself. There are two points of the post that could be causing the noise.
One is the head of the seat post. Apply a light lubricant to the bolts. Lastly, tighten down all of the bolts.
The other point is where the seat post goes into the frame. Remove the seat from the bike, and grease inside of the frame. Reinstall the seat post.
These solutions to common bike noises are simple to do at home with the right tools, but if the sounds still persist, it might be time to take it into a professional bike mechanic. A bike in good working order makes it that much easier to enjoy your biking vacation.