A noisy bicycle is not just annoying, it can also cost you a lot when you ignore it. Listen closely to your bike and fix it with the following simple tips.
NOISY BICYCLE: Pedal
When you hear clicking from your pedals, most likely, your bearings are worn or dry. To fix this, follow the instructions that came with the pedals. Remove the spindle from the pedal body, then clean, dry, and lubricate or grease all bearings. Reinstall the spindle into the pedal body. If this does not work, probably it’s because you have ridden too long on dry or loose bearings, damaging the surfaces beyond repair. If this is the case, it’s best to take your pedals to a bicycle shop to have the bearings and bearing hardware replaced by an expert. If you ignore this, the damage can extend to the pedal body or spindle, which will require you to get new bearings as well as a set of pedals.
NOISY BICYCLE: Handlebar
When you hear screaking from your handlebar, most likely there is movement between the stem and the bar. You can remove the stem binder bolt/s, slide the bar out from the stem, wipe the stem and the bar with degreaser or alcohol, grease the bolt/s, and reinstall and torque to manufacturer specs. If this does not work, perhaps the size of your handlebar may not be compatible with the size of your stem. If you ignore this problem, your handlebar could slip in the middle of your ride and hurl you over the front your bike.
NOISY BICYCLE: Bottom Bracket
When you hear creaking from the bottom bracket, most likely, a crank arm or the bottom bracket cup is loose. To fix this, you can use a torque wrench and secure the crank bolts to proper torque spec. If this does not work, you can remove the cranks and bottom bracket cups. Then apply a medium thread locker to the cup threads, clean the spindle interface and the crank with a clean rag and alcohol. Grease the bolts, and reinstall everything to the right torque specs. If you ignore this, you will have to buy a new set of cranks.
NOISY BICYCLE: Seat Area
When you hear squeaking from your seat area, most likely, your saddle is loose or the suspension pivots are dry. To fix this problem, remove your seat from your clamp. Clean it and the rails with a clean rag and alcohol. Then grease and resecure the bolt. If that does not work, remove the suspension pivot bolts and hardware and the clean them with a clean rag and alcohol. Regrease and reinstall them. If you don’t do anything about this, the squeaking will become worse beyond tolerance.
NOISY BICYCLE: Brakes
When you hear squealing from your brakes, most likely, your brakes pads and/or your rim are cruddy. To fix this, you can clean both sides of your rim or rotor with degreaser or alcohol and a clean rag. If the noise does not go away after doing so, sand your rubber brake pads with 100-grit sandpaper or lightly rub disc pads with a clean Scotch-Brite pad. A bicycle with disc brakes normally does not have this kind of problem.