How to Fix Bike Creaks & Squeaks

Velofix Northeast Florida

Is your bike creaking and squeaking? It’s easy to dismiss these noises as an annoyance, but they can indicate a serious problem. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for the bike to break. 

With a little bit of knowledge, you can diagnose and repair the most common bike noises yourself. And if you’re not sure how to fix something, you can always book an appointment with us, and we’ll bring bike repair services to you!

Identifying Common Bike Noises

It might sound strange, but identifying the type of noise can help you troubleshoot a problem. Squeaks will have different origins than clanks and clatters, for instance. Below, you’ll find a list to help you narrow down the possibilities based on the sound it makes:

Squeaks and Creaks

  • Crankset/ Bottom Bracket
  • Headset
  • Pivots (MTB)
  • Derailleur jockey wheels or chain guide pulleys
  • Chain
  • Derailleur “clutch” or lockout area
  • Saddle rail clamp bolt
  • Clipless pedals

Clunks and Clatters

  • Headset
  • Front/Rear wheel axles
  • Pivots (MTB)
  • Derailleur bolt
  • Water bottle cage

Scraping and Popping

  • Rear-wheel axle (make sure it is tight)
  • Derailleur bolt (make sure it is tight)

 

How to Fix a Squeaky Chain

If your chain is squeaking, that’s an easy fix. All it needs is a bit of lubrication. You can oil the chain by placing the bike in a stand or leaning it against a wall with the bike upside down and the drivetrain facing you so you’re able to spin the pedals freely. Then drip a drop of lubricant on each chain link as you pedal backward with your hand. When you’ve lubed the whole chain, continue to pedal backward for a few minutes to work in the oil.

How to Fix Squeaky Bike Brakes

There are a few things to look at here. First, make sure the wheel is properly attached since wobbly wheels can rub against the brakes and make them squeak. Similarly, make sure the wheel is true—bent wheels or one mounted crooked can cause the same issue. 

Dirt or wear in the brakes can also cause a squeak, and if your brake pads are too worn, they can squeak when you’re cycling. Lastly, make sure the pads are properly aligned with the wheel’s rim so that the brake pads aren’t grinding against the rubber tire.

How to Fix a Squeaky Bike Saddle

Start by looking under your saddle to figure out how it attaches. It should be one or two bolts on the fore or aft (sometimes both) sides of your seat post. Using a hex wrench or star-shaped torx wrench—whichever is compatible with your saddle bolts—tighten the bolt or bolts to eliminate any movement. Also check to make sure that the saddle clamp is within the fore and aft limits of the seat so that the clamps aren’t rubbing against something they shouldn’t.

How to Fix Creaky Bike Pedals

This is another easy one to fix. Simply put a drop of lubricant on the pedal springs and at the joint in the spindle. Wipe off any excess when you’ve finished. If they’re still grinding or stiff, you may need bearings serviced at velofix Northeast Florida.

General Bike Maintenance Advice

You can help prevent creaks, squeaks and other troublesome noises with a few bits of general maintenance. For starters, it’s wise to have your bike regularly serviced at velofix Northeast Florida. A qualified bike mechanic will address issues before they become a problem. 

You should also keep your bike clean and well lubricated to prevent the wear and tear that causes squeaks, and when you’re biking, keep a tube or tub of past grease on hand as well as a bottle of liquid lubricant. This can help you address issues as they happen.

Fixing squeaks and creaks generally comes down to tightening bolts or lubricating moving parts—but sometimes you may need to have your bike serviced by a professional mechanic. Your velofix Northeast Florida Mobile Bike Shop is here to save you time so you can ride more. Book your service today.