Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise? 9 Things You Should Check

We often get one question in our comments section: “Why do bikes make a clicking noise while riding?” Our article below will clarify the reasons and what to do about it.

Be it an experienced biker or a beginner, the answer to why do bikes make noise when coasting is one that everyone wants to know. We have been asked this question many times in our comments section, and we decided to investigate and give our readers a thorough answer.

Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise

Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise? Common Reasons


Most of the time, the noise comes from bike parts that the rider cannot check or access easily, for example, the drivetrain. Other times, the noise can be due to the friction between the chain and the derailleur cage. 


Interestingly, most of the common problems in bikes occur due to this kind of friction on the chain. It happens because the primary power moves between the legs and the wheels. Now, bicycles are not supposed to make clicking noises. 

So, you must be very careful while riding as it can compromise your safety. While this is a common problem among bikers, it doesn’t always require professional help. You can try a few troubleshooting ideas to stop the clicking noises on your bike. 

Gear Change

There is another reason why the clicking noise occurs, and it is possibly the most common reason. It is because the chain on the cassette jumps up and down a gear when you are riding. 

You can quickly rectify this by adjusting the cable’s tension between the shifter and the rear derailleur. It would help if you also kept an eye on the alignment and attachment of the wheels. 

Inspect whether the wheel is proper, check for dirt and any signs of wear and tear. You should also check for the wearing down of brake pads and make sure the alignment of the pads is correct. 

You might also like to read : Do Bikes Go Rusty Outside

Why Does My Bike Make a Clicking Sound When I Pedal?

While clicking sounds in bikes are familiar, you should not ignore them. The sounds can come from fundamental maintenance issues as well as technical faults of the cycle. Usually, people assume these sounds don’t mean any significant problem with the bike.

You might think that it is just an irritating feature, but that is not always true. The sounds might indicate some trouble with the bike that requires immediate attention.

They generally point towards minor problems, but if left unattended, these problems might cause expensive damage. It is also not safe to ride a bike that is making such noises.  

There are various reasons why bikes make clicking noises:

Age of the Bike

With time bikes and their parts need replacements and repairs. The chains in the bikes often get stretched out due to long-term use. When stretched, the chains will move around, and this may result in uneven or skewed mechanics.

Old and loose chains can also wear out the sprockets and chainrings. So you must frequently service and maintain your bike. 

Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise

Misalignment of the Chain

If the spacers are not correctly placed or your bike has wrong sized tires, sprockets, or chainrings, the chain can get misaligned. Since the chain connects the pedals to the wheels, even the slightest change can cause problems like clicking or squeaking noises.

If you have a fixed gear bike, you should take special care as it will not have derailleurs to straighten the slack. The general rule to replace a bike chain is after the bike has run two thousand miles. Keep this in mind to prevent the noises. 


Bikes are metal vehicles, and therefore they need frequent lubrication for smooth use. Although people often ignore maintenance, regular oiling will keep your bike in a better condition while improving its durability and functioning. If your bike is making clicking noises, lubrication of the chain and other parts should be among the first troubleshooting activities that you should do. 


Geared bikes have derailleurs that push and pull the chains to manage gears. Often, if the installation of the attached cables is not correct, the chain might jump out of gear due to an inadequate amount of pressure.

If you are an experienced biker, you will manage the shifter and derailleur balance on your own. However, it would help if you asked a professional to take a look. The very least that you can do is regularly get your bike checked at the local bike repair shop. 

Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise

Wear And Tear

Bike components degrade with time, and you need to replace or repair them. Parts like chainrings suffer wear and tear and are usually unable to grip the chain properly.

It might result in the chain malfunctioning and, thus, the clicking sound. Other bike parts like sprockets, derailleurs, shifters, and cranksets also get old and rusty. You need to maintain them and then replace them with new ones after a while.  

Why Does My Bike Make a Clicking Sound When I Am Not Pedaling?

Usually, the clicking noise comes from the chains and while pedaling. So if your bike is making a noise when you are not pedaling, you need to immediately take it to a garage. 

Bikes are usually safe vehicles for everyday commute. But you must be extremely careful as there is no motor involved, and you require proper balance to ride. Usually, when there is a noise when you are not pedaling, it comes from the back wheel.

Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise

Freehub is a part of the hub of the wheel that is responsible for a ratchet mechanism. The mechanism helps your bike move forward even if you are not pedaling at that moment. The sound comes from the spring action of the pawl as it clicks back to its place after sliding over the teeth.

Higher resistance in springs causes higher clicking noises in the bike. Additional energy is necessary to overcome the resistance of the springs, so the moment you start pedaling again, the noise will stop. If it doesn’t, there is some other issue with your bike.  

How to Fix the Bike if It Is Making a Clicking Sound? 

If the clicking and squeaking sound in your bike persists and you are worried about your safety, you should first try to troubleshoot the problem. If you cannot resolve the issue, you should meet with an expert mechanic and ask for some advice. 

Here are a few ways of troubleshooting when your bike is making unusual noises. 

  • If your bike is making a clicking sound, the first thing to do is check your cleats and tighten them with a screwdriver. This simple trick can solve the problem in many cases, and you don’t have to worry about it again. You must also check your pedals for looseness. Make sure you adjust the float setting in a way that allows for flexibility in the pedals. 
  • The noise can also come from one of the feet of the bike, especially if it is not at level. So you should check the feet and also check the lock nuts on the feet. 
  • You should brush-clean and oil the chains every fortnight since inadequately lubricated chains might result in clicking sounds. It will help you to maintain your bike correctly and avoid unwanted sounds. 
  • It is also wise to check the cassette cogs of your bike. Loose cogs often result in creaking sounds. All you need is a cassette locking tool and an adjustable wrench to fix the problem. 
  • Sometimes the pump brushes the crank arm, which causes clicking sounds. If this happens, you can reposition the pump to ensure the objects don’t touch each other. The sound will instantly stop. 
  • If the bike is making noises while pedaling hard, it is probably due to the derailleur pulleys. You can try to oil them and in between the side plates to smoothen things up. You can also take out the pulleys, clean them, and lubricate them separately to get the best results. 
  • Another part that can cause clicking sounds is the valves. The valves loosen up with time and generate various sounds. You need to slightly snug them or silence the noises using an O-ring on the nuts. Remember not to tighten them too hard as they will become challenging to remove later. 
Why Do Bikes Make A Clicking Noise

At times clicking noise on a bike can occur due to crank arm alignment issues. Now, you cannot fix this, so you should take your bike in for repairs.  

It would be best if you took your bike in for servicing once every year. Mechanics at your local repair shop or garage will identify where the noises are coming from and what they can do to stop the noises. Your bike should also be clean and lubricated as that helps to reduce damage over time.

Proper maintenance ultimately results in increasing longevity and improving the quality of the bike. You should also keep in mind that if you are attempting to maintain and repair your bike at home, you need to have proper wrenches and screwdrivers so that you don’t cause any accidents while at work.

You might also like to read : How Long Do Bike Chains Last

There Can Be Many Reasons For Clicking Noises, But Most Of Them Originate In The Chain Of Your Bike

So now you’ve reached the end of this article! You can use this as a guide whenever you think your bike is making an unusual noise. Don’t forget to write about your experiences as a biker in the comments below. Please share this article with others who are worried about clicking noise coming from their bikes. 

Happy Riding!