- Bicycle crank-clicking sounds come from poor lubrication, worn-out derailleur pulleys, loose crank bolts, and bad bottom brackets.
- Fix the clicking bike pedal by lubricating the bike chain and cleats, tightening the bike cleats, replacing the pedals, trimming the front derailleur, and tightening loose bolts.
- To avoid or prevent bike crank clicking, perform regular maintenance like chain cleaning and inspections. Focus on proper installation to avoid loose components later too.
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Do you hear a clicking noise every time you pedal your bike? Usually, this is the bicycle crank making noise, which can be frustrating to fix.
A bicycle crank making a clicking noise can be a sign of poor lubrication, a worn-out derailleur pulley, the crank bolts being too loose, or bad bottom brackets. To fix it, consider lubricating the chain, tightening the cleats, trimming the front derailleur, or getting a new bottom bracket.
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about fixing a clicking bike pedal. This includes the common causes of the noise and the practical solutions and tips to help you diagnose and fix the issue. Keep reading to find out how to get your bike back in shape and enjoy a smooth and quiet ride.
Why Is My Bicycle Crank Making Clicking Noise?
If you are experiencing a clicking noise from the crank, diagnosing and fixing the problem as soon as possible is essential. Ignoring the issue can cause further damage to your bike and potentially lead to a more expensive repair.
We either need to fix it alone at home or bring it to a local bike shop. Here are some possible causes
If your chain isn’t adequately lubed, it can lead to many issues, such as an annoying clicking sound from your crank. Chain lubrication serves two main purposes.
First, it prevents dirt and debris from sticking to and damaging metal parts. Second, it reduces friction between the links so that they move more smoothly when riding.
Poorly lubed chains will create too much resistance between each link which can cause them to rub against each other, making a clicking noise as you pedal, typically louder when pedaling harder or standing up on hills.
Worn Out Derailleur Pulley
A clicking sound coming from the cranks of your bike can be annoying and distracting, but it’s usually a sign that something is wrong with your derailleur pulley. The pulleys are small metal pieces that help to guide the chain along the various sprockets of a bicycle drivetrain.
Over time, wear and tear can cause these pulleys to become worn out and in need of replacement. As they start to fail, you’ll hear a clicking noise emanating from your crank wheels as the chain jumps off track into different sprockets.
Crank Bolts Are Too Loose
One of the most obvious and simple ways to identify a clicking sound is by rattling the crank and seeing whether it shakes or not. If there is plenty of movement, the bolts are too loose.
Grab a torque wrench and start tightening these bolts. Start with the center bolt and keep tightening until the crank feels more sturdy and secure. Check if you have any loose cassette cogs while doing this too.
Old or Damaged Pedal
One of the most common reasons why your bicycle crank makes a clicking noise is due to a loose or worn-out pedal. When the pedal is not tightened properly, it can move around and create a clicking sound.
If your cleats are secure and you still hear a clicking sound, the next thing to check is your pedals. Worn pedals can also cause the clicking noise.
If your pedals are worn, replace them with new ones. If they are loose, tighten them up and see if the clicking sounds disappear. Try lubricating your pedals to see if that helps.
Bad Bottom Brackets
If your pedals, cleats, and crank arms are all in good condition, the last thing to check is your bottom bracket. A worn bottom bracket can also cause a clicking sound.
If your bottom bracket is worn, replace it with a new one. The bottom bracket is part of the bike that connects the crank arm to the frame. If it's loose or damaged, it can create a clicking sound.
When this happens, we need to replace or repair the bracket. Replacing it is likely our best solution if it’s old, rusted, and worn out.
How Do You Fix A Clicking Bike Pedal?
It can be frustrating and distracting if you're experiencing a clicking noise when pedaling your bike. We recommend visiting a bike repair shop if you have no experience fixing bikes. However, here are some steps you can take to fix the issue.
Lubricate The Bike Chain
A dry or dirty chain can cause a clicking noise. Lubricating the chain can reduce friction and noise. Use a bike-specific lubricant and apply it to the chain, making sure to wipe off any excess.
Tightening the Cleats
If you have clipless pedals, this rattling noise could be caused by loose cleats. Check the bolts that hold the cleats in place and tighten them if necessary.
Replacing the Pedals
If the noise persists, it could be due to worn-out pedals. Inspect the pedals for any signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or loose bearings. If the pedals are damaged, replace them with new ones.
Tightening the Crank Arms
The crank connects the pedals to the bike's bottom bracket. If they become loose, they can cause a clicking noise. Use a crank wrench to tighten the bolts that hold the bike crank in place.
Replacing the Bottom Bracket
If none of the above steps work, the clicking noise could come from a worn-out bottom bracket. This is a more advanced repair that may require special tools.
If you're uncomfortable doing this yourself, take your bike to a professional bike shop. This is especially true when fixing more complex problems like a new bracket or a bent derailleur hanger.
Trim The Front Derailleur
If the bike noise only occurs when you're in a certain gear, it could be caused by the front derailleur rubbing against the chain. Adjusting the derailleur can help fix this issue.
The chain will stop rubbing against the cage by trimming the front derailleur. This is most noticeable when changing or shifting gears. The noise should go away once we create more space for the chain away from the derailleur.
Check Other Bike Components
In some rare cases, the clicking noise can be confused with a creaking noise relating to the seat post or rear suspension. Rear suspension pivot noises require a new approach and differ from the clicking noise we are addressing.
Squeaky bike brakes are common when the brake pads get overused. Always check and update brake pads regularly to eliminate this noise. Cleaning the bike chain regularly is a good maintenance tip too.
Other bike noises happen often. The bike frame can get worn out, or the seat tube can wear down. These pesky bike noises only get louder the longer they are ignored.
How Can You Prevent A Clicking Bike Pedal?
Two obvious ways to prevent this problem include regular bike maintenance and proper installation. We’ll explain how to do both things below.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent future clicking is to perform regular maintenance on your bike pedals. This includes cleaning and lubricating your pedals at least once every few months.
Make sure to use a high-quality lubricant that is specifically designed for bike pedals. This will help to keep your pedals running smoothly and prevent any unwanted noise or clicking.
You should inspect your pedals regularly for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any cracks or other damage, it is important to replace your pedals as soon as possible. This will help to prevent any further damage to your bike and keep you safe while riding.
Another important factor in preventing future clicking is the proper installation of your bike pedals. When installing your pedals, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.
This will help ensure that your pedals are installed correctly and securely, preventing any unwanted movement or noise. Confirm that your pedals are tightened to the correct torque. Use an adjustable wrench to make this happen.
If your pedals are too loose or tight, this can cause clicking or unwanted noise while you ride. We want the Presta valve nuts to be properly installed and tightened too.
Finally, make sure that your pedals are compatible with your bike shoes. Using the wrong type of pedals or shoes can cause clicking or other unwanted noise while you ride.
If you are unsure which pedals or shoes to use, consult a professional bike mechanic or do some research online to find the best options for your bike.