Noisy bike: Where is the noise coming from?

Noises we get from our bikes are wonderful things! It’s our bikes way of  letting us know when something is wrong with them and are not quiet about it! We have all experienced irritating noises at some point when out on a ride. But how do you identify where they are coming from, how do you check it and what do you do about it?

We are here to help in making your life quieter! We will go through the most common noises and if we have missed some out or you have a noise you can’t seem to pinpoint, let us know on the #YourRide and we can try and help you find it and sort it!


Squeaky noise – Coming from drive chain

Squeaky, almost dry squeaking, this could be worn jockey wheels. Check this by moving the jockey wheels from side to side to see if there is a lot of play in them if so it would suggest this is where the noise is coming from and that they need replacing.


Intermittent jumping or ticking.

This could be a tight link in the chain. With the chain, move the links in your hands all the way round the chain and you may spot a tight link. If so you can attempt to loosen it with a chain tool or take the tight link out and rejoin the chain or replace the chain if it is an old chain.


Creaking around the center of the bike

This is quite a common noise and most people will come across this unless you get a new bike every year?! This could be the bottom bracket. bottom brackets get worn out over time especially if you riding in the winter alot. Water, grit, dirt and damp weather deteriorate the bottom bracket. Check this by pushing and pulling the crank arms. If there is play in them and you can feel unwanted movement then this may suggest that you need to replace the bottom bracket.


If your are on a winter bike chances are that this is your mudguards, they can easily come loose and cause a lot of rattling. If it is not this, check your headset. Sometimes if the headset is loose or worn there can be play in it causing it to rattle a little. Check this by placing your thumb and index finger around the bottom of the headset, hold your brake on and move the bike forward and backwards, if you can feel movement in the headset it may need servicing or replacing.

SKS Mudguards

Grinding dry sound

This could be wheels bearings. When wheel bearings are on the way out the can sounds dry and gritty and can become noisy. Again, rattle the wheel from side to side whilst stationary and off the bike to see if you can identify play in the wheels. If so you may need to get the bearing changed or serviced. Simple re-greasing and tightening up can sometimes fix the issue.

Gears ticking or generally making a unwanted irritating sound.

This could be a number of things such as a long or stretched chain, gear set up not quite right which could be down to stretched cables. To be sure, check the length of your chain to see if it has stretched. Also try and get the gears set up correctly.  If you can’t get the gears perfect there is a good chance the cables need changing as they are too stretched to get the perfect set up. If after all this the drivechain is still making a noise. Work out how long you have used your cassette and chainrings for? How many miles have you done and are the teeth worn causing the noise.










We hope this has been helpful and if you need any advise of maintenance then feel free to ask us on the #YourRide or @probikekit and we will be happy to advise.

Writer and expert