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Bike Makes Clicking Noise When Pedaling Hard? Here’s the Reason

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

bike makes clicking noise when pedaling hard

Nothing’s more annoying than hearing a clicking sound when having a smooth bike ride. It makes you want to stop and wonder where the noise is coming from. You may even think that your bike is having a serious problem needing attention and maintenance.

It is one of the most disturbing sounds your bike can ever make. It can indicate part replacement so your bike can stop clicking. When left untreated, it can cause severe problems like physical injury to the biker.

However, finding where the noise originates can sometimes pose a challenge. You should try your best to pinpoint the source of the sound to eliminate the noise. Thus, we are here to help you understand why your bike makes clicking noise when pedaling hard.

In this way, you will know what to do and restrain from panicking when you encounter the issue.


Why Your Bike Makes Clicking Noise When Pedaling Hard


There are different noises your bike can make when you are riding. It can be clicks, squeaks, and creaks that are not just annoying but equally disturbing. These are strong indications that your bike is not working at its optimum.

A clicking noise is the most common sound your bike can make. It can be due to the rider pedaling fast, and the chain wants to jump up and down the rear cassette to accommodate the demands of the pedal. To identify the sound, you can slow down from pedaling and observe whether you still hear a sound.

If the sound is still present, pedal again slowly and determine which part is making the annoying sound. To know the problem easily, here are the common causes of bike clicking sound:

1. Hard pedaling

If you have been dealing with difficulties in pedaling your bike and there is a knocking noise when pedaling the bike, it is a strong indication that the bike chain is poorly lubricated. The chain cannot perform well, especially if it is not well-maintained. The chain cannot accommodate the amount of energy it receives because it lacks oil or lubricant.

To resolve the issue, you can use a lubricant spray or lube the rollers. Ensure that you are applying lube on your bike chain regularly. The most ideal is once every two weeks.

2. Inspect the derailleur pulleys

Another source of the clicking sound is your bike derailleur pulleys. Like how you maintain the bike chain, you can apply a moderate amount of oil in the middle of the side plates and the derailleur pulleys.

Regarding the issue of the bike making clicking noises when pedaling, you can remove the pulleys and grease them one by one. Upon greasing, you can now reassemble, then put them back again.

3. Check the Presta valve nuts

If addressing your chain and derailleur does not stop the noise, the next thing to check are the Presta valve nuts. In some cases, the Presta valve nuts tend to get loose and reduce the hold, resulting in clicking sounds.

You can tighten the valves snuggling them, or install an O-ring on or just below the valve nuts.

4. Inspect the cassette cogs

Loose cassette cogs can also be the culprit of clunking noise when pedaling the bike. To address loose cassette cogs, you need to use a cassette locking tool along with an adjustable wrench, and tighten the loose parts. This way, you can reduce or eliminate the clicking sounds.

5. Inspect the pedals and bottom bracket

Other parts of your bike that can be loose are the pedals and the bottom bracket. When these parts are not steady, they can also create disturbing and annoying clicks.

To reduce the sound it creates, you have to tighten both the pedals using a pedal wrench. Then, strengthen the cleat tension crew to remove the sound.

Next, start inspecting your bike bottom bracket and adjust it accordingly. Initially, you must remove the crank arms, make sure that they are correctly in place, and tighten the cups. Also, ensure that the bearings are well-adjusted.

6. Unsteady brake pads

If your brake pads vibrate against the rims of your bike pedal, it can produce a clicking sound. To solve this issue, make sure that the brake pads are in optimum condition and toed in. By doing so, the front part of the pads will only make contact with the rear part that can significantly eliminate the noise.

Make sure that the rim is also clean and no residue is left, resulting in unnecessary sound. In case the rim has dirt, use a solvent to clean it.

Fixing Other Bike Noises


1. Fixing squeaky bike brakes

If you encounter squeaky bike brakes, you have to check whether your bike wheel is securely attached. The wheel must be well-seated in the dropout of your front fork or rear bike frame. If it is not seated properly, the wheel can rub against a brake pad producing a squeaky noise.

You can also check for any dirt and wear in the wheel. You can use cleaning pads with rubbing alcohol or a cleaner made specifically for the brakes. After, smoothen the pads and rotor using sandpaper. It can significantly reduce unnecessary sound.

2. Fixing rear suspension pivot noises

There are times that rear suspension with multiple pivot points can produce squeaky sounds, especially when they are loose or dry.

To resolve this, make sure that the pivots are secured and tight. You can use a hex wrench when tightening the pivot bolts for more secure placement.

Afterwhich, apply lube between the pivot and the frame. It can significantly reduce the noise made by your bike.

3. Fixing a creaky seat post

If you observe that your seat post is making an odd sound when you are seated, this can also be because of a faulty bike part. At first, you might think that it is due to the saddle, but it is due to the seat post needing a lube.

To address this issue, you can remove the post initially by loosening the bolt at the seat collar. Then, you can apply grease around the seat post moderately. This trick is ideal for aluminum seat posts. If you have a carbon one, use a carbon fiber paste instead of grease.

4. Fixing a squeaky bike crank

Bike cranks can also produce unnecessary sound, especially when the bolt is loose. You must inspect whether there is an issue in your bike crank by pulling it on one side and wiggle it from side to side. If you observe and see any problems, you should also tighten the crank bolts using a hex wrench. Ensure that the bolts are securely tightened to eliminate the sound.


Riding a bike is more enjoyable when you can run them smoothly and noise-free. However, you might notice that your bike makes clicking noise when pedaling hard or due to a faulty bike part.

The most common is when your bike clicks when pedaling hard. Bike making clicking noises when pedaling hard is an indicator that your bike needs repair and readjustments. Good thing, we have listed most of the major causes of a clicking sound on your bike. You have to follow our tips provided above to eliminate the annoying sound.

They are quick and easy-to-understand guides and do not require major tools for repair. you find them informative and helpful, as well. Next, if you have any more questions and have thoughts in mind, you can leave your questions down below so we can help you out.

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