Why Do Road Bikes Make Noise?

While peacefully riding your road bike around town, there are few things as annoying as noise from your bike. Some noises are louder or more frequent than others and can irritate the cyclist. You may wonder why road bikes make noise. 

Five main factors influence why road bikes make noise. These noises aren’t severe and are easily fixable. Loose handlebars, worn-out pedal bearings, gear-changing problems, a broken or worn-out bottom bracket, or brake pads rubbing against the wheels can cause these noises.

When looking at the different noises that your road bike makes, it is essential to know that if you can’t fix the noise yourself, it would be best to take it to a professional and have it fixed. Let’s look at why your road bike might be making noise.

Reasons Why Road Bikes Make Noise

While riding your road bike, you may hear a rattle that seems to be from the handlebars. This rattling noise might indicate that the road bike has loose handlebars that need tightening. Other bike components, like bottle holders, or mudguards, might also need tightening.

Over time you may hear an annoying clicking noise from your pedals, indicating that your bearings might be the main problem. The bearings in your pedals might start to work up and create a clicking noise, meaning your bearings need replacing.

When changing gears, you might hear a clunk noise. The clunk noise typically indicates the refusal of gear changing. This refusal isn’t an uncommon noise while riding and means that the derailleurs need adjusting. The same noise can also come from the chain rubbing against the derailleur, indicating that you should adjust your derailleur.

A tick or click noise might appear as you climb or pedal vigorously. This noise can seem to come from your feet but comes from the bottom bracket near the pedals. A way to identify if it is the bracket is by getting off the bike and shaking the crank arms. If the arms move, it indicates that your bottom bracket bearings are broken, and you need to replace them.

The last noise your road bike might make is a swish noise. The swish noise is common and usually occurs after each rotation of your wheels. This noise is often just the result of your brake pads rubbing against the wheel. To prevent this noise, you must make a few adjustments to your brake pads, ensuring that the wheel is directly between the two brake pads.

How To Eliminate Road Bike Noise

While noises on road bikes are common, they can’t help but be annoying. Nothing is as irritating as riding your bike around town and hearing squeaks after every wheel rotation or pedal. While they might sound severe, these noises are often fixable in minutes or even seconds, and they don’t require you to be a professional.

How To Fix Handlebar Noises

If noises are coming from your handlebar, it is best to stop, get off the bike, and look at what it might be. Your handlebar is one of the essential components of the bicycle as you use it to steer, and noise from your handlebar might indicate that it is loose.

To fix these noises, you should take the following steps. Firstly, gently tighten the headset bolt, the big bolt on the handlebar. After tightening the headset bolt, you should also ensure that, while keeping the front wheel tight, you tighten the stem bolts at the front of the handlebar.

Ways To Fix Bike Pedal Noises

Noises from your pedals might indicate that your bearings are worn-out or broken. These noises are common, especially if you frequently ride your bike in harsh conditions like rain. This noise isn’t necessarily something to worry about, but fixing it as quickly as possible would be best.

One can quickly fix pedal noise as they don’t require a professional to fix it. There are two ways these noises can be fixed, with the first being to apply bicycle lubrication to the pedals and their bearings. If, after using lubrication, the noise continues, it would be best to buy new pedals. One can install these pedals at home or any local bike repair shop.

How To Eliminate Derailleur Noises

The derailleur is one of the main components used to switch gears. When hearing a clunk noise from your derailleur, there can be a few reasons. One of the main reasons for the noise coming from the derailleur includes gear shifting problems. At the same time, the conditions in which you ride a bike influence the other factor.

While gear shifting problems might sound like a severe problem, it is common for bikes to have this problem. The noise made when there are gear-shifting problems usually sounds like a clunk. To fix this noise, you should adjust your derailleur to ensure that the chain is directly in the middle.

If this is not the problem, your derailleur and chain might be dry. A dry derailleur is also common as the weather and conditions you ride your bike in influence how dry the derailleur and chain can become. To ensure you eliminate this noise, put bicycle lube on the derailleur and chain to keep it wet and in good condition.

Ways To Remove Bottom Bracket Noise

The bottom bracket is near your pedals and allows your bike to rotate freely without the frame. The bottom bracket is one of those components that can make noise for multiple reasons, including the bottom bracket bearings wearing out or the bottom bracket being dry.

One can fix the bottom bracket quite quickly, but without experience, you might want professional help. To remove the noise, you can remove the bottom bracket and replace the bearings inside. If the noise continues, remove the bottom bracket and use bicycle lubrication or grease to ensure that you lube the bracket correctly.

How To Fix Brake Pad Noise

From all the noises your road bike might make, the noise from your brake pads is the easiest to fix. This noise usually occurs after each wheel rotation and is simply the noise your brake pads make when rubbing against your wheel. Besides annoying noise, this also influences your pedaling ability as your brakes are constantly active.

Take the following action to fix this problem and eliminate the noise. You should first disconnect the brakes and loosen the brake pads. Reconnect the brake pads, align them evenly, and ensure that the wheel is directly between them after tightening.


There are several reasons why your road bike might be making noise. These noises are common and aren’t usually a reason to be concerned. These noises might occur because of chain rubbing, loose handlebars, a broken bottom bracket, brakes rubbing against the wheel rim, or even a broken pedal bearing. You can usually fix these noises quickly and without much effort.


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