Bicycling Magazine January/February 2011
SILENCE A NOISY BIKE
- Spokes and valve stem
- TEST Check for loose spokes and valves stems.
Otherwise, spokes may be rubbing the nipples.
- FIX True your wheel. Grease the nipples and spots
where spokes cross. Matte-black spokes are apt to
creak. If the valve stem witgles, wrap it with
- Wheel skewers
- TEST Open, then retighten both skewers
- FIX Lightly grease the frame dropouts and
tighten your quick-release. And not just
to kill the noise: A wheel could pop out
while you're riding.
- Pedal bearing and cleats
- TEST Ride with another set of pedals.
- FIX Grease your cleat. If the noise persists,
retighten the pedals. If the sound is more
of a pop, try cleaning and replacing worn
- Seatpost and saddle rails
- TEST Pedal out of the saddle to see if the
- FIX Grease your rails and post. Use carbon
paste instead of standard grease for
- Bottom bracket
- TEST Listen for a creak from below while
riding. If chainring bolts aren't tight,
they will click.
- FIX Remove your cranks and feel the
bearings. If they turn smothly, remove
the bottom bracket to clean snd regrease
the threads. If the frame's bottom-bracket
opening edge is rough, take the bike to
- Handlebar and stem
- TEST Lube all the bolts and contact surfaces.
- FIX Clean, then grease contact surfaces and the
steerer tube (use carbon assembly paste for carbon
- TEST Wiggle your wheels to feel for side-to-side
play. Hold the hubs and spin the wheels to ensure
the bearings roll smothly. If you suspect the rear
wheel is the culprit, also check that the cassette
is tight and the freehub bearings are in good
- FIX Most hub bearings aren't easily tightened or
cleaned. Take the wheel to your shop.
- TEST To identify continuous clicking, ride with no
hands. To check for occasional creaking, stand over
your top tube and keep the front wheel planted. Then
grab the drops and pull up on one whle pushing down
on the other.
- FIX Clean and grease the bearings. If the head-tube
surface is uneven, take the bike to your shop. For
clicking, grease the cable-houseing mount.
12 Simple But Vital Repairs You Can Master
pro-team mechanic showed
us a cheap and easy quick-clean method we love:
Soak the center of a sponge with dish soap [or a
commercial degreaser or cleanser]. With one hand,
wrap the sponge around the chain, under the
chainstay, then with the other hand backpedal 10
revolutions. Rinse the spong, squeeze out excess
water, reload the cleaner and repeat. Continue
until the sponge no longer gets dirty. Dry the
chain by letting it sit for 10 minutes or by
backpedaling through a clean rag. Apply one drop
of lube to each of the chain's pins, then
backpedal 10 revolutions. allow five minutes for
the lube to penetrate, then wipe the chain with
a clean rag by backpedaling. [Any lube removed
this way is excess that doesn't help the links
move, and attracts grime.]
from now on
CLEAN EVERY TWO WEEKS, 10 HOURS OF
RIDING, OR IF WET RIDE
Bonus Quick-Fix Guide