Bike Crank Clicking Under Load (Fixed)

Picture this: you’re out on your bike, pushing hard on the pedals, and suddenly, you hear it – that annoying clickety-click sound coming from your bike’s crank.

Some of the most common causes of a clicking noise from the crank include loose pedals or a worn crankset, a loose bottom bracket, a loose crank arm, or a cracked chainring.

In this post, I’ll explain how each of these lead to bike crank clicking under load and how to fix each of these.

Why Is My Bike Crank Clicking Under Load?

Here are some of the main reasons why your bike crank makes clicking noises under load:

Why Is My Bike Crank Clicking Under Load

Loose Pedals

Pedals that are not securely tightened can cause clicking sounds. 

When you apply force to the pedals while riding, the loose connection between the pedal and the crank arm can result in a clicking noise. 

Also Read: Chain Rubs On Front Derailleur

Worn Crankset

A worn crankset, specifically the chainrings and crank arms, can also lead to clicking sounds under load. 

Over time, the teeth on the chainrings can become worn or damaged, causing them to skip or catch the chain irregularly.

This can generate a clicking noise as the chain engages with the worn teeth. 

Loose Bottom Bracket

The bottom bracket is the component that connects the crankset to the bike frame. 

Loose Bottom Bracket

If the bottom bracket is loose or has insufficiently tightened cups, it can cause clicking noises. 

As you pedal, the movement and torque exerted on the crankset can cause the bottom bracket to shift slightly, resulting in a clicking sound.

Loose Crank Arm

A loose crank arm can create a clicking sound while pedaling. 

The crank arm connects to the bottom bracket spindle, and if it’s not adequately tightened, it can move slightly when force is applied. 

Also Read: Can You Use Fix A Flat On A Bike Tire

This movement makes the clicking noise. 

Cracked Chainring: 

A cracked or damaged chainring can lead to clicking under load. 

When the chain engages with the damaged area, it can cause irregular movements and produce clicking sounds. 

Inspect your chainring for any cracks, chips, or signs of damage. 

How Do I Fix The Clicking Noise In My Bike Crank?

Let’s now take a look at how you can fix each of these issues.

Remember, if you’re unsure or uncomfortable performing these repairs yourself, it’s best to take your bike to a professional mechanic.

Loose Crank Arms, Pedals Or Bottom Bracket

Check if the crank arms, pedals, or bottom bracket is loose. If any of them are – you need to tighten them.

To do this, you’ll need some basic tools such as a crank puller, pedal wrench, and bottom bracket tool (depending on what’s loose)

Crank Arms

  1. Use the crank arm puller tool to remove the crank arm from the bottom bracket spindle.
  2. Clean the spindle and crank arm interface, removing any dirt or debris.
  3. Apply a small amount of grease or anti-seize to the spindle
  4. Reinstall the crank arm onto the spindle, tightening it to the recommended torque

Bottom Bracket

If you have a cartridge bottom bracket, it may not be possible to tighten it as they are typically sealed units that cannot be adjusted. 

Your only option is to replace the bottom bracket.

If the bike has a threaded bottom bracket, here how you tighten it:

  1. Use the bottom bracket tool to remove the crankset and gain access to the bottom bracket.
  1. Clean the bottom bracket shell and threads and apply a thin layer of grease to the threads of the bottom bracket.
  1. Reinstall the bottom bracket and tighten it properly


Before you begin, keep in mind that the right pedal is threaded normally (clockwise to tighten), while the left pedal is threaded in the opposite direction (anti-clockwise to tighten)

  1. Use the pedal wrench to remove the pedals from the crank arms.
  1. Clean the pedal threads and apply a small amount of grease.
  1. Reinstall the pedals onto the crank arms.
  1. Tighten the pedals firmly using the pedal wrench.

Make sure they are securely tightened but not overly tightened.

Worn Crankset

Inspect the chainrings for signs of wear, such as hooked or worn-out teeth. If they are significantly worn, it’s best to replace them.

Also Read: Bike Tire Bulging

If the crank arms show signs of wear or damage, you may need to replace the entire crankset.

  • Remove the crankset using a crank puller and/or bottom bracket tool.
  • Replace the worn chainrings with new ones (must be compatible with your crankset)

Cracked Chainring

If the chainring is cracked or damaged, it is recommended to replace it.

  • Remove the bolts that secure the chainring to the crank arm.
  • Take off the damaged chainring and replace it with the new one.


My bike crank clicks once per revolution?

If your bike crank clicks once per revolution, it could be caused by a loose pedal or pedal spindle. You can check this by wiggling the pedals from side to side to see if they are loose. If they are, tighten them with a hex wrench.

Why is my bike clicking when freewheeling?

If you hear a clicking noise when freewheeling, something is out of adjustment or needs maintenance. The freewheel may be the source of the clicking or chattering sound at the rear wheel when you pedal. If the noise is coming from the rear wheel when you coast, it may indicate that the internal part of the wheel hub needs servicing.

Certified bike mechanic based in Orlando, Florida. With over 15 years of knowledge and experience in the industry, I can help you diagnose issues and fix them.

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