Have you ever been riding your bike on a peaceful afternoon, enjoying the wind in your face and the sound of your tires on the pavement, only to suddenly hear a strange clicking noise coming from your new chain?
It’s an unsettling feeling, one that can make you wonder if your trusty two-wheeled companion is on the brink of breaking down.
But fear not, for this is a common issue that many cyclists face. In fact, it’s often just a simple matter of a misaligned chain or a loose chainring bolt!
In this post, I’ll explain why your new chain makes clicking noises and what you can do to fix it. So buckle up, grab your helmet, and let’s get to the bottom of this sound!
Is It Normal For Chains To Make Noise?
Yes, it’s normal for bike chains to make some noise while you ride.
Noises like a light humming or buzzing sound is normal as the chain passes over the gears.
Also Read: Bike chain not moving backwards
However, if you notice a sudden increase in noise, especially a clicking or grinding noise, it may be an indication of a problem that needs to be addressed.
Why Is My New Chain Making Clicking Noises?
A clicking noise from a new chain can be caused by several things. Here are some possible reasons:
If your bike chain is misaligned on the chainring, it can cause clicking noises.
The chainring is the toothed wheel that is attached to the crank arm and is responsible for driving the chain forward.
When the chain is misaligned, it can rub against the teeth on the chainring and create a clicking sound as you pedal.
Also, if the chain was damaged during installation, it can cause the links to not sit properly, leading to a clicking sound.
Misaligned Or Improperly Adjusted Derailleur
The derailleur is responsible for shifting the chain between the chainrings and cogs.
If it’s not correctly adjusted, it can cause the chain to rub against the derailleur cage, thus creating a clicking noise.
Another reason for the clicking noise could be due to the chain being too tight or too loose.
If the chain is too tight, it can cause the chainring and cogs to rub together, creating a clicking noise.
If it’s too loose, the chain can jump off the cogs, which can also cause a clicking noise.
Loose Cassette Cogs
Loose cassette cogs can become a source of bike chain noise as they cause the chain to slip or jump teeth when under load.
This can result in a clicking or rattling sound as you pedal.
Dirt and Grit in the Pedal Bearing
Sometimes the noise may come from the pedal and not the chain.
Dirt and tiny pieces of rocks can get stuck inside the part of the pedal that spins, called the bearing.
When there’s dirt and grit inside the bearing, it can make it hard for the pedal to spin smoothly. This causes friction and can make a clicking sound when you pedal.
How To Fix New Chain Clicking Noise
Once you have identified the root cause of the clicking sound, you can take steps to fix it.
If Your Chain Is Misaligned
You need to adjust your bike chain.
- Begin by shifting it to the smallest chainring and cassette cog. This creates some slack, making it easier to work with.
- Next, loosen the bolts that attach the crankset to the bottom bracket which will allow you to move the chainring slightly and adjust the chain’s position.
- Next, hold the chainring with one hand while using your other hand to gently pull the chain to the left or right until it’s aligned properly.
Once you have the chain positioned correctly, tighten the crankset bolts securely. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the threads or bolts.
If Your Derailleur Is Misaligned
You need to adjust the derailleur.
- Shift your bike into the gear where the derailleur is rubbing against the chain or gears and then identify which derailleur needs adjustment.
- You can use the barrel adjuster or limit screws to move the derailleur slightly in the direction needed to align the chain with the gears.
After making the necessary adjustments, shift through the gears to test the adjustment. If the issue persists, you may need to adjust the cable tension or take your bike repairs.
Also read: Thumb shifters on dropbars
If it’s Chain Tension And Loose Cassette Cogs
To adjust chain tension, you need to shift the bike into the smallest chainring and smallest cog, and measure the distance between the center of the chainstay and the center of the chain.
And then adjust the wheel position in the dropouts accordingly
To tighten the cassette lockring, you have to use a cassette lockring tool.
If There’s Dirt In Pedal Bearing
You need to clean the dirt and grit out of the bearing.
You can do this by taking the pedal off your bike and cleaning it with a cloth or a brush.
Preventing And When To Seek Professional Help
The best way to prevent clicking noises from happening in the future is to keep your bike clean and regularly maintained.
This includes cleaning the chain regularly and applying a lubricant too. You should also check the chain tension and alignment regularly and adjust it as needed.
If you’re not comfortable making the necessary repairs yourself, it’s best to take your bike to a professional bike mechanic. Attempting complicated repairs without proper training could cause more damage.
Q1: Bike Chain Noise In High Gear?
The primary reason for chain noise in high gear is when the front and rear are misaligned. However, other factors can also contribute to the problem, including inadequate lubrication, worn-out cassettes, and various other issues.
Q2: Bike Crank Clicking Under Load?
The most common reason for this is the interface between the left crank arm and the bottom bracket. This usually happens when the left pedal moves from the 12 o’clock position towards the 11 o’clock position.