Bike FAQs

How Do You Fix A Clicking Bike Pedal?

the annoying clicking sound coming from your bike pedal driving you crazy? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Clicking bike pedals are a common issue that many cyclists encounter. The good news is that most clicking pedal problems can be resolved with a few simple steps. In this guide, we’ll take you through the process of diagnosing and fixing a clicking bike pedal.

Step 1: Check for Loose Parts

The first thing to do is inspect your pedal and the surrounding area for any loose parts or connections. Make sure the pedal is securely attached to the crank arm. If it feels loose, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Tighten the Pedal

Using a pedal wrench, carefully tighten the pedal onto the crank arm. Be cautious not to over-tighten, as this can damage the threads. Remember that pedal threads are typically different, with the left pedal having reverse (counter-clockwise) threads.

Step 3: Grease the Threads

Before reattaching the pedal, apply a small amount of bicycle-specific grease to the pedal threads. This will reduce friction and prevent the pedal from loosening over time.

Step 4: Inspect the Crank Arm

Examine the crank arm for cracks, damage, or bending that might be causing the clicking noise. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace the crank arm for safety and performance.

Step 5: Check Cleats (for clipless pedals)

For those with clipless pedals and cycling shoes with cleats, inspect the cleats for wear or damage. Misaligned or worn-out cleats can be a source of clicking. If necessary, replace the cleats and ensure they are correctly aligned with the pedal.

Step 6: Examine Pedal Bearings

Clicking noises can also originate from worn or damaged pedal bearings. For platform pedals, disassemble the pedal and inspect the bearings. If they are in poor condition, consider replacing them to eliminate the clicking.

Step 7: Search for Debris

Don’t forget to check the pedal area and inside the pedal itself for debris, dirt, or small rocks that could be causing the clicking. Clean out any foreign objects to ensure smooth pedal operation.

Step 8: Test Ride

After performing these checks and adjustments, take your bike for a short test ride. Listen carefully for any clicking noises. If the problem persists, you may need to continue troubleshooting or seek professional assistance.

Step 9: Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried these steps and the clicking noise still won’t go away, or if you’re unsure about performing the repairs yourself, it’s a wise decision to consult a professional bicycle mechanic. They have the expertise to diagnose and fix the issue accurately.

‍Why Is My Bicycle Crank Making Clicking Noise?

1. Loose or Improperly Tightened Components

Cause: One of the most common reasons for a clicking crank is loose or improperly tightened components. This includes pedals, chainring bolts, and crank arm fixing bolts. Over time, these parts can work themselves loose due to vibrations and riding stress. If they are not securely tightened, they can move slightly during pedaling, causing a clicking sound.

Solution: Inspect and tighten all the components in your crankset, including the pedals, chainring bolts, and crank arm fixing bolts. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s torque specifications to avoid over-tightening or damaging the parts.

2. Worn Bottom Bracket

Cause: The bottom bracket is the bearing assembly that the crankset rotates on. Over time, the bearings inside the bottom bracket can wear out or become contaminated with dirt and moisture. This can lead to an irregular movement of the crankset, resulting in clicking noises as you pedal.

Solution: If you suspect a worn bottom bracket, it’s best to have it replaced or serviced by a professional bike mechanic. They can remove the old bearings, clean the area, and install new bearings to ensure smooth operation.

3. Chainring Issues

Cause: Chainrings are the toothed rings on the crankset that the chain engages with. If the chainrings are worn, bent, or damaged, they can cause clicking noises. Ensure that the chainring bolts are properly tightened and that the chainring itself is in good condition.

Solution: Inspect the chainring for any signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. If you notice any issues, consider replacing the chainring. Make sure the chainring bolts are snug but not over-tightened.

4. Pedal Problems

Cause: Clicking noises can also originate from the pedals. Loose or worn pedal bearings, pedal body, or cleats (in the case of clipless pedals) can generate clicking sounds as you pedal.

Solution: Examine the pedals for any play or wobbling. If you have clipless pedals, inspect the cleats for wear or damage. Lubricate or replace pedal bearings as needed and ensure that cleats are properly aligned with the pedals.

5. Chain Issues

Cause: A stretched or damaged chain can lead to irregular pedaling, causing clicking noises as it engages with the chainrings and cassette.

Solution: Check your chain for wear using a chain wear indicator tool. If it’s stretched beyond the recommended limit, replace the chain. Additionally, ensure the chain is properly lubricated to reduce friction and noise.

How Can You Prevent A Clicking Bike Pedal?

Preventing a clicking bike pedal can help ensure a quieter and safer ride. Here are some steps you can take to prevent this issue:

1. Proper Assembly and Maintenance

Regular Maintenance:

  • Conduct regular bike maintenance, including checking and tightening all components in the pedal-crank interface, such as pedals, chainring bolts, and crank arm fixing bolts.

Correct Installation:

  • When assembling or disassembling your bike, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s torque specifications for all parts. Over-tightening or under-tightening can lead to issues.

2. Lubrication

Pedal Threads:

  • Apply a small amount of bicycle-specific grease to the pedal threads before installation. This reduces friction, making it less likely for the pedal to loosen over time.

Chain and Drivetrain:

  • Keep your bike’s chain and drivetrain well-lubricated. Proper lubrication reduces wear and tear on components, minimizing the risk of noise and ensuring smooth pedaling.

3. Check for Wear and Damage

Regular Inspections:

  • Routinely inspect your bike for signs of wear or damage to components like pedals, chainrings, chain, and bottom bracket. Address any issues promptly.

Replace Worn Components:

  • If you notice worn or damaged parts, such as pedal bearings, chainrings, or the chain itself, replace them to prevent clicking noises and maintain optimal performance.

4. Proper Cleat Alignment

Clipless Pedals:

  • If you use clipless pedals and cycling shoes with cleats, ensure that the cleats are correctly aligned with the pedals. Misaligned cleats can cause clicking and discomfort.

5. Secure Accessories

Accessories and Tools:

  • Ensure that any accessories or tools you carry on your bike are securely attached. Loose accessories can rattle and create clicking sounds while riding.

6. Keep It Clean

Regular Cleaning:

  • Maintain a clean bike by regularly cleaning dirt, debris, and grime from the pedal area and drivetrain. Foreign objects can cause noise and affect pedal performance.

7. Choose Quality Components

Invest in Quality:

  • When purchasing pedals, cranksets, and other bike components, consider investing in quality products. They are often better engineered and more durable, reducing the likelihood of clicking issues.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ’s:

1. What causes clicking noises in bike pedals?

Clicking noises in bike pedals can be caused by a variety of factors, including loose or improperly tightened components (e.g., pedals, chainring bolts, crank arm bolts), worn or damaged parts (e.g., pedal bearings, chainrings, chain), and misaligned cleats (for clipless pedals).

2. How can I prevent clicking bike pedals?

To prevent clicking bike pedals, follow these tips:

  • Conduct regular maintenance and inspections.
  • Properly tighten and torque all components.
  • Apply grease to pedal threads before installation.
  • Keep the chain and drivetrain well-lubricated.
  • Check for wear and damage on pedals, chainrings, and the chain.
  • Ensure proper cleat alignment for clipless pedals.
  • Secure accessories and tools on your bike.
  • Keep your bike clean and free of debris.

3. Should I use specific types of grease or lubricants for bike pedals?

Yes, it’s advisable to use bicycle-specific grease for pedal threads and bicycle chain lubricants for the chain and drivetrain. These products are designed to withstand the rigors of cycling and provide optimal performance.

4. Can worn or damaged pedals be repaired, or should they be replaced?

Worn or damaged pedals may be repairable, depending on the extent of the damage. Pedals with worn bearings can often have the bearings replaced. However, if a pedal body is severely damaged, it’s usually best to replace the entire pedal for safety and performance reasons.

5. How often should I inspect my bike for clicking pedal issues?

Regular inspections are essential for preventing clicking pedal issues. Aim to inspect your bike before and after rides, especially if you hear any unusual noises. Additionally, include a more thorough check as part of routine bike maintenance, which could be monthly or as recommended by your bike’s manufacturer.

6. Can I use general-purpose lubricants for my bike’s chain and pedals?

It’s best to use bicycle-specific lubricants for your bike’s chain and pedals. These products are formulated to provide the right level of lubrication and durability for cycling components. Using general-purpose lubricants may not offer the same level of performance and can attract more dirt and debris.

7. Why is cleat alignment important for preventing clicking noises with clipless pedals?

Cleat alignment is crucial for ensuring that your feet engage and disengage smoothly from clipless pedals. Misaligned cleats can create tension and stress on your joints and cause irregular pedal strokes, leading to clicking noises and discomfort during rides.

8. What should I do if I’ve tried all the preventive measures, and my bike pedals still click?

If you’ve followed all the preventive steps and your bike pedals continue to click, it’s advisable to consult a professional bike mechanic. They have the expertise to diagnose and resolve complex issues, ensuring your bike is safe and in top working condition.


A clicking bike pedal can be frustrating, but with the right steps, you can resolve the problem and enjoy a quieter and smoother ride. Regular maintenance is key to preventing such issues, so remember to keep your bike well-maintained for an optimal cycling experience.

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