We often hear the question why my bike creaks or why is it noisy?
More often than not it's because the bike lacks grease and is filled with sand, or the bolts aren't tight enough. During your exit you hear a creak that seems to come from the front, at the level of the saddle or even when you compress the rear suspension? Here are a few tips to help you get rid of them:
At the front of the bike:
Most of the time it's the headset that isn't tight enough. Ideally we can rely on the manufacturer's torque, but if it is not indicated we can put it between 4.5 and 6 Nm.
To do this properly, don't forget to unscrew the two screws on the side of your stem before tightening the headset cap. Also take the opportunity to check the front screws of your stem. If you feel comfortable taking your stem and headset apart, you can add some grease to your fork tube, which will reduce friction and help protect your bearings too! If after this check you still hear noise and you also feel a looseness, check if your front wheel axle is tight. if the game seems to come from your suspension and you have screwed your headset cap correctly, you are probably missing a "spacer" at the level of the headset, which prevents your screw from holding everything together properly!
Otherwise, if the noise seems like "flapping" and you have shimano brakes with brake pads that have wings, look no further. If the noise bothers you you can always buy brake pads without the cooling wings and that will solve your problem.
On the back of the bike:
Now the first place I look when a creak seems to be coming further back is at my saddle. A lot of sand can accumulate between the seatpost and the saddle, which will cause noise. When this happens, remove the saddle and clean everything to remove as much sand as possible. If like me, it seems to accumulate it a lot it may very well be that you have to do it quite often if the noise bothers you.
Another common place is the frame pivots that are near the rear shock and even your shock bolts. To help your pivots, when you check them, remove the hardware and re-grease. Again it will reduce friction and your bearings will thank you. Then, ideally you have a torque wrench and you tighten all your pivots to the torque recommended by your bike manufacturer. Take the opportunity to check if your rear wheel axle is also well screwed.
Does the noise appear when you pedal?
Check your pedals, if they have any play, your bearings inside are probably finished and you should change them. Often it is possible to buy a service kit, which is less expensive than replacing them. If on the pedal side it seems fine, check that your crankset is tight enough, but before you can clean it to remove sand and grease it.
If, on the contrary, your bike makes a squeaking noise or you feel friction when you turn your headset or your crankset, it is most likely a bearing change job. If you're comfortable doing it yourself, you can find the replacement kit direct from your manufacturer or if you're unsure, drop by your local bike shop for the correct bearings. Two little tips to help you improve the life of your bearings:
- Avoid washing your bike with a hose, especially with pressure. For what ? Because the water removes all the grease present in the pivots, headset and bottom bracket. Prioritize a dry wash with a product such as Peaty's Loam Foam Cleaner
- Take the time to add a little grease to all the parts that have bearings. If you're not comfortable, your local bike shop most likely offers a full service that includes greasing the bearings.
If after these checks, you still cannot find the origin of the noise, do not hesitate to come and see us!