Our workshop was buzzing. Today, like many days, we solved an array of bicycle woes and idiosyncrasies. A problem that frequently walks through the workshop stems from noises.

Creaking, clicking and grinding is annoying, but it can signify more expensive and potentially more dangerous things to come for a rider.

Tracking a noise is a simple way to read the health of your bike. So what can happen if you don’t check that cracking creaking or banging? We’ve seen it all. From cranks, pedals and wheels literally falling off, to spokes braking and mechanisms being destroyed.

We’d estimate 1 out of 3 costly repairs can be prevented if first apparent noises are immediately checked by a Professional Mechanic.

Justin at Chainsmith Bikes Workshop
Justin in Action

Then what are 3 common causes of noise? We asked our Workshop Whizz Justin

The first, Justin says, is a ‘Bent Hanger.’

A hanger? A hanger holds the mechanism that shifts the gears (the Derailleur). Common causes of bent hangers is dropping a bike or knocking the rear end of the bike.

When hangers bend your gears won’t shift smoothly because the chain no longer aligns with the cassette. The result is an perpetual ‘clicking’ noise.

The answer is to have the hanger bent back or replaced. Professional tuning of the gears will have your bike restored to a prior soundless smooth shifting of gears.

What happens if my hanger is bent? This can happen 😦

If you fail to realign your hanger you risk the chance of embedding your derailleur inside your spokes (inside the wheel) and ripping the mechanism right off. Plus, you’ll likely break a few spokes. Costly and dangerous. 

Spokes can be dangerous. But eye-poking isn’t normally the risk.

A second reason for noises that people blame the bottom bracket on? ‘Broken Spokes’, says Justin.

Broken spokes are a nuisance and a danger. Without equal tension in your spokes the wheel runs out-of-true (no longer round). Peddling becomes a pain and eventually you can brake more spokes. You often get rhythmic rubbing noises as the tyre skims the brake pads or hits the bike frame. SYDNEY BIKE SHOP SPOKE REPLACEMENT

The reason for broken spokes can be simple … worn out wheels, rusty or compromised spokes. Another issue is incorrectly landing a curb, or riding through potholes. You may hear a “ping” sound. Either way, you’ll eventually feel the issue.

If you fail to replace spokes you’ll have problems. Ride on it long enough and an entire new wheel will be required, as well as the derailleur or other components that are subsequently ruined.

Whats a third reason for noises?

Our trusty mechanic Justin pipes up with the answer; ‘contaminated Brake pads or pads that require correct angling.’

Brake Adjustment and brake pad replacement. Yes, it is a thing that needs doing.

You mean you have to replace brake pads? Yes. You do. The amount of customers riding with no pads and grinding metal shoes on metal rims could surprise you. Its dangerous in Sydney due to the hills, but potentially worse during the rainy season.

brake pad replacement sydney mechanicIf your brake pads are squealing whatever you do, DO NOT USE products other than bike specific products to clean them. This goes for rim brake (traditional), or disc brake pads.

Run a clean soft cloth over your rims and pads to clean most of the road grot. We have bike specific cleaning products that won’t break the bank. If you use oil based product you risk contaminating the rubber and that means, no matter how new they are, your brake pads will need replacing.

Customers keen to learn how to clean their bikes are welcome at Chainsmith

If the squealing of your brakes is as loud as a pig-farm come dinner time, they need adjusting.

If you’re needing more information regarding problems with your bike, or to book a service, or to even ask about products to use on your bike, contact David, Justin or Ali.

We are always keen to help.

Our previous blog on flats and how to avoid them may also be of interest