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Why Do BMX Bikes Make Noise? (Explained)

Whether it’s a low and unswerving clacking sound or a sharp squeak, every time you take your BMX out for a ride, there is some sort of noise coming from the bike.

Sometimes there are grinding noises, while other times, you may be annoyed by the cranking or ratting spurt of vibration. 

Before you can fix the problem, you would have to find out exactly why your BMX is making such sounds in the first place.

Why do BMX bikes make noise?

BMX bikes mainly make noise due to some kind of metal-to-metal contact. This happens when there is a loose part or bolt that needs to be tightened. Stained or out-of-order chains can also cause rattling sounds. Dirty bearings, and loose bolts on cranks, brakes can also be another reason.

Whether it’s the pedals, front wheel, or bearings, inspecting, greasing, and cleaning all the parts regularly can help riders avoid the noise issue.

Why does my BMX bike squeak when I pedal?

A BMX is indeed designed to take in a lot of impacts and forces. From high jumps to dangerous stunts, riders perform many acrobats with BMX. Thus, infrequent sounds made on jump landings or stints is normal.

However, if you notice a constant or occasional noise every time you are pedaling your BMX on the surface, it might be for the following reasons.

Issues with the pedal or spindle:

One of the most common reasons why your BMX could be making noises is due to lose parts in the pedal. The pedals themselves may become slightly detached from the threads. 

Additionally, there are washer parts in the pedal that might have become too old to function properly. 

Besides, if the spindle has taken on too much dirt and has worn out dry, similar noises can be expected. You might also want to check the sprocket to see if it sits tightly in place. 

Something wrong with the chain:

Grinding or sometimes rattle sounds from the chain can be a common scenario. 

If the tension on the chain is too much, the chain gets pulled when you ride the bike. If the chain is weakened, there could be chances of it further damaging from friction with the cage. 

The derailleur, if not firmly and properly placed will also be causing the chain to make scraping noises.

Front wheel or axle is out of order:

Some riders complain of a clacking sound whenever they are pedaling. This clacking sound can be commonly associated with unscrewed bolts on the front wheel. 

Along with the front wheel, it is also wise to check on the handlebar for loosened bolts, as this also causes noise off the front. 

If your wheel axles are either out of order or cracked, you might also notice a strange popping sound. 

Noises from brakes and cranks:

If your BMX is squeaking, it could be because of the misfunctioning of the brakes. This can often happen if the rim angle is not the way usually is. 

Misplacement of the cranks, even if it is a couple of millimeters can cause your BMX to make considerable sounds. Loosened or ungreased cranks should be catered to if you want to avoid strange noises of distraction. 

Unclean bearings:

Bearings and the maintenance of them can make a lot of difference to your biking experience. Likewise, if the bearing is too old and worn out, it is usual to expect noises from your BMX. 

Creaking sounds are associated with hub bearings, especially if they have accumulated too much mud and dirt. So, if you notice creaks from your bike, you know they can be blamed on your uncleaned bike bearing.

How do I stop my BMX bike from creaking?

Pedal or crank issue:

If the noise that is disturbing you is coming from the pedal, some simple solution is to keep regular checks on it. 

If the pedal is not tightened properly and struck with the cranks, detach the pedals completely and keep them aside. Grease the connection and then attach it back in place. 

Similarly, together with the pedal, run a check on the crank bolts. Unscrew the assemble to grease the crank properly before putting it in place again. Tighten the crank bolt with care, maintaining torque regulations.

Fixing the chain:

A chain that is not attached in place will make all sorts of noises. To fix this, unscrew the axle bolts. After winding the crank bolts, investigate the chain. 

Look if the chain tension is too tight or the chain is moved from the place. Use a specialized dry lubricant on the chain. After finishing the job, constrict the axle nut tightly. 

Tightening all loose bolts:

Usually, the metal contacts are worn out, but many times, your BMX is simply making sounds for loosened parts. For that, you’d have to check each bolt and nuts to see if they are screwed tightly enough.

Be sure to check the handlebar bolts, brakes, and seat posts, and use a hex wrench to screw the bolts tightly in place.

Cleaning dirty bearings:

After a long day’s adventure on muddy terrains, often time the hub bearings can get infiltrated with dirt and gunk. This can cause the bearings to make popping or squeaky noises.

For this reason, it is recommended that you detach the bearing or cranks, and clean them thoroughly. Also, remember to re-grease them before screwing them in place.

How tight should BMX cranks be?

You can tighten the BMX cranks to maximum potential, but be sure to retain the BB spacer. For side-to-side distance, make sure there is no more than 1 to 1.5 mm spacing. Any more than that, tighten the crank using a hex wrench.

How do you grease a BMX crank?

Generally, it is often said that in a BMX bike, one must apply grease anywhere where metal is in contact with another metal. However, that is not true and few parts should not be treated with lubricants.

Here are a few simple ways to grease a BMX crank.

  • Step 1: At first, use a good quality socket or hex wrench to remove the crank bolts. If you don’t have a hex wrench, you can also use a crank puller, to remove the crank. 
  • Step 2: Remove the bottom bracket carefully, and be sure to use specified tools. You will need a crank extractor, wrench, bottom bracket removal appliance, and Allen key.
  • Step 3: Clean the bottom bracket area after the crank and bracket has been completely removed. For this, using a degreaser will make sure you prevent more oxidation as well.
  • Step 4: Clean the cranks very thoroughly. You can also use a brush if needed.
  • Step 5: Apply lubricants to the bolts and crank interiors. Reinstall them in place again
  • Step 6: Apply grease on the bottom bracket carefully, including the threads and splines.
  • Step 7: Screw the bolts and install the bottom bracket and cracks firmly in place.

Why do expensive bikes tick?

If you have been in the biking community, you must be aware of an age-old joke that says, the expensive bikes are the loudest.

All bikes, if there is metal to metal contact on the system, make noises from time to time, however, the pricier ones seem to be bought with a constant ticking or grinding noise.

While that’s a fact, it is also true that the design and construction of expensive bikes cause this noise to occur. The bikes that come in a hefty price have wheels that are hollow and very lightweight.

This causes the sound to be traveled down in a much-amplified form than other bikes. Moreover, expensive bikes have frames made of carbon fiber as opposed to steel. This also causes the sound to be augmented to higher volumes. 

Should I grease crank spindle?

You should grease the crank spindle so that it becomes convenient for you to thread the spindle through the bearings. However, it is important to remember that you should only use a very small amount of lubricant for this job.

How often should I lube my bike chain?

According to experts, you should lube your bike chain at least once every month. This will make sure that you don’t have to give too much time in the cleaning and maintenance but also help to maintain a working condition.

However, if you use your bike daily, you might want to grease your bike chain 2 to 3 times a month.

Can I use WD40 on the bike chain?

You can use WD40 lubricant on your bike chain. However, it is not recommended by experts.

This is because you have to be vigilant about washing off all the lube before you can use any other chain oil.

Moreover, many people have complained that WD40 lubricants can leave your chain in quite dry conditions.

It is not an unusual scenario that your BMX bike is making all sorts of clinking and squealing sounds. A lot of bikes also rattle and grind all through the rides.

A regular check for loose parts and bolts can help you avoid this problem. Besides, it is equally important to grease and clean all the parts thoroughly.

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