Bicycle Clicking Noise When Coasting [4 Steps Easy Solution]

In-depth analysis of how clicking noises are produced by the bicycles accompanied by their simple solutions.

For all cyclists, the clicking sound is a major issue that needs to be addressed. As it might disturb as well as lead you to wonder if there is anything wrong with your bicycle. we will discuss Bicycle Clicking Noise When Coasting thoroughly in this post.

The clicking sound is common when you are coasting or pedaling backward. The noise is due to the tension produced in the pawls of the free-hub along with the spring-loaded components that are engaged to each other when you pedal backward.

The bicycles may produce a clicking noise due to the presence of spokes and as they are moving in a circular motion, with each revolution they usually produce a sound that is often referred to as the clicking of the bicycle. When spokes touch each other, they produce a certain ticking type of noise.

Although, sometimes these noises are an indication of an underlying issue in the cassette, chain, or brakes of the bicycle.

Let’s discuss the factors that influence the generation of clicking noise and the solutions you can apply to minimize it.

Mechanism of Pedaling

To understand how the noise is produced you must know the mechanics of the freewheel which makes the bicycles run along the way. Let’s delve into the structure of a bicycle body.

Essentially, there’s a freehub that connects your bicycle’s framework to the wheel. When you are pedaling in the right direction, the bike moves forward. The silver piece on the hub is the Cassette around which the chain is wrapped. Underneath the cassette is the free-hub body. The hub delivers power to the pedals.

There are some parts on the free-hub body including pawls, and drive rings, underneath the pawls, there are some springs that when engaged to each other and stimulate such clicking noises.

Mechanism of Pedaling
Mechanism of Pedaling

Why do Bicycles produce Noise while Coasting?

When you detach the sprockets from a freewheel, the body will be apparently a free-hub. This free hub lets the wheel connect to the other parts.

Between the hub and the free-hub body, there are some pawls present which are unidirectional. When you are pedaling the bicycles, pawls keep on rotating towards the other side of the hub teeth and let your cycle run smoothly.

Whenever you are coasting or pedaling backward the pawls stay in the same direction. In this way, pawls are pressed.

Plus, the spring-loaded substances in the wheel become free which produces a Clicking noise from the bicycle.

Why do Bicycles produce Noise while Coasting
Why do Bicycles produce Noise while Coasting

Is This Noise a Good Thing?

For some, it’s the music of a bicycle while for others it’s noise.

Clicking sounds may be unwanted for some people while others enjoy it while coasting their bikes. However, the clicking noises aren’t responsible for the poor quality of the hub.

The design of the hub directly affects the noises produced by it. As the number of pawls increases the noise increases. But that doesn’t mean that you need to bear it anyway.

There are several ways of attempting to minimize the clicking noise which we’ll cover as we move further. You can try to minimize the noise by applying grease over them. However, what’s important is that the clicking noise is completely normal and has nothing to do with the quality of your bicycle’s framework.

How to stop Bicycle Clicking Noise when Coasting?

After all, your bicycle needs maintenance too. If it is creating excessive noise then it shows that there is some damage within your freewheel.

Moreover, you must lubricate and clean its parts. But with these ways, you can only minimize the sound.

1- Bid farewell to your Old free wheel

 Before you decide to replace your worn-out wheel with a new one makes sure you collect some of the useful essentials that are helpful in performing the job.

  • A Tool to remove the freewheel
  • An Adjustable Wrench
  • Degreaser
  • Lube or Compound which is known as Anti-Seize
  • Chain Whip (Optional)

Start with Cleaning & Lubrication

Once you remove the freewheel inspect it and the parts thoroughly.

Check if the pawls or hub teeth are fine. During the maintenance of your bike, remove the freewheel and test it thoroughly. If the pawls or hub teeth are found damaged, then you should replace them.

Otherwise, just do the normal routine cleaning and lube it.

Steps to Reinstall the Freewheel

After you are done with cleaning and lubing. Perform the following steps to reinstall the freewheel.

  1. Start by removing the wheel by using the lever. Do it carefully so that the brake doesn’t get scratched and loosen the nuts.
  1. Secondly, get a free wheel remover that goes with the freehub. Analyze the type of freehub your bike possesses, either it is spline or notch, you have to make the choice accordingly. Also, measure the diameter of the freehub by counting the number of splines or notches. Now select the befitting freewheel remover tool that works the best.
  1.  Tight in the remover tool by utilizing a nut and rotating the device in the anticlockwise direction via an adjustable wrench. Then remove the freewheel out from the bike wheel.
  1. After the removal, start the cleaning process and clean the freewheel thoroughly. Use soap water as a degreaser and spray it on the whole side. You can also use a specified degreaser for the wheels.

Another method that you can employ for cleaning is the advanced Ultrasonic one.

Finally, wait until the freewheel gets dried and then lubricate it with a suitable lube. The choice of lube is dependent on the weather condition. If it’s rainy then get a dry lube whereas for dry weather going for the dry lube is a good decision.

Steps of Reinstallation Process

Now comes the reinstallation process which is done in a few simple steps.

-A Guide to Change Freewheel

Whenever you are on the go to level up your bike by changing its freewheel. Don’t forget to consider the type and number of cassettes your bike possesses.

Afterward, select the most suitable one.

However, follow the previous guide to remove the old freewheel. Now, lubricate the surface of the new and begin the process of installation.

1- Firstly, thread the freewheel on the wheel. Keep in mind that the cog is aligned correctly and threaded in the right way.

2- Start tightening the cassettes by utilizing a chain whip or by applying pedal pressure. For this purpose, you will need to reinstall the wheel, grab the real wheel and do the pedaling in the meantime.

3- At last you need to give a final check to the disc brakes and screw setting and you are all done.

2- Check your Bike Chain

Sometimes a worn-out chain might be the cause of producing disruption in cycling and excessive noises from the bicycle. Apply grease over your dry chain to make it work smoothly.

3- Brakes

The brakes are usually sensitive and if they get loosened, it causes some disturbing sounds too. Also, make sure they aren’t dirty or dry.

4- Pedal and Spokes

These two are an essential part of your bicycles’ frameworks and they shouldn’t be loose at all. Therefore, tightening and lubing them should be a part of your bike maintenance routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q-Is my freewheel damaged if the clicking noise is produced continually?

No, clicking noise is just the result of a ratchet mechanism. But the excessive noise might be reminding you that your wheel needs to get repaired or enough lubrication.

If you don’t change the freewheel once it gets damaged then it decreases the overall working and pedaling efficiency of your bicycle.

Q-Is there any type of bike that doesn’t click while coasting?

Almost every type of bike produces a clicking sound when you pedal it backward because of the standard ratchet mechanism. But there are some specially designed bikes with silent hubs that don’t generate any noise while pedaling. So, such bikes are a great option for people who don’t want these noises while they are on the go.

Q-How often you are required to clean the freewheel?

The overall functionality depends on the freewheel of your bicycle. It depends on your usage and how many times it gets dirty and needs a clean-up. You can do the cleaning process once a month. If you seldom take your bike then do it in a couple of months. Also, keep a check on the types of roads you are riding on as you are likely to get dirty when you are on muddy roads.

Conclusion on reasons behind Bicycle Clicking Noise When Coasting

 A downside of a regular type of freewheel is the constant clicking sound. And it’s quite common for a cyclist to desire a smooth and silent ride. But luckily, we have the option of getting a noise-free wheel to say goodbye to the disturbing noises.

It is also fair if you are okay with the sound unless the sound isn’t interrupting your ride and isn’t terrible for the ears. Make sure you are lubing the wheels regularly.

However, the freewheel has a limited life and it is likely to get damaged within a certain period so keep a backup freewheel with you. I hope that the above discussion provided you with much insight into bike clicking issues and free-wheel related problems.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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