Much like the human body, there are signs and symptoms that allow us to know when we should fix our bicycles. If they are ignored the situation will only get worse. Imagine having an open wound, but neglecting to stitch it or cover it. You may end up with something much worse. Bikes are the same. Check below for some common sounds and the ways to address each of them below.
This probably means that your chain needs oiling. Your chain is what keeps the bike moving so it’s important to make sure it is always well lubricated. The grease reduces the friction between the chain links and the teeth on the cogs and crank. Once this lubrication fades, it is essentially metal on metal contact. This will wear down your parts and sound horrible. Luckily, this is a simple fix that anyone can do. Check here for detailed instructions.
Similar to a loose stair you may hear an annoying creak when you’re pedaling. This will probably increase when standing or putting more weight on the pedals. This is most likely coming from the bottom bracket. This is the part that attaches the crank to the bicycle and allows it to spin. It is located at the bottom of the frame (See picture). This part simply screws into the frame. Sometimes this is not greased well enough in the factory or grime has somehow made it’s way into the threads. Although this is an easy fix, it requires a special tool. It’s recommended to bring it to your LBS (local bike shop) if you are unsure about what a bottom bracket is or how to remove it. Removing this incorrectly can ruin your frame due to stripping of threads.
3.Rubbing/”Chinking” (chink chink chink)
Similar to the sound of a knife being sharpened, you may hear a “chink chink chink”. It will sound like a rubbing of sorts. This is most likely the brake pads rubbing against your wheel (metal rim) or tire (rubber part). This can be fixed by either centering or loosening the calipers. If they are off to one side they will need to be centered. If they are both rubbing, they will need to be loosened. Check here for a video tutorial on brakes. They can be tricky so it may be better to head to your LBS if you are inexperienced.
A hissing or whistling sound may be heard if you have popped your tire. Obviously, if you hit something big the pop will sound like a balloon and you won’t be able to miss it. However, you may run over something small, which can cause a slow leak. This usually results in a hissing/whistling sound. If you experience this, it will be crucial to change the tire ASAP. A bike is no good without a tire. Check out this video for a quick tire change tutorial.