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Why Does My Mountain Bike Creak? And 4 Ways To Get Rid Of The Noise

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You may also want to read this guide about how to get rid of squeaky brakes on a mountain bike.

Why Do Mountain Bikes Creak?

Mountain bikes are prone to creating creaking sound when they are ridden over rough terrain.

Creaking is the noise that most mountain bikes make when riding them over rough terrain. It is caused by the parts rubbing against each other, which causes wear and tear. Newer mountain bikes are designed to reduce this problem through various methods like using ball bearings, but older models may not be equipped with these features.

The most common cause for mountain bike creaking is the need for routine maintenance. It is important to keep up with regular inspections and make sure to address any issues before they worsen.

There are three main things that can cause the mountain bike to creak:

  • The headset may need tightening. A loose headset can cause the handlebars to move back and forth, which in turn causes the saddle to also move back and forth. This can lead into a creaky sound as it puts more pressure on the bicycle frame.
  • The bushings on your suspension forks may be worn out or cracked, which will result in excess play between them and your front fork legs, resulting in more movement which leads to a creaky sound.
  • Your seatpost may be too high or too low which shifts you weight and puts more strain on certain parts of the frame and causes the creaking.

3 Reasons Why Your Mountain Bike Brakes Are Squeaking And How To Stop The Noise For Good!

Reason #1 – Dirt build-up. Brakes are one of the most important safety features on a bike, so it’s important to make sure they are operating properly. If you’ve just ridden your bike in wet conditions or through mud or dirt, brake pads can become clogged with dirt, which will cause them to squeak over time

Reason #2 – Dirt and debris between pads and brake surface. This can happen if the pads aren’t aligned well when you tighten them down. When this happens, dirt and debris can get caught in the spaces between them and act like sandpaper against your brake surface, which will cause it to squeak over time

Reason #3 – Wet metal surfaces. Wet metal will corrode easily when exposed to moisture for prolonged periods of time. If left untreated, the metal could come into contact with chemicals or other contaminants that may permanently damage the surface and create a hazardous condition.

So clean down your disc brakes often and bleed them when necessary and you’ll have brakes that respond properly and are quiet. While I’m not a fan of adding equipment onto bikes without a clear reason, mudguards on bikes can help cut down how much dirt is thrown around and onto your disc pads.

There are 3 main reasons why bikes creak

Why Did My Mountain Bike Start Creaking?

This is a question many mountain bikers have asked themselves, and it’s probably the most frequent question that our staff have. The creaking sound can be very frustrating because it can startle you while you are out enjoying the outdoors.

Are There Any Solutions to Stop Creaking?

There are multiple reasons why your mountain bike starts to creak, but mostly the cause is due to loose components. There are a few ways you can stop creaking on your bike, including tightening loose screw connections or replacing components that could be causing the noise.

When riding down steep slopes or when riding over rough terrain, this noise is often caused by metal-on-metal contact which makes for an unpleasant experience.If you cannot make this noise when the bike is in motion, there may be an issue with the bike’s suspension. Ask a mechanic or bike shop to check it out if you need help.

Why Does My Bike Creak When I Pedal?

Many mountain bike enthusiasts might know that their bike creaks when they pedal. This happens because of the vibrations on the frame. The creaking sound is not always present, but it is usually more noticeable when riding downhill or on rough terrain.

There are many reasons why a bike might creak, but the most common causes are loose bolts, loose spokes, and too much tension on the crankset.

The best way to fix this problem is by checking all of your bolts and tightening them down to make sure they are secure. Then check your bike chain for play and see if you wiggle it just how much play is there. If it is excessive, it’ll need to be repaired or replaced.

A little oil can help keep things moving smoothly as well!

How Should I Fix My Mountain Bike If It Starts Making Noise?

You may be thinking, “I want to fix my mountain bike before it breaks” but before you do, make sure that your bike is not damaged. If it is, you can’t fix it and might need to get a new bike.

You should never try to fix the broken parts of the bike so don’t worry about them. Instead, focus on what you can use your skills for – fixing the frame and the pedals.

When you start hearing noises coming from your mountain bike while you are riding, there are two possible reasons why this is happening: either one of your wheels is crooked or the seat has fallen off. If neither of these things happen, then follow these steps: tighten all bolts on your frame and pedals; clean out dirt and debris from underneath the seat; check for rust.

Usually one of those leads you pretty close to the problem and it becomes obvious at that point.

How To Prevent Your Next Ride From Creaking

We hope that this article gave you useful tips on how to avoid a creaky bicycle in the future. It is important to know about the causes and potential solutions for your next ride.

  • Bikes with too much weight can cause creaking as well as bikes with poorly designed frames or poorly fitted tires.
  • Make sure that your bike is not too narrow by adjusting the frame and tire widths.
  • Use wider tires and heavy duty inner tubes if necessary.
  • If all else fails, try using a good quality grease to lubricate and protect your frame and parts from rusting or corrosion.

Quite often, just basically keeping an eye on your bike, checking the bolts and part, and ensuring everything is lubricated will go a long way to avoid future issues with creaking. Sometimes it may just be something as simple as your disc brakes squealing which is pretty common.

About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed