Does a clicking wheel mean loose spokes?

I’ve noticed a very gradual clicking lately, something like a miniature
version of the clak-clak-clak a roller coaster makes on its way up to the
big spill. In the last couple days, it’s a bit more like the kiddie bike
trick, where you jam a playing card into the spokes to make it sound like a

Okay, so I exaggerate. It’s really not a horrible clicking, but I’d like
it to stop. If it makes any difference, I just recently had a flat and
replaced the tube. (Don’t worry, I always had enough air while riding! I
knew it was a bad tube, is all.)

Do I need a spoke wrench?

stiller ( at ) quip ( dot ) net

From your description, it could also be one of the pedal bearings making the sound. The trouble I have when tracing the source of these sounds is they normally only happen when you’re cycling and you can’t (or at least I can’t) bend down to get my ear close enough to hear exactly where it is from. If you get off the uni and spin the wheel or roll the uni along the ground there’s not enough weight to cause the noise. :frowning:

Have (fault finding) fun!


I’ve got the sort of sound that you seem to be describing coming from my pedals. I’ll clean them out when I’ve got some free time.


loose spokes have more of a creaking sound than a clicking.

You seem to notice that creaking sound while hopping, or while making your power stroke (from 12 to 3 with your good foot)

See if the nut on the end of your pedal is lose, this sounds like the culprit.

Regardless of what this probelm is, you will need a spoke wrench. Your spokes WILL come loose, if they have not already

Hold the crank still, and see if you can move the pedal fore/aft, or side to side, it should not, it should only be able to spin.

Teehee… Sofa’s just done my edit/quote trick… :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s the first thing I thought about, and kicked myself. Luckily, I was able to edit it :slight_smile:

I notice a sound like that when the nut on the bearing cap is getting loose.

It might be your wheel bearings. Dismount the uni, then turn it over and set it on a park bench. Place your ear on the frame and turn the wheel, being careful not to bump your head with the cranks. If you hear a sound like click-clunk-click you will have to decide whether to buy new bearings or to let them go until they turn to birdshot. Mine are halfway down the barrel of a 4-10!

Re: Does a clicking wheel mean loose spokes?

Thanks for all the ideas, folks.

I’ve flipped my uni on its head and listened to the suggested places. I’ve
spun the wheel and shaken the pedals, but I guess I’m not able to re-create
the weight and motion of when I’m riding, as Graeme proposed. In
“diagnostic mode,” everything’s silent and seems in tip-top shape.

To answer Sofa’s question, I’d say yes, the clicking used to happen on my
power stroke, but now it’s happening on both strokes (not constant through
the rotation, but somehow related to the strokes). My pedals are the
plastic ones that come with the black 24" Torker … I don’t think they even
have bearings.

So I hope it’s not the main wheel bearings – but again, I don’t hear
anything unless I’m on the uni. It’s barely two months old, and I only ever
ride on the street. Haven’t done any hopping.

Well, heck – wish me luck, then! The new tube is fine, and to get that in
place, I took off all the moving parts and put 'em back on again.
Everything’s “reset” and snug. So I guess I’ll ride it and keep a watchful

stiller ( at ) quip ( dot ) net

New uni click…

I had similar problem with my new uni ,recently.Having experienced it before I have tightened spokes with no improvement. Then I have looked at the bearing clamps and those were unevenly tightened. I have released whole thing tightened it gently and evenly and the clicking has gone.
Remember you have recently put new tube ! Tightenig bearing clamps is a gentle affair.:wink: Cherrio!