You will agree that there isn’t anything so maddening as a squeaking noise from your BMX bike every time you pedal. So it’s logical to worry when it happens and ask the obvious: why does my BMX bike squeak when I pedal?
Your BMX bike is squeaking when pedaling because of a grinding chain, dirty crank or bearings, loose pedals or handlebar, or defective brakes. All these are possibilities and an indication of a serious issue.
So, if you encounter a squeaking sound coming from your BMX bike every time you pedal, you should first figure out the cause of the squeak before coming up with a fix.
This guide will help you diagnose the issues and fix them accordingly. It may surprise you that most of the fixes are purely DIY if you are a little handy.
Let’s get started:
6 Possible Reasons Why Your BMX Bike Squeak When You Pedal
If you have encountered occasional or constant squeaks when riding your BMX bike, one of the reasons below could be the cause:
Possibility Number 1 – A Grinding Chain (Commonest Cause of a BMX Bike Squeak When You Pedal)
A squeaking sound coming from a dry chain is not new to many bike enthusiasts. If the chain is dry (unoiled), it will grind against the sprocket and the frame, causing a squeaking sound.
Unfortunately, the irritating noise is not the only concern when the cause is a grinding chain. Such a chain causes some tension, causing the chain to pull when riding your BMX. In turn, the chain tension and pulling are likely to damage the chain and everything else it connects with.
The other possible reason for a grinding chain is an out-of-position derailleur. If the derailleur is not in the correct position, it may also make the chain squeak.
The other possible reason for a grinding chain is rust. If you don’t oil your chain regularly and don’t ride often, the chances are that it will start rusting. If that happens, the rust will cause it to squeak when pedaling.
Fixing a squeaking chain is easy. First, you need to lean your bike against the wall, or else you can place it on a bike stand. Then, loosen the axle bolts, wind crank bolts, and look at the chain.
This way, you can see clearly if the chain is too tight or has moved out of place. If the chain is in alignment, you can use a dry lubricant like the Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant (View on Amazon) to lube every link.
Consider back-pedaling using your hand to ensure the lube settles appropriately. However, if the BMX chain is rusty, consider replacing it.
Possibility Number 2 – Dirty Crank
Any pro rider will tell you for free that the crank takes much abuse. Every pedal you make sends a specific force that helps push forward the crank.
When that happens, the crank moves the chain, which likewise turns the bike sprockets forward, bringing the bike to move.
Unfortunately, things don’t work that way if the crank is dirty. Dust and other forms of dirt will likely settle on the crank and cause an irritating sound when you engage the bike.
That’s likely to happen when you take on the trails and dirt parks, and it’s why regular cleaning of the BMX bike is essential.
Here’s how to go about it:
Step 1: Take out the crank
You need to remove the dirty crank to clean it. First, you can loosen the crank bolts using a crank puller or a hex wrench. Once the bolts are out, pull the crank out.
Step 2: Remove the bottom bracket
Once the crank is out, carefully remove the bottom bracket. Also, use the hex wrench to unscrew the bottom bracket bolts.
Step 3: Clean the crank and bottom bracket
Once the dirty crank is out, use water and soap and a regular toothbrush to remove all the dirt and gunk from it.
Step 4: Degrease
Before taking the crank and bottom bracket back, you should degrease it. A good degreaser like WD-40 Specialist Degreaser (View on Amazon) will get rid of the dirt and lubricate the crank bolts. The best bit is that it has anti-rust properties and so will protect your crank from rust.
Step 5: Take everything back
Lastly, reassemble the crank and everything else as they were before retesting for the squeaking.
Possibility Number 3 – Dirty Bearings
Another source of bike squeaking noise is dirty bearings, especially the hub bearings.
The bearings will likely accumulate gunk and grime after enjoying a muddy or dirt trails ride. The chances are even higher if the bearings are too old or worn out.
The solution for dirty bearings is a cleanup. You first need to detach the bearings and give them a good wipe. After that, you should grease the bearings adequately and screw them back.
Possibility Number 4 – Loose BMX Pedal
The next suspect is a loose pedal. If the squeaking happens in every stroke you make, the chances are that the pedals are loose. Over time, internal pedal parts like the axle and bearings may become loose and start squeaking when you engage the pedals.
You should also watch out for dirt accumulation on the pedals, which may cause them to produce noise.
You can use a hex wrench to remove the pedal and clean it before fixing it back tightly. But if the pedals are too old, then replace them.
Possibility Number 5 – Loose Handlebar
After figuring out all the above and nothing seems to work, the handlebar is the next culprit to check. Though uncommon, the handlebar can squeak if the stem bolts are loose. That is likely to happen over time if you regularly ride your BMX bike.
To fix the loose handlebar, you should place the bike’s front wheel between your legs. Then hold the handlebar firmly and tighten the stem bolts (at the center of your BMX handlebar).
You can use BIKEHAND Heavy-Duty Wrench (View on Amazon) to tighten the bolts. It comes as a 9-piece pack, which you’ll find handy in your day-to-day DIY projects.
Possibility Number 6 – Defective Brakes
Lastly, if the squeak persists after checking the above, it’s time to turn to the brakes. If the brakes are malfunctioning, the brake pads could cause vibrations in the rims, which could cause the squeak.
But before you can jump to the fix, there is a lot to check out to confirm if the brakes are the issue.
One, you should check if the front wheel is well seated. If it’s not, there is a chance that the brake pad could rub against the frame producing a squeaking sound.
But if your bike wheel is true, you can check if the brake pads are worn out. If they are, then they are the reason behind the squeaking brakes.
One thing you should never opt to do is that you should never apply any lube to your bike’s brakes. If you do so, the braking power will reduce, which you don’t want if you are a racer.
If the brake is out of the toe, toe it correctly, and if that doesn’t seem to work, you can bend the arms slightly but be gentle.
However, if the brakes squeak because they are worn out, you should take your bike to the nearest bike repair shop for a replacement.
How to Fix My BMX Bike that Squeak When I Pedal?
Generally, you can fix your squeaking BMX bike by observing a good maintenance routine. That includes doing the following:
- Ensure you clean and lube your bike to prevent squeaks, wear and tear. Some of the parts you should lube include the chain, wheel bearings, crank bolts, pedal threads, and spindle.
- Always tighten all the loose bolts correctly. You can do this using a wrench. You can know you have the correct tension if the wrench you use releases pressure.
- Take your bike for an annual servicing at any local bike repair shop. A professional mechanic will diagnose creaks, squeaks, and clicks before they can be annoying.
- Replace worn-out parts in time, especially those that can cause a squeaking sound, such as the brakes and pedals. That means inspecting your BMX regularly to identify the prospective fixes and address them in time.
People Also Ask (About a Squeaking BMX Bike When You Pedal)
1. After How Long Should I Lubricate My BMX Bike Chain?
You should lubricate the chain according to how often you use your bike. You should lube your BMX bike chain at least 2 -3 times every month if you ride daily. However, if you don’t use your bike regularly, you should lube the chain at least once a month and each time you clean the bike.
2. Why Are My Bike Pedals Creaking?
If your bike pedals are creaking, they are likely wobbly. It could also be that they are dirty or just defective. So, you may have to check all these possibilities and then fix your pedals accordingly. Sometimes, it may mean replacing the pedals.
3. Why Does My Bike Squeak?
The most common reasons your bike squeaks when pedaling are a dry chain that requires lubing, dirty bearings that need cleaning, loose bike bolts that need tightening, or a brake that needs toeing in. However, don’t forget to look for dirty crank or slack pedals as potential culprits.
4. Can I Use WD-40 To Lube My Bike Chain?
Yes! You can use WD-40 to lube your bike chain and other metallic bike parts. It is a water-based lubricant that lubricates your bike chain and prevents rust.
However, most avid BM bikers prefer using a dry lubricant that will not soil their hands and won’t have to wipe a lot. Sadly, WD-40 doesn’t make their cut.
In Summary; Why Does My BMX Bike Squeak When I Pedal?
Generally, the reason why your BMX bike squeaks when pedaling is that something is loose or dirty. The first part could involve the pedals or handlebars, while the second could involve the bearings, crank, or chain. Don’t, however, forget to check for a rusty or dry chain and even defective brakes, as they are all possibilities.