What Causes Bicycle Clicking Noise When Coasting?

You find the clicking noise bothersome when coasting, and you wonder what is causing the sound.

Some friends say you have nothing to worry about, but you still want to know what’s causing the clicking noise.

Many new cyclists are like you. They’re sensitive to the noises they hear when they’re cycling.

Fortunately, you’ll learn the top causes for the clicking noise you hear when coasting. So kindly read on to know more.

Pedaling Mechanism

Pedaling Mechanism

Before you do anything with the clicking sound produced when coasting, you should first learn about the freewheel mechanics.

Generally, a freehub connects the electric bike’s framework to the wheel. As a result, the bicycle moves forward if you pedal correctly.

The bike chain wraps around the cassette, the silver part found on the hub. The freehub body is underneath it and provides power to the pedals.

The wheel hub body includes the following parts: pawls and drive rings. The springs that connect them make clicking noises.

What Is a Pawl?

A pawl consists of small ratcheting teeth that act as a mechanism for a ratcheting freehub. A spring activates it, and the toothed ring transmits torque to the wheel.

Why Bikes Are Noisy While Coasting

The freehub remains when you remove the sprockets from the wheel, connecting the freewheel to the other road bike parts.

Pawls are unidirectional and are between the freehub body and the hub. They rotate away from the hub teeth allowing you to move forward as you pedal.

If you pedal backward or coast, the pawls don’t move, freeing the spring-loaded materials in the wheel, and causing them to produce a clicking noise.

Is It Noise or the Music of a Bike?

Some people love the sound the bike makes while coasting. However, others don’t like the clicking sound.

Fortunately, these clicking noises don’t mean the hub is of poor quality. However, you should know that the hub design affects the produced sound.

The more pawls your bike has, the louder the clicking noise. Of course, you may opt to be unbothered, but you should realize that you can do something about it.

You may apply grease over the pawls to reduce the clicking sound. But first, you must know it’s normal to hear the clicking noise.

Top Reasons for Clicking Noise When Coasting

The freewheel or freehub produces a clicking noise, and every bike has the exact mechanism.

The pawls are inside the freewheel or freehub and fit within the drive ring’s cavities. As you pedal, the pawls move, causing the forward movement of the wheel.

On the other hand, if you coast, the pawls rub against the drive ring, producing a clicking noise.

Types of Freehubs

  • Pawl-Style

This freehub type has spring-loaded teeth attached to the freehub’s rotating component. It also has a fixed drive ring inside the freehub body.

If you pedal forward, the pawls plunge inside the drive ring’s cavities. On the other hand, when coasting, they rub against the drive ring.

  • Mavic

Unlike the pawl-style, the Mavic freehub has fixed pawls on the freewheel. The drive ring inside the freehub rotates.

Mavic freehubs are noisier than the pawl-style without offering additional functionality.

  • DT Swiss

The DT Swiss freehubs have two rings. One ring is inside the freehub body, while the other is in the rotating component.

This freehub is noisy yet more efficient. Each ring has teeth, resulting in several engagement points.

Secondary Reasons for the Bike’s Clicking Noise

Bike Chain

You know you have a bike chain issue if the noise comes from it. It will help if you lubricate it to avoid rusting and function smoothly.

Your chain is dry if you hear a clucking sound; generally, it will wear out soon. Therefore, you should clean and then grease it.

Moreover, a misaligned chain also produces a chattering sound. Therefore, you should have a bike mechanic realign the chain if you don’t know how.

A misadjusted front derailleur causes the chain to rub against it. Therefore, you should reposition the chain and adjust the front derailleur.

Generally, a bike chain wears out after 2,000 to 3,000 miles. Therefore, you should replace it if you don’t want to hear a clicking sound when coasting.

Derailleur Pulleys

Unoiled derailleur pulleys can make a clicking noise when coasting. Therefore, you should clean and lubricate them to also prevent rusting.


The sensitive brakes can also produce a clucking sound because of vibration. Therefore, it is best to replace the worn-out brake pads.

Moreover, check for misaligned brake pads. Finally, don’t forget to clean and grease the brake components.



A clicking sound from the pedals when coasting means something is loose. Tighten any loose parts in the pedals to prevent them from producing sound.


Overlapping or loose spokes can produce a snapping noise. Don’t forget to grease the intersection and tighten the spokes.

Ways to Stop the Clicking Noise When the Bike Is Coasting

You should maintain your bike, and if you think it’s creating too much noise, you should check for a damaged freewheel.

In addition, try lubricating and cleaning the parts. However, understand that you won’t eliminate the noise.

Remove the Worn-Out Wheel

If it’s a worn-out wheel, you should replace it with a new one. However, after dismantling it, you should thoroughly check each part.

You should clean and oil the components. Otherwise, replace the freewheel if you discover damaged pawls.

Reinstall the Freewheel

After lubing and cleaning the parts, you should put back the freewheel. But first, ensure that each element is fully dry and that you use the right lube.

  1. Ensure you correctly align the cog and thread the freewheel.
  2. Tighten the cassettes by applying pedal pressure or using a chain whip.
  3. Reinstall the wheel.

Check the Chain

Assess the bike chain to check for damage. Then, lube it to ensure it’s working fine.

Tighten and Clean the Brakes

Generally, the brakes become sensitive if they become loose. Therefore, you should clean them and ensure they’re dry so they do not produce disturbing sounds.

Tighten and Oil the Spokes and Pedal

The pedal and spokes are critical parts of the bike framework. Ensure that they’re tight and lubed.

How to Fix Other Bike Clicks, Squeals, Squeaks, and Creaks

Squeaky Bike Chain

  1. Allow the pedals to spin freely by leaning your bike against the wall or placing it on a bicycle stand.
  2. Lubricate each chain link why moving the pedals backward using your hand.
  3. Wipe the excess oil using a clan rug.
  4. Bring your bicycle to a professional to replace the stiff or rusty chain.

Clicking Chain

If you hear a clicking noise from the chain, you should adjust the cable tension from the shifter to the back derailleur.

Check if your bike has barrel adjusters to fix the cable tension. Bring your bicycle to a local bike shop if you can’t fix the issue because the clicking sound may come from a bent derailleur hanger.

Squeaky Bike Brakes

You shouldn’t grease your brakes even if they squeak. Instead, check for misaligned wheels to ensure they don’t rub against the frame or brake pad.

Check if your wheels wobble when spinning. Align the tires if you notice an inconsistent rubbing between the brake pads and rim or wobbling.

The brake pads and rotor shouldn’t wobble or rub against each other for disc brakes. Align the wheel or check for a bent rotor.

It’s best to have a professional fix a bent rotor or true a wheel. But first, clean the rotor, rim, and brake pads with a cleaner or rubbing alcohol.

Replace any worn-out brake pads.

The rim brake pads will squeak upon braking if the brake pads don’t align. Use a hex wrench to reposition them.

Bring your bike to the nearest bike shop if you have misaligned brake pads.

Noisy Rear-Suspension Pivot

Your mountain bike can squeak because of dry, loose, or damaged bearings. So first, lubricate the joint between the frame and the pivot.

Use a hex or torque wrench to tighten the pivot bolts according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Bring your bike to a professional if you can’t solve the squeaking sound produced by the rear-suspension pivots.

Noisy Front-Suspension Pivot

A squeaking front shock may occur if you lock it out on technical terrain. It would help if you opened it on technical terrain to fix the noise.

Clunking Bike Suspension

A clunking front shock requires added pressure. You should bring your bicycle to a professional to fix the problem.

Squeaky Bike Seat

If your bike saddle squeaks, you should tighten the saddle clamp. Check underneath the seat to see how the clamp connects to the saddle rails.

Tighten the bolts using a torque or hex wrench. Bring the bicycle to a mechanic if your bike seat tilts backward or forward or continues to squeak.

Creaky Bike Seat Post

Creaky Bike

A creaky seat post needs grease. You can clean an aluminum seat post to remove grit and oil before applying paste grease.

It would help if you used carbon fiber paste for a carbon seat post.

Squeaky Bike Crank

A loose bolt is a principal reason for a squeaky crank. Therefore, you should check for play, then tighten the crank bolts using a hex wrench.

Bring your bike to a mechanic if the crank continues to squeak after tightening the bolt.

Squeaky Bike Derailleur

Clean the rear derailleur first before lubricating the pulley wheels. Next, put grease on the hinges to allow free movement of the parts.


Does a Continuous Clicking Noise Damage the Freewheel?

The ratchet mechanism produces a clicking noise. However, you may need to lubricate or repair the rear wheel if you notice excessive sound from it.

If you don’t replace the damaged freewheel, you’ll notice your bike has decreased function and pedaling efficiency.

Is There a Bicycle that Doesn’t Produce a Clicking Sound While Coasting?

Generally, bike parts produce a clicking sound as you pedal backward due to the ratchet mechanism.

However, some bicycles have silent hubs. Therefore, you can find these bikes if you don’t want to hear these noises.

When Should I Clean the Freewheel?

The general bike functionality depends on the freewheel. Moreover, it depends on usage and maintenance.

It would be best to clean the freewheel at least once a month. Moreover, avoid cycling on muddy roads if you don’t want to clean your bike often.

Thomas Kersten

Hi, I am a passionate biker, and I have been riding for more than ten years and share my biking tips and tricks with the world. I've tested more than 300 bikes.

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