12. How to Check If Your Bearings Are Worn
Did you know that you can check the health of your bearings by listening to your bike seat?
Here’s a handy tip that will help you access whether or not any of your bearings are worn out. You’ll need to have the wheels suspended in the air somehow, using either a repair stand, hanging it from the roof, or by getting a friend to hold it up for you.
You can listen to your bike by pressing your ear up to the front of the seat. It will act as a speaker, amplifying the bike’s internal noises.
Now spin each of your components and listen to the sound. You will hear noise, but it should sound smooth and even. If it sounds loud and/or uneven, it is likely dry or worn out, and your bearings will need either an overhaul or complete replacement.
When checking the bottom bracket bearings, it’s helpful to shift the smallest sprocket and remove the chain to eliminate the noise generated by the chain and chainring.
To hear the rear wheel bearings better, remove the chain from the freewheel by removing and re-installing the wheel, so that you don’t hear the ticking as it spins around.
Since the headset doesn’t spin around as fast, it’s more difficult to hear if it’s worn. Any dryness or wear in the headset bearings will be very obvious, and you’ll feel a notch in the rotation if they’re pitted. Pitting usually occurs when the front wheel is pointing directly forward.
I just bought a 1970-74 CCM Cheetah, and I'm wondering if its possible to change the back sprocket from an 18 tooth, to a 16 or 14 tooth? And what exactly would be the result of this change? I'm new to the bike world and jest need some help before I spend all my money on parts... Read more >>
I aplogize in advance if this is an easy question. I'm a total noobie with bike repair and have been overwhelemed by too much data when searching for answers online. I live and work in Japan, and a friend who recently had to move out of the country gave me a 2012 Giant Defy 3 which was left out in the elements for about a year. The body and tires are in great shape, but the gear sets, brakes, chain and derailers are rusted and seized and will require replacment. I took the bike because I want to use it for my ~20 km commute to work and I think it will be a fun project to fix. The problem... Read more >>
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Hi all, riding my mountain bike quite happily yesterday when suddenly noticed the wheel wasn't turning in conjunction with the pedals. When I dismounted I saw that the chain was still in place but when I turned the pedals there was no corresponding wheel turning - I know I haven't explained this very well but would appreciate some advice - I can give further info as required! Cheers... Read more >>
Hi, I'm new to this site, but it seems like a fantastic group here and very informative. I'm a fairly new rider and just bought a Trek single speed a few months ago. (sorry I'm not up-to-speed with bike lingo) During a test ride, I noticed a low pitched clicking noise when pedaling. It was more noticeable when pedaling harder. I told the mechanic about it - he looked at it and told me the sound would go away with use. Now, the sound has only gotten worse. The clicking noise is definitely more noticeable going uphill or when pedaling harder. Standing up to pedal is definitely the worst. ... Read more >>
Hello, everybody, I am new here. My mother language is French but I learn English. I have no bicycle. But I would like to get one. It is faster thank walking and cleaner than cars. Now I use my feet and the public transports. How to choose/observe a bicycle when you are in a bicycles shop ? What are the most important points ? I am interested in bicycle to use it daily in the city. Not for speed race. I often have one or two bags with me (one for laptop), sometimes three when I buy food or books. Possibly I would like to use in even in winter, when it rains, when it snows, in fog. I thin... Read more >>
I have a Cannondale 1987 Backlighting, with Suntour Accushift Derailleur. I just purchased the Shimano ST-A070 Road Shifter - 2 x 7-Speed. I’m having shifting problems with the middle gears on the rear derailleur, I like my 7 speeds and the Shimano cassette is in great shape. The high/low gears are in good shape. I would like to know what rear derailleur? I was told that the Tourney TX35 Rear derailleur (6/7 Speed) was what I need. I was also told that my chain could be the problem. I still think it is the derailleur. [attachment=4087] Th... Read more >>
What's wrong with my bike and how do I fix it? I posted these videos earlier:... Read more >>
Hi. Know there have been other threads on this subject, but I have got the clicking noise issue and am desperate to sort it out, so any help would be appreciated. I bought a new Specialised Secteur Sport Triple road bike last December, so approx 4 months old. For the first 8 weeks, everything was great. At that point the bike was taken back to the shop for a free maintenance check, the only issue being a necessary gear adjustment due to the cables stretching. It was soon after this point that I noticed a clicking noise which I initially thought was coming from the drivetrain area, as well as ... Read more >>
Has anybody fixed up a older free Spirit tricycle ? Not sure where to start. It has rust on body and handlebars. Would be grateful for some ideas.... Read more >>
Hello all, new here. My family have a recumbent bike, which broke a coupe of years ago. I will try my best to explain the issue, and i hope someone can help me. When someone attempts to use the bike, it will work fine, and then randomly, the pedals will click and skip. Its happens too often that it makes exercise impossible. The best way i could relate this to a bicycle is when you switch gears and sometmes the pedals seem to lose their traction, skipping and clicking. I know i have to buy a crank pulley? so i could open the bike. I dont have one, but i will buy one, only if. Know what to ... Read more >>
When ever I put real heavy pedaling to the pedals they make a clicking sound, not sure if the bottom bracket , chairing bolts or what. Any suggestions?... Read more >>
Hello, I recently picked up a Trek Multitrack Hybrid bike in a trade for a guitar. It was not at all what I was looking for, but I became curious when I was given this offer and figured I could get into a new hobbie. Being the newbie that I am, I did not check this bike for anything and didn't even think there could be anything wrong with it. When I got home, took it out of my trunk, assembled the wheels, and started riding, I realized the left grip shifter does not stay in place when I try shifting and the front gear just goes back to the smallest one. In order to use the larger gear, I have ... Read more >>
Hi I'm a college student who uses a bicycle as my main mode of transportation. I received a new Schwinn from my parent's for my 14th birthday, and am now 19. A long story not-typed, the bike hasn't been very well cared for, and has seen a pretty high (IMO) amount of wear. Now I'm about to start a job, and need a bike to get to work. My dad is adamant that it won't be a problem to fix up my current bike, and isn't going to help me find a new one. I'd like some feedback on how I should go about parts searching (my first motion is to search Amazon) or whether I should look for a new bike. Th... Read more >>
I had this old steel framed bike for over 20 years. It is a standard steel frame, it was originally bought as a 10 speed mountain bike. Its true value is in the memories of riding it through high school, university, my first job and going for rides when I was dating my wife. I passed it on to my younger brother when I was leaving to go away with my family to work away from home. He did not take very good care of it. I was sorting out some stuff at my parents home recently and came across my faithful frame. I would like to rebuild it. I can handle myself with the repairs, and I basically have ... Read more >>