Is your bike the noisest in the bunch? 13 steps to a silent ride

A quiet bike is a joy to ride, so here's how to banish unwanted noises - what to check for, how to fix it and why you shouldn't ignore what your bike is telling you

Man riding a gravel bike through a meadow
(Image credit: Tim Russon)

Whilst some riders seem happy, or oblivious, to their bikes making a cacophony of noise, most of us prefer a silent ride. However, we’ve all experienced an annoying creak or unexplained rattle from time to time. These noises may be irritating to us and our ride buddies, but they can also indicate that maintenance is needed, parts are due replacement, or even that something more serious is afoot. They are always worth investigating.  

Diagnosing mystery noises is far from straightforward, rarely can they be reproduced on the workstand. Bikes, particularly carbon ones, transmit noise throughout the frame, making it extremely difficult to find the source of the trouble. I once spent a few miles on a warm ride trying to discover where some terminal-sounding frame clunks were coming from, only to realize it was the ice cubes knocking about in my water bottle. 

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Tim Russon

Tim Russon is a writer and photographer who has worked in the outdoor and cycling industry for over 20 years. He can’t remember a time when he didn’t own a bike and has road, gravel, mountain and retro bikes in the shed. His favourite place to ride is the Dolomites, a simply stunning area which has breathtaking views and incredible roads combined with lovely food and great wine.

He prefers long, hot climbs in the big mountains, but as he lives on the edge of the Peak District he has to make do with short, cold climbs most of the time instead.