How to Fix a Clicking Bike Pedal

Bide pedal clicking That annoying clicking sound coming from your bike pedal can drive you crazy. But determining the cause and fixing a clicking bike pedal is quite straightforward with some basic mechanical know-how.

This troubleshooting guide covers the likely causes and Solutions for diagnosing and repairing noisy pedals on any bike.

Pedal Bearing Diagnosis

Noisy or binding pedal bearings commonly cause clicking:

  • Spin pedal and feel for grinding or binding sensation
  • Inspect for bearing seal damage allowing contamination

Damaged bearings that are dirty or worn out will make clicking noises when pedaling.

Pedal Bearing Repair

To fix a pedal with clicking bearings:

  • Remove pedal from crank arm (remember left side reverse threads)
  • Disassemble pedal to access internal bearings
  • Flush old grease and contaminates out with degreaser
  • Replace dirty or worn out bearing balls/races if damaged
  • Repack with new bicycle bearing grease
  • Reassemble pedal and reinstall tightly

Fresh bearings and grease should cure any clicking from worn pedal internals.

Cleat and Pedal Interface

Causes related to the cleat/pedal connection:

  • Dirty or worn pedal/cleat engagement surfaces
  • Cleat loose and moving on shoe
  • Cleatwear allowing play and noise
  • Debris stuck between pedal and cleat

Ensure the shoe, cleat and pedal interface makes solid contact.

Bottom Bracket Diagnosis

It’s possible the click is coming from:

  • Worn bottom bracket bearings
  • Bottom bracket loose in frame
  • Bottom bracket faces dirty or damaged

Isolate clicks to the pedals by removing feet from them while riding.

Lubricating Pedal Threads

Dry or dirty pedal threads clicking:

  • Remove pedals and grease threads liberally
  • Pay attention to left pedal reverse threading
  • Avoid getting lube on pedal/cleat contact surfaces

Proper lubrication eliminates creaking from metal-on-metal contact.

Replacing Crank Arms

Crank arm issues that can click:

  • Crank bolts loosening over time
  • Stiff tightening/loosening creating stress cracks
  • Damage from an impact bending metal

Faulty crank arms must be replaced to cure clicks.

Bent Pedal Shaft

Check for:

  • Visible shaft deformation from impact
  • Binding sensation when spinning
  • Play or wobble indicating bend

Attempting to bend back pedal shafts is risky – replace.

Pedal Thread Repair

Options if pedal threads are damaged:

  • Use thread file to remove boogered threads
  • Tap new threads if stripped entirely
  • Apply thread lock like Loctite to help secure
  • Replace crank arms if damage is severe

Filing and tapping threads may resolve minor thread issues.

Loose Pedal Cage

Common on flat or platform pedals:

  • Cage bolts loose causing play and creaking
  • Bushing wear allowing side to side cage movement

Tighten all bolts to spec and shim or replace worn parts.

Troubleshooting Tips

Isolate clicks by:

  • Pedaling with feet off pedals to check bottom bracket/crank
  • Removing cleats to check pedal bodies
  • Holding rear wheel off ground and pedaling
  • Checking different bike speeds – clicks worsen with force

Take a methodical approach to isolate and fix the problem source.

With some targeted troubleshooting, that aggravating pedal click can be remedied. Let us know in the comments if you’ve encountered other causes of clicking bike pedals!

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