important: Nuts and bolts on your bike should always be tightened to the manufacturer's specifications.

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.

How to Listen

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.

Bottom Bracket Bearings

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.

Rear Wheel Bearings

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.

Headset Bearings

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.

Related Links

Recommended Tools

Categories

Discuss this topic in the Bicycle Repairs and Mechanics Forum

cable loose from gear handle shifter

Lastest post 12 hours ago

Hi, I'm new here. Just need some help right now for my grandson's Shocker 20 bike. The cable holder has come loose at the gripper handle and having trouble getting it back in. Any suggestions or where to get another 7 speed shifter for his bike? Thanks a lot. Sorry for not filling in any other "newbe" message, I'm currently baby sitting my other grandchild . That probably explains it all. 2...

Read more

Also if you guys know the code for the bearings and bearing size, I have a shimano 105 crank   B735B1FC-9997-4A08-9590-3B4A5798E21D.jpeg (Size: 79.89 KB / Downloads: 9) ...

Read more

I need to know what bottom bracket I have but I can fin a number or code on it to read it. Any experts in here, this is my first post.   006BA1F3-FE4D-4D22-85F0-095E72284B3D.jpeg (Size: 46.12 KB / Downloads: 12) ...

Read more

I've read other threads and lots of info online, and I'm still stuck. My son is unable to shift the gears on his new 6-gear bike. We tried adjusting the derailer to release some tension and tinkered with adjustments here and there, and nothing seems to be working. Is there anything that we can do? I really want him to be able to shift his own gears. Going uphill today we had to stop several t...

Read more

Horrendous noises when pedalling

Lastest post 21 hours ago

I have just started hearing horrendous noises when pedalling my 7 week old Trek Powerfly 4 ebike. The sound is worse than clicking and clunking and I can’t tell exactly where it is coming from. So have uploaded a video here: https://youtu.be/G3X2tLHk4Bk. Has anyone had similar or know what if could be? I’ve not heard these types of noises before....

Read more

  varsity.jpg (Size: 152.97 KB / Downloads: 66)   varsity2.jpg (Size: 77.64 KB / Downloads: 67) Hi. This is my first post. I have a 1962 Varsity that I've enjoyed riding since I was 10. I'm in my 60's now and just want to putz around the neighborhood. In order to make the bike more comfortable I put a super big seat on it and 12" high handlebars. It's my Lazy-Boy on whe...

Read more

Hello everyone. After many winter rides, my 29er MTB began to throw out creaking sounds last week. It's nothing too loud, just a gentle yet annoying creak that happens on every other stroke but not constantly. Could it simply be the case of pedals (I have clipless Shimano MTB pedals) being "tired" and not the bottom bracket? Where should I look first?...

Read more

  IMG-0104.JPG (Size: 69.13 KB / Downloads: 14) Hi I was in the process of putting upright handle bars on an old mountain bike frame.. ( help take the pinching out of my neck when i ride) I noticed a small hairline crack in the headset (i guess that is what they are called ?) I am only looking for something i can go out and ride simple flat probably paved trails.. to keep my c...

Read more

Hey guys I was recommended to post here to see if I could get any additional opinions. Would be great if you guys could help me out. Images: https://imgur.com/a/HvH98By I bought a second-hand carbon bike that looked mostly fine on inspection but when I took it apart to put in the car I noticed that the carbon around the dropouts might've been cracked? This is my first time seeing these 'enclos...

Read more

Hi... I bought 2 second hand wheels for my Gary Fisher bike.. The rear wheel came with a new 8 speed cassette marked... Shimano Hypergluide HG. After reading the spec. list of the bike it lists the chain as Shimano CN-IG51, 1/2 x 3/32" ..and the front gear chain as SR XCC-150 42/34/24 crank.. The original cassette was SRAM PG830 11-32 8spd My question ...is the new cassette OK with the original c...

Read more

  PXL_20210328_103831698.jpg (Size: 41.2 KB / Downloads: 26) Hi, I need a new seat post clamp for my canyon? These are proving difficult to get, does anyone know we're to purchase a replacement. I have attached pictures. Thanks Matt...

Read more

I adjusted my front gear according to materials I read and watched on the Internet. Hanging the bike off the ground, fd works alright and shifting was seamless. Now I take a ride, flat ground, shifting front gear was good. Downhill was also perfectly alright with changing gear. When I went uphill even on a gentle slope, gear won't upshift; downshift was alright. I am on a triple chainring. When g...

Read more

Freehub body change compatibility

Lastest post 1 month ago

I have a single speed kona unit with a formula dc52 hub (only single speed drive) and was wondering if anyone knew what freehub bodies were compatible so I can switch is to more then just a single. I would prefer not to have to buy a whole new wheel or rebuilding with a new hub. Thanks...

Read more

Hi Guys, I would appreciate some advice on choosing the right chain for a new singlespeed freewheel 16T. I have a Campagnolo crankset that is 1/8" and use Izumi chain of the same width. I'm currently on Sturmey Archer 17T 1/8" freewheel but I'd like to upgrade to 16T. All the quality 16T freewheels I found are made for 3/32" chains for example Box Buzz. Halo Clickster can supposedly accept 3/32 o...

Read more

Chain for specialized rockhopper

Lastest post 1 month ago

Hello, Ive just had my over 30 year old rockhopper serviced and its as good as new. Almost! Repair shop - where i bought it 6 years ago and have been great servicing it - say the chain is very worn and will be almost impossible to replace. Its a six speed. Would this be true? I'm not grumbling as its been a great bike but at the same time seems a shame to ditch it for want of a chain. Appreciate a...

Read more