Most abnormal noises can be identified and resolved easily at home without professional assistance.
However, if the solutions below do not resolve the issue you're experiencing, please contact support.
Identifying common motor noises
Common Noises Checklist
Brake caliper or rotor
- Some brake noise is normal. If you suspect it is not normal, we can help you find the right solution.
- To determine if the brake caliper is causing the noise, carefully remove the rear brake caliper and secure it to the frame away from all moving parts. Test in a safe area. If the noise is gone, your brakes may simply need to be adjusted.
- Something embedded into the tire: glass, rock, nail, screw
- to verify, properly adjust, and, in some cases, remove the fender. Even small debris and pebbles can rattle between the fender and tire, causing noise.
- To verify, please remove them (they can resonate or shift, causing noise).
- If not properly tuned or derailleur hanger is bent.
- Loose spokes can cause a clicking or pinging noise, but only while the rider is on the bike.
- A dirty chain, loose pedals, or crank arms can cause abnormal noise. Sound will vary differently depending on the cause.
- The nuts inside the dropouts may be too tight, causing excess friction (see below for details)
- The lockring cassette may be loose, causing a clicking noise. Once the wheel is removed, this can easily be checked by hand to see if the cogs move side to side. To tighten it,
- In some cases, this will need to be cleaned or lubricated. Removing this varies by model, but all bike shops are familiar if we suspect it is the issue based on the video.
If you've checked that and still have noise; The Ride1UP support team put together this guide for diagnosing and treating the most common causes of noises. Our five-step process will walk you through how to keep your bike running smoothly for years to come.
Step One: Brakes
Please keep in mind some brake noise is normal. Many of the sounds we hear coming from the back of the bike can be caused by the rear brake. Sometimes the caliper is misaligned; this will sound like a metal scraping sound and will be consistent. Other times, the rotor is out of true and will only touch in certain spots. This will sound similar, but the sound will be intermittent and not constant. A fast way to check if the noise is brake-related can be to remove the two bolts that hold on the caliper mount, zip-tie the caliper to the frame, and then test. If you find the sound went away, then your brakes need to be adjusted. These two links can help with that.
- Adjusting Brakes- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/mechanical-disc-brake-alignment
- Adjusting Rotors- https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/disc-brake-rotor-truing
Step Two: Fenders and Accessories
The second common cause of rear wheel noise is from fenders or other accessories rubbing on the wheel. All our models feature fenders that are adjustable, and they all adjust the same way. They have arms that plug into plastic mounting brackets. By loosening that bracket, it allows the rider to extend or shrink the support arms. By moving the support arm on one side, it pushes the fender to the other side. So for example, extending the left arm pushes the fender to the right. By balancing those arms, the rider can achieve perfectly centered fenders that will not rub.
Step Three: Spokes
The third common cause of rear wheel noise can be from the spokes. The spokes are the metal rods that make up the support of the wheel. They are constantly under tension, and that tension is what makes a wheel strong. The spokes can loosen up over time and do need periodic maintenance. Sometimes, a loose spoke will make a variety of noises, so ensuring all spokes are properly tensioned is the first thing to check. Fortunately, this can be done by hand:
If any feel significantly looser than the others or are wiggly when touched, they will need to be tightened. This process is outlined in the following link:
In addition to being loose, spokes can also make noise where they interface with the rim. This sound typically occurs under load and sounds like a groaning sound. It is simple to alleviate and requires a little bit of lubricant placed at each junction. A lightweight drip lube is preferred, TriFlow brand is our preference, but many will work. The process is shown below:
Step Four: Lubrication
The fifth most common cause of rear wheel noise comes from a lack of sufficient lubrication. Along with lubing your chain, there are other parts of the bike that need lube too. Hubs of all kinds need lubrication, and routine application of lubrication prolongs component life. Here at Ride1UP, we like to use a few different types of lubricant for our bikes. For internal hub lubrication, we like to use white lithium spray grease. This stuff is easy to apply, long-lasting, and inexpensive. For chains, we like the Finish Line Wet lubricant. It is a robust lubricant for general riding conditions. While chain lube application is fairly intuitive, hub lubrication can be more complex. Fortunately, with the spray lube, it makes the process easy; apply a liberal amount to the areas shown below. Be careful not to get lube on the disc rotor or other braking hardware.
If, after trying the five-step guide, you are still having rear wheel noises. Please reach out to our support team with video documentation of your issue along with your original order number.
If the checklist did not resolve noise, please submit videos to support with clear audio for fastest resolution.
If you are hearing unusual noises from your rear wheel or your rear wheel is not spinning freely (aka free wheeling), something may need to be adjusted or lubricated. If the noise persists after reviewing this checklist, please share 2 videos to support
For the fastest resolution, please share 2 videos as described below. Having both will result in the fastest resolution. Please provide this video as an attachment or as a link (make sure anyone with a link has access to view the file): https://ride1up.com/contact/
1st video with the rider off the bike
- In a clear workspace, in the garage or outside, with the bike unplugged.
- Carefully stand next to the bike on the side with the kickstand. Keep the kickstand down.
- Gently lean the bike towards you so that the bike is balanced on the kickstand and front wheel.
- You can now use the throttle to operate the motor; be careful and ready to apply the brake if necessary.
- Stop applying the throttle and let the wheel spin freely or coast to a stop.
- If abnormal noise is being made during this video, removing the brake caliper and other items noted in the checklist above is the easiest way to rule them out.
- If no noise is present, this video is still very helpful for us to have a complete understanding of the bike and rule out issues.
2nd video with the rider on the bike in a clear, safe area
- Have one person ride the bike while another person records the rider as they go by, demonstrating the noise and issue. This will allow us to clearly hear the noise and minimize wind noise.
- Depending on the noise, it may be best to remove the rear brake caliper and zip-tie it to the frame away from the moving wheel. Then, in a safe, clear space, test the bike and see if the noise is present. Carefully apply the front brake to slowly come to a stop.
Depending on what noise we hear, we can better determine what the issue is and the fastest resolution.