The Symptoms of a Failing Bearing

Wheel bearings are not only one of the most critical components on your bike but also one of the most overlooked. You can’t steer, roll, pedal or have a functioning drivetrain without the right bearings, so we’ve put together this quick and simple guide on the symptoms of a failing bearing.

Suspend Your Bike and Listen

To check our wheel bearings and pivot bearings, its best to suspend your bike in the air. Your best option is to use your bike stand, but if this isn’t an option, simply have someone lift and hold the bike for you. Then, stand with your ear at the front of the seat of your bike. This is the best place in which to listen as you start to turn the components of your bike one by one.

The sound should remain smooth, quiet, and even but if there are bumps, gaps, or any loud noises, this is a sign that the bearing is dry or worn out. This will call for either a bike bearing overhaul or a complete replacement.

Bottom Bracket Bearings – when checking these bearings, you should shift the small sprocket and remove the chain so that the noise of the bearing isn’t drowned out by the chain and chainring.

Rear Wheel Bearings – to better hear these bearings you need to quiet the ticking as the wheel spins. To do this, remove the chain from the freewheel by removing and re-installing the wheel.

Headset Bearings – It’s more difficult to hear this bearing because the headset doesn’t spin fast. However, you will likely feel a notch as you rotate if the bearing has pitting. This is most commonly found in the forward-facing position.

When you’re done checking for bad bearings, make sure you browse BETD for replacements. We stock Enduro bearings such as E Type, Stainless Steel, Ceramic, and many more. Check out our MTB bearings, road bike bearings, and gravel bike bearings today!