I ride a Surly Cross Check with stock everything. When I take a corner quickly on asphalt, I hear what sounds like metal vibrating, seemingly coming from the area of my front wheel. I'm used to hearing buzzing from knobby mountain bike tires in the same situations, but this sounds higher-pitched and "harder."

Have you had the same experience? Do you think the sound is from tire nubs, or something else?


It is a matter of checking things on you bike one by one, and seeing if the noise stops.

If your bike has a reflector attached to a spoke, check that has not come loose too. I previously had an issue like this and this was the cause and it took me ages before I thought to check it.

  • I thought this was too vague an answer when you originally gave it, but it turned out to be correct. The noise was coming from some plastic pieces on my water bottle cage. – Alex D Jun 20 '13 at 22:36

Check your headset first. Try to turn the spacers under your stem, if you can turn them by hand, your headset is too loose. Loosen stem, tighten headset, re-tighten stem.

Another possibility is a loose spoke, but this you'd likely hear even when not cornering. You can quickly hand check the tension of the spokes by "twanging" them like a guitar string. You will notice if one is off. The stock wheels (at least the pic I'm looking at) has a cross pattern on the front wheel so you can also squeeze opposing spokes. You will feel if one (or more) is off. If it is, tension the spoke(s) and re-true the wheel.

Happy Riding.

  • Thanks. These seem like reasonable possibilities, but nothing's finger-loose. It may be something to do with the spokes, but the tension seemed pretty consistent on a first pass. – Alex D May 2 '13 at 17:47
  • You might find some slicks and replace your tires to see if it's the knobs that are making the noise. I rode my CX bike around a bit yesterday and there is a "buzz-ripple" when I corner on asphalt. Could probably tell with just replacing your front, so if you have a road wheel around you could do a quick check (make sure brake pads line up). – Ken Hiatt May 2 '13 at 20:28

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