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I have an old Free Spirit road bike. It's in good shape and runs fine, but I started noticing that when I'm going uphill or pedaling in a high gear there is a squeaky sound coming from what seems to be the crank.

Any tips on fixing it or could it be another issue altogether?

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Definitely check (or have your LBS check) that the crank fixing bolts are tight. Also you may want to have your LBS check the crank cups. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 19 '11 at 20:30
It's devilishly difficult sometimes to pinpoint the position of a noise whilst you are riding. And even harder to replicate the noises when you are not riding. A friend cycling next to and around you can help located the source of said noises. – Iain M Norman Oct 20 '11 at 8:23
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I noticed my crank making a noise when I would crank hard, and it ended up being the pedal. It was the cheap plastic pedals that came with the bike (before I switched to clipless), and the pedal itself was starting to break. It would bend when I was cranking hard, and it finally broke on me (thankfully, just down the street from my house).

So, I would check the pedal, and check the bolts for the whole area to make sure everything's tightened down properly.

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Thanks, I'll check the pedals. They're stock so probably pretty cheap plastic as well. – Jesse Oct 19 '11 at 18:20
Yep, I've had several problems with pedals as well, and not just "cheap" ones (though not top-of-the-line either). – Daniel R Hicks Oct 19 '11 at 20:29

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