I have a strange creaking that sometimes occurs when I just started to pedal from stop. And strangely, it only happens when I use the smallest front chainring and smallest rear cog. The creak doesn't happen each revolution, only when pedalled hard or from the start. What causes this?

  • 1
    You should never be using the small-small gear combination, except when the bike is being repaired.
    – Batman
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 3:33
  • I always use the gear combination each time I'm done biking, to let the derailleurs in "rest" position. But when I'm going to start biking again, I need to pedal first before shifting to other gear combinations. This is where the creak takes place. I've never used the small-small combo for prolonged biking. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 3:41
  • There's no need for a 'rest position' and as @Batman said no small-small and no big-big position either. The creaking is most certainly the chain rubbing against metal. Check if it occurs when the chain is on the small ring and the third cog where it should only be when on the small ring.
    – Carel
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 9:58
  • Could be the spokes creaking, could be (with an old freewheel bike) the freewheel being tightened onto the hub. But neither of these sounds wound normally persist after days/weeks of use, but only with a new or recently serviced bike. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 12:27
  • Nah, not spokes, not hub. Chain might be, and also the rear qr. I haven't lube it for some times. I'm gonna give some WD-40 and some lube on it. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


This type of cross gear configuration is frowned upon for normal riding. Mostly likely the creaking is caused by the extra stress caused by the chain putting stress on one side of the gears and chain. Lubing the chain and re-greasing the rear axle (if it is not sealed) could also help, as this creaking may be symptomatic that they are lacking. But the real take-away here is to avoid this type of gearing combination.

  • Alright thanks mate. I use rest position to avoid the spring inside the RD gets pulled all the time, making it weaker. I use the rest position when storing my bike for days. I guess i'm gonna change my gear first before ride then Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 14:35
  • @AlvinPutra - There is no advantage to letting the spring "rest". In fact, by unnecessarily moving it to the "rest" position you are infinitesimally reducing it's life. Flexing and corrosion are what do in a standard steel spring, not simply being under pressure. Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 15:45

What kind of frame is it? These days many frames have a replaceable derailleur hanger. The derailleur hanger is the little bit of metal that the rear derailleur bolts onto. The hanger is then in turn bolted to the frame. Often times the factory doesn't apply any grease where the hanger and frame interface. This dry interface can often result in creaking, especially when a lot of torque is applied (like when you're in a low gear). Unbolt the derailleur from the hanger and then unbolt the hanger from the frame. Apply a thin layer of grease to where the two meet and reassembly the bike.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.