So I'm a bike noob in terms that my bike is certainly new, and since I bought it I've had problems with it.

So this time, I've figured where the problem comes from, it's the rear casette exactly, once it's under load, it makes a creak sound, which at high speed, sounds like a click, and in the past used to be just a click, very loud, it has been reduced to a softer creak now; let me make a timeline of important events.

  1. It was clicking awfully and louder, when on load.
  2. The bike shop changed the freewheel.
  3. It started creaking softer, still would click at fast speeds.
  4. The bike shop changed the pedals, bottom bracket.
  5. Nothing happened, it was still the same if not worse.
  6. I started playing with the rear cassete and derraulier, it got better for a little while; it got fixed the day it rained, somehow.
  7. Creak/click is coming back, I found a way to replicate the load, and it replicates the sound, definitely the cassette; even grabbing the casette and rotating it with your bare hands makes the same sound; I was not strong enough with only one hand to do it in the video.

What do you think it is? should I complain for the 7th time in the bike shop but this time tell them exactly what it is? anyway the more information the better, so at least I can talk with property.

Here's the video where I show my homemade attempt.

Also I'm surprised this is exactly the same exact sound that it does when I climb (thanks youtube):

this is 100% the same.

  • Is it possible for you to replicate the what is shown in the second video? That would rule everything that is not the rear wheel. What make and brand of bike is this? How old? What groupset? Also, you may wish to consider changing the question title to something like "What might be causing creaking cassette or rear hub?" Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 18:57
  • Interesting. Torque the cassette to spec? Take the wheel to the shop an and show them the click?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 19:11
  • Funnily it rained and when it rains it completely masks the noise, also gist.github.com/onzag/f586f4745e0f0d8cb06f27a8f3a1ed14
    – Onza
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:22
  • 1
    I think its either the cassette moving on the freehub, or the freehub moving where it attaches to the wheel hub body. There's also a chance its a spoke groaning in its hole or where it crosses another spoke. So start by eliminating things. If you can hold each spoke in turn while making the noise, and see if holding one specific spoke stops the noise, you might have a culprit. Do you have the tools to remove the cassette? If so, remove it and see if the noise is repeatable. Lastly, borrow another rear wheel and fit it, see if you can replicate the noise on a different wheel.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:41
  • 1
    I did what you say anyway, sprockets are out, they seem fine, in fact when I make the sound with the hands it goes like this, I press it hard, it hits the freewheel inside to want to rotate the wheel, but I'm holding the wheel, so when I apply more rotation force, it goes, maybe half a milimiter extra while creaking.
    – Onza
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 8:59

4 Answers 4


It sounds like you have isolated the issue to the rear wheel, and probably the rear hub.

I doubt that that cassette or it's attachment to the freehub body is the cause of the problem. It may be the freewheel assembly, or the hub bearings, or even a crack in the hub body.

To rule out the cassette, you could replicate the creaking using a chainwhip tool as show in your second video, then remove the cassette and see if you can replicate it by torquing the freehub body. It sounds like you don't have the tools to do this though. Do you think you could you work with a repair technician at the bike store and have them use a chain whip tool demonstrate the creak with the wheel out of the bike?

You say the problem has existed since you bought the bike. Were all the previous unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem performed for free by the store you bought the bike from? (In order to make good a faulty product that they sold you) If so, you can try requesting that they replace the entire rear wheel, or at the very least the entire hub. You may or may not have success depending on how long ago you bought the bike and warranty it came with.

  • who needs tools? I actually bought them, but I have no idea what happened but once I took the wheel out just handling it with my bare hands would cause this youtu.be/gFdhc8BpaY4
    – Onza
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 15:41

I have the exact same problem (noise from rear wheel - plus the rear cassette does a little click when engaging which may or mayn't be normal). Bike Shop replaced bottom bracket bearings in error. The noise matches the cadence of my pedalling as oppose to wheel rotation.

The idea to torque it with and without the cassette at bike shop makes sense. That might be what's needed to narrow it down... But pulling it all apart seems essential.

I just eliminated spokes as the issue. There is some saddle post creaking at the top, but it's minor compared to the wheel! And I took the wheel off and cleaned where it clamps to the frame.

Oh no. I just found a video which takes apart a cassette and shows the causes.

Mine is SRAM so unsure if the same issue occurs. Anyone else seen this? Do read the comments to the YouTube video too.

  • 1
    I need to answer the problem was a faulty hub design. So it is nothing common... :( Formula DC22 and DC20 hubs.
    – Onza
    Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 11:02
  • 1
    Can you explain a bit further? Does the hub create / exacerbate the cassette problem, or if your comment unrelated? Commented Feb 8, 2021 at 21:33
  • 1
    The hub bearings itself was faulty.
    – Onza
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 18:21
  • @Onza good work finding the cause and an answer for your question. Could you please post an answer, and then hit the green "accept" tick/check on the left? That helps finalise questions.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 0:25

Loose bicycle spoke did it to mine, a creak every pedal stroke.

  • 2
    Could you expand on this at all? A one-line answer is better than none, but there are more details. Eg, was it a front or rear spoke? What made it worse- going up a hill or on the flat? Did the creak relate 1:1 with crank rotation or did it line up with wheel rotations? How loose was the spoke - just a bit/finger tight/ floppy ? How many spokes in the wheel ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 23:47

I have exact same problem and gets exact same noise when I do something like that. I started to hear this after 3rd rides (after 2 water washing of MTB). I also do not hear when it rains or when I spray WD40 but it only last about 10 minutes or so as WD40 dries off, creaking sound come back. I tried silicon lubricant only to help little.

Did you find the answer? Let me know if you did. I'm thinking about taking the cassette apart and reinstall with new grease but haven't got around it.

  • 1
    Hi Charles - welcome to StackExchange. Please do take a moment to read the tour to learn how this site is set up. Its a Q&A format, and you've posted a "me too" as an answer. I am curious to know what OP found and what progress was made, so lets do that in a comment to the question, instead of an answer.
    – Criggie
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 7:16
  • 2
    WD-40 isn't a good lubricant for bikes (assuming you mean standard WD-40; they also do make some bike-specific lubricants under the "WD-40" brand). You should use a bike-specific lubricant. Having said that, I've never known a drivetrain creak because of low lubrication. Horrible grinding noises, sure, but creaking is usually two components moving against each other that aren't supposed to move. Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 9:43

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