My 3 yr old bike has developed a creak noise which sound like it's coming from the bottom bracket area. It appears to only do this as I approach the 6 oclock position i.e. downstroke. It's very repeatable and sounds very similar to creaking floorboards.

Things I have checked/noticed

1) usual rocking the cranks side to side - feels stiff even I give it a good tug. 2) I feel very noticeable play when grabbing the right crank arm then moving the right pedal backwards and forwards.

So what's wrong with it? time for new pedals?

  • 1
    More diagnosis - can you replicate this creak noise while unseated? Consider removing the seat and post completely while doing a careful ride at home. Why? BB and crank creaks are roughly inline with your saddle and your ears, so while the pedalling action might be in synch with the creak, its quite common for saddle and seatpost and seattube clamps to be the real source. Eliminate them as causes.
    – Criggie
    May 14, 2018 at 2:03

2 Answers 2


2) I feel very noticeable play when grabbing the right crank arm then moving the right pedal backwards and forwards.

Are your cranks tight? You should grease the tapers well before tightening, it allows the crank to slide on fully, and tighten properly. If you can't remove your crank (no tools) then tighten, and then retighten several times after riding for a while. If the taper is dry, it won't tighten fully first try.

If you ride with a loose crank for a while, it can reshape the aluminium, until it becomes impossible to tighten successfully - so do tighthen it.

Creaking as you pedal can also come from almost anywhere in your bike, the sound carries through the frame. It can be so annoying!

My seat sometimes creaks horribly, and you would swear it comes from the pedals. I think it is probably a crack in the plastic inside. Also my rear disk makes a creak that is in time with the pedaling. I have also had the steering stem / handlebar clamp do it too.

  • I mean I can feel knocking on the pedal not the crank. The left pedal doesn't knock as much
    – Ageis
    May 14, 2018 at 16:13
  • If your pedals are floppy then they are either loose in the cranks, or the bearings are loose. Tighten the cranks - same deal - grease them first (but in this case it is so you can get them undone later). Usually loose pedal bearings don't make noise unless you have let them get dry. Lean the bike over, and run some chain lube down the pedal shaft, whilst spinning the pedal.
    – Henry Crun
    May 14, 2018 at 23:50

Some press fit bottom bracket bearings have a tendency to creak, but you may have a worn bearing.

Check this answer for some info on finding worn bottom bracket or pedal bearings.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'moving the right pedal backwards and forwards'. Do you mean along the axis of the pedal spindle? If one pedal has more play than the other something is likely wrong.

You don't say what make or model your bike is. Many higher end clipless pedals have bearing rebuild kits available.

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