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?

  • 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. Commented Oct 19, 2011 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. Commented Oct 20, 2011 at 8:23
  • A photo of your bottom bracket and cranks would help. It'd make a big difference if you had cottered cranks or a one piece crank, for example.
    – RoboKaren
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 18:01

2 Answers 2


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.

  • Thanks, I'll check the pedals. They're stock so probably pretty cheap plastic as well.
    – Jesse
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 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). Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 20:29

I just had a similar problem and after checking bottom bracket, pedals, and chainrings, spraying some lubricant into the rear hub did the trick. I did not even remove the wheel; just sprayed into the hub. Good luck!

  • 1
    Its probably a temp fix - you'd benefit from a complete teardown and new bearings in the rear wheel.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 11:15
  • Bearings are new; several muddy rides gunked it up. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 15:31

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