This happens after riding the bike for about an hour. I've replaced free hub, greased/torqued the cassette interface several times, etc. These videos show what I'm up against.

Update: after more googlings on the topic, I found reference to the pins on the largest gear making noise after they loosen a tad, and found recommendation to specifically lube the pins. I tried this with some extra chain lube and it seemed to help, but I haven't ridden the full hour of hard mashing yet to fully prove it out. I suspect these pins are not supposed to be loose enough to allow this, if indeed this is the culprit?

Update 2: oil on pins was not a fix. but I have narrowed it down to the spline finger portion that tightens from the outside- the movement is occurring at this point and making the clicking. It appears there is slop between teh two diameters, and the fingers are pulling from the outside, but allowing it to "shift" and creak under torque.

I read somewhere that gen 1 of eagle had some tolerance issues- is this perhaps what I'm fighting?

  • Do you have a friend with an XD cassette you can borrow? Pop a different cassette on there and see if it makes a noise too.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 17:44
  • @MaplePanda I borrowed my own...new one I bought to replace this one and it fixed the problem. Obviously a flawed cassette, and now I have to look at an otherwise great shape cassette laying around my garage reminding me how expensive it was...
    – boomhauer
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 0:01

4 Answers 4


So after replacing the free hub and didn't help, I looked closer and realized the creaking was happening at the little spline fingers that flare out on the outside of the cassette to hold it in place. Grease did nothing to help, so I finally bought a new xx1 cassette.

And wouldnt you know it- the new(er) xx1's (xg-1299's) went to the same lock ring designs that the lower models have always had. I guess the one piece fingers version was creating some problems, possibly just like the issues I encountered!

New cassette works great, would have been nice to know this one had a design flaw earlier on as it had been making some noises almost from the day I bought it, and would have had the cassette warrantied if had known this was the problem. I rode it this way too long and now the warranty is expired. yay.

  • 2
    Try contacting SRAM regardless. If it’s a design flaw, they might and should deal with it. That’s a bloody expensive cassette to just be casually purchasing.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 7:10
  • I'll try but the feedback so far is not gonna happen.
    – boomhauer
    Commented Apr 17, 2021 at 23:51
  • Also SRAM's website basically has no way to contact them, they push you to work with a local dealer for everything
    – boomhauer
    Commented Jun 22, 2021 at 14:42

The most common cause of this with XD cassettes is simple under-torquing of the "lockring"/locking sleeve/whatever you want to call it. SRAM's number is 40Nm. The sleeve turns with quite a bit of resistance inside the rest of the casssette on XD cassettes, which can lead to not having it actually tightened on right as the friction is eating up torque before correct thread preload is established. You can run a bit of lube down around the sleeve to mitigate that.

If it's not that, and assuming this is some kind of fairly typical cartridge hub, if you're saying there's essentially no change after the steps you've already taken, here's what I would do:

  • Confirm you can't make the nosie occur when rocking the wheel back and fourth laterally as though to check for bearing play.
  • Confirm everything is in good condition, clean and properly lubricated with the dropout/hanger. Or just take the wheel out, poke the bare axle into the dropout, reef gently and corrobrate you can't generate any noise.
  • Corroborate the drive side main hub bearing is in good shape, externally clean and lightly greased, if you didn't already do that when replacing the freehub body.
  • With those things crossed off, and again presuming you mean to say there was zero change with a new freehub body, it becomes difficult for this to be anything but a movement that's occuring within the construction of the cassette itself. If there's no obvious problem, then what I would do next is take it off and give it a bath with whatever you have handy. If nothing else you can soak in boiling water and a squirt of dish soap, then air dry on a towel. You're not necessarily trying to fix it here, but cleaning it will probably change the noise enough to diagnose. If this route gives you anything, I would suspect a little it's the integral XD "lockring" component of the cassette, and could perhaps be fixed or mitigated by getting some lubrication worked into the interface between it and the rest of the cassette once its clean.
  • 1
    Good reason to keep one's bike clean, if it gets all noisy when dirty.
    – Criggie
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 0:19
  • Keeping a bike clean is just unnecessary hassle. It gets dirty during use, so what’s the point in storing it clean?
    – Michael
    Commented Feb 5, 2021 at 9:16
  • 1
    @Criggie in my case, this noise happens regardless of cleanliness
    – boomhauer
    Commented Feb 6, 2021 at 17:05

I have a similar noise with my XG-1295 that's more of a loud, awful grinding sound. I get stares from random people and startle small dogs when I grind by. It's truly awful and has happened for the past year. It has stumped several bike shops. It's 100% absolutely the cassette itself, as the noise manifests when I install it on different wheels.

I confirm that removing the wheel and cranking down HARD on the cassette lock ring eliminates the noise... for a few days.

The lock ring clearly does not stay tight and has issues. I torque it to 40nm at home and it's loose again in a few days. I had the shop ram down on it hard, and it was creaking again before I got to the end of the street. I don't want to drop another $400 just because their lock ring sucks.

  • Does your problem go away on its own between rides?
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 20:19
  • Mine didn't loosen in between, it was still tight- but it woud just start creaking again, and badly. I attributed mine to the design of the "original" 1299's which didnt use a snap ring, but had expanded fingers... and these just didnt hold tightly enough, and allowed the creaking. SRAM changed the design of the 1299's shortly after to use the locking ring, so they apparently knew it was a problem.
    – boomhauer
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 14:31
  • @DavidW - It seems to be a little better at the beginning of a ride, but it may be due to temperature. In summer, it seems to be constant in 80-100F. In winter, it seems to disappear or be minimal in 20-40F, but gets louder throughout riding. Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 2:36
  • @boomhouser - I'll check with SRAM to see if mine is in this batch. Your description sounds like my problem. When the shop torqued it to 40nm after trying to diagnose the issue, it started creaking within 30 seconds of riding. I torqued it to ??nm, and it didn't start creaking for about 1 hour of light to medium duty riding. It would be great if that part could be replaced, but I suppose the cassette has a few thousand miles on it and could be replaced. I'd rather not. Commented Sep 28, 2021 at 2:40

did you try applying threadlocker (low strength)... Garbaruk recommends that for their cassettes.

Apply threadlocker to cassette threads and mount the cassette onto the freehub body.

IMPORTANT! Use low-strength threadlocker (purple).

  • 1
    OP mentioned in their answer that the creaking was occurring at the splines, not at the threads. Threadlock would be great to have, but it wouldn't have solved the problem in this case.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 22:59

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