I'm getting an annoying creaking noise from bottom bracket/crank area-all seems tight and smooth with no play-any ideas folks?

  • 1
    When you say all seems tight, have you actually tried tightening it? A loose crank bolt on square taper, at least, can be heard before it can be felt either underfoot or by hand.
    – Chris H
    May 24 at 13:31
  • yes tightened up also replaced pedals May 24 at 18:18
  • Bottom brackets can just wear out. Might be the best option to replace it. Otherwise disassemble and re-grease it, see what happens
    – Hursey
    May 24 at 20:48
  • i was starting to think thats what i might have to do May 25 at 18:39
  • The origin of creaking sounds may be very hard to get, check also your bottle cage bolts and if you have presta valves, the nuts that hold the valve on the rim.
    – Renaud
    Jul 27 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


As these are most common on inexpensive bikes, I will assume as givens that this a bike with a threaded bottom bracket and square taper cranks.

Try three different tests. First move the chain aside and see if there are pits, roughness, or excess freeplay in the bottom bracket bearings. Any of these could cause clicking. Second, pedal under load (with the chain taught) then pedal with the chain loose or pedal backwards and see if the clicking continues with no drive load. If you hear a creak with load but not without it could be a shifting chainring or freewheel-cassette issue. If it happens independent of load then it is the BB or crank interface. The BB can click internally or motion where the treaded cups fit into the frame. Third: Then try alternating squeezing the crank arm against the chainstay and downtube. Bring the crank arm alongside each so that you can grab both with one hand; use both hands to squeeze. Using the hand test, a thunk sound will be a treaded bottom bracket shifting in the frame, a bright click might be the crank moving on the square taper or much more rarely the aluminum frame beginning to fail.

With clicking from any specific area like BB in frame or chainrings, it is good to clean the threads, lubricate and set to proper torque before assuming that anything needs to be replaced.

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