Picture this. You are climbing your favourite mountain. The sun is shinning. Its warm but not to hot and there is a nice cool breeze blowing past you. Your legs are strong and you are tapping out a great rhythm. You haven’t seen a car for ages. You are on your own, blissfully enjoying a moment of cycling heaven while riding your fantastic bike.

Ok, change this picture slightly. Visualise that same picture but now add a creak coming from your bike with every pedal stroke. Yep, its enough to drive any cyclist to misery. Even the best day out on the bike can be totally ruined by a creaky bike.

As I found out just this morning, sometimes bicycle creaks can come from the strangest of places.

Ive just changed my wheels over and sure enough introduced a creak into my bike. It only presented itself every time I stood up. Ive tightened the hub to make sure that it wasn’t that. No change. Talking to Jodie last night on an unrelated conversation and he mentioned that he had a creak that was resolved by changing the quick release skewer! This morning just before my ride I changed them over. Sure enough creak gone! Thanks Jodie!

In most cases creaks can be resolved by tightening up the suspected spot or maybe applying some well placed grease.

Here are some other strange things that I have come across that produce bicycle creaks.

No tightening up your pedals.
Sure seems like a obvious one but I spent a whole hour totally dismantling my training partner’s Dura-Ace crack set and bottom bracket before we checked to see if the pedals were tight. Yep. Another learning experience here.

Not tightening your cassette lock ring tight enough.

Had this one early on with my Campagnolo cassette. I disregarded the torque setting “50 Nm” and just applied a little force to secure the lock ring. Several rides later and a visit to a bike shop sorted this one out.

Carbon steering tube spaces.
My wife’s time trial bike had a nasty creak when she stood up. Sounded like the whole steering bearing were about to fail. We replaced the carbon steering tube spaces with alloy ones. This was after tightening up all the bolts on the stem and ensuring the headset was adjusted correctly first. The alloy ones sorted the problem. Much better.

Not tightening up your seat post clamps.
Creaking seat. Might not be the seat. Could be the seat post clamp. A quick torque up with an allen key could be the only thing standing in your way of a wonderful ride.