If you hear a creaking or squeaking as you pedal. It could be number of things, but it is often that your crank arms are not properly tightened. If not resolved soon, the crank arm can actually become damaged. The taper fit will no longer match with the spindle well, and your crank arm will need replaced. Hopefully you have caught it in time and that is not the case. Like many things on a bike, if something is not right, you should determine the cause and resolve it before it creates more issues, leaves you stranded, causes damage, or becomes unsafe.
When checking your crank arms, it is best to add grease to the spindle to ensure a great tight fit and quiet any noises stemming from there. The crank arm and spindle are tapered to fit together. Adding grease can make it easier to tighten the crank arm bolt properly and keep things quiet.
You will need a crank puller to complete this if you already installed your crank arms.
We recommend checking in this order:
- Grease tapered spindle and tighten crank arm bolts. If it repeatedly comes loose, the crank arm is likely damaged, the taper shape has probaly been deformed and your crank arm will need replaced.
- Remove your pedals and apply some grease to the threads before installing and properly tightening (not common, but worth tightening up).
- Bottom Bracket (not common, but could be cause of some noise, especially if you already greased the tapered spindles and tightened your crank arm bolts).
- Any bolts on your chain ring (no reports of this confirmed, the video below goes into greater effort on these than is likely needed).
If you already greased your spindles and are certain the crank arms are properly secured. You can go further. Some noises or even clicking feeling can come from the pedals where they are secured to the crank arms. Again, these can be greased and properly tightened to make sure they are not the cause. Of course, something internal to the pedals can fail, but this is not common. From there you could consider the bottom bracket itself. It can be removed with a special tool, apply grease to the threads, re-insert and properly tighten.
This selection from amazon has both the crank puller and splined bottom bracket tool.
These can be purchased separately if you only need 1.
Crank pullers are fairly standard.
This video covers the basics, even considering your pedals, if not properly tightened, they could be the cause.