Why is my bicycle chain creaking

Help my bike crack


Hub axles can also make cracking noises if they are not fully tightened. It doesn't matter what kind of axes you use.

Axles secured with quick release tend to get stuck, while screwed axles tend to be too loose. If this occurs on the front wheel, you can hear a crack when you step out of the saddle, while the rear axle makes noises when pedaling heavily.

Noises from the front hub are more likely to be perceived as "coming from the front", i.e. wheel or handlebars. With the rear wheel, however, like many other things, the sound is located in the direction of the bottom bracket.

(Thanks to Vitaly R. for the food for thought)

Chainring bolts

Chainring bolts can crack too. The remedy here is quite simple: you unscrew them one after the other, grease them a little and put them back in place. Identifying this as the cause is almost impossible. But it doesn't hurt to just do this maintenance task every few years. When greasing, not only coat the thread but also the seat on the chainrings. However, you really only need very little fat here.


With a bike you always move sideways (even if little). If any luggage carrier screw is loose, it generates noises that are not always correctly suspected in its vicinity.

If you still have a clamp, it can scrape around on the struts underneath. A small piece of handlebar tape or insulating tape can help.

Spray all screws on the luggage rack with oil, Ballistol or similar (no WD-40, that makes it worse) and then retighten.


Clamped fenders also like to rattle Here it helps to re-clamp the slightly loose clamps with the water pump pliers.

The same applies to the mudguards as for the luggage rack. In addition, mudguards like to rattle or crack due to resonance or tire loops. As with the entire bike, cleaning all parts helps here. If you sit next to the bike, wipe every part with a rag and watch whether something is moving, you can quickly identify possible sources of noise.

Mudguards with "old-fashioned" skirt protection offer plenty of sources for any noise. Since most parts are only clamped or plugged in, they also move and that creates noise.


Stands that are screwed on behind the bottom bracket tend to come loose and then rattle. You suspect the bottom bracket is close by, but you tend to forget to screw the stand tight. Tangible is not always enough here, it rattles anyway. Always check with the Allen key! Too tight is not good either, if the stand is jammed on the frame tubes, which can be flattened.


Cracking while driving, but you can't see anything on the stationary bike? The cleats can be the reason. In this case, too, one often suspects the crackling in the bottom bracket area due to resonance transmission.

Spoke holes

torn out nipple holes: in this case, poor quality material

Hairline cracks in the nipple holes can make noises and are a serious warning. Either the spoke tension is too high, the rim too soft or there was some kind of overload.

Such cracks are the first harbingers of bad defects, which then come without warning and often lead to serious falls, as the wheel in question suddenly wobbles and jams. The rim should be replaced as soon as the smallest cracks appear. As a stopgap, small washers can be used if the rim geometry allows this. However, that would really only be a temporary emergency repair. Cracks in nipple holes invariably mean that the rim is scrap.


The same applies here as for luggage racks or mudguards. Baskets are often fastened with special basket holders, which there is nothing wrong with at first. Over time, however, the baskets bend and in some places they lift off the luggage rack. The few millimeters then lead to a popular collapse point. With cable ties this can be fixed quickly.


Not the computer itself but the magnetic encoder! However, it is not always the obvious case of contact between the encoder and the magnet; it can also be a non-cut cable tie that touches the magnet. Or a cable that is too loose from the computer, a loose magnet, etc.