Weekly Cycle Tip: Common Bike Creaks
No, your bike is not haunted, but creaks do appear, and they are tough to track. Try addressing one area at a time until the creak is located. Here are some areas to check before just assuming it’s the bottom bracket.
1) Loose pedals - grease threads and snug
2) Loose chain ring bolts - snug
3) Loose or dry quick release skewers - tighten or thin smear of lube on drop outs
4) Loose crank arm - tighten
5) Loose or dry saddle rails - tighten or drip light lube on rails
6) Seat post - remove, clean, grease or carbon paste
7) Loose or dry lower headset bearing - adjust or coat lower bearing with grease
8) Cleats - worn, thin shelf or if dry use candle wax which does not attract dirt
9) Loose cassette - this will sound exactly like the bottom bracket
10) Loose bars or stem - torque to spec
Try to eliminate possibilities before attacking the creaks. Items 5 and 6 might disappear when standing. Pedals and cleats might reveal themselves by loading your feet against the float limits while you ride. The headset or bar/stem may only creak while standing over the front end.