Creaking noise

I believe that only the left pedal is the oddball. Everything else is clockwise to tighten, counterclockwise to loosen. Including the crank bolt that I’m working on here. Correct?

On a unicycle, that’s correct. The only “left hand thread” is on the left pedal where it screws into the left crank. Absolutely every other thread on the unicycle is clockwise to tighten.

However, it is possible to get confused when leaning over an upright unicycle, or when it’s upside down resting on its seat. It’s a strange bit of psychology, but just sometimes you might make the mistake.

And spoke screws! They really do my head in. Perfectly normal thread but so easy to turn the wrong way!

I screwed one in and managed to puncture a tyre, I was turning it in, not out!

jjswim788, the last owner of your uni may have put a thread sealer on the bolt. Try putting some heat on the bolt head.

Great news: with the 3/8 socket drive I managed to get the bolt out. Then I swapped cranks with another unicycle (wanted to try longer cranks anyway) and now the noise is gone!

I’ll have to try the original cranks again at some point. The noise must have been coming from the crank/axle interface.

thanks to all of you for your help.

After writing the above, the creak kept coming back. Eventually I took off both cranks, rotated about 90 degrees, and put them back on. This stopped the creaking for about 6 weeks or so. I haven’t touched it since I thought it best to not fiddle with it since it was nice and quiet. No creak has been great! I’m riding 6 to 10 miles about 3 times per week. Unfortunately the creak is starting to come back. Should I expect to re-tighten every few weeks? Is that normal? No other unicycle I have needs this, but the 36er is getting more use than the others.

The other theory is that the spacers aren’t correct. I bought the unicycle used and have never really looked at the spacers. I assume they are there… There was a recent thread on ISIS cranks and it mentioned measuring the gap after putting on the cranks by hand - but I don’t think I can do that. The cranks don’t go on very far unless I use the bolt. I could maybe take off the pedals and set it on a flat surface and try to push the crank in. How do you push in the cranks by hand? Or I could try using the bolt and measure when it starts to need some additional force to tighten it?

Or I could just try wider and narrower spacers and see if any improve the situation. Trial and error…

Did you use grease or anti seize on the ISIS spline? Grease or anti seize is recommended on the ISIS joint

Interesting… any documentation? Not one of my nimbus unicycles with ISIS had grease on the cranks. I have several unicycles with creaking that’s definitely coming from the cranks. when I put new cranks on, the noise goes away. But it comes back in a few months…

Many creditable sources recommend greasing the ISIS splines.

From Park Tool, " For square tapered spindle, leave spindle clean of grease. Grease or anti-seize the splines of spline type spindles."

ISIS / JIS / PD Crankset Installation Instructions. “Note: For ISIS and PD bottom brackets, lightly grease left and right sides of BB spindle”

Page 16 of this tech manual

And many more if you do a Google search for " isis spline installation instructions"


I think it might be the hub that’s creaking . I had to change the hub on my Nimbus shadow 36er, due to creaking. The old hub was a pressed hub where the flanges are just mechanically pressed on to the hub.

I changed the hub for a more solid single piece steel hub and haven’t had any creaking noises since.

What type/model of 36er are you riding?

In answer to @JimT : there is grease on the ISIS splines. I haven’t added more; what’s there seemed fairly goopy already. Not sure exactly how much is needed. Should I try more? I’ll take a picture on my next round of removing and retightening.

@unibokk This is a Nimbus Oracle. Not sure of the vintage as I bought it used. Picture of the hub below. I think it is fairly recent?

The hub looks ok. It’s not a pressed hub, judging by the photo. I notice that the brake disc needs a good cleaning. Maybe you could try cleaning the brake disc and checking that its not bent. Also you could check the brake pads.

My KH 36er recently developed a rather loud creaking sound, produced when applying downforce on the right pedal. The crank bolts were tight but I removed both, and finding that the splined axles were dry, so I slathered on some lithium grease. No more creaking.

On closer inspection I’ve realized that there is little if any grease on the axles, so I’ve got the tube of grease out and I’ll put on a small amount and see if it helps. Hopefully that’s really the problem and this solves it. Thanks everyone for your advice.