Help needed: Creaking KH36

I bought a KH36 about 6 weeks ago, upgrading from a Qu-Ax standard 36.

Havn’t done much miles, but I get a creaking I feel in the cranks or seat, can’t isolate exactly where.

I loosened the cranks and tightened it as hard as it would go.

Same with pedals.

I can’t find what is loose. I only get the problem riding, especially when peddling hard on uphills, or very low hopping. I don’t know where else to tighten.

I never had the same problem with my Qu-Ax which is much inferior quality that the KH.

I’ve tightened the hubs as stiff as they will go without stopping the wheel turning. Nothing helps.

Anyone with any ideas?

I’m quite heavy at 185 pounds / 90kg.

did you check the spokes?

I’ve tried to check the spokes.
It seems tight, but not quite sure how tight it should be.
If I pull the crossing spokes together, it creaks a bit.

The wheel is also very straight, so they spokes should be okay.

You reckon I should have a bike shop check it out for truing?

It does not feel like the spokes though.
I get a feeling something is loose with right leg pushing down on 7’o clock position, or around there.

Using my hands, the spokes feel equally tight.

Another thing to check: bearing holders

They have to be tight, but not too tight. The wheel should still spin very good.

Would it make a difference if you loosened the cranks and pounded them on with a rubber mallet before re-tightening them?

Pedaling forces can make the spokes rub together and creak, especially if the spokes are looser than they should be.

If the spokes haven’t been tightened since the wheel was originally built, there’s a good chance that they’ve loosened as you’ve been riding it. New spokes usually stretch a little bit. If the wheel is true, just get a spoke wrench and give 1/4 turn to each spoke. Repeat until it’s tensioned appropriately. This page describes how to tension by ear.

Are you joking or serious?
It really is like the cranks are loose, so if you’re not joking, I think you may have the solution.
Have you done this?


No, I am not joking. That is similar to what I do with cranks that I deal with, but I have no experience with ISIS or 36", hence the question form.

It would really be worth it to tension the spokes. In my experience new OEM wheels on bikes are almost always built poorly, and I can only assume the same is true for Uni’s. Stock wheels usually can stand to be tensioned, and in the old days before the stiff rims we have now, they needed to be trued as well.

With the long spokes on a 36’er it is very likely that the stretch will be more obvious, more quickly than on a wheel with shorter spokes.

Consider that stretch is a percentage elongation, and the more length you have the more elongation you will have, and the more tension will be necessary for a similar stiffness.

my spokes were lose on my old uni. It was constantly creaking and I had no idea what it was, then I grabbed 2 spokes and squezed them towards each other and the same creaking noise happened. Try that and then you’ll be able to realize the problem or at least narrow it down

Two ideas, based on experience with my Coker.

  1. Squeeze crossing spokes together before every ride for a few days to work them in. I eliminated the creaking in a few days. I got this idea from another thread on this forum.

  2. I felt a weird kink in the left crank every now and then. Eventually I realized the problem, loosened the crank, whacked it with a rubber mallet until it was better seated, then tightened. I then checked and tightened it frequently. Now it seems fine.

My Muni was squeaking on the right pedal downstroke a while back. Right crank arm had come a little loose. Tightened it up, all good.

After that, I’d bet the spokes need tightening, as mentioned above.

Hoping that’s it anyway: my KH36 is due to be delivered tomorrow!

its absolutely killer waiting for the ol 36". I got a nimbus 36 a couple years ago almost died waiting for it! lol ahahahahah jk…but it is hard…

i remember even when I got my first 29 i was dying to get it…and lovvvvved it when I did. but the 36 makes that obsolete lol.

on topic…when I first got my nimbus 36, it creaked badddddly even on the first ride. the spokes felt awfully loose, so I just basically tightened them all about a quarter turn and that solved it. didnt make the rim go out of true at all.

This is going to sound stupid…but anyhow

Do you have a rail type seat post? If you do, try tightening it to the rail. I know mine was a bit loose and this was the problem.

I also tightened my spokes also which were loose after 5 months riding

……Just a thought:D

Also make sure that the bolts holding the saddle to the post or adapter are tight. If they are loose they will squeak.

Problem fixed

Thanks for all the replies.

I disassembled my uni and did the following:

  1. Opened up the one Moment pedal. A nut it was a bit loose.
  2. Refit the hub, making sure it is perfectly fitted.
  3. Tightened the spokes very slightly.
  4. Removed the cranks, rubber hammered it lightly into place and tightened it.

I think a combination of 1,3 and 4 did the trick.
NOW I’m gliding!

Even managed to fit a custom handlebar, but will have to tweak it a bit for comfort.

Thanks again for all feedback.
Being the only one within a 1000km radius from my town in South Africa with a 36’’, it is nice having access to other 36 riders on this forum.