Is Crank Rotation advised?

My (ISIS) crank has recently started creaking.

Well, actually, I’m not certain whether it is the crank or the spokes, but since the crank and spokes are always in the same position relative to each other, it’s hard to tell.

That got me to thinking, all the pressures and wear on the wheel, hub and tire will always be in the same places: ie. if I’m stronger with my right foot, mount with the left, or hop with a certain foot back - the same parts will be worn over and over again (unevenly). This is most apparent with tire wear on the bottom when I am hopping, but would seem to apply to the top/bottom spokes, hub and rim as well.

Of course, the tire can be deflated and rotated, but a better all-round option would seem to be to relocate the cranks every once in a while. Can ISIS cranks be mounted in different positions? And if yes, would it be a good idea to rotate them 1/4 turn occasionally? If not, why not?

I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to rotate the cranks, but if you have a reason to take them off anyway, you might as well. I would avoid doing it on square-taper cranks, just because the crank interface is prone to failure, but on ISIS it makes sense.

yes, it’s good to rotate them… for the reason you said, to move the pressures and wear to another part of the wheel.

actually, when i got my kh, the lil paper about maintenance said to change the positions monthly(or sooner) depending on how much you ride to distribute the forces all over the wheel

Funnily enough you can’t actually turn ISIS cranks a 1/4 because there 6 points :stuck_out_tongue:
But thats just semantics, yes it would be a good idea to rotate them occasionally.

The creaking could be a couple of things, i would check it’s not just the spokes rubbing against each other and clicking past each other as this is the easiest thing to check - squeeze two touching spokes in and out, if you hear a click, lubricate with some good old grease :slight_smile:

It could also be the cranks I guess though, then you need to disassemble and grease up the ISIS interface (not crank bolt thread too much though) and then tighten it all back up good and proper.

If both of those don’t work then it could be the spokes are too loose, and I’m sure someone else could explain how to tighten them better than me but I would just say half a turn tighter on all spokes using a spoke key.

I hate it when my uni makes any unnatural noises, puts me off riding it and makes me think i’m damaging my beauty!!
Good luck :slight_smile:

That’s good advice.
I was considering lubricating the ISIS interface (since it is pretty much bone dry now) to see if it would help, and if rotating is a good idea, then it will be the perfect excuse.

Also, now that the cooler, wetter weather is here, I’m noticing rust on the backside of the cranks where the pedals screw in - probably elsewhere as well. So as long as I’m greasing thde spokes I may as well just grease up the whole thing real well to protect it from the rain.

That oughta stop the creaking!

What kind of ISIS cranks do you use?:smiley: But true, an ISIS crank can’t be rotated a quarter turn because it has 10 points.

Some people say that when you rotate ISIS cranks you should move them 3 splines over each time and will end up hitting every spot on the wheel over time.

If you are rotating the cranks make sure you have the spacers in there. If you over-tighten without the spacers the cranks will creep further and further on the spindle every time.

It depends how much you hop and drop

Like Sask said, it might be better to leave square cranks alone. For a street ISIS 36, moving the cranks, if you just ride on smooth ground, gives you more crank wear, while not doing much for the wheel. For a trials jumper, moving the cranks should do a lot to avoid pinch flats and busted rims.

A tip for you all. Grease is cheap. They give you a big tub of it that will last years. It will attract dirt and be nasty to handle. It makes a mess of your tool box, so you won’t put it there , so it will be a hassle to go find it. So when you buy grease, take a small tight sealing pill bottle, and stuff it full of grease. Put this in your tool kit. It will be so handy to find, and not make your hands cruddy, that you will use it. I used just a tiny bit on every bolt on my motorcycles when I do assembly. 5-10 years later, bolts stay tight, and don’t seize up, the grease keeps the moist air out. If you put it together with ungreased bolts, after it rusts a few years it may not want to come apart again. So keep that clean little grease bottle handy and uses it on all bolts, splines and posts.

Hi All,

I would never recommend rotating cranks on an ISIS wheel. The strength of a wheel is affected by where the cranks are placed. They should be pointed at the valve hole and the split in the rim. These are the weakest points.

Noise is made when things move. So as a general rule things should be tight and they wont creak. Appling grease when assembling ISIS cranks is a great idea and definately advisable. Best we have found is white grease, but I know almost any will do.

From my experience creaks on ISIS cranks is not normally them, but pedals. I would check that the pedals are spinning freeling and not overly loose. If they are either too tight or too loose, then the bearings in them should be adjusted. The sound that the pedals make almost always sounds as if it is the cranks.

Hope this helps.


What has been left out of this conversation is that rotating the tire is an option to rotating the crank. Probably about equal work to pulling the cranks. Leaves your cranks well seated where they are.

Though of you with big fat tires probably don’t look forward to the wrestling match that is getting your tires on and off.