Pedal (?) creaking


I bought a nimbus freestyle X over christmas, and it’s worked perfectly since then - until a few weeks ago it started creaking while I was riding it. It seems to be on the left hand side, it happens once per revolution, and if I had to guess where it was coming from I would say the left pedal. It only happens when I’m actually riding the unicycle; spinning the pedal/wheel by hand doesn’t have the same effect.

Any tips?



Check your uni in the order:

Check your cranks! It’s pretty typical for cranks to need to be tightened a few times before they are set for good. Riding with loose cranks = not good. So check your cranks before anything else.

Then check your pedals. Make sure the R-ight pedal is on the R-ight crank and that the R-ight crank is on the Right side of the uni as you look forward. The cut out in the seat post should be in the back. If pedals and cranks are on the correct side of the uni (all are marked with and L or R then the pedals tighten themselves as you ride forward.

Lastly you can check for loose spokes. Do this by grabbing pairs of spokes and see if any are really loose compared to the others.

If you need help with any of these steps ask here or take your uni to your local bike shop.


+1 on knightys post

I think it is most likely a spoke, but it could be a loose crank.

How do I go about checking the cranks? I have a feeling this might be the problem, but I don’t have the right allen key to tighten them at the moment; they don’t seem loose, as such, or anything.

That all checks out ok.

None of the spokes feel loose, nor do any seem to be bent or anything untoward.

Thanks for the help so far, all – I’ll get my hands on some allen keys next weekend, but until then is there any way of testing whether the cranks are loose?



My muni has a square taper hub, and it started getting this creaking noise a while ago. In my case it was the cranks which had worked themselves slightly less tight than necessary. It was impossible to tell when not riding, as they needed a fair bit of force applied to creak. Get the right tools for the job, you will be needing them sooner or later anyway! :slight_smile:

Spoke creaking is generally due to low overall wheel tension, and not just one or two spokes.

If it is the crank you will have the creaking on the downward stroke unless you put an inordinate amount of back pressure on your pedals in which case you might get it in the up stroke as well.

The only time I had a pedal creak was when it was too loose, but I could see that it might happen if the pedal is too tight. The one I had was noticeably loose; you could wiggle it from side to side just a bit. If the pedal spins freely, then it’s not too tight, and if it doesn’t have side wiggle then it’s not too loose.

I’d get a 14mm or 15mm socket, or an 8mm allen wrench and tighten the cranks. This is good practice for a new set of cranks in any case, and it could fix your problem. Also, without intervention this little annoyance will end up with you buying a new set of cranks.


Spokes are the number one cause of noise in unis. To lower the risk of creaking while pedaling, turn one spoke wrench 36 times(each spoke), as needed.

Tighten each spoke .25-.5 of a turn, unless when you try to turn the nipples with the spoke wrench they feel very tight. It is a better idea to do each spoke .25 of a turn and if you need do each spoke another .25, you typically never have to give a full turn unless you are truing the wheel, or it has never been properly tensioned.

It is important to make sure you tighten each spoke the same amount and do them all, no skippies or the rim may go out of true.

I agree that wheel low tension is a very good possibility. New machine built wheels are notorious for low tension. I was just saying that it’s a good thing to tigten the cranks either way, and that if it is the problem this will save some cash later on.

If you do bring up the tension on the spokes don’t tighten them all one after each other, instead start right after the stem and do every third nipple till you get to the stem again and re-start the second from the stem etc till you have tightened all the spokes.

if you tighten them all right after eachother it is really easy to have the wheel too tight by the time you get half way round.

That’s funny. I can’t remember how many times I have made the same reccomendation about the 3x3 tensioning method. Somehow, I can’t believe I forgot to mention it.

I’ve sometimes bought unicycles that have faulty pedals. If you shake the pedal around and it moves a lot more than the other one maybe you could get a new pair under warranty. I bought some new pedals recently and I heard a squeaking sound when I was riding and I thought “No not my new pedals!” Later I realised that the squeak was not inside the pedal- it was the sound of the plastic pedal scraping the plastic plate on the bottom of my shoe where it had chewed through the rubber. This squeak was not able to be found while spinning the pedals if not riding.

I disagree that spokes are the main cause of sound. Seats, pedals and cranks can all creak depending on their condition. I like silent unicycles! If you bounce your unicycle from a low height and you hear things rattling around something probably needs tightening- then tighten everything til nothing rattles too much.

Im pretty sure this method is only truly(no pun intended) important if you are tensioning by feel during the building process. Assuming the spokes are a bit loose, tightening each spoke one by one in order by .25 turn (in my experience) has not once ever left me with to much tension by then end… that only happens if you are turning each spoke nipple .5 or 1 full turn. You should only be turning the nipples that much while you are building, truing, or if you have some serious tension problems do to flat spots.

With that said I do think its important to jump around while in the building process, as well as if you are going for a hand tension while the rim has not been trued yet.

If you jump around on a already true wheel, the chances of having to re-true are greater than if you aremaking 1 or multiple trips around the wheel, hitting each spoke in order, making just a small turn to each nipple.

from my unlucky experiences i would say your crank is loose , rotate the cranks and tighten alot , if that doesnt work use red loctite :slight_smile:

I had your same problem yesterday…Found out the problem when my wheel fell off and i fell off haha!

Check that it aint loose :wink:

Thanks again for all the advice, guys, still no luck though…

Nothing on the uni seems to be loose at all, I’ve tried tightening the spokes but the problem persists. It definitely seems to be coming from the left hand side, and I’ve narrowed it down to when the left pedal is just starting to go in a downwards direction - it’s just a kind of clicking noise, like a small creak.

I ended up getting the right size of allen key for the cranks, but the nut simply won’t budge in either direction - I don’t want to force it, or anything.

Can’t work this one out. :\

– Daniel

Is it the bearing?
If you hold the uni in the air and spin the wheel do you here the ‘click’ once ever rotation. If you do then its the bearing. With bearings you may also feel the click when you pedal… but loose spokes or cranks should not make a sound when just spinning the wheel with you not on it.

WARNING dont get your head to close to the bearing when listening… pedal to the face hurts. Ive done that a couple to many times.

Nope, only happens when I’m riding the thing. I’m convinced now it’s the left pedal, I’ve taken it off and tried maneuvering whilst holding onto the walls of a corridor, and there’s not a squeak; I’m guessing it’s happening when I put pressure on the pedal in a downwards direction.

All solved - bit of WD40 in the pedals, and it no longer creaks.

Cheers all.