Q. My cranks are creaking, can you tell me what's wrong with them?
Joe Davenport, via email
A. It could be various things, depending on what cranks you're running. Old or cheaper square taper splined cranks creak if the arms are moving on the axle. Remove the cranks, clean them and the axle thoroughly then refit and see if they still creak. If they do, repeat the process but put a thin smear of grease on the crank/axle contact areas. If they're still doing it, do the same clean, check grease, check strip down and rebuild process on the pedal threads.
If you've got an external bearing crank, go through the same procedure on first the crank/axle attachment, then whatever clamp/connection bolts they use, then the pedals. After that it's either new bearings, the saddle or seat post creaking, or the chainring bolts.