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Thread: BB Creaking!

  1. #1
    Weekend Warrior
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    BB Creaking!

    Am I going crazy! My BB is creaking again. I just had my bike in for adjustment. They probably just tightened it rather than replace it. Can they overtighten the BB to a point where it's just crap? It only got 600-700 miles on it...

    Could the crankarm creak?

  2. #2
    local trails rider
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    What BB? What cranks? What frame?
    Are you sure it is not your seat or seat post that is creaking?

  3. #3
    Weekend Warrior
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    Yeah I already checked on that, several times. I had troubles with my BB creaking before and brought it to the shop. They checked it and just tightened it a lot. Now I had my middle ring replaced and when I got it back it started creaking again. I tightened it myself yesterday to the specs imprinted on the arm but still creaking. I wonder if they overtightened it and now it's messed up.

    It's a Shimano Octalink stock on my 08 Rockhopper.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    No good in rock gardens..
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    There are lot of places where annoying creaks can occur in that area. The BB bearings can be stuffed. Or, the BB cups have been installed without grease and they can creak inside the frame. Those are the two common causes. The cure is a new BB - and / or a proper install with everything properly cleaned an liberally greased.

    Loose cranks arms can creak - even if you can't notice any looseness. Likewise, the spindle needs to be greased. Lastly, pedals can creak too.

    I recently replaced the BB on my bike, not long after I submerged the BB and cranks in a deep water crossing - creaks began! I uninstalled the BB, cleaned and greased and now it's slick and silent again.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  5. #5
    Weekend Warrior
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    Thanks.

    I bought the tool today to tighten up the bolt on the bottom by the crankarm/BB and I tightened the cr@p out of it and I still get creaks. So I reinstalled the pedals, still creaks. I guess I have to bring it back again for them to take care of it, once and for all. And I hope they don't stiff me with a cheap(er) BB as I do still have warranty.

  6. #6
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    Overtightening your crank bolts won't solve the problem, let alone determine exactly what it is. Taking a bike to a shop for a creak is somewhat like taking your car to the dealer and expecting them to solve "noises". Take the bb out of the frame and clean up the threads and liberally grease like sideknob says would be a good start to see if it's the bb or not. I doubt the bearings are shot yet, but possible. I've had creaks I was sure were from the bb end up elsewhere, it's just a matter of eliminating the possibilities, and best done yourself for the sake of your own sanity.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  7. #7
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    Is it a full suspension? I had this problem and it turned out to be the main pivot. Also, putting some plumbers tape on the cups before install helps too. Don't tighten too much. You might want to invest in a torque wrench. They have them pretty affordable at nashbar.com.

  8. #8
    shred my gnar
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    greasing your chainring nuts and the contact area b/t the rails on your seat and the clamp does wonders.

    also, check your cahooten valve while your at it. those things can creak like nobodys business!

  9. #9
    Weekend Warrior
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    I greased everything. I know what you mean with the Seat. It drove me crazy once, come to find out I just had to tighten the seat a bit. I can't pull the BB, i think I need a special tool, but I'll get on it right now. Maybe I can find something in there.

    I really appreciate all your responses.

    In regards to my sanity, I'm not sure if I can call myself sane anymore. It seems like I spend 2x times maintaining than biking.

  10. #10
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    Are you sure you need a special tool? You wouldn't have self-extracting crank bolts by any chance? Otherwise yes a puller would be a good idea. Ya never know how something like this can work out, who knows, it just might be the cahooten valve.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  11. #11
    Texan
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    I thought it was "canuter" valve!

  12. #12
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    Yeah, creaks can drive ya krazee...sounds through metal are transient noises, and can be referred from elsewhere...

    Check grease/anti-seize and torque:

    Seatpost (to saddle rails)...
    Seatpost (to seat tube)...
    Seatpost collar...
    Chainring nuts/bolts...
    Crank arm bolts...
    Bottom Bracket cups...
    Pedals...
    Skewers...


    To add to happy_ending & Gary H, I've also heard and repaired creaks in:

    Left-handed smoke shifters...
    Muffler bearings...
    Footenary tubes...





    .

  13. #13
    Weekend Warrior
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    Again, thanks for all the input.

    I went over everything and the only thing creaking is where the crankarm attaches to the BB (right crank arm). The only way to get rid of the noise is to really tighten the right bolt well over manufacturer torque specs.

    I packed everything with lots of grease. I used an automotive anti-seize (the only thing I had around). Does that mean I need a new BB or a new Crankarm? Or maybe a new bolt?

  14. #14
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    What did you find when you removed the bb cups? You did say you went over everything...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleksic
    Again, thanks for all the input.

    I went over everything and the only thing creaking is where the crankarm attaches to the BB (right crank arm). The only way to get rid of the noise is to really tighten the right bolt well over manufacturer torque specs.

    I packed everything with lots of grease. I used an automotive anti-seize (the only thing I had around). Does that mean I need a new BB or a new Crankarm? Or maybe a new bolt?
    chances are, the creaking is coming from crank arm to spindle flats interface.

    crank arm and spindle flats should be assembled dry, no grease or oil or anti-sieze.

    clean the spindle and the inside of the crank arm with kerosene. q-tip or little screwdriver in a rag works good for the inside of the crank arm, just leave no lint in there.

    if you have been over-torquing the crank arm bolts to attempt to cure the creak, the crank arm may be enlarged and will never again tighten properly, and you'll need new crank arms.

  16. #16
    Weekend Warrior
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    I took it to my LBS yesterday. They tried a few things and I had them take the bike out for a ride every time they handed it back to me. Come to find out, just a new drive side bolt did the trick.

    For now everything is working but I haven't take it out on the trail yet, so lets see what happens. Next time I will bring my whole toolkit with me - just in case.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleksic
    ....For now everything is working but I haven't take it out on the trail yet,...
    as someone above wrote, the important thing is the follow-up.

    every time
    the cranks have been pulled, it is important to torque the spindle bolts down properly at the workbench (not overtorqued !),
    ....... and then again after the first ride on them.

    pedaling will usually "settle" the crank arms a bit, and the bolts need to be re-torqued.

    again, spindle flats and crank arm clean and dry, no grease.
    grease, anti-seize, or blue locktite on the bolt threads only.
    Last edited by boki-san; 08-13-2008 at 05:46 PM.
    boki rides a clark kent from 1994
    and a vw R32 from 2004

  18. #18
    Weekend Warrior
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    I think that's what happened, they overtoqued it and something probably got upset in there. So now everything is as butter. I rode about 8 miles today. When I got back I torqued it again and it seems fine. I'll check it again after my next real off-road ride.

    They put anti seize on the bolts btw.

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