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Thread: Creaky Truth

  1. #1
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    Creaky Truth

    I just sent the following to Ellsworth's customer support e-mail and thought I'd post it here, too, in hopes of some suggestions. (no comments on warranty and customer support or lack thereof, please--I've read through all that below, and I really don't want to get involved!)
    If the problem is what I think it is, I only have myself to blame anyway, so I don't expect it's a warranty issue. Thanks much! Steve

    Message:

    Hi, I have a 2002(?) Truth that I got on your frame trade in deal a year or two ago, and earlier this season I noticed a bit of a creak from somewhere. I diddled around a bit and found that the shock bolts were both considerably looser than the recommended 15ft-lbs. I greased and torqued them down (and greased and/or loc-tited as recommended and torqued to specs all pivot bolts) and I'm still getting a creak and an occasional binding-kind of twangy crack noise. I fear that I may have ridden the bike with loose shock bolts for long enough to have degraded the interface between the rocker arms and the shock mounts.

    I plan to remove the shock this weekend and see if there's any visable wear or irregularity. If so, do I have any options other than new parts? Would, for example, very thin brass washers between the rocker arm and shock bushing/eyelet be an effective way to fill in any gap therein? Any creak-masters on staff have other suggestions?

    The problem seems activated by pedaling--on flat ground it's rythmic with the pedaling, but it's not the cranks or bb--I can make it creak the same way by coasting and gently shifting my weight on the saddle to simulate pedaling. And if I clamp the nose of the saddle between my thighs and rock the handlebars it makes the same sort of noise. It also makes the noise when pedaling out of the saddle, so it's not in the seatpost or saddle. I'm pretty sure it's the rocker arm/shock interface, as it makes the most noise at normal pedaling cadence on level terrain (where the shock rests in it's normal sag position and would thus perhaps be the quickest to wear if ridden with the shock mount bolts too loose) When I ride over rough terrain or pedal hard when climbing, it isn't as noisy, since (I'm assuming) the shock is more compressed and the rocker arms are moving through a wider arc. Oh, it's a Romic coil over if that matters.

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
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    seatpost - frame

    Could it be the seatpost - seat tube interface? ... Ellsworth does not indicate the required torque on their website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrStraw
    Could it be the seatpost - seat tube interface? ... Ellsworth does not indicate the required torque on their website.
    Better check for cracks. I owned a truth for 3 years and a friend owns one and the only time his was ever creaking was when his frames were cracked. Mine didn't make any noise whatsoever for the 3 years i owned it. Just some friendly advice.

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    Check for Cracks below the Rocker Support.

    I concur with the post above. The only time my truth ever made creaking noises was the day I broke my frame. I thought I had a loose seat binder bolt. Check at the bottom of the rocker support infrastructure at the weld. This is typically where they break.

  5. #5
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    My Truth makes the same noises, it's the Romic coil creaking. I've talked to Romic and they say to clean/lube the coil ends and retainer rings, but that only works for a few rides. The coil shifts slightly from side to side which I believe makes the creaky noise and its the worst in dry/dusty conditions.

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the suggestions, fellas! I don't think it's the seatpost/tube/clamp, as it also makes the noise when I stand up. Um, cracks--that's worrisome, but I didn't see any sign of any when I checked it out this weekend. I will check again. I did find that the outside ends of the upper shock eyelets/bushings where they butt up against the insides of the rocker arms were pretty chewed up as were the corresponding inside faces of the rocker arm. I think this is the source of the problem. I'm hoping for a solution that won't require spendy replacement parts, but I think it's only a matter of time before the rocker arms and the shock or at least the shock eyelet bushings will need replacement...I feel a bit stupid for riding with this bolt loose for so long, but nothing I can do about it now!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rroeder
    My Truth makes the same noises, it's the Romic coil creaking. I've talked to Romic and they say to clean/lube the coil ends and retainer rings, but that only works for a few rides. The coil shifts slightly from side to side which I believe makes the creaky noise and its the worst in dry/dusty conditions.

    AH! Now that's a possibility I hadn't considered! I'll try cleaning that out, too. Thanks!

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    Cable housing creaks?

    I have an '01 Truth well ridden. Usually quite quiet, but have found a few creaks to fix over time. The Romic spring is definitely a source of noise. A little grit between the spring and spring platform interface is my most frequent source of obnoxious noises.

    An unlikely, but possible noise source are the cables. The cable housings can rub on each other or the housing end caps can get gritty where they attach into the frame braze-ons. Diagnosis can be fun, because these cables flex when you are weighting and unweighting the suspension, which leads one to believe the creak is with the pivots or shock mounts.

    The 'bushing eyelets' are technically called 'reducers. I haven't run into any noise problems with them.

    Incidentally, my bearings have worn out and been replaced once after three years of regular riding. . Didn't so much notice noise with them as just not rotating when I dissembled everything during a 'creak' hunt. I discovered a cracked seatstay in the lower aspect driveside posterior to the seat post. Once this was warrantied out, promptly and without problem I might add, the 'creak' disappeared. The replaced piece had been specifically reinforced in that area, evidencing others having the same issue and the problem being addressed.




    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF
    I just sent the following to Ellsworth's customer support e-mail and thought I'd post it here, too, in hopes of some suggestions. (no comments on warranty and customer support or lack thereof, please--I've read through all that below, and I really don't want to get involved!)
    If the problem is what I think it is, I only have myself to blame anyway, so I don't expect it's a warranty issue. Thanks much! Steve

    Message:

    Hi, I have a 2002(?) Truth that I got on your frame trade in deal a year or two ago, and earlier this season I noticed a bit of a creak from somewhere. I diddled around a bit and found that the shock bolts were both considerably looser than the recommended 15ft-lbs. I greased and torqued them down (and greased and/or loc-tited as recommended and torqued to specs all pivot bolts) and I'm still getting a creak and an occasional binding-kind of twangy crack noise. I fear that I may have ridden the bike with loose shock bolts for long enough to have degraded the interface between the rocker arms and the shock mounts.

    I plan to remove the shock this weekend and see if there's any visable wear or irregularity. If so, do I have any options other than new parts? Would, for example, very thin brass washers between the rocker arm and shock bushing/eyelet be an effective way to fill in any gap therein? Any creak-masters on staff have other suggestions?

    The problem seems activated by pedaling--on flat ground it's rythmic with the pedaling, but it's not the cranks or bb--I can make it creak the same way by coasting and gently shifting my weight on the saddle to simulate pedaling. And if I clamp the nose of the saddle between my thighs and rock the handlebars it makes the same sort of noise. It also makes the noise when pedaling out of the saddle, so it's not in the seatpost or saddle. I'm pretty sure it's the rocker arm/shock interface, as it makes the most noise at normal pedaling cadence on level terrain (where the shock rests in it's normal sag position and would thus perhaps be the quickest to wear if ridden with the shock mount bolts too loose) When I ride over rough terrain or pedal hard when climbing, it isn't as noisy, since (I'm assuming) the shock is more compressed and the rocker arms are moving through a wider arc. Oh, it's a Romic coil over if that matters.

    Any suggestions or thoughts would be much appreciated!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom schoonveld
    Better check for cracks. I owned a truth for 3 years and a friend owns one and the only time his was ever creaking was when his frames were cracked. Mine didn't make any noise whatsoever for the 3 years i owned it. Just some friendly advice.
    Ditto! Clean up the welds and get out a magnifying glass. You may want to check the head tube/downtube junction. I also had a chain stay yoke crack, but it never creaked once. Every down stroke on the drive side resulted in a creak on mine at the hdtube. I finally took it to a good shop and the wrench turned it upside down twisted the fork around and the hdtube creaked.

    Ditto on the cable stops as well.

  10. #10
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    Thanks again for the suggestions and advice. I guess I will definitely take a closer look for cracks. And I've chased that cable creak out of my bike before! Tricky stuff.

    FYI, I got a response to my email to Ellsworth and I think I should share this particular fact from it for the benefit of those who, like myself, would follow instructions on a website even if they don't seem correct:

    "Tighten bolts to 40-50 inch lbs. Use loctite on any and all bolts."

    This torque recommendation refers to the shock mount bolts, specifically, which the website says (or at least said--I suggested to Ellsworth that they correct it and they may have by now.) should be tightened to 15ft. lbs, or 180inch lbs. I twisted the upper shock bolt right in half trying to reach that level of torque! I am really glad I didn't strip the threads out of the rocker arm...

    Careful with that torque wrench, Eugene!

    Steve

  11. #11
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    Idea!

    Mine creaked like crazy when it was new and it turned out to be the pivot points. I went through each one, popping out the bearing, then cleaning and lightly greasing it before putting it back in. Quite as a mouse since ...

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