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  1. #1
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    RIP 9 popping and creaking

    I've got a 2014 RIP 9 alloy I got from Backcountry when they were clearing then out. I've got all of five rides on it and it's already making a creaking sound that seems to be coming from the pivot area. I checked and tightened all the fastners in case they worked loose, so I don't think that's it. The Monarch RT3 it came with makes that squeaky toy noise, but that's not really Niner's fault.

    Something else really weird is that the frame makes a weird popping noise, even after I got off of it, like the metal is shifting or settling in. I kept hearing random pops for about 5 minutes after I got off of it.

    Is there something I can do at home to maybe fix the creaking and popping, of should I take it to the closest dealer, even though they're 35 miles away and let them handle it?

    I gotta say, Niner has definitely not impressed me so far with their quality. A brand new bike shouldn't be creaking and moaning worse than the three year old heavily used bike it's supposed to be replacing. Thanks guys.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I've got a 2014 RIP 9 alloy I got from Backcountry when they were clearing then out. I've got all of five rides on it and it's already making a creaking sound that seems to be coming from the pivot area. I checked and tightened all the fastners in case they worked loose, so I don't think that's it. The Monarch RT3 it came with makes that squeaky toy noise, but that's not really Niner's fault.

    Something else really weird is that the frame makes a weird popping noise, even after I got off of it, like the metal is shifting or settling in. I kept hearing random pops for about 5 minutes after I got off of it.

    Is there something I can do at home to maybe fix the creaking and popping, of should I take it to the closest dealer, even though they're 35 miles away and let them handle it?

    I gotta say, Niner has definitely not impressed me so far with their quality. A brand new bike shouldn't be creaking and moaning worse than the three year old heavily used bike it's supposed to be replacing. Thanks guys.
    Was everything - or is everything - properly lubed (seatpost, is headset installed correctly, bolts on stem/saddle/seatpost etc. lubed)? BB properly lubed?

    I'd tear it down, lube correctly, and build it back up properly. Tracking down creaks and pops - no matter what brand (trust me, it's not a Niner specific thing) - can be frustrating, but it usually ends up being something pretty simple where there is metal on metal contact and lube was not properly used during the build. One bolt can make a lot of noise.

  3. #3
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    When does the noise occur? Seated or standing? While pedaling or coasting? I doubt that it is the frame, typically creaking comes from the components. I'd start by checking the cassette. Freehub bodies should be lightly greased. Then put the maxle back in and check that. What seatpost are you using? Some of the really high end alloy posts creak at the bolts in the seat clamp. Creaks are not really brand specific and it just takes time to sort them out.
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  4. #4
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    I got one of these frames too and am having the same issue with creaking that happens when I'm really pedaling hard.

    There are a lot of things in the thread below to try, but I haven't had a chance yet. The noise doesn't bother me unless its indicative of a mechanical issue like a loose pivot.

    Creaking sound on rip 9 alloy

  5. #5
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    How do you access the pivot bolts for the lower link that has the chain guide mount on it? I want to make sure that's tight, but I can't figure out how to get to it. Going in from the non-chainring side doesn't do anything, and I can't find anything out on how to get the chain guide mount off if that's what you need to do. Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Creaking while pedaling hard sounds like a loose rear axle. I really have to tighten mine down on my RIP RDO or it will make noise.

    Noise after you got off the bike sounds like rotor noise. Do you have 2pc rotors?

  7. #7
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    I'm using ice tech rotors, which are two piece. How would they make noise after I get off the bike?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I'm using ice tech rotors, which are two piece. How would they make noise after I get off the bike?
    Two piece rotors use an aluminum hat and steel friction surface. Aluminum and steel have different coefficient of thermal expansion. So when your brakes get hot, the aluminum hat wants to grow more than the steel friction surface. If you simply bolted the friction surface to the hat, the two materials would fight eachother and cause the rotor to potentially warp. This is generally a bigger concern in motorsports where rotors can reach 1000 degrees F or more. In order to compensate for the differences in thermal expansion, there is a floating joint between the hat and friction surface that allows these surfaces to move "unrestricted" by each other. This floating mount varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. However the movement between the two surfaces is not frictionless. What you may be hearing is the relative movement between the two surfaces as the brakes cool down. You should hear this more when your brakes are hot. The noise of course also occurs as the brakes are warming up, but there are so many other noises happening as you ride, that you cannot hear it.

    Anyway, that is my guess for the noise you are hearing. Rotor "popping" is a metallic sound.

  9. #9
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    Had to sort out some stuff when I got mine, hope this helps:

    Check that rear axle! Mine kept coming loose, turns out it was just the axle and not the pivots. There's a small bolt that can tighten it up.

    Make sure the bearings are seated completely. I had a bearing that wasn't quite the whole way pushed into the rear triangle and I think it was causing creaking by subjecting the pivots to angular stress through their travel. Pressed the one bearing in the whole way and it fixed a creak.

    Make sure the main pivot bolt's bearing preload nut isn't too tight! This also fixed a creak.

    My suggestion is to disassemble everything, clean it all, then make sure to use blue loc-tite when you put everything back together and torque it to spec. After I did that, the bike's been silent.

  10. #10
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    I'll do one more tear down and reassemble before I take it to a dealer and see what they have to say.

    Can I get some help with how to access the lower link with the chain guide though? I have no idea how to remove the chain guide mount, and there's nothing on the internet about it.

  11. #11
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    remove the crank and the drive side bottom bracket. Will need a Torx T27 bit to make removal of the bolts easier. I did this just last week.

  12. #12
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    For tightening the lower front pivot, I used a long 10mm hex from the non-drive side.

    RIP 9 popping and creaking-niner_rip9_lowerfrontpivot.jpg

    I did have some loose pivots, but torquing them to spec along with rear axle, crank arm, chainring bolts and bottom bracket did not completely solve the creaking that happens when mashing on the pedals.

    Still haven't looked at the rear hub or cassette freehub interface, but I'm not concerned at this point. It's a small noise and standing and mashing on the pedals accounts for a very small part of most of my rides.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I'll do one more tear down and reassemble before I take it to a dealer and see what they have to say.

    Can I get some help with how to access the lower link with the chain guide though? I have no idea how to remove the chain guide mount, and there's nothing on the internet about it.
    Have you removed the cassette and cleaned/regreased this area yet? I have found this and the headset to be areas that cause creaking for me. I cannot recall a time where it has been a suspension pivot alone making noise.
    2014 Niner RIP 9
    Full XT
    Rock Shox Pike 140
    Roval Control Carbon

  14. #14
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    I made a video of the creaking. I'm just pushing down on the top tube. You can also hear it popping a few times after I stop. Any ideas?
    https://youtu.be/YWGzDFPTKh0

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I made a video of the creaking. I'm just pushing down on the top tube. You can also hear it popping a few times after I stop. Any ideas?
    https://youtu.be/YWGzDFPTKh0

    Thanks.
    Your video is listed as private, I was unable to watch it. As stygz1 said, I too have found the rear and headset to be a primary source for creaking.

    Warning, don't be like me. I foolishly removed all my bearings thinking they were the cause, only to learn as you press out the bearing by loading the inner race (when the outer is the press fit) you can create a little wiggle. I would only remove the Niner bolts and test the bearings for smooth movement, don't take them out unless your ready to replace them all.

  16. #16
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    I changed the privacy settings in the video. Should work now. Sorry about that.

  17. #17
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    I'd take out the shock bolts, there are two and they are red. Put grease on the threads and around the head of the bolt. Then put them back into the frame at 12NM (or whatever they say for a torque spec).
    Quote Originally Posted by meltingfeather View Post
    If I told you I saw a unicorn ****ing a leprechaun trail side, you'd probably be suspicious.

  18. #18
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    Honestly, it's a long shot, but I'm gonna probably see if Steep and Cheap would be willing to work with me on warrantying this frame out. Nothing is lose, nothing isn't lubricated, and it still groans like it's about to fall apart. Despite the pivots being torqued, I was also noticing that the rear end doesn't track or seem like it wants to hold a line. I feel more confident on my beat to hell three year old Tallboy LT this was supposed to replace. Frankly, this frame has really soured me on Niner, and I don't think this is in line with their reputation.

  19. #19
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    I have a backcountry rip9 that was doing the same thing my first few rides. went away when i took off the 142 adapters for my hub. re-greased and reinstalled along with the maxle and its been fine since.

  20. #20
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    Have a proper bike mechanic look it over.
    That is s very dry sounding squeak.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Honestly, it's a long shot, but I'm gonna probably see if Steep and Cheap would be willing to work with me on warrantying this frame out. Nothing is lose, nothing isn't lubricated, and it still groans like it's about to fall apart. Despite the pivots being torqued, I was also noticing that the rear end doesn't track or seem like it wants to hold a line. I feel more confident on my beat to hell three year old Tallboy LT this was supposed to replace. Frankly, this frame has really soured me on Niner, and I don't think this is in line with their reputation.
    There could be a real problem with the frame. BUT you must take it in to a shop. Take it to the niner dealer 35 miles away. Likely it is just a couple gremlins that seem to develop with new bikes after a couple rides. Or you could call niner directly. At this point returning the bike is going overboard. I know it can be frustrating but step back and have another pair of eyes take a look at it. Noises get the best of all of us sometimes

  22. #22
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    My Kona was creaking recently, I've been on this frame for almost 2 years now and the rear Thru Axle interface had loosened up. Not enough to be sloppy, but enough to allow for some movement under higher torque loads. This is common as parts wear in and mate to one another. I needed to re-clock the nut 1 or 2 positions to get it quiet again. Simple stuff gets overlooked quickly, especially when you're sensitive to the noise.

    Good Luck!
    Todd

  23. #23
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    So I've solved my creak for now...

    Continuing with the solutions mentioned in the other thread, I also checked tightness and added a little grease to contact surfaces of rear derailleur bolt, rear derailleur hanger, and cassette/freehub body, but that did not get rid of the creak.

    Next, I removed all the shock bolts, pivot bolts and the red aluminum rings that fit between the bearings and wiped them down. Then I reassembled with a thin film of grease on all the shafts and red aluminum rings, and fresh loctite on the threads. And the creaking under heavy pedaling was gone.

    My guess is that it had something to do with those red rings. Maybe some dirt crept in when one of the pivots was loose, or maybe they're just prone to creak under extreme loads. There were a couple that had spots where the anodization was ever so slightly polished or worn. And the lower front pivot even let out a little creak when I was removing the bolt.

    I did remove the crank to slide the two lower pivot bolts out on the drive side, but I only needed to use the long 10mm hex on the non-drive-side to remove the lower front pivot. The red pivot bolt with the ISCG hole is not round, but shaped so it won't rotate. Once you remove the non-drive-side bolt, it just slides out.

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