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  1. #1
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    creaking headset/stem on a 575

    OK fellow 575 owners... Anybody else having cronic creaking issues with their 575's headset/stem interface? My '06 is driving me crazy... CK headset/ Thomson Stem on a '05 Zocchi AM1 fork. I've tried everything I know and it'll loosen up and start creaking by the end of any hard ride. Here's the list of things I've done to try and solve this issue with zero success. Swapped to a 2nd Chris King headset. Swapped forks with another AM1, Changed the Thomson internal wedge tightening mechanism. I Had the headtube faced prior to changing the headset. Tightened the Thomson stem as per specs (15in/pds top cap and 48in/pds) on the wedge. That didn't work so I tightened it about 10in/pds above specs and still no luck. I run no spacers under the stem and two 1/8" spacers on top. The CK teflon washer is in place between the stem and headset. So..... I'm at wits end now. Any ideas???
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  2. #2
    bob
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    I just went through that this weekend. Something isn't lubed/tightend enough. I removed the Thomson stem and all the bolts, lightly greased fork steerer tube, lubed all stem bolts, and put it all back together tight. Mysterious creeking noise gone.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZmtncycler
    OK fellow 575 owners... Anybody else having cronic creaking issues with their 575's headset/stem interface? My '06 is driving me crazy... CK headset/ Thomson Stem on a '05 Zocchi AM1 fork. I've tried everything I know and it'll loosen up and start creaking by the end of any hard ride. Here's the list of things I've done to try and solve this issue with zero success. Swapped to a 2nd Chris King headset. Swapped forks with another AM1, Changed the Thomson internal wedge tightening mechanism. I Had the headtube faced prior to changing the headset. Tightened the Thomson stem as per specs (15in/pds top cap and 48in/pds) on the wedge. That didn't work so I tightened it about 10in/pds above specs and still no luck. I run no spacers under the stem and two 1/8" spacers on top. The CK teflon washer is in place between the stem and headset. So..... I'm at wits end now. Any ideas???
    Are you sure that is where the creek is coming from?? I had the same kind of issue and swore it was the headset area but it turned out to be the seat tube. I tightned that and the problem went away.

  4. #4
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    I do the same as you...

    Quote Originally Posted by bob
    I just went through that this weekend. Something isn't lubed/tightend enough. I removed the Thomson stem and all the bolts, lightly greased fork steerer tube, lubed all stem bolts, and put it all back together tight. Mysterious creeking noise gone.
    All bolts and steer tube are greased prior to tightening. This ensures proper torque settings. AND... it is certainly the stem/headset that is loosening up and not the seatpost area. I'm beginning to wonder if the Thomson internal wedge tightening mechanism is the weak link. I see on their new X4 stems, they went to the two bolt standard tightening on the back of the stem Might be time to try a different brand of stem, perhaps???
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  5. #5
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    I thought I had the same problem ended up being the ferriule(sp?) loose in the first stop on the right side of the frame. Wrapped it with tephlon tape so it was tighter in the stop and the creek went away.

  6. #6
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    i had the same thing going on too and come to find out that it was actually the seatpost, it just projected its noise so that it sounded like it was coming from the front end of the bike.

  7. #7
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    I like that new stem from Thompson- may as well try it out

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZmtncycler
    OK fellow 575 owners... Anybody else having cronic creaking issues with their 575's headset/stem interface? My '06 is driving me crazy... CK headset/ Thomson Stem on a '05 Zocchi AM1 fork. I've tried everything I know and it'll loosen up and start creaking by the end of any hard ride. Here's the list of things I've done to try and solve this issue with zero success. Swapped to a 2nd Chris King headset. Swapped forks with another AM1, Changed the Thomson internal wedge tightening mechanism. I Had the headtube faced prior to changing the headset. Tightened the Thomson stem as per specs (15in/pds top cap and 48in/pds) on the wedge. That didn't work so I tightened it about 10in/pds above specs and still no luck. I run no spacers under the stem and two 1/8" spacers on top. The CK teflon washer is in place between the stem and headset. So..... I'm at wits end now. Any ideas???
    Make sure that the starnut inside the steerer is snug and not moving. Replace it if necessary (they are cheap)...

  9. #9
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    star-nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by flipnidaho
    Make sure that the starnut inside the steerer is snug and not moving. Replace it if necessary (they are cheap)...
    those are only used to tighten the preload on the bearing cups. CK headsets don't require much.... 18 in/pds of torque. OH.. BTW I use the double flanged CK star-nuts and those DON't loosen up. I guess I should ask what stem/headsets everybody else uses that DO NOT have this problem. That would help...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZmtncycler
    those are only used to tighten the preload on the bearing cups. CK headsets don't require much.... 18 in/pds of torque. OH.. BTW I use the double flanged CK star-nuts and those DON't loosen up. I guess I should ask what stem/headsets everybody else uses that DO NOT have this problem. That would help...
    you're right about the starnut's function. however, i've seen some improperly installed starnuts (wrong depth, not perpendicular, etc...) that would cause the stem (or spacer) not to sufficiently preload the bearing so it will loosen up over time. i've also seen steerers that are not cut to the right length so the steerer cap does not push on the stem (it insteads pushes down on the steerer tube) to cause the headset to not be preloaded properly...
    PS- I use the stock Cane Creek S2 headset with a Thompson X4 stem...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZmtncycler
    those are only used to tighten the preload on the bearing cups. CK headsets don't require much.... 18 in/pds of torque. OH.. BTW I use the double flanged CK star-nuts and those DON't loosen up. I guess I should ask what stem/headsets everybody else uses that DO NOT have this problem. That would help...
    Cheap S2 HS with the RF stem that comes on the enduro. No creeking problems at all. I had problems with a different bike and a little grease on the HS screws fixed that. I also had the seatpost creeking that I swore was the headset as well. I only found it when the seatpost turned a bit and I had to tighten it.

  12. #12
    bob
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    No problems now. I use a Thomson stem and CK headset.

    I'll throw this out for any other 575 riders with creaky sounds that might be reading this thread. Others have mentioned the seatpost before me but I want to add to that. There is something about the 575 frame that noises made by a seatpost, saddle rails, seat post collar, headset,or a slightly loose crank seem to travel through out the frame and can be a PITA to isolate. I have experienced almost all of those in my haste to get my bike up and running. . It's almost like the frame amplifies the sound just to make it difficult for you to figure out where it's coming from.

    So, who wants me to put together their next bike?
    Last edited by bob; 08-04-2006 at 09:19 AM.

  13. #13
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    I have the same problem with looseing/creaking...

    Quote Originally Posted by AZmtncycler
    I guess I should ask what stem/headsets everybody else uses that DO NOT have this problem. That would help...
    ...and I'm running an X4 with a CK headset. I've tried the things you tried, plus swapped out my spacers in case they were somehow contributing.

    Here's the weird thing: If I loosen the stem bolts, play in the headset goes away. I tighten the top cap until there's no play, then tighten the stem bolts as usual. After a couple of hours I'll find a small amount of play has developed. If I then loosen the stem bolts, the play disappears.

    I would really love for this problem to be solved...
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  14. #14
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    O ring

    Hi MMH,

    A friend of mine was having this exact same problem on his road bike. It turned out there was a missing O ring inside the head set. I'm not a mechanic but I would hit the King site to see where there should be an O ring/seal. Then look at yours. If its not there, that is your problem .... maybe

    Good luck.

    j

  15. #15
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    Yep, been there... done that

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMountainHop
    ...and I'm running an X4 with a CK headset. I've tried the things you tried, plus swapped out my spacers in case they were somehow contributing.

    Here's the weird thing: If I loosen the stem bolts, play in the headset goes away. I tighten the top cap until there's no play, then tighten the stem bolts as usual. After a couple of hours I'll find a small amount of play has developed. If I then loosen the stem bolts, the play disappears.

    I would really love for this problem to be solved...
    I swapped out the carbon spacers I was using for some aluminum thinking those were the culprit. Alas... NO luck. I also find, like you, that stem binding occurs and when you release the tension via the side stem bolts, the creak goes away. Then, upon retightening.. It'll come back. It's like the whole set-up is not perfectly parallel even though I've done thorough headtube facing/ pressed the headset cups perfectly flush (greasing the headtube and cups prior to pressing them in). Checked the crown race on the fork (also part of the fork swap was a different crown race). So you can see... it's becoming quite frustrating. My '05 Tangerine Orange 575 doesn't have this problem nearly as bad. It'll go several rides before I hear/feel any creaks. Oh... I agree with you guys WRT the seat/seatpost also being a source but I can easily isolate one creak from the other.
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  16. #16
    bob
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    AZm, have you tried using a different stem just to see if that changes anything?

  17. #17
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    just the internal "wedgie"

    Quote Originally Posted by bob
    AZm, have you tried using a different stem just to see if that changes anything?
    I have a few Thomson stems and swapped out the internal "wedgie" from a different stem to no avail. So... I'm going to try a different brand. That's why I asked the Q about what's everybody using who DO NOT have this cronic creaking problem. Looking to see what works well for others.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks AZMtncycler...

    I read this post yesterday without having any creaks, took the 575 out last night and got a D@MN creak!!! You jinxed me!!!

    I have stubby cheap truvativ stem and CK headset (it's gold, does that make a difference? ) on it right now. Gonna investigate further this evening...

  19. #19
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    Out damned squeak

    Well, at least I'm not alone. I've got a half dozen rides on my new 575 build up, and I've got a 'chirp' that sounds like it's coming from the drivetrain. All new parts, XT 760 crank, PG991 chain and cassette, X.0 rear/XT front. My first guess was that, in my zeal to get out and riding, I'd overtorqued the crankset preload, but I pulled the left arm, cleaned, regreased and tightened more gently, and it didn't seem to help. I haven't knocked the right side crankarm out and reseated yet, but maybe this weekend. It seems to be more prevalent when I'm pedaling, but there is no discernable rhythm to it. I don't hear it when I'm coasting, but the CK freewheel is so loud that it could be drowning it out. Ever run into that one?

    The good news is that the bike is so flippen fast that the wind in your ears drowns it out most of the time.
    Jim

  20. #20
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    My mechanic noticed a creak awhile ago when I first put it in for bottom bracket issues. He searched and searched and found that one of the cables on the down tube was causing the creak when the handlebars turned a certain way. It was rubbing within the cable guide. I run the original S2 heaset from Cane Creek. A combination of metal spacers and the unique Cane Creek grooved spacers that came stock with the bike. Thomson Elite stem with Easton Carbon XC riser. I remember getting a creak on my hardtail at one point. I was also running a carbon Easton riser on that one too. As soon as I replaced the carbon bar the creak went away. I noticed I had a little dent from over torquing the brake clamp. The creak reminds me of my jeep's roll bar creak. As the jeep body flexes I get this creak in my roll bar. I figured it's just two metal that are attached by a clamp making the creak. Could it just be metal or carbon handlebar fatigue?
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  21. #21
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    handlebars

    Quote Originally Posted by 95Stumpy
    My mechanic noticed a creak awhile ago when I first put it in for bottom bracket issues. He searched and searched and found that one of the cables on the down tube was causing the creak when the handlebars turned a certain way. It was rubbing within the cable guide. I run the original S2 heaset from Cane Creek. A combination of metal spacers and the unique Cane Creek grooved spacers that came stock with the bike. Thomson Elite stem with Easton Carbon XC riser. I remember getting a creak on my hardtail at one point. I was also running a carbon Easton riser on that one too. As soon as I replaced the carbon bar the creak went away. I noticed I had a little dent from over torquing the brake clamp. The creak reminds me of my jeep's roll bar creak. As the jeep body flexes I get this creak in my roll bar. I figured it's just two metal that are attached by a clamp making the creak. Could it just be metal or carbon handlebar fatigue?
    I'm running Answer "Protapers" that are only a few months old and they are also on my '05 575 which doesn't posess this incurable "creak" illness.
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  22. #22
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    given that you have two 575's, one with the creak one without, this is a real stretch... but, I'll mention it anyway... gven that the air is just drying out after the sudden influx of moisture we just went through in the last week or so, could there be anything to moisture getting into the system and causing some issues?

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