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  1. #1
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    What bikes/suspension designs are the least creak prone?

    I live in the wet pacific northwest, ride a lot, but don't like working on my bikes...I'd rather be riding. What suspension designs require the least amount of maintenance? I don't mind doing suspension work once or twice a year, but get irritated when a bike can't go more than a few rides without creaking.

    I have a Transition that is pretty quiet and an Ibis, that creaks a lot. I am looking at a Transition Smuggler or Sentinel, Santa Cruz Hightower LT and maybe the new Evil Offering, but the number of bolts on the Evil makes it seem like it might require a lot of maintenance...

  2. #2
    jcd's best friend
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    On my old bikes, my press fit bottom bracket would creak a lot. My new bike frame has a threaded BB which has been creak free over the past couple of months. Where do you live in the PNW? I live in the Tacoma, WA area.
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel

  3. #3
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    I will read and learn.

  4. #4
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    I predict this thread will be hilariously inconclusive.
    Veni vidi velo!

  5. #5
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    The ones with plenty of grease

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    You can always get a hardtail.

  7. #7
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    Whyte bicycles are designed in the UK, and their website says all over things like "weather proof".

    Lifetime warranty on the bearings for instance. Link.

    Whyte bike’s frames will be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of four (4) years from the date of purchase. The Main Pivot Bearings fitted to Whyte Full Suspension bikes are warrantied for life (original owner only).

    And another one. Link.

    With our design and development squarely focussed on the unique environment that is UK trail riding, we knew weather-proof reliability, a hereditary feature of our Quad-Link systems, was key.

    They also seem to have internally routed cables that are totally sealed. Link.

    It’s why we’ve developed unique weather proof clamping systems for the seat posts of any bikes likely to see excessive amounts of weather. Our internal cable routing is carefully sealed to stop water getting inside the frame and our unique BBX and DOX features make the normal nightmare of servicing internal cable routing or adding a stealth dropper post blissfully simple.

    Anyway, its the only one I can recall offhand that offers a warranty like that. There may be others, but if you're interested in low upkeep, this sounds like a candidate.

    Good luck on the search.

  8. #8
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    I find santa cruz creak easily. Never had any problems with the 2 rockies with press fit or creaking. Kona is solid in the wet, quiet.

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  9. #9
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    Probably Orange, made in the UK and only one pivot 😂

  10. #10
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    Raaw Madonna would probably do well meeting your criteria. Never seen one irl, but it looks good on my computer.

  11. #11
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    What bikes/suspension designs are the least creak prone?

    I have a 2012 Trek Superfly 100 and have done nothing to the bearings and they have no play and don't creak.

  12. #12
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    A hardtail with a proper headset and bb.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    A hardtail with a proper headset and bb.

    This, sorta. I never need to touch the pivots on my FS bikes, but my headset needs to have the schmeck and grit cleaned out once a month or it creaks. Same with the crank/BB interface.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    This, sorta. I never need to touch the pivots on my FS bikes, but my headset needs to have the schmeck and grit cleaned out once a month or it creaks. Same with the crank/BB interface.
    I get a little "click" when I lean on my bars to one side. Any ideas on how to track that down? I think it may be my spacers etc.

  15. #15
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    The bikes without moving parts seem to creak the least, though some riders find that their joints start creaking as they carry the bike down the trail.

    Reducing the number of wheels and getting rid of your drivetrain is also helpful for reducing creaking.

    Personally, I find the voices in my head are so loud that I really can't hear my bike creaking
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  16. #16
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    One of the best things you can do as a PNW rider is replace stock bearing grease with a heavy duty, high quality waterproof grease. NSMB first planted this idea in my head, but now I try to do it with all high-wear bearings on the bike that are generally most exposed to the elements (BB, pivots, pedals, headset). Carefully removing the seals and packing the bearings full of a really good grease has made a massive difference for me, with some bearings now lasting 1.5-2x as long relative to before I did this.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhendo View Post
    One of the best things you can do as a PNW rider is replace stock bearing grease with a heavy duty, high quality waterproof grease. NSMB first planted this idea in my head, but now I try to do it with all high-wear bearings on the bike that are generally most exposed to the elements (BB, pivots, pedals, headset). Carefully removing the seals and packing the bearings full of a really good grease has made a massive difference for me, with some bearings now lasting 1.5-2x as long relative to before I did this.
    I used ParkTool Polylube 1000 for all this stuff. Its pretty thick (I guess?) and I have a massive blue tub of it . Is that appropriate?

    Also, is there such thing as too much grease in these things? I wouldn't want it for a fork of course but I try to really grease the BB bearings and pivot bearings like you mentioned.

  18. #18
    jcd's best friend
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I get a little "click" when I lean on my bars to one side. Any ideas on how to track that down? I think it may be my spacers etc.
    Do you need to use quite a bit of pressure to make it click? Do you have 1 foot on a pedal? Sitting on the saddle or standing next to the bike?

    I'm not trying to make things hard. I've had an audible click as you described and it depends on how you are checking for the click.
    Trek Emonda | Transition Sentinel

  19. #19
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    When Battery provided the first answer to this thread four days ago, he nailed it. The answer is any bike with a threaded bottom bracket.
    =sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  20. #20
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    Santa Cruz changed their pivot design about a year ago from using lightly axially loaded angular contact bearings to radial bearings with spacers between the inner races. I'm not sure why, but I suspect the latter is more robust and less prone to creaking. I know they did this on a number of bikes but am not sure about all their models.
    Do the math.

  21. #21
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    There are bottom brackets designed for pressfit applications that are threaded, such as those made by wheels manufacturing.
    I've never had a problem with PF, and actually had more noise from threaded in the past, but I live in Utah where it's dry. If you already own a PF bike, it's an option. Otherwise, a threaded single pivot probably has the least moving parts or something like a Spot with the Living Link.

  22. #22
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    Every bike will creak if all the moving parts are cleaned, re-greased and re-torqued every so often. Have 2000+ miles on my SC Hightower and its never creaked. It just boils down to maintaining your bike.
    Vermonter - bikes, beers and skis.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    There are bottom brackets designed for pressfit applications that are threaded, such as those made by wheels manufacturing.
    I've never had a problem with PF, and actually had more noise from threaded in the past, but I live in Utah where it's dry. If you already own a PF bike, it's an option. Otherwise, a threaded single pivot probably has the least moving parts or something like a Spot with the Living Link.
    They don't make one of these for Dub cranks yet do they?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    They don't make one of these for Dub cranks yet do they?
    Not to my knowledge.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    There are bottom brackets designed for pressfit applications that are threaded, such as those made by wheels manufacturing...
    The interface with the frame is still a press fit. The two sides of the BB thread into each other. IMO, this provides some mutual support and also some axial compression of the BB shell, which I believe are both good in helping to prevent the shells from moving, fretting the BB shell, and getting loose.

    What is generally meant by a threaded BB, is one where the interface with the frame is threaded. The BB shell of the frame is itself threaded.
    Do the math.

  26. #26
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    Mini-link bikes make the most noise, but it mostly boils down to proper (and more frequent) maintenance.

    I also pop the bearing seals off every new bike I get, and fill them with grease, but I use Dumond liquid grease to really and truly completely fill them. So far, so good.

    I guess I'm an outlier, but I've only once needed to replace a press fit BB in less than two years. With threaded BBs my record was slightly less stellar, though it is very easy to replace one.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    What is generally meant by a threaded BB, is one where the interface with the frame is threaded. The BB shell of the frame is itself threaded.
    I agree. I did not mean to imply otherwise.
    I think most PF BB problems are caused by incorrect or more likely, sub-optimum installation. As I said, I've not had the problems reported previously, and I have PF BB's on three bikes - all of which are standard, non-threaded designs.

    Every time I've had creaking from what I thought was the BB, it turned out to not be the BB. Of course, I usually find that out after fixating on the BB for way too long.

    I think the only reason to go to the threaded option (for PF) is for piece of mind. Removing and replacing normal PF BB's is not more difficult than doing so on threaded BB's (where the frame is threaded) it just takes special tools.

    I don't see any advantage to PF, BTW, it's just that the bikes I've decided I really liked had them.

  28. #28
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    I have a PF and it creaked when new...loud. Nothing the do with the frame interface. There wasn't enough grease in the bearings. Loaded them and no creaks since for years. I installed it with Ultra Black RTV and 24hr cure.

  29. #29
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    I think some/alot of the Pressfit bad experience gets is from lower quality manufacturers not paying the factory a premium$ for tighter tolerances. Then things are a mm off here or there and it gets creaky.

  30. #30
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    Creaks...

    What I've learned is that the most common source of the "difficult to isolate" creak is the headset. For years I've struggled with Cane Creek headsets ( quite a few of them) and finally gave in on my last bike and went with a King. Zero issues. Wish I had done that years ago. Cane Creek is a great company, and I think their Inline Coil shock is the bomb, but I've gone through at least 4 of their Forty sets and all creaked. Every rental I've been on in the past year had a Forty and they've all had the same distinct creak. I call CC about it and they were really cool, but ultimately I could not fix the consistent creaks and threw in the towel, and $$$, and went King.

    PF bottom brackets. Never had an issue. I always ran Shimano cranks and their PF cups seem are somewhat soft and creak proof.

    Seat posts creak occasionally.


    My current bike, a Knolly, despite all their nifty linkages, has been silent.

  31. #31
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    The creaks are mostly from out-of-spec tolerances.

    Oversized bores for BBs, bearings, axles, etc. that aren't perfectly round nor are aligned properly with each other...

    Watch out for anything that is made out of multiple small pieces that aren't held to high precision, especially avoiding anything that looks like it's put together like a complex puzzle. Opt for large 1-piece structures. It helps if you put yourself into a frame-builder perspective, thinking how good of a job you could do if welded/hand-crafted the frame yourself if you had all the individual pieces that make it up...

    I'm willing to wager that the Pole Machine (and their upcoming Stamina model) is the least creak prone bike/susp design.

    It's like playing a lottery, buying things coming out of an Asian factory. Is their tooling too worn and sloppy, due replacement, by the time they get to your workpiece? Did you get a worker who just didn't care for small details work on your workpiece, letting small issues pass? Quality is often hit or miss... some factories tolerate 5-15% defect rates. 5% "human error rate" is actually extremely good for low skill low wage workers, and these Asians are not exactly low skilled--they're just using that skill to pump out a ton of product very quickly. Some brands only test 1 out of a batch out of however many. They treat their warranty as a catch-all, but those warranties aren't really honored for such minor defects--even if they do, their warranty replacement likely can suffer from the same problems.

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