El Mariachi Creaking Noise- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    El Mariachi Creaking Noise

    I've had my El Mariachi for about a month now and I love the bike! Best bike I've ever owned!

    However, I've noticed a creaking sound coming from somewhere. I haven't paid enough attention to it yet to determine exactly where it's coming from, or when it happens, but it's definitely creaking.

    I've got my free tune up coming up, and I want to have some ideas on what it might be before I head into the shop. Someone told me it might be my seat post, so I'm going to check that out, but any other ideas are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I have an El Mar 2 and its been creaking from the headset area. Im supposed to bring it in to the LBS this week. Oh and the elixir 5 brakes are juddering like crazy too.

  3. #3
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    Double check your pedals too!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sven98 View Post
    Oh and the elixir 5 brakes are juddering like crazy too.
    what do you mean "juddering?" if you're talking about the avid squeal, try organic pads- that solved issues with my elixir 5s and my wife's juicy 3s.
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
    - 2011 Salsa El Mariachi XL
    - 2011 Kona Unit (singlespeed) XL

  5. #5
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    Not really a squeal, but more of a low pitch rumble. Sorta like the brakes are grabbing, not grabbing, grabbing, not grabbing....etc. You can see the front fork go back and forth as you brake hard.

  6. #6
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    Is this headset creaking noise a problem for El Mariachi completes wide spread or isolated? Seems like I have seen a few threads lately. I was about to order one.

  7. #7
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    Well I pulled out the seat post, and lubed it up, and it's still there. I've been paying more attention to when the noise happens, and it's related to pedal position, but only when pedaling hard. Might be the pedals, but I think it's probably the bottom bracket. I'll guess I'll find out when I take the bike in for my free tune up.

  8. #8
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    I have had creaking with the saddle on my mukluk which i believe has a similar seatpost. It ended up being the two bolts that hold the saddle. Had to really torq them and creaking stopped. Just maybe huh....

  9. #9
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    Well bike shop said they couldn't replicate the noise, but thought it was the pedals. I honestly don't think that's the problem, but I guess I'll switch out the pedals and see if the noise is still there.

  10. #10
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    What seat post are you using? My Salsa Shaft posts always became a bit noisy. I have a creak in my Fargo right now that I can't seem to chase down either, but it's due for its 30 day checkup, so I'll have the shop go through it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by axebiker View Post
    What seat post are you using? My Salsa Shaft posts always became a bit noisy. I have a creak in my Fargo right now that I can't seem to chase down either, but it's due for its 30 day checkup, so I'll have the shop go through it.
    Kalloy SP-369 Black, 27.2 x 410mm

    That was my first suspicion, but I removed it and lubed it up really well, but it's still there. Let me know what your creek ends up being if you don't mind.

  12. #12
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    On a newer bike, pedals "settling" the steel spindle into the aluminum arms is a fairly common thing. Always a good idea to re-tighten any newly-installed pedals after a good ride. So - things to do to help deduce where the sound is coming from if it's pedaling-related:
    1) Stand up. Does the sound go away? It could be saddle or post-related.
    2) If it makes the noise standing, is a higher frequency sound (click or creak) or a lower-frequency noise (clunk, thunk, groan or rumbling) Higher frequency sounds tend to be pedals or chainring bolts. Lower frequency sounds tend to be bottom-bracket or cranks. There are some exceptions. Loud cracks any time you pedal - regardless of where you are in relation to the saddle - usually is a blown-out BB bearing.
    3) Tighten the pedals and chainring bolts. Does the sound go away? Go for a ride.
    If there is still a higher-frequency sound, then check the Wheel Quick-releases and make sure they are good and tight. Also check the stem bolts. If you don't have a Newton-Meter torque wrench take it to your dealer for the Check up, and request that they check the bolt torque on the stem. (Good shops will do this anyway).
    4) If the sound is low-frequency after doing the above, take it to your dealer and tell them what it's doing and describe the things you did to deduce that. It will help the mechanic diagnose and repair or replace the problem component. If anything with a bearing in it wore out on a month old bike, it will be warrantied, unless it looks crashed on.
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living


  13. #13
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    I can say I've laid down some miles on my 2012 El Mar, and so far no issues with creaking and or odd noises coming off the bike. although the brakes squeal now and then, but it only seems to do so if they get wet. I did have a wobble in the front end like most have claims of, but I pulled the wheel and had it trued, no more wobble.

  14. #14
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    My LBS regreased the headset and I noticed they installed clear tape underneath where the cables rub against the headtube. No more creakin'

  15. #15
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    I'm having this headset issue now. It was loose and I tightened it. Now it creaks worse than before when turning the handlebars back and forth. Boo

  16. #16
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    I have found this to be helpful when searching out creaks (even on non-EBB bikes): Eccentric bottom bracket creaking solutions

    Creaks are very difficult to locate, especially while riding. I recently took apart and regreased my entire drive train in an attempt to stop hellacious creaking that turned out to be coming from my seatpost.
    My other bike is a /7.

  17. #17
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    I read this thread after getting my new El Mar a few weeks ago, and thought to myself that I'm glad I don't have creaking issues.

    Hit the trail tonight, and the headset was creaking away. Gah. Tried tightening it and no difference.

  18. #18
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    My LBS took it apart and re-greased it...no creaking now and it's the right tightness.

  19. #19
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    This morning I took a closer look at my bike. Turns out the headset was just a little bit loose. I took it all completely apart, and put a very light coating of grease on the headtube and inside of the bearings. Got it all back together at the proper tightness, headed off to a good size trail, and not a creak to be heard. I think most of my problem yesterday was the fact that the headset was just a little looser than it is supposed to be. I'll be keeping an eye on it now to be sure it stays tight.

    Anyways, that worked for me. Taking it apart and greasing (just lightly), and getting everything tight on reassembly (not so tight that it becomes hard to steer though). If the headset is starting to creak on your el mariachi, try this. It's not hard to do, I'm no bike mechanic at all but it was very easy to figure out. A bike stand helps!

  20. #20
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    El Mariachi Creaking Experience!

    I am the proud owner of a 2011 El Mariachi, set up as a single speed with Salsa's steel 20mm thru maxle fork. I spent months putting this ride together with hand selected top shelf parts and during a very long succession of mistakes and discovery have encountered creaks that have forced me to dig deep into my shallow bag of patience and limited engineering knowledge to rectify. Briefly reading thru some of the others posts, I pridefully was laughing inside because I feel having spent hours dealing with my time of misery and befuddlement, I have finally become one with my stead. So forgive me for patting my own back here, but I just had to share these thoughts and hopefully the following will help fix your problems.
    Illusions of grandeur- My dream of this bike was one of simplicity equals little if any mechanical problems and maintenance. MISTAKE NUMBER ONE!
    The truth- the single speed configuration has its own set of complexities! The torque generated by this simple single speed set up imposes a lot of stress in both the rear drop out and bottom bracket region's and therefore slippage and creaks in these two regions are common. I felt after careful consideration and research that the alternator design was a superior design that addressed these issues and therefore not have them! MISTAKE NUMBER TWO.
    Note: thus my issue is probably more inherent but I would think not isolated to the SS set up. I thought that for the longest time it was my bottom bracket that was the source until I one day decided to loosen the rear alternator drive side bracket and do my usual test of putting the front tire against a wall and with the non drive side crank in the 9 o'clock position pushing on it to torque the frame and test to hear if I could generate my annoying creak and this time it solved the problem and bam boom bang, I found THE SOURCE!

    The good news- everyone seems to be in the same boat! In others words you didn't make mistake buying the El Mariachi! I for one am hopeful that I have stumbled upon the solution for my problems and feel confident that the alternator design is perhaps one of the best design's out there and am very happy that I chose this bike over a EBB bottom bracket designed bike!!!!
    Proof- my good friend has a 2012 Sir Nine and hasn't remedied his creak issues generated in the EBB(I hope I'll eat my words on this and that Niner's newly designed EBB fixes his problem). I think I have found a solution! though in it's infancy test wise has given me at the least new hope. This after trying everything INCLUDING THROUGH BOLTING THE BRACKET THUS ENABLING ME TO TORQUE THE HELL OUT OF THE BRACKET (THIS MADE THE NOISE EVEN WORSE!).
    SOLUTION- try making a gasket out of Stans No Tubes rim tape and putting it between the bracket and the alternator drop out. So far this has stopped the creaking!!!!! Though time will tell. ( at least I know the source of the creak- half the battle)
    In addition- Through this process I have trouble shot every possible source including lubing spokes. I would suggest that you face the head tube because Salsa fails to do so from the factory. I would also race and face the BB. And while your at it spray a rust inhibitor inside your frame (can't hurt, only helps). Good Luck and may the force be with you!

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