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  1. #1
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    Creak...Creak...Creak

    I did a 10 miler today on pavement on my Unit 26". The one thing I kept noticing - distinct noises coming from my BB. Nothing while coasting, so I know it wasn't hubs or freewheel. Just consistent metal noises coming whenever I was cranking. Tips? New BB? I took it riding once in the salt and sand, I now know this was a bad idea.

  2. #2
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    BB could be bad, but I would first check to make sure it's tight. They can loosen up and cause creaking. Depending on the type of BB and crank, the crank may also be loose and causing some creaks. I would pull the crank and BB, clean and lube everything including the BB shell and reassemble.

  3. #3
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    bb cups
    crank bolts
    chainring bolts
    seatpost
    saddle
    seatpost clamp on saddle rails
    pedals

    the list goes on and on.

  4. #4
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    Definitely not seatpost, saddle, or pedals. There is a regular creaking in time with my cadence, and I use the pedals for all my bikes. I'll follow up on the advice of stripping/cleaning/tightening my drivetrain.

  5. #5
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    i had a similar issue last year and it turned out that the spider was a little loose on the crank arm. i put some threadlock on there ( as suggested in the manual ) and torqued it on and it's been fine ever since.



    while troubleshooting i tore apart the entire BB region including crank bolts, pedals, etc. nice and shiny!

    good luck

  6. #6
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    Clean and re-grease BB.
    Clean chain-line.
    Check tightness of cranks.
    Remove, clean, and oil pedal threads. (A small grain of dirt can and will make all kinds of noise in your pedal threads).

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucero
    Definitely not seatpost, saddle, or pedals. There is a regular creaking in time with my cadence, and I use the pedals for all my bikes. I'll follow up on the advice of stripping/cleaning/tightening my drivetrain.
    although the most common cause is loose or cracked chainring bolts/sleeves, i wouldnt say "definitely" not seatpost or saddle without actually eliminating them as both are very prone to creaks and easy to eliminate. when you are coasting there is no lateral pressure exerted on them nor are you loading/unloading them, therefore they dont creak. to eliminate seatpost and saddle simply unclip and make pedaling motions and bounce on the saddle. this will emulate the updown and side to side movement/loading/unloading of pedaling and will indicate whether they are the culpret or not. chances are they arent, but theres no sense in going through the drivetrain when it may not even be the cause.

    yes, thats the voice of experience you hear. many years ago i once spent considerable time chasing down a phantom "driveline" creak that turned out to be in the seatpost head. removed, cleaned, greased the bb, tightened chainring bolts, greased bb/crank interface, new pedal washers, clean/lube pedals, etc. and still no relief. replaced the bb, new chainring bolts, still nothing until i came unclipped on a gnarly downhill and rode it out on the saddle.... and low and behold there was the creak!

    if you do remove the bb, be sure to lube the snot out of the inner cups, the threads, the outer bb shell face, the crank interface, and the crank bolts. some phil's waterproof grease will not only keep metal to metal creaks at bay, but will keep a great deal of water out of the bb and shell.

    instead of simply tightening your chainring bolts remove them and check both sleeve and bolt for cracks. the increased torque of riding an ss will crack both of them resulting in a creak. when reassembling chainring bolts a dot of loctite blue will keep them from loosening and creaking.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  8. #8
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    Also check your frame around the BB shell for cracks/fractures, I had a similar thing and the worse case scenario was true for me, and hopefully not for you.
    Willis

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by willis.4
    Also check your frame around the BB shell for cracks/fractures, I had a similar thing and the worse case scenario was true for me, and hopefully not for you.
    excellent point. the last "bb creak" i had on my karate monkey turned out to be a crack an inch or so behind the bb on the drive side chain stay
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  10. #10
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    Hey Rusty, are you guys going to do the club ride this weekend? Thomas and I are thinking of coming out to ride with you guys. Did you get your niner? Best, Dimitry

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by poff
    Hey Rusty, are you guys going to do the club ride this weekend? Thomas and I are thinking of coming out to ride with you guys. Did you get your niner? Best, Dimitry
    yeah, my niner is in... but im out.

    got hit by a car while on my road bike a couple of weeks ago and i have a shattered collarbone, two sprained wrists, some wicked bone bruises, and a separated shoulder.

    i pedal on rollers in the garage (with a fork stand, not on full rollers), but thats about it for me for the next month or so.

    there will be a great turn out for the ride though, its nice and warm.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucero
    I did a 10 miler today on pavement on my Unit 26". The one thing I kept noticing - distinct noises coming from my BB. Nothing while coasting, so I know it wasn't hubs or freewheel. Just consistent metal noises coming whenever I was cranking. Tips? New BB? I took it riding once in the salt and sand, I now know this was a bad idea.
    You can easily eliminate (or narrow down to) the saddle, seatpost clamp, or seatpost/frame interface by pedaling out of the saddle.

    The next easiest thing is to check that the bolts for the sliders are tight.

    Otherwise, it is very hard to tell which part of the cranks/bb area it is coming from. 3/4 of the time for me it is a matter of tightening the bb, but sinse that requires removing the cranks and using a bb tool, I just go ahead and regrease the bb cup threads, regrease the crank/bb interface, and check the chainring bolts while I am at it.

    I have never needed to replace a bb due to creaking.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    You can easily eliminate (or narrow down to) the saddle, seatpost clamp, or seatpost/frame interface by pedaling out of the saddle.
    well, it doesnt actually eliminate the saddle/seatpost/clamp but will show reveal if the bb is creaking. sometimes, however, multiple things will loosen and creak, especially on a rigid. if both places are creaking and you simply isolate the bb creak by standing and pedaling youre still left with the seatpost/saddle/clamp creak. the reason it most likely wont creak when seated but not pedaling and clipped in is due to the natural reaction of weighting the pedals while coasting. the same forces are not working on the saddle/seatpost/clamp thus it doesnt creak.

    the reason i recommend eliminating saddle/seatpost/clamp IN the saddle and unclipped is ive had creaks in both places at once. bobbing on the saddle unclipped ABSOLUTELY eliminates the saddle/seatpost/clamp.

    I have never needed to replace a bb due to creaking.

    ride long and/or hard enough and you will.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-16-2007 at 11:10 AM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  14. #14
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    Geez Rusty, get well ASAP. That is why my wifey does not let me ride road.
    D

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    well, it doesnt actually eliminate the saddle/seatpost/clamp but will show reveal if the bb is creaking. sometimes, however, multiple things will loosen and creak, especially on a rigid. if both places are creaking and you simply isolate the bb creak by standing and pedaling youre still left with the seatpost/saddle/clamp creak. the reason it most likely wont creak when seated but not pedaling and clipped in is due to the natural reaction of weighting the pedals while coasting. the same forces are not working on the saddle/seatpost/clamp thus it doesnt creak.

    the reason i recommend eliminating saddle/seatpost/clamp IN the saddle and unclipped is ive had creaks in both places at once. bobbing on the saddle unclipped ABSOLUTELY eliminates the saddle/seatpost/clamp.
    Whatever, there are several ways to go about this, and he can do both of our suggestions in under 30 seconds.

    [/i]
    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    ride long and/or hard enough and you will.
    I've ridden plenty long and hard, thank you.

    I've replaced bottom brackets, but never as a result of creaking. They will get play in them, and/or turn roughly. Creaking has always been solvable, as it has always been an issue with the bb cup / bb shell interface, not the bb itself.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I've ridden plenty long and hard, thank you.

    I've replaced bottom brackets, but never as a result of creaking. They will get play in them, and/or turn roughly. Creaking has always been solvable, as it has always been an issue with the bb cup / bb shell interface, not the bb itself.
    like i said, ride long/hard enough and you will encounter a creaking bb that is not due to bb cup/shell/interface but rather an internal problem that cant be fixed. by that time its toast anyway. not an insult. not calling you a wuss or questioning your masculinity. just saying that if you ride long enough or are hard enough on equipment you WILL see it.
    Last edited by monogod; 03-16-2007 at 08:19 PM.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  17. #17
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    It could possibly be the stem/bars/headset interface. I've had that on one of my bikes and on a few friend's bikes. A quick dissasembly, cleaning, light grease film and reassembly with proper torque and the noise went away.

    It's just a suggestion.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    like i said, ride long/hard enough and you will encounter a creaking bb that is not due to bb cup/shell/interface but rather an internal problem that cant be fixed. by that time its toast anyway. not an insult. not calling you a wuss or questioning your masculinity. just saying that if you ride long enough or are hard enough on equipment you WILL see it.
    I did not mean to imply that it could never happen, just that (in my experience) it is rare, and therefore a new bb is likely not the solution if the bb is otherwise OK. As I said, I have dealt with failed/worn out bb's, but none due to creaking. They all made noise, yes, but not a creaking noise. One bb with shot bearings DID creak, but I was able to make it stop until it could be replaced. I was pointing this out to the OP because I thought it was WAY premature to be talking new bb. It's like when people are having shifting issues and buy new rear deraileur when that is almost never the actual problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    sheesh... is everyone around here on the rag today or what????
    I guess so. This one guy responded to my first post by defending a suggestion he made when I was not even refering to it in the first place.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    I was pointing this out to the OP because I thought it was WAY premature to be talking new bb.
    a new bb was not recommended anywhere in this entire thread.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  20. #20
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    Truvative cranksets that have a removable pedal washer will begin to creak over time. A little tri-flo will do the trick.

  21. #21
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    Huh?

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    a new bb was not recommended anywhere in this entire thread.
    What has that got to do with anything? Just read the original post...

    I did a 10 miler today on pavement on my Unit 26". The one thing I kept noticing - distinct noises coming from my BB. Nothing while coasting, so I know it wasn't hubs or freewheel. Just consistent metal noises coming whenever I was cranking. Tips? New BB? I took it riding once in the salt and sand, I now know this was a bad idea

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    What has that got to do with anything? Just read the original post...

    I did a 10 miler today on pavement on my Unit 26". The one thing I kept noticing - distinct noises coming from my BB. Nothing while coasting, so I know it wasn't hubs or freewheel. Just consistent metal noises coming whenever I was cranking. Tips? New BB? I took it riding once in the salt and sand, I now know this was a bad idea
    i realized that after i said it. and do agree, by the way.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

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