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TrentonMakes

The dreaded 'creak'

Question

I'll take a shot at posting this where I guess it's supposed to be.....

Been noticing a creak on the bike (whose odometer is around 1850 if I'm not mistaken).  I want to call it a bottom bracket creak, but I guess I'm not convinced.  Z noticed it when we rode a few weeks ago - I'm not sure it's gotten more pronounced but I suppose I will take it in to get it checked out.  Probably not a bad idea to have someone look it over regardless.

I hear this creak as the right pedal moves through the 1:00-3:00 positions, each time around.  Derailleur trim doesn't affect it; happens on the large and small rings.

But yesterday I noticed that it does not happen when I'm standing on the pedals - only seated.  Therefore I wonder if this points to somewhere other than the BB?  I will say there are times when I feel like I can detect just the slightest amount of BB/crank play (by hand) but then there are times when I can't.  Headset seems fine.

With the seat post issues I've had, I believe there is minimal grease on that post - so I guess a squeak could originate from there.  But if the noise only happens at that specific position in the crank cycle, is it silly to think it might come from somewhere else?  

Any insight is welcome.

 

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18 answers to this question

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...saddles can also develop creaks.  Basically, anyplace there is metal to metal contact (the rails in the post clamp, the nose on some saddles. the insertion into the seat tube, the clamp itself, etc).

What I do is taek it all apart, put a light film of bike grease on all the mating surfaces, and put it back together with a positive attitude and a lot of hope.:)

Saddles can also develop a creak in and of themselves, which is harder to diagnose and fix, but is usually where the rails insert into the rest of the saddle. The best way to diagnose it is to put on another saddle and see if the noise goes away.

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This bike has those extra long cranks that I love so much - but the downside is that it's a pretty specialized integrated crankset/BB combo that retails for $439.  

As such I have feared the worst, so if it turns out that there isn't a problem with that, I'll be thrilled.

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I had creaks that turned out to be somewhere in the pedal-to-cleat area interface.  Try rotating your foot slightly inward and then outward to see if the noise is affected.  If so, then it might be coming from the shoe/cleat/pedal interface.  You could also try lubricating your pedals where they contact the cleats, or just try riding with regular shoes to see if the noise goes away. 

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10 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

I had creaks that turned out to be somewhere in the pedal-to-cleat area interface.  Try rotating your foot slightly inward and then outward to see if the noise is affected.  If so, then it might be coming from the shoe/cleat/pedal interface.  You could also try lubricating your pedals where they contact the cleats, or just try riding with regular shoes to see if the noise goes away. 

Thanks for the tip - but yeah, I remember getting an occasional squeak with my old SPD pedals/shoes, and like you said, I could rotate my foot a little and make it go away.  This time, that doesn't work.  Though I do occasionally get a shoe/pedal squeak; a few drops of lube fixes that.

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I get lots of squeaks in the seat post/seat post clamp area.  Loosening the clamp, moving the post around, and re-tightening will quiet it for a seemingly random length of time, from a few minutes to a few rides.  It's maddening that it keeps coming back!

 

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2 hours ago, Longjohn said:

Have you resolved the problem yet? Have you ruled out your knees?

Yeah, it was resolved, "sort of".  I guess that resolution ended up being posted in the other place.  I had commented that I'd lost a "dust cap" from the left crank arm, but what I really lost was a fixing bolt and the arm was starting to work loose.  What was really helpful was that the mechanic showed me a new, two-piece BB/crankset so I could picture how this thing works.  The last BB I worked with was a 105 back when "Octalink" was relatively new.  On those, the "caps" hid the crank bolts and were not structural, hence my confussion.

Anyway, the first ride was quiet, but I noticed not quite a creak, but a ticking, on my last ride.  It is nonetheless coincident with the same position of the crank as I reported above.  The mechanic did nothing to the saddle/post but I will try getting some grease on the rails.

My knees actually do creak a little, but I really only hear it when I'm climbing stairs.  I saw an orthopedist about that maybe 12 years ago - he was not concerned.

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My seat was creaking because my ham fisted LBS cranked the seatpost binder too tightly. I loosened it and torqued it properly, and problem solved.

Then I noticed another creaking. It is the leather in my shoes. whew!

Way too many opportunities to hear creaking on a bike! Knees included!! :D 

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All this talk about creaks has infected my Moulton and I'm damned if I can find the source. Tried everything I can think of and dismantled the rear pivot bolt and greased it also. It only happens when I'm on the saddle and I can make it happen by pressing down there but the bike has a rubber Cone suspension and I'm now wondering if the creak originates fro this......it doesn't help that the whole rear section moves with the suspension when tracing where it's coming from. I'm going to heat the rubber Cone slightly with a Heat gun and see if that makes a difference.

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On 8/29/2016 at 0:48 PM, onbike1939 said:

I'm going to heat the rubber Cone slightly with a Heat gun and see if that makes a difference.

Did it?

The KHS is back at the shop after the problem recurred - waiting for word from the mechanic, though based on my recent experiences it seems he's not a fan of picking up the phone.

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47 minutes ago, TrentonStrong said:

Did it?

The KHS is back at the shop after the problem recurred - waiting for word from the mechanic, though based on my recent experiences it seems he's not a fan of picking up the phone.

To tell you the truth I'm not sure but this may have something to do with me being almost entirely deaf. Anyway I can no longer hear the noise so fingers crossed. In the past I've solved dozens of annoying noise problems by the simple expedient of removing my hearing aids...works like a charm.

I've been too occupied with solving a problem with my gears but have cracked this at last....thank goodness.

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10 minutes ago, onbike1939 said:

To tell you the truth I'm not sure but this may have something to do with me being almost entirely deaf. Anyway I can no longer hear the noise so fingers crossed.

Great.  Sounds like the category of car noises that can be resolved by turning the radio volume knob clockwise. :D

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16 hours ago, TrentonStrong said:

Great.  Sounds like the category of car noises that can be resolved by turning the radio volume knob clockwise. :D

It's amazing how many sounds I hear that worry me about my car after i turn the radio off.

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One place that gets overlooked but can creak is the rear derailleur and the hanger. I had tried e v e r y t h I n g before one of the techs pulled my derailleur off and cleaned the area, lightly greased and reattached the derailleur. Squeak gone.

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On 8/25/2016 at 1:54 PM, smudge said:

Way too many opportunities to hear creaking on a bike! Knees included!! :D 

As we age we tend to hear less creaking, at least I do. I wonder what someone riding near me hears? I used to hears squeaks and creaks from my road bike after about thirty miles. I still have the same bike but different shoes and pedals, maybe that was what squeaked?

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There is a noise somewhere near my head tube. I didn't notice it until the noise ruined my camera's audio. I looked for it a while yesterday but couldn't isolate it because the neighbor lady needed me to ride with her in her car to show her where her kid's school is. :huh:

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