Bicycle Mechanics - help my creaky bike
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10-04-00, 03:50 PM
I have a 98 Cannondale T700 (touring bike). It's always been a bit creaky, but now it's ridiculous. It sounds kind of like I'm grinding my teeth, but louder. I cleaned the chain and tried to check for loose screws in case I could see anything. I keep thinking it might be the bottom bracket, although the cranks don't slip at all. I cleaned the outside of the bottom bracket, but I haven't taken it out or replaced it. Do I need to? Does anyone know about this kind of sound, what might be the problem and would I be able to fix it myself?
I've never heard "creaky" on any of my bikes. But if it seems like the BB it's simple to check. First, make sure the crank arms are tight on the BB spindle. Second, if they are tight then move the crank arms toward the frame and away from it. IF they move then the BB needs to be adjusted or replaced. If it is a cartridge BB it is probably toasted.
You might also check wheel bearings for grease. Dry bearings can make an ugly sound. Creaky? I don't know.
Does the sound relate to pedal speed only, or is it constant? Constant would indicate Wheels, otherwise crank arms or bearings. Let us know what you find out.
10-06-00, 02:19 AM
Check the diameters of your bars vs stem clamp if not a perfect match, creaking will occur there, shim if needed.
Also the flats of your BB spindles may have been lubed when assembled, they SHOULD BE DRY! I've seen GOOD/Team mechanics go as far as to clean flats and crank inner surfaces with acetone. Assembling dry prevents slippage/over-tightening this may be happening to you. Campagnolo requires this in their training/installation manuals.
If you are using a Shimano sealed BB (or similar set-up) take it out and remove all grease from the cartridge and BB interface/mounting surface threads, and re-install using silicone seal on the threads. If I remember right, this is Shimano's own "fix" for BB creaking.
If you are not greasing the threads on all of your clamping/fastening bolts you may not be getting them as tight as needed,(i.e. stem/seatpin clamps).
I realize I'm talking about different parts of the bike for the same problem, where the creaking is heard may not be the spot where it occurs, as sound can be transmitted through the frame
[Edited by pat5319 on 10-11-2000 at 03:51 AM]
Checking the handlebars fit with the gooseneck is a good idea. It is usually the cause of a lot of squeeks.
It is hard to tell from your post whether the problem is a creek, a squeek, or a grinding sound. Do you have any idea where it is coming from?
Does it only make a sound when you peddle?
The chances of the problem coming from your bottom bracket is rare even if you are low on grease; Unless you are one heck of a rider and you have logged so many miles that you are wearing out your bottom bracket. If this was the case, you would probably be bike savvy enough not to have to ask this forum.
Most mystery squaking when you peddle is due to the peddles themselves. They take a lot of abuse and are subject to a lot of dust/dirt contamination. A simple test would be to replace the peddles with any old pair to see if the sound dissappears or changes.
As an extra to the other suggestions about creaky noises in bikes: the November issue of Bicycling, in the Mechanics section, has a whole list of things which cause creaks in addition to those listed above. The most interesting one was that chain ring bolts come loose and cause many of the noisy creaks.
11-25-00, 05:17 AM
Also check the rear derailleur hanger. My Cannondale R800 had a noise that I couldn't stop. I tried chainrings, bottom bracket, stem, etc. Finally, the Clarksville, IN Schwinn shop suggested looking at the hanger and that was it! The rear derailleur hanger is a separate piece and the joint between it and the frame was the source of the noise.
11-28-00, 03:16 AM
As you don't specify where the "creaking" seems to be coming from , all of the above replys could be viable,are you using clipless pedals? worn cleats,and or bindings can make a creaking noise,also on some saddles made of leather can creak on the rails where the hide may contact...please let us know, does it do it only under load ie:cranking hard on the pedals, and still do it coasting ?,when seated or standing?or maybe let someone else ride the bike and you ride along side listening from a different perspective...best of luck cheers Buddy hayden
12-05-00, 12:07 AM
Check your bearings.....
might need some oil
might need to replace them
12-06-00, 02:09 PM
Take your wheels off of the bike and turn the axles with your hand,(not the quick-release). If they don't turn easily and feel "smooth" have them adjusted or overhauled. Do not delay, I've had to throw hubs away because they "ate themselves up".
(You should overhaul the bike at least once a year, or more if you have high mileage, ride in the rain, use a car wash or high pressure hose to clean your bike or squirt any water at all toward, into, around or near any bearings.)
Move the chain to the innermost chainring and pull it off and drape it on the bottom bracket shell so it does not touch the crank assembly, rotate the cranks and check as with the wheels.
If you have more than 1,000 to 2,000 miles on the bike and you haven't replaced your chain- do so, (There are some very strong riders who have to replace their chain every 500 miles).
If the chain is very worn you may have worn your drivetrian as well and you may need to change some cogs on your cassette/freewheel and a chainring or two.
Your chain needs to be measured for wear (stretch) regularly and replaced when worn, your local shop can show you how or e-mail me for directions. Park tools makes a very easy to use gauge to measure chains as well, I've found it to be a very good investment.
Check ALL your fasteners and bolts on the bike for tightness including the chainring bolts, handlebars and seatpost etc. A loose part on one area of the bike that creaks can sound like it's coming from another part of the bike. GOOD LUCK!
[Edited by pat5319 on 12-06-2000 at 03:21 PM]
01-05-01, 06:04 AM
If you bike is creaking when you only apply pressure to the side of your crank with the chainring on, i know it sound strange, but oil your chain. This is a very common problem if your bike squeaks or creaks whilst pedalling.
01-05-01, 08:46 AM
That model of cannondale uses a sealed bottom bracket. You cannot inspect it, it`s probably bad replace it before it locks up. Also check the doen tube bottom bracket junction for a crack,As cannondale them selves almost admit to haveing problems here. Plus all the above mentioned things.!!!
01-22-01, 06:36 PM
Take it to a C'Dale dealer, they know what it is!!! There is a shim used on certain models of C'Dales that becomes loose after some time. The problem is usually remedied by cleaning out your seat tube and lubing the inside with a lot of lube. If that doesn't work, get them to warranty the frame, it's their problem not yours. They'll either strip the frame and send it to C'Dale for repair, or send you a new frame. Either way you're good to go. Just make sure you have the original receipt. If not, prepare to argue (nicely!), and they should be able to do something for you.
Don't want to be alarmist, but it could be cracks in your frame. This will make the sound you describe.
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