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Thread: Creaking spokes

  1. #1
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    Creaking spokes

    When I pedal I get a creaking from the rear end of my road bike which isn't related to cadence. I think I've narrowed it down to my spokes as it sounds like the noise made when you squeeze together two that cross.

    I have no loose spokes and my wheel is (fairly) true. I thought about tightening them all a quarter turn but then thought again as I have have no dishing tool to check the results (rear wheel therefore different spoke tension etc.).

    Have I correctly diagnosed the problem and can anybody help please?

    Also, is it common for spokes to come loose from their nipples as it happens occasionally to mine. In my weel's defense though, the roads round where I live are fairly crap and pot-hole ridden.

  2. #2
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Spoke noise is ususally a clicking sound, but I suppose you could get some creak. The best thing to do is to ckean your wheel and spokes with mild soap and water. Dry. The noise is almost certainly coming from the cross-lacing or the nipples and eyelets. In the latter case [which is more common], the nipples make a "tinking" noise when your weight compresses the wheel.

    So... for the nipples/eyelets... Apply a drop of double-boiled linseed oil to each nipple so that it oozes slightly into the eyelets.

    For the cross-lacing, apply a drop of linseed oil to each cross.

    That should solve your problem.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  3. #3
    Scooby Snax
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    velocipedio, may I ask where one can get some double boiled linseed oil in this day of urethane?

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    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I just go down to the harware store... You'd be amazed what you can find there.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

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    Cheers Velocipedio, I'll give that a try. Fortunately I have some linseed oil kicking around (for my bass guitar's neck), but you can also get it from art supplies shops.

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    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I use tung oil on my guitar... wouldn't recommend that on the bike...
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

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    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Niall
    Also, is it common for spokes to come loose from their nipples as it happens occasionally to mine. In my weel's defense though, the roads round where I live are fairly crap and pot-hole ridden.
    If they are coming completely loose then the wheel is definitely undertensioned. The more tension there is in the spoke, the greater load it can take before it goes slack. If a spoke is allowed to go completely slack, the nipple will unscrew. This is mainly why wheels go out of true. Hasn't this forced you to re-true the wheel frequently?

    I would have it retensioned at a shop or, if you are already familiar with truing, have a go yourself. You should also consider changing to larger volume tires.

    Also, to add to the advice given regarding the noise, you may need to turn the nipples back and forth a quarter turn or so to let the oil work it's way in.
    Last edited by bikerider; 07-08-02 at 12:34 PM.

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    Ich bin ein Lowlander! toolfreak's Avatar
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    I don`t know about road bikes, but with MTB a creaking noise is mostly the seatpost (clamp)

    Just my 2 cents,
    Mark







    Dancevalley 2th of august 2003 -> JXL, Laidback luke, Sasha, John Digweed, Monica Krusse.....and on!

  9. #9
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    I've had an ever worsening creaking from my rear wheel. The guys at my LBS said that it was probably a spoke tension thing.

    I'm taking the bike in for a good overall service tomorrow but in the meantime I did a little of my own re-tensioning on the spokes. The noise has just about dissapeared. I'm sure that once the LBS has a go it'll be nice and quiet.

  10. #10
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I'd go around and tighten all the spokes on the drive side first, then on the non-drive side.

    As you know (stated) the spoke tension is different from side to side. I believe (can't rember w/o referencing my Wheel book) that the drive side is about a 3:1 vs non-drive side.

    An easy way to make sure you're keeping the wheel dished properly is to attach a zip tie around your chain or seat stay adjacent to the rim. Cut it so it just barely rubs the rim. Turn it down out of the way, tighten your spokes, and turn it back to verify the rim is in the same place. If not, tighten (another 1/8 to 1/4 turn) whichever side spokes are needed to move the rim back to where the zip tie barely touches again!

    Remember to use small adjustments. Start with 1/8 to 1/4 turns. IOW don't start making 2 turns of each spoke nipple.


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