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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 05-29-06, 08:12 AM   #1
Lameness
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squeak squeak squeak

Hey guys....newbie here to cycling. I just bought a Specialized Allez Triple, and have probably put about 100 miles on it so far. Here's the problem: I noticed a creaking noise coming from the left side around the crank/bottom bracket area. It happens on the downstroke of every pedal stroke. It seems to be the worst when I am pedaling with a very light load. If i'm going up a hill/standing on the pegs it will not squeak.

Now today, there is sqeaking coming from the RIGHT side of the bike as well. The only thing about this side, is that the squeaking gets worse under heavy load. What can I do to fix this??
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Old 05-29-06, 08:22 AM   #2
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These noises can be hard to pin down. Since the bike is pretty new the bikeshop probably has a "free tuneup" that you could take advantage of. The obvious place to start is with the crank and bottom bracket. To tighten the bottom bracket you'll have to remove the cranks. With the cranks removed check that the chainring bolts are tight. I checked all these things on my touring bike to no avail recently only to find out that it was my saddle! You see I had installed a new saddle was creaking with a high pitched click sound every time I would push down on the cranks - making it seem to be a crank problem. But, like you, when I really applied pressure on the drivetrain with my butt out of the saddle, the noise was gone. So, just as a test you might want to ride out of the saddle a little just to check if its something other than the drivetrain.
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Old 05-29-06, 08:30 AM   #3
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Thanks Mais. I indeed verified that it wasn't the saddle, because I stood to the side of the bike and pressed down on the left pedal and duplicated the squeak. I think I might just take it back to the dealer and ask them to look at it, because they have the free adjustment deal. I wrench on my own motorcycles though, so I like fixing things myself when possible.
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Old 05-29-06, 09:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_The_Jew
Thanks Mais. I indeed verified that it wasn't the saddle, because I stood to the side of the bike and pressed down on the left pedal and duplicated the squeak. I think I might just take it back to the dealer and ask them to look at it, because they have the free adjustment deal. I wrench on my own motorcycles though, so I like fixing things myself when possible.
What are you running for pedals? If you are running with clipless pedals, a lot of squeaks come from the pedals or the cleats/shoes. When you visit the shop ask them if you can borrow a set of flat pedals and try riding with those. That will eliminate pedals/cleats/shoes, and ..... you will save the shop from guessing about that.

If you end up removing the crankset, take it apart completely and grease all of the chainring bolts and any surfaces where two different parts can rub against each other. This takes a while, but it gets rid of a lot of mystery noises.
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Old 05-29-06, 09:19 AM   #5
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If you like to do your own wrenching (as I do), but do sometimes run into something where you are really in need of some help, what I tend to do is bring the bike in at a time when I know that the LBS will not be real busy, and will also bring some donuts or bagels and coffee. The wrench is usually happy to have me hanging out while he works on the bike, and I can see how to do it next time. I know that some LBSs keep the customers far away from where the work is being done, but this is one of the reasons why I like the LBS that I frequent. Donuts do wonders to break down some of the traditional barriers between me and the shop employees.
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Old 05-29-06, 04:18 PM   #6
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The source could be the bottom bracket - either a loose ring or no grease on the threads of the ring. I had a similar problem, and I greased the non-drive bottom bracket ring (first pull the crank then unscrew the bottom bracket ring, see www.parktool.com). Either the ring was loose, or it did not have grease, but the problem was fixed.
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Old 05-29-06, 05:17 PM   #7
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Take everything off your bike you don't need.

1) Ride without your clipless shoes
2) Replace pedals with platforms
3) Tighten crank bolts
4) Tighten chainring bolts
5) Check stem/handlebar bolts
6) BB Lockrings/etc.
7) Grease seatpost/seatrails.

Then maybe, it could be your BB.
I just fixed my phantom squeak and it turned out to be right pedal grease problem.
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Old 05-29-06, 05:25 PM   #8
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Hey Eric_The_Jew,

Since you're a newbie, the bike is so new, and bottom brackets are a 200-level repair, my vote's with Masi61's initial counsel: take it back to the shop.

- Coyote_the_Anglican
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Old 05-29-06, 05:31 PM   #9
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On the other hand, what better time to learn than now.
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Old 05-29-06, 06:11 PM   #10
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I had wierd squeeking problems in spite of all sorts of fixes. Then I oiled my leather saddle. Quiet now.
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Old 05-29-06, 10:12 PM   #11
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Recently had a similar problem that turned out to be crank bolt(s) had loosened. The bike had maybe 250 miles and creaking started into a ride. It got really weird because it would come and then go away. Also have had clicking from bad pedal bearings in the past. Good luck.
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Old 05-30-06, 06:26 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I got lazy and just decided to take it back to the shop. Turns out it was the pedals (as many of you suggested). The mechanic gave it a good tightening, and all was well.


Coyote, what do you mean by a "200 level repair?" I'm still trying to learn a lot about bicycles, but like I said before, I consider myself very mechanically inclined as i've done every type of maintenance you can imagine on motorcycles (street bikes). I have never once taken apart a bottom bracket, but how hard could it possibly be? I figure if you have a torque wrench and the special tools, should it not be a bolt on/press on proposition?

While we're on this subject, can anyone recommend a good book for those wishing to do our own maintenance?
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