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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 06-25-06, 03:53 PM   #1
fuerein
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crank and/or chainwheel creaking.

I went to ride my bike today and when I went to pedal something within either the crank or the chainwheel gave off this annoyingly load creaking sound everytime I was on the down stroke, especially on the right foot. It was present on the left foot too, but not quite to the extent. It didn't happen nearly as much or as loudly when I was only lightly pedaling (maintaining the same speed) but when I was trying to accelerate/climb it got quite loud.

I tested and it happened on all three chainwheel gears and all the rear gears, as far as I could tell (definately on all three up front).

Any idea what is wrong?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-25-06, 04:52 PM   #2
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Could be several things but most common is crank bolts that need tightening.

Try that first.
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Old 06-25-06, 09:00 PM   #3
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Just fixed the same problem on my Cannondale the other night. For me it was a loose bottom bracket, tightened it up and the quite returned.
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Old 06-25-06, 09:51 PM   #4
Anthony King
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Very often this creak means the bb needs to be tightened and/or is dry. You'll have to remove the cranks, which requires a special tool. Check to make sure both bb cups are tightened--this also requires a special tool. Since you have the cranks off you might as well pull the bb wipe down the shell and cup threads, regrease everything and reinstall the bb. Remember that the drive-side bb is reverse threaded for most bikes (English/Standard).

Less likely, but much easier to remedy, are the pedals needing to be greased. Take 'em off, grease the threads and reinstall.

If you don't have the tools, space to work, or inclination to this yourself you might want to have a shop do this. But, if you're interested in doing this type of stuff yourself you'll need a crank puller and a bottom bracket tool. Check the parktools website or sheldon brown for more info on pulling your cranks and bb. This is something you can definitely do if you want to, you just need the correct tools and a good set of directions. If you have a favored shop buy the tools from them and bring your bike so they can make sure you get the right tools for your cranks/bb. You'll probably get a tip or two in the bargain as well.

Of course, it might not be the bb, but it is very likely from your desription. Besides the bb and pedals this could also be a lack of grease on the seatpost-seattube contact area and I've seen saddle rails/seaptpost clamp contact point also creak.

But, as I said before I highly suspect this is a bb creak. Just mentioning the less probable options because I can't make a certain diagnosis without the bike at being at hand.

Loose chainring bolts could cause your problem but I don't think it is probable.

Good luck, let us know if you have more questions.
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Old 06-26-06, 06:32 AM   #5
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It is probably the BB, crank bolts, chainring bolts or pedals as suggested but always verify if the creak is still there when you pedal standing up. This eleminates the possibility of a problem with the seat post or rails. Another somewhat remote but possible source is the handlebar/stem connection. It is generally wise to go thru this process of elemination before starting to pull the drivtrain apart. On my last 4 'creak problems' 2 were bottom brackets and 2 were seat posts. Good luck!!
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