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  1. #1
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    What the heck is causing this noise?

    Lately, I've been noticing a metallic noise somewhere beneath me when really mashing the pedals (particularly when standing). It's not loud, but it reminded me of a BB creak I had when the BB wasn't on quite tight enough.

    Anyway, cleat bolts are tight, BB was tight, but I did manage to reduce the noise significantly by tightening two of the chainring bolts just a bit. However, I can still hear a little bit of something, and I double checked to make sure the chain isn't touching the derailleur or anything like that. This is not really loud -- I can't hear it if traffic is around me or even if I'm riding into wind, so I'm wondering if this may be normal noise between the chain and the rings that I just hadn't been paying attention to before. My guess is that only the most fastidious bike riders would notice anything.

    Any idea as to what this is? On a vaguely related note, I didn't use a torque wrench when I put on the dust cap on the right side crank FSA Gossamer). Since this cap influences how tight the crank is in, I was wondering what problems would result if I put it on slightly too loose or too tight. Thanks.

  2. #2
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    I had the same problem. It's called a derailleur. Just take it off and make it a fixed gear. Silence.

    As for the cranks, if it's much too loose the square taper spindle will round out the interfacing hole in the cranks, ruining them. If it's slightly loose, it could make the sound. If anything needs a torque wrench on a bike, it's here. If it's too tight, I imagine you could mess up the taper on the cranks for later, and it might not interface percectly perpendicular, but what do I know, never has been a problem for me.

    I'd have it checked, if it's too loose you could be out lots of money after riding on it for a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

  3. #3
    cab horn
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    I had the same problem. It's called a derailleur. Just take it off and make it a fixed gear. Silence.
    That's not as easy as it sounds. Especially on a conversion. More likely that not, it'll make more noise than a similarily equipped functioning road bike.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    Mr. Maximan1 maximan1's Avatar
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    Tighten your chain

  5. #5
    cab horn
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    It's not a fixed gear.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  6. #6
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss Moniker
    I had the same problem. It's called a derailleur. Just take it off and make it a fixed gear. Silence.

    As for the cranks, if it's much too loose the square taper spindle will round out the interfacing hole in the cranks, ruining them. If it's slightly loose, it could make the sound. If anything needs a torque wrench on a bike, it's here. If it's too tight, I imagine you could mess up the taper on the cranks for later, and it might not interface percectly perpendicular, but what do I know, never has been a problem for me.

    I'd have it checked, if it's too loose you could be out lots of money after riding on it for a while.
    This is one of those external BB setups where the interface to the left side crank is splined and the spindle is fixed to the drive side arm. The dust cap has the function of adjusting the bearings because pinch bolts on the crank arm actually secure it to the spindle, so I'm really wondering what happens if it's slightly too tight or too loose.

    Conversion to SS would be highly undesirable. This bike is basically a racer optimized for climbing, and it gets ridden that way. On a steep climb, I might be standing on a 34x27 combo for awhile (though most climbs allow spinning), so any SS solution that would let me reach the top wouldn't give me reasonable downhill or flat speeds

  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Er why not. Make it up climb in your preferred gear and then coast down the other side. SS != Fixed gear
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  8. #8
    It's an old photo Boss Moniker's Avatar
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    Oh, I don't know much about external BBs and two-piece cranks, but they seem nice.

    I was really kidding about the SS/Fixie option, many hate even considering it. A reason I'm building a fixie right now is because of how incredibly silent they are, so if you want the same thing...

    Good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret View Post
    Just because I'm not angry anymore doesn't mean I don't think bossmoniker and every other hipster **** I see riding around on aerowheels isn't a piece of **** thats only use is to be an easy target for ridicule.

  9. #9
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    Lately, I've been noticing a metallic noise somewhere beneath me when really mashing the pedals (particularly when standing). It's not loud, but it reminded me of a BB creak I had when the BB wasn't on quite tight enough.

    Anyway, cleat bolts are tight, BB was tight, but I did manage to reduce the noise significantly by tightening two of the chainring bolts just a bit. However, I can still hear a little bit of something, and I double checked to make sure the chain isn't touching the derailleur or anything like that. This is not really loud -- I can't hear it if traffic is around me or even if I'm riding into wind, so I'm wondering if this may be normal noise between the chain and the rings that I just hadn't been paying attention to before. My guess is that only the most fastidious bike riders would notice anything.

    Any idea as to what this is? On a vaguely related note, I didn't use a torque wrench when I put on the dust cap on the right side crank FSA Gossamer). Since this cap influences how tight the crank is in, I was wondering what problems would result if I put it on slightly too loose or too tight. Thanks.

    Even if the chain is not hitting the derailleur in the bike stand, when you stand up or mash the gears you can flex the frame enough to make the chain ring rub. The fact that you improved it by tightening the chain ring bolts, and that it is worse when standing, makes me think this is what's going on. It is not as bad because the chainring is straighter now. It's pretty common, sometimes you can adjust it out by moving the derailleur cage over a little with adjustment, bending the cage a little, or if it's a clamp on derailleur you can rotate the whole thing just a little. It may have moved on it's own.

    Sometimes you just have to live with it. Also you may have fixed the rubbing and it could be just normal chain noise too. How old is the chain?

    All that loaded winter touring is just making you too strong! Take a month off !
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boss Moniker
    Oh, I don't know much about external BBs and two-piece cranks, but they seem nice.

    I was really kidding about the SS/Fixie option, many hate even considering it. A reason I'm building a fixie right now is because of how incredibly silent they are, so if you want the same thing...

    Good luck!
    With a shimano hub and 3/32 chain with the correct chainline you can be more silent than a fixed gear on 1/8. I think you just haven't ridden a totally silent freewheel bike.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  11. #11
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Even if the chain is not hitting the derailleur in the bike stand, when you stand up or mash the gears you can flex the frame enough to make the chain ring rub. The fact that you improved it by tightening the chain ring bolts, and that it is worse when standing, makes me think this is what's going on. It is not as bad because the chainring is straighter now.....

    Sometimes you just have to live with it. Also you may have fixed the rubbing and it could be just normal chain noise too. How old is the chain?
    I think I figured it out. Turns out I had more than one noise and one of them has to do with frame flex. Since the chainring bolts were tight, I decided to overtorque the BB just to see what would happen. No change in the existing noise. I have had the problem of flexing the frame enough to make the chain ring rub in the past, but once I made a minor adjustment to the derailleur, it went away.

    Currently, if I really mash the pedals (particularly on the non drive side), I still get a bit of noise. With some experimentation, I think I isolated it to where the carbon rear stays seat in the AL frame. It sounds pretty high up so I don't think it's a situation where the AL is cutting or breaking the carbon near the seam. My basic theory is that some adhesive may have let go at the very end of the carbon stay because there no sign of damage or stress to either the AL or carbon.

    Everything looks tight, but when you really mash the pedals, you generate some forces that could conceivably flex pretty rigid looking parts. Also, I found I need to let the bike warm up a bit to get the noise (i.e. leave it in the sun a bit). Assuming carbon and AL expand at different rates, that would explain why the noise is worse on a warm bike.

    I know this noise will drive me nuts, but I think I'll probably have to learn to live with it. If it gets worse, I might have the frame checked out. I don't think I'm in danger now, but I don't like screwing around either. As much as it pains me to pay for a new frame, it wouldn't be nearly as bad as a failure.

    Just FYI, the chain only has about 1000 miles on it, and I maintain it well. I'm generally pretty good about keeping things lubed, replaced, tuned, etc.

  12. #12
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    I think I figured it out. Turns out I had more than one noise and one of them has to do with frame flex. Since the chainring bolts were tight, I decided to overtorque the BB just to see what would happen. No change in the existing noise. I have had the problem of flexing the frame enough to make the chain ring rub in the past, but once I made a minor adjustment to the derailleur, it went away.

    Currently, if I really mash the pedals (particularly on the non drive side), I still get a bit of noise. With some experimentation, I think I isolated it to where the carbon rear stays seat in the AL frame. It sounds pretty high up so I don't think it's a situation where the AL is cutting or breaking the carbon near the seam. My basic theory is that some adhesive may have let go at the very end of the carbon stay because there no sign of damage or stress to either the AL or carbon.

    Everything looks tight, but when you really mash the pedals, you generate some forces that could conceivably flex pretty rigid looking parts. Also, I found I need to let the bike warm up a bit to get the noise (i.e. leave it in the sun a bit). Assuming carbon and AL expand at different rates, that would explain why the noise is worse on a warm bike.

    I know this noise will drive me nuts, but I think I'll probably have to learn to live with it. If it gets worse, I might have the frame checked out. I don't think I'm in danger now, but I don't like screwing around either. As much as it pains me to pay for a new frame, it wouldn't be nearly as bad as a failure.

    Just FYI, the chain only has about 1000 miles on it, and I maintain it well. I'm generally pretty good about keeping things lubed, replaced, tuned, etc.
    You could well be right. One problem is the frame acts like a sounding board and spreads the sound all around.
    I had a sound I thought was the seatpost turn out to be the clamp on a front derailleur when the seat tube flexed, just a little tightening did the job ! It could even be bottle cages.
    On a Giant once the recess for the bolt head on the seatpost clamp was not properly made at the factory, it was not flat and the bolt could never seat down on the shelf properly! Teflon tape made it quiet.
    I also have used teflon tape to fix other creaking bolts.
    Lots of things don't squeak until the bike gets warmed up. Good luck, that can be a tough one.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    You could well be right. One problem is the frame acts like a sounding board and spreads the sound all around. ....
    Lots of things don't squeak until the bike gets warmed up. Good luck, that can be a tough one.
    Diagnosing the noise has been a real PITA. Thanks for the suggestion to check other bolts on the bike -- it hadn't occured to me to check some of the others (particularly the front derailleur), but there are a couple close enough to where I heard the noise that they could be the culprit.

  14. #14
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    Diagnosing the noise has been a real PITA. Thanks for the suggestion to check other bolts on the bike -- it hadn't occured to me to check some of the others (particularly the front derailleur), but there are a couple close enough to where I heard the noise that they could be the culprit.
    Let me know how you make out.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  15. #15
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Was the BB shell faced properly when the bearings were installed?
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  16. #16
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    Check your pedal bearings. Similar sound turned out to be just that.

  17. #17
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    It's not the pedal bearings. I can duplicate the noise just by applying sufficient force just to the crank and the left side. Also, I checked the torque on other bolts nearby. Turns out the front derailleur was slightly loose, but tightening it did nothing.

    As far as the BB shell being faced properly, this is one of my theories because when I set the torque on the dust cap, there's a certain point at which the amount of force necessary to turn the cranks (very light) is not exactly the same all the way around. The only thing I don't like about the facing theory is that I only noticed the noise recently and the bike only has around 4000 miles on it -- kind of long for a flaw like that to show, but not long enough for regular wear and tear.

    One of the stupid things that I did when I removed the BB was that I didn't bother to put new grease on the threads and there was very little there. One of the first things I'll do is take everything apart and regrease just in case that's it.

  18. #18
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    I think I got it, and I deserve a dope slap for this one. I decided to pull the BB last night, regrease everything, and put it on one last time. If that didn't work, I was going to put on a BB from another bike to see if I could at least eliminate that as a source of noise.

    Anyway, in the process of cleaning the receiving threads in frame on the left, I found a tiny shaving of metal. The threads themselves looked OK as did the ones on the BB. I cleaned everything carefully and applied the marine bearing grease more generously than usual and reassembled. I rode reasonably hard in this morning and the noise was absent.

    Thanks to everyone for helping me diagnose this. Even though it turned out to be something different, I have plenty of ideas for how I'll track down the next noise that comes along.

    On an aside note, has anyone else found the external BB setup to be a bit on the finicky side? 2 of my bikes have external BB's, and it seems like every 6 months or so I'm needing to make a minor adjustment to one or the other to make a noise go away.

  19. #19
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    I think I got it, and I deserve a dope slap for this one.
    No you don't, that's probably the hardest bike thing to diagnose. You just have to start going through things one at a time. That's what you did. It just depends on where you start, if you did the BB first it would have been something else.

    I used to think that if I put a ring of grease around something threaded, as I screwed it in the grease would spread to all the other threads and they all would be greased. I've learned that is not true, you really have to spread the grease over all the threads by hand and wipe off the excess. You can feel the difference when you do this and thread something like a BB cup in. It makes a huge difference. I may have noticed this doing exactly what you are doing now. When I take stuff apart years later or a season later to see if anything got seized or corroded, everything comes apart the way it should. Even my ti bolts threaded into ti. If you get a BB noise that comes back, Teflon tape works sometimes.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  20. #20
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    [hijack]

    Quote Originally Posted by Boss Moniker
    A reason I'm building a fixie right now is because of how incredibly silent they are
    You know what is just as quiet? If not even quieter when coasting? A Shimano silent clutch hub set up as a single speed. I have this on my bike right now because fixed gear was hurting my right knee. So I'm single speedin' it for a while. Man, that thing makes NO noise.

    [/hijack]

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