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  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Wheel creak - spoke tension?

    I had a wheel built by LBS with now 860mi on it.
    It recently started to make a bit of noise at regular rotation point with load at all speeds. No load on wheel no noise.
    Standing next to bike I can lean on seat (weight) and roll wheel back and forth over zone and it creaks.
    With bike in stand I can hold wheel and put side stress on it and make it creak.
    I reset tire, checked valve
    Wheel is perfectly true still. I check each spoke visually and by pinging with finger and none seems signifciantly different than the other.

    Question: Is this likely a spoke tension issue, so a re-tensions/balancing is needed?
    I will take it back to LBS, but I am not positive they will do right thing to fix it (i fear a squirt of oil at each spoke nipple) - so it would be good to know what to ask for. Or could it be as simple as that.

    just for fun here is the history on getting this new wheel built:
    MA3 rim tore apart at spoke
    maybe the tensions do need fine tuning as the tech suggested when the wheel was handed over.

    Al

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I had a wheel built by LBS with now 860mi on it.
    It recently started to make a bit of noise at regular rotation point with load at all speeds. No load on wheel no noise.
    Standing next to bike I can lean on seat (weight) and roll wheel back and forth over zone and it creaks.
    With bike in stand I can hold wheel and put side stress on it and make it creak.
    I reset tire, checked valve
    Wheel is perfectly true still. I check each spoke visually and by pinging with finger and none seems signifciantly different than the other.

    Question: Is this likely a spoke tension issue, so a re-tensions/balancing is needed?
    I will take it back to LBS, but I am not positive they will do right thing to fix it (i fear a squirt of oil at each spoke nipple) - so it would be good to know what to ask for. Or could it be as simple as that.

    just for fun here is the history on getting this new wheel built:
    MA3 rim tore apart at spoke
    maybe the tensions do need fine tuning as the tech suggested when the wheel was handed over.

    Al
    More than likely a dry spot between rim and spoke. Drip a iny drop of oil into each spoke that you think is creaking and problem will go away.

  3. #3
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motorhommmer
    More than likely a dry spot between rim and spoke. Drip a iny drop of oil into each spoke that you think is creaking and problem will go away.
    Excellent (if hopefully right)
    I actually started the process of wiggling rim side to side with one hand (which creates instant creak sound) while touching individual spokes to see if my holding one spoke it stopped the creak, so far no luck.

    At speed on road its a tic tic tic sound, as I slow to near stop it sounds more like crek, crek, crek.

    (This bike is a fixed gear. At one point I applied waxish (or at least non oil) based chain lube and forgot to wipe excess off and went for a ride. It of course sprayed inside rim. I wiped it down, but each spoke nipple now has a greasy/dirty area around it (which last I cleaned bike did by best to wipe away with dry cloth) and the rim tape inside is stained at each nipple. Maybe its dried away )

    Al

  4. #4
    Just Peddlin' Along SaddleBags's Avatar
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    Check your QR if you haven't already. Sometimes if mine are not tight enough, they will make a noise, creak, etc.

  5. #5
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaddleBags
    Check your QR if you haven't already. Sometimes if mine are not tight enough, they will make a noise, creak, etc.
    Its a solid axle nutted on rear wheel. Its been removed (and flipped) several times with no effect on noise.
    Al

  6. #6
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    Are the spokes loose?

    I had a Wheelsmith built wheel start creaking and groaning at about 1000 mi. Took me a while to realize the spokes were just plain loose. I tightened & trued the wheel and have gone another 10,000 mi. without any more wheel problems.

  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byte_speed
    Are the spokes loose?

    I had a Wheelsmith built wheel start creaking and groaning at about 1000 mi. Took me a while to realize the spokes were just plain loose. I tightened & trued the wheel and have gone another 10,000 mi. without any more wheel problems.
    Not that I can tell. I've pinged each one and tried to wiggle each and they all seem equally solid.
    Al

  8. #8
    Dare to be weird!
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    I'm no expert, but I've been having the same type of mysterious spoke creaks on a new wheel. None of the fixes mentioned so far helped. What solved my problem was lightly lubricating the 36 holes where the spokes hook into the hub.

  9. #9
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    Have your LBS check the spoke tension with a tensiometer. The tension may be a bit low.

  10. #10
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Platy
    I'm no expert, but I've been having the same type of mysterious spoke creaks on a new wheel. None of the fixes mentioned so far helped. What solved my problem was lightly lubricating the 36 holes where the spokes hook into the hub.
    This is exactly what I did before the ride this morning and the creak went away.
    Al

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
    This is exactly what I did before the ride this morning and the creak went away.
    Al
    Me too. The spokes didn't seem overly loose, so I tried shooting some WD-40 into where the spokes go into the little holes on the hub. Worked great! (Don't know if WD-40 is bad or good for bikes...)

  12. #12
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    I had the same issue with my tandem wheel and with a 1/4 turn of each nipple [tighter] the noise went away and the wheel was still true.

  13. #13
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    Loose spokes don't creak, they ping.

    Al

  14. #14
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    Check the entire rim very carefully for cracks. Cracks creak.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

    1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
    1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
    1988 Ducati 750 F1

  15. #15
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943 View Post
    Loose spokes don't creak, they ping.

    Al
    Loose maybe, but wheels can make other noises. I have some Forte Titan wheels that creaked, pinged, popped, groaned, and made several other noises that are hard to describe. Oiling the nipples stopped the noise for 2 weeks. Taking the nipples off (1 at a time) and applying grease to the threads & head stopped the noise for going on 3 months now.

  16. #16
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I fixed a similar problem by applying oil to the nipple holes, and tightening all spokes a half turn (then stressing and re-truing). Result: No creaking in the past two months.

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