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  1. #1
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    Creaking Bike - Last Desperate Request for Advice

    Alright guys, I've got a creaking noise that I simply cannot pin down. I've tried everything I can think of, but it keeps coming back. Here is a description of the noise:

    It is a creaking noise, similar to what you would expect from a flexing frame, or a taught brake cable forcing the housing to rub on something. It is actually a creak, not a squeak or a click. It seems to be timed with my pedal stroke and is most noticeable when I am climbing or pushing hard on the pedals. When I apply significant pressure to the right pedal in the forward position while stopped, I can make it creak as the frame flexes.

    Now, here is a list of things I've tired and notes I've taken:

    There are no noticeable cracks in the frame.
    I have regreased the seatpost.
    I have repacked the bottom bracket twice.
    I have swapped pedals--no change.
    I don't use clipless pedals.
    I have lubed all cables and component attachemnt points.
    I have regreased the crank bolts, tightened them.
    I tried greasing the spindle taper, and leaving it ungreased--both to no avail.
    I have checked the handlebars and tightened everything there as best I can.
    I have greased the contact points between spokes.
    I have oiled the derailleurs and tightened every other nut and bolt I can find.

    One special note: I recently removed the rear wheel to tighten a bearing cone. After putting the wheel back on, the noise temporarily went away. The noise is now back, but the bearing cone is still tight.

    Some have told me it can be the BB taper as it is rounded off can make this noise, but the tapers still look pretty good.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what to check?

  2. #2
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks

    Sheldon "Shhhh..." Brown
    [COLOR=blue][CENTER][b]Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts[/b]
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  3. #3
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    Bike info would be helpful.
    What material is it made of?
    My Ti bike over the years has taught me many lessons on creak detection.
    If noise went a way when you fussed with the rear wheel try greasing the skewer.
    Sounds weird but I've had many friends with front or rear creaks that they could not solve that this has worked for.

  4. #4
    jwa
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    I've used a lesser excuse to buy a new bike....

  5. #5
    Senior Member shoerhino's Avatar
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    Try cleaning the rear dropouts and the quick release.

  6. #6
    vasracer
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    inspect the stays for any hair line cracks. This can give your frame a lot of flex and in turn cause some areas to creak.

  7. #7
    Ron Wood is cool.
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    Is your frame aluminum? I had a Giant ocr3 that creaked like crazy, especially when standing on the pedals.

  8. #8
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Check the rails of the saddle and I don't see the chainring bolts on your list. Have you pulled and greased the stem?

  9. #9
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    'nother link:

    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=123

    Last time I came across one that was seemingly impossible to pin down, I finally fixed it by pulling the rr wheel, ripping the cassette apart, thoroughly cleaning the cogs spacers, and lockring, and then torquing the lockring to spec.

    Dunno, still, what was going on there, but it worked.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba View Post
    Check the rails of the saddle and I don't see the chainring bolts on your list. Have you pulled and greased the stem?
    I should have put those on the list as well.

    I have checked/greased the seat rails and greased the stem.

    I'll check on the other things mentioned above and get back to you.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    You didn't mention checking the headset.

  12. #12
    Bicycle Rider & Mechanic Trekbikedude's Avatar
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    hmm, you missed some stuff.

    Lube your hub seals, Check your bottom bracket, (remove, clean threads, apply teflon tape), possibly you need a new bottom bracket as well. Grease your pedals where they thread in to the cranks.
    On top of the world.

  13. #13
    Rid'n Rev sour01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steev View Post
    You didn't mention checking the headset.
    +1 That was where I was experiencing an annoying creak for weeks. LBS loosened the stem bolts---tightened the nut on top of the headset---and then retightened the stem bolts. Problem solved.

  14. #14
    Your mom
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    Handlebar/stem interface? FD clamp?

  15. #15
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    i had one bike that creaked and we could never find the problem, but it turned out to be the cartridge bearing in the rear hub creaking (outside of the bearing where it's pressed into the hub).

    also could be the actual QR where it clamps to the dropout.

    or a zillion other things.

    my SS road bike has a creak I have yet to track down. nice thing about SS is there are far fewer parts that can creak. OTOH, you pedal a lot harder so it creaks more.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    Handlebar/stem interface?
    That would be my first guess too.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Matt Gaunt's Avatar
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    I had a ticking which is obviously different from yours but the link's here in case it gives you any ideas.
    Yet Another Mystery Noise

    Hope this helps - I know how annoying this can be!
    Matt
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  18. #18
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    Another trick to try: if you have a rear derailleur hanger, remove it and put a thin coat of grease between it and the frame. This fixed an irritating click/creak on my giant XTC.

    -dan
    2000 Giant XTC DS/2
    1996 GT Edge w/Campy Veloce components

  19. #19
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Hey, I have a similar problem! Never figured out WTF is going on. If I turn the pedals while off the bike, no sound. The creaking is sync-d to the pedal turning while I am on the bike, not to the wheel turning. And it happens mostly when I'm mashing or pedaling strongly. Got no clue what it is, in spite of Sheldon Brown's wonderful article on bike noizes.

    Never occured to me the frame could be compormised. Hm.... I thought I'd have noticed that, though...??

  20. #20
    Sir Fallalot wroomwroomoops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tellyho View Post
    Handlebar/stem interface? FD clamp?
    I had that with my new Monocog build. I figured it out relatively quickly (after 3-4 rides). Never had that problem before, so I was a bit amazed at how tightening the stem plate helped.

  21. #21
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    My Specialized Stumpjumper did that. There are internal lugs in the frame that twist in the tubes when you apply enough torque. Specialized recommends pouring linseed oil in the tubes (tilt it so that it penetrates the offending lugs, in my case where the top and down tubes meet the headtube). I have to do it about once a year.
    Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC Comp
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  22. #22
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    Check the chainring bolts. Take them out and grease the shoulders and threads.

  23. #23
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Make sure that your front wheel QR is good and tight.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  24. #24
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    try another rear wheel

  25. #25
    Senior Member Alzonder's Avatar
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    I have a creak in my saddle which seems like it's coming from a pedal.
    "If all of us have not confessed ourselves to be witches, that is only because we have not all been tortured"

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