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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 04-03-08, 07:40 AM   #1
d2create
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Popping and Creaking?

So a few months back I brought my custom single speed in to my LBS because of a popping noise coming from the bottom bracket area during the downstroke on the left side. When I picked it up they said the bb was a little loose so they tightened up and all is well. Well, I haven't really ridden the bike much since then and when i took it out this weekend on a real ride it started popping again after about 5 miles. It's the left side only and if i only pedal with my right foot, no popping. So it has something to do with the pedal force on that side. Any ideas what it could be? Bad bb? Problem with threading in the frame? Is it just loose again and I need to apply some thread lock or something?

My other issue I'm trying to figure out is some mad creaking from the handlebar area when mashing up a hill. Headset seams tight. What else should i look for?
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Old 04-03-08, 08:03 AM   #2
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1. Remove, grease the threads and reinstall your left pedal. See if that helps.

2. Is the fork threaded or threadless? If it's threaded the handlebar clamp may need to be tightened or the stem removed and the quill greased and reinstalled. If it's threadless it might be the handlebar clamp or the stem clamp bolts. If your handlebars are "sleeved", that is there is a separate sleeve over the handlebar clamp area, you may be doomed as there is no reliable way I know of to keep these quiet. A new one-piece bar is the only solution.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
1. Remove, grease the threads and reinstall your left pedal. See if that helps.

2. Is the fork threaded or threadless? If it's threaded the handlebar clamp may need to be tightened or the stem removed and the quill greased and reinstalled. If it's threadless it might be the handlebar clamp or the stem clamp bolts. If your handlebars are "sleeved", that is there is a separate sleeve over the handlebar clamp area, you may be doomed as there is no reliable way I know of to keep these quiet. A new one-piece bar is the only solution.
1. This reminds me, i forgot to mention that I can actually feel the vibration of the popping in my left foot. So maybe it is the pedal? I thought i tried that last time before bringing it into the shop but i can reinstall the pedal again to make sure.

2. Threadless and sleevless. It's your standard cheap Aheadset and some ON-ONE Fleegle handlebars. Can't recall which stem at the moment.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:13 AM   #4
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Strange noises from BB's can be hard to silence sometimes. In my modest experience, aluminum frames are most prone to this. Not sure why, but maybe if the threads or facing are a tiny bit enough, then maybe the aluminum is soft enough to let the BB torque incrementally and make noise.

What to do?
-Make sure it is tight again. Even pros can make mistakes.
-Grease the hell out of the threads of the BB, including some grease on the faces themselves.
-Reface the frame.
-If desperate, swap out the BB. Maybe a different bunch of threads will interact differently with the frame.
-If desperate, tap the threads on the frame and the BB.
-If nothing else works, use Loctite on it. I realy hate this solution, but...

Also, make sure it is not the crank/spindle interface that is making the noise. And make sure the chainring/crank interface is not making the noise. And make sure it is not a chain/chainring interface noise. And pedal/crank interface. And pedal bearings.

Godspeed.

jim
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Old 04-03-08, 10:07 AM   #5
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Most of the time it is the pedals and not the bb. Start with swapping out the pedals.
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