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  1. #1
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    problem with play in crank

    I have a problem here. So I have been having a problem with a creaky noise in the crank/bb area. I have had a lot of trouble trying to pinpoint the source. I have replaced the BB and taken apart and relubed everything else. I just recently saw that my drive side crank has some play in it ( you can move it in towards the frame and out again with your hand. I have a Truvativ Rouleur crankset. Today, I took the spindle off of the drive side crank, cleaned it, and put it back together using a rubber mallet to make sure that it seats itself as much as possible. I put it back on the bike and it still makes the same motion.

    I am 90% sure that is the source of the creaking noise and even if it isn't, this is still a problem. I would like the diagnosis anyone has and what can be done to keep my crank from moving in that fashion.

  2. #2
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    I didn't know you could take the spindle off any of the external bb cranks...
    suum quique
    Mountain bikes: Santa Cruz Hecklers (99, 02, 07), Santa Cruz Nomad, Moots YBB, Trek OCLV Pro Issue, American Breezer
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  3. #3
    Pleasurable Pain greyghost_6's Avatar
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    Did you check the chain ring bolts? Could have a loose one. Also make sure you tightened down your crankset enough that there is no play in the bearings. If that doesn't work, make sure the cups are tight. If that doesn't fix the squeak, look elsewhere for the culprit.
    I had to re-learn how to walk once, but never needed to re-learn how to ride a bike. Cyclist for life.

  4. #4
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    The crank should not have in and out play in it. Are you missing a spacer between the external bearing and the BB shell?

  5. #5
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyghost_6 View Post
    Did you check the chain ring bolts? Could have a loose one. Also make sure you tightened down your crankset enough that there is no play in the bearings. If that doesn't work, make sure the cups are tight. If that doesn't fix the squeak, look elsewhere for the culprit.
    Yeah, I have tried all these in the past. All to no avail. The only thing that I might try again are the chain ring bolts and give them a bit of grease to see if that makes a difference.

  6. #6
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    The crank should not have in and out play in it. Are you missing a spacer between the external bearing and the BB shell?
    I shouldn't have any missing spacers, but I will double check that. I think I still have everything from the old BB, so maybe it got stuck on the old one.

  7. #7
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Alright. Did more work on this problems. The problems still persist.

    So I took off my cranks and then the chainrings. I cleaned all the parts of that. I checked my BB cups and they were tight. As for the chainrings, I greased up all the separate pieces of aluminum besides the threads to see if that will reduce any friction points. Then put back together and retightened.

    Also, checked to see if I had all the stuff from the old BB laying around, which I threw away a while ago as it turns out.

    So in the end after I put everything back together, there is still some creaking (albiet, not quite as bad, but still very noticeable) and there is still play in the cranks, which I didn't do much with today.

    My next step will be to take apart my pedals, though I do not see why it would be those because those are only about 2 month old. I am running out of ideas though.

    Anymore input would be greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Back to my comment...is this an external bb type crank (what Truvativ calls GXP) or a previous model of Rouleur?
    suum quique
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  9. #9
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    This is a GXP BB. The cranks are from 2005 I think.

  10. #10
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    The spindle should be permanently mounted to the crank AFAIK...might be why you get play and creaking. Unless Truvativ did something the others don't...
    suum quique
    Mountain bikes: Santa Cruz Hecklers (99, 02, 07), Santa Cruz Nomad, Moots YBB, Trek OCLV Pro Issue, American Breezer
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  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Are you sure that the creaking is coming from the BB? I have seen instances where suspected BB creaking turned out to be a seatpost creaking. Pull your seat, clean the seatpost and lightly coat it with grease (it may be creaking against the frame). Re-install and tighten up the seatpost and put a few shots of tri flow on the seatpost tightening collar/nut.

    Also, if your cranks have side-to-side play, something is wrong. This could also be the cause of your creaking. Did you measure the width of your BB shell and install the spacers as directed by the installation manual for your cranks?

  12. #12
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    I do not think it is the seatpost because it happens even when I am standing. It probably is good habit to do that anyways, so I will try that out tomorrow.

    As for the spacers, I read the instructions and for what I know of, I did it correctly. I am regretting tossing the old BB and the new BB box already.

    If I can't fix this soon, I might have to take it into the LBS and have them take care of it before it drives me insane.

  13. #13
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    So Truvativ has the spindle setup so you can take it on and off?
    suum quique
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  14. #14
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    So Truvativ has the spindle setup so you can take it on and off?
    Yep. Whether it was ever supposed to come off, I do not know.

  15. #15
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    I'd bet that's your problem right there...try warranty replacement, but I'd get rid of any of my Shimano cranks if the spindle came separate from the crank if they were out of warranty...
    suum quique
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  16. #16
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    There are many places to look for apparent BB noises. Besides those already mentioned above, shoe cleats and pedals can make such noises as well. I had a persistent squeak I spent weeks trying to trace to BB, cranks arms, seat post, pedal cleats and couldn't find it until the day it finally stopped and I discovered it had been from a crack propagating through the pedal cage. When the cage finally broke, the noise stopped then and there.

  17. #17
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    My most recent creak sounded like it came from the BB. It only occurred while out of the saddle, so I new it was not related to the seatpost or saddle. To rule out the crank I applied some light oil to the chainring mounting areas and made sure all the bolt were tight.

    Turned out to be the rear wheel at the skewers. The skewers were fairly new and I either didn't tighten them enough, or they just seated in and loosened a bit after a couple hundred miles. To be safe, I applied some light oil in the area and tightened the rear skewer. No more creak.

  18. #18
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    No one else seems concerned a press fit spindle has come loose, interesting. That'd be, to me, like a press fit steerer coming apart, whacking it back together with a mallet and hoping for the best all the while wondering where a source of creaking is...
    suum quique
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  19. #19
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    No one else seems concerned a press fit spindle has come loose
    Yeah, if that's the case, you need a new crank / bottom bracket. Even if the creak doesn't come from there.

  20. #20
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    I think I am going to take my bike down to the place i got it from on wednesday. The crank is still under warranty for a while longer.

    I guess I should ask this question. What are some cranks out there that are more bulletproof than what I have? Hopefully without adding much weight? I am a 225 pounder and I am a bit tough on my cranks. Of course, I will take the free replacement first, but if they throw a fit about it, i want options. As for now, I will not pay too much attention to price tags.

  21. #21
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle16 View Post
    I think I am going to take my bike down to the place i got it from on wednesday. The crank is still under warranty for a while longer.

    I guess I should ask this question. What are some cranks out there that are more bulletproof than what I have? Hopefully without adding much weight? I am a 225 pounder and I am a bit tough on my cranks. Of course, I will take the free replacement first, but if they throw a fit about it, i want options. As for now, I will not pay too much attention to price tags.
    I'm thinking you have an unusual situation, more than what you did to the crank...but I gotta wonder now that you bring it up if it's for a road bike, or cyclocross or dirt jumping or what? I've never had a problem with a Shimano crank road or mountain (including several square taper, octalink and external types). My old shop had some issues with certain Truvativ models of mountain bike crank with an isis bb with crank arm loosening problems. A detaching press fit spindle (I believe they are) sure wouldn't go over well with me on the other hand.
    suum quique
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  22. #22
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    I do have an unusual problem I guess. It is a road bike. I took my bike into the shop where I bought it from and instantly, the mechanic said that this is no good. He immediately called up SRAM (owns Truvativ) and they said that this problem is covered under warranty. Instead of replacing it with the exact same one as before, SRAM said that they will replace it with the SRAM Force crankset. Not a bad free upgrade. I get the bike back in a week (they are doing some other work with the bike also, so I am interested to see how it all works out.

    Thanks for all the input everyone on here.

  23. #23
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    Hope you let us know if the crank replacment fixed your squeak, but just to chime in, I have a TT style Motobecane Nemesis that had the same issue and I did the "relube everything" route on the external BB to no avail. I also still had the "creak" w. every massively powerful pedalstroke even when I got off of the saddle and continued to pedal.

    It was, in fact, caused by the bottom of aluminum seatpost rubbing against the TT frame all the way at the bottom of the seat tube where the seat tube changes shape. When the seatpost was removed, I could see the rub marks on the black oxide coating of the Thomson seatpost. A dab of grease and creaky is now all gone.

    The riddle of the creak persisting even when out of the saddle would be subtle frame flex I imagine.

    ... just thought I'd share that for others w. the same issue.
    Last edited by yotool; 06-24-09 at 03:35 PM.

  24. #24
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle16 View Post
    I do have an unusual problem I guess. It is a road bike. I took my bike into the shop where I bought it from and instantly, the mechanic said that this is no good. He immediately called up SRAM (owns Truvativ) and they said that this problem is covered under warranty. Instead of replacing it with the exact same one as before, SRAM said that they will replace it with the SRAM Force crankset. Not a bad free upgrade. I get the bike back in a week (they are doing some other work with the bike also, so I am interested to see how it all works out.

    Thanks for all the input everyone on here.
    Glad it worked out, had me worried that thing would come apart on you while riding...not good.
    suum quique
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  25. #25
    Ooohh, shiny things! kyle16's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    Glad it worked out, had me worried that thing would come apart on you while riding...not good.
    The mechanic had the same worry, so he wanted to hold onto the bike until it was fixed. Initially, he said it would probably be a couple weeks, but as I said, he got on the helm with SRAM and they are rushing it through.

    I am not convinced that it would have completely come apart on me because there is a lip on the outside of the spindle that would have held it on. It could have gotten bad enough that there would have been enough play in the crank that it would keep throwing off the chain.

    In the end, I went on the side of caution. Getting a free full tune up, a new rear casette (12-27 from a 12-25) and a new chain while it is in the shop. Too bad the chain and casette were not free

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