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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 09-25-09, 10:53 AM   #1
Groundhog1248
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Creaky crank

New bike with less than 200 miles on it. Replaced existing SRAM Red crank with a new compact SRAM Red crank at about 100 miles. I cannot get it to stop creaking. I mean it creaks really bad to the point where I'm to embarassed to ride with anyone until I get it fixed. I pulled it off at least 4 times now and made sure all the right areas were greased properly. Can they be over tightended? I even put the old one back on and now that one creaks also. I've swapped out numerous cranks before but never had this problem. That was always shimano cranks. I read the Sheldon tips. I did pull off the bottom bracket and reinstalled. Any ideas? Thanks
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Old 09-25-09, 11:19 AM   #2
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The fact that you get creaks with both cranks would suggest that its not the cranks that are creaking. BB perhaps but any number of other things
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Old 09-25-09, 04:27 PM   #3
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dont grease your cranks, it could make them go on "to far" and crack.ive done that twice.my current cranks were creaking for a while, i took out the bolts, oiled them real well and tightened the crap out of em.road arond the block then tightened the again. after 3-4 times it was quit as a mouse.just make sure you use a little ratchet /wrench so you dont break the bolt

Last edited by filthpunx; 09-25-09 at 04:28 PM. Reason: wrong word
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Old 09-25-09, 06:54 PM   #4
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It's probably not the crank. And your bike is too new for wheel/hub problems. Check out a few other things on your bike:

1) Pedals - The little springy things that hold your shoe in can creak. Give those some Tri-Flow or lube of your choice. Adjust the tension up so that your shoe holds nice and tight and that you can snap out of them easily.
2) Seat post and seat. Make sure those are nice and tight.
3) Skewers - Those things can make a bunch of noise if they're loose. One way to diagnose is to stand up, stop pedalling and wiggle the bike back and forth. If you get the creak, it's either loose headset/stem, or the skewers loose on the wheels.
4) If you really think it's the crank/BB, have the LBS put it in. There's some complexity to those EXO BB's on the initial install (some kind of crush ring or something). If it really is the crank, chances are you didn't tighten the crank down enough.
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Old 09-26-09, 10:12 AM   #5
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I can get the cranks to make noise just by putting pressure on the crank arms and nothing else so I'm sure it's not the pedals, seat or skewers. When you say don't grease the cranks are you talking about the part with the grooves?
Thanks
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Old 09-26-09, 10:58 AM   #6
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Ok, so the old one creaks and the new one creaks. And putting pressure on the cranks (not pedals) makes it creak. So we're really down to Bottom Bracket or possibly the frame itself.

Check out the frame around the bottom bracket and the attached tubes and make sure there's no cracks or damage there, just to be safe.

With your hand, push and pull on the cranks to see if there's any horizontal play. There shouldn't be much. Turn the cranks by hand and get a feel for how well the bottom bracket is moving. If you can feel with your hands a hitch or significant "grinding" in the motion, your BB bearings have a problem.

Most folks grease the BB threads a bunch before installing them. I don't use grease on the bolt that holds the crank arms on.
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Old 09-26-09, 02:27 PM   #7
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I turned the bike upside down and put pressure on the cranks and no creaking sound. Now I'm thinking maybe the sound is coming from the back of the bike. I pull off the rear wheel and check the cassette to see if that's loose. NO problems there. I notice the rear derailleur hanger has 2 screws and is also part of where the wheel skewer gets tightened. While they weren't loose they definitely could be tightened. Problem solved. No more creaking. I feel dumb but at least it's fixed and I didn't screw up anything on the bike.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 09-26-09, 02:51 PM   #8
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Thanks. You have added to my list of things to check for my friends. I am the unofficial wrench for our group of old farts. I don't have bolt-on der. hangers on mine, but some of my friends do.
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Old 09-26-09, 02:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groundhog1248 View Post
I turned the bike upside down and put pressure on the cranks and no creaking sound. Now I'm thinking maybe the sound is coming from the back of the bike. I pull off the rear wheel and check the cassette to see if that's loose. NO problems there. I notice the rear derailleur hanger has 2 screws and is also part of where the wheel skewer gets tightened. While they weren't loose they definitely could be tightened. Problem solved. No more creaking. I feel dumb but at least it's fixed and I didn't screw up anything on the bike.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
Good on ya for finding the problem. I had similar loose hangar creak once and it took quite a bit of trial and error to find. Goes to show yet again that lots o things can cause creaks and often it takes working through the possibilities to find the problem.
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Old 09-26-09, 06:23 PM   #10
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Next time.

Have someone else on the bike and make it creak, leaning up against a wall with the brakes pulled... or on a wind/fluid traner ... now put your hand on every bolt that you suspect on the bike the one with the most noticable "pop" is the culprit.

Take the easy way out, and spray enrything down ( any metal on metal surface chain ring to crank, bolts etc. ) with some sort of penetrating oil.

.
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Old 09-26-09, 07:37 PM   #11
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my bike was creaking tonight, overhauled the bb and still creaked. Tightened the crank, nope. Tightened the pedal, that was it!
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Old 09-26-09, 07:46 PM   #12
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Yeah, with creaks that deal with the pedalling motion, I check stuff in the following order:

1) Wheel skewers
2) Pedals and Pedal springs
3) Seat Post/Seat
4) Cassette/Hub
5) Cranks/BB
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Old 09-26-09, 10:15 PM   #13
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try looking elsewhere

creaks are always tough. you've done the back and forth with the old and new crank so it's not the crank. pedals tight? if so now it's time to stop thinking what you think is the crank creaking is not. my ability to point noises is pretty keen if i have the bike but i have to feel the problem through the keyboard now. try this for me...dont' just say hogwash. take out your rear quick release and replace it with another of a different make
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Old 09-26-09, 11:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filthpunx View Post
dont grease your cranks, it could make them go on "to far" and crack.ive done that twice.my current cranks were creaking for a while, i took out the bolts, oiled them real well and tightened the crap out of em.road arond the block then tightened the again. after 3-4 times it was quit as a mouse.just make sure you use a little ratchet /wrench so you dont break the bolt
Wrong.

They can't go "on too far". These aren't square taper cranks. These are modern 2 piece external bottom bracket cranksets.
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Old 09-30-09, 06:20 PM   #15
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So about 8 miles into my ride last night and it was like someone threw a switch and the bike started the creaking. First 8 miles was great. I checked the derailleur hanger again. Took out the 2 screws and applied a light coat of grease to see if that helped at all. That didn't help at all. Could the wheel set make that kind of noise? I think I'm going to take it back to the bike shop and let them have a look at it.
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