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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 03-23-11, 02:51 PM   #1
bryceman
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Creaking Bottom Bracket

The bottom bracket on my '09 Madone 5.2 started creaking the other day. It is a press-fit bearing setup and the cups are 500 miles old from December. I had issues with bolt on BB's in the past and that was a sign that either it was starting to fail or that debris got in there. So, I pulled the cranks and cups and cleaned / regreased the setup and put back together. It is better .. though it will still creak on hard strokes.

- Would the bearings have failed that soon?
- Is there something else I should be checking?
- Would the BB shell potentially be the culprit here?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-23-11, 03:20 PM   #2
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My bike had a creak while pedaling, thought it was the bottom bracket, but turned out to be a loose bolt on the chainring. Go figure.
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Old 03-23-11, 06:39 PM   #3
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- cups
- pedals
- chainring bolts
- quick releases (front one in specific)
- Outboard cups need to be tighten or added more grease.
- misc.
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Old 03-23-11, 07:01 PM   #4
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Remove the pedals and put grease on the spindle threads - do not over-tight when installing. Also check your cleats. Headset may need adjustment. Lube seatpost clamp/saddle rails.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:36 AM   #5
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make sure its not your keys and cell phone banging together in your pocket (happened to me once)
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Old 03-24-11, 12:44 PM   #6
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saddles and seatposts can creak too
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Old 03-24-11, 01:38 PM   #7
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Strip the bike down. Degrease and regrease everything.
Baring that, check for play in your crank arms. Tighten as needed.
Take the crank arms off and turn the BB if it grinds its dead.
Check your pedals and cleats. Sometimes bearings go out.
Check the chain and finally check the headset.


My ISIS started creaking once. The DS bearings seized and water got into the SEALED system. Guess it wasn't to sealed.
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Old 03-24-11, 11:44 PM   #8
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Teflon tape. End of story.
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Old 03-25-11, 12:40 PM   #9
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I had similar problem with my MTB bike. I greased the BB, but the creaking continued. The culprit turned out to be the plastic/resin pedal stock pedals. You may need to overhaul or replace the pedals. As for me, I replaced the pedals with some decent alloy pedals, and the creaking went away.
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Old 04-01-11, 03:59 PM   #10
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Well here is the story .. pulled the crankset again and removed the cups. Cleaned it all our real good and checked things out. The drive side bearing has play in the carbon socket. So, the frame will need to get repaired. For now though, put extra grease into the socket and it seems to be working w/o any creaks for now.
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Old 04-01-11, 07:07 PM   #11
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The cogs on my centurion cavaleto squeaks, it sounds like two squirrels arguing.
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Old 04-01-11, 07:17 PM   #12
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After all apparently regular english/italian threading BB is the simplest to fix and to thrust eh?
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Old 05-09-12, 01:21 AM   #13
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Hello all,

I have a problem with my left crank arm on a Tiagra Crankset. I have this creaking coming from there. I know this is the source of the creaking cause I was able to stop it for awhile. I took the arm off and applied bearing grease on the bottom bracket shaft and reinstalled the crank arm. It stopped for awhile, but has resurfaced. I'm betting the grease worked it's way out of the area. Does anyone have any suggestions on a fix? I saw someone mentioned Teflon tape. Never tried that, but sounds possible?

Thanks for any and all replies to this problem and it's very well appreciated.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Hello all,

I have a problem with my left crank arm on a Tiagra Crankset. I have this creaking coming from there. I know this is the source of the creaking cause I was able to stop it for awhile. I took the arm off and applied bearing grease on the bottom bracket shaft and reinstalled the crank arm. It stopped for awhile, but has resurfaced. I'm betting the grease worked it's way out of the area. Does anyone have any suggestions on a fix? I saw someone mentioned Teflon tape. Never tried that, but sounds possible?
- Which model Tiagra crankset? Is it square taper or Octalink-2?
- How far have you ridden it with loose crankarm?
- Did you use new or the old crankarm bolt when re-installing?
- Also what torque did you tighten that bolt to?
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Old 05-09-12, 10:51 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
- Which model Tiagra crankset? Is it square taper or Octalink-2?
- How far have you ridden it with loose crankarm?
- Did you use new or the old crankarm bolt when re-installing?
- Also what torque did you tighten that bolt to?
Hello Danno,

It's a Shimano Tiagra, 2-piece crankset.
The bike is pretty much original and it's here,
I'm sorry I can't rattle off the make and the model on the crank
It's been ridden quite a bit with it creaking. If I had to put a mileage on it I would say, 4-5 hundred?
Everything was pretty new when I bought the bike. It was a used buy, but was in great shape. The creaking started well after I bought it. I didn't use a torque gauge on the two bolts holding the crank arm. They were just tightened well. I used the old crank bolts when putting it back together.
I can take pics if needed.
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Old 05-09-12, 01:51 PM   #16
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Some people apply teflon tape to the bottom bracket threads. That's for the BB-to-frame interface.

You describe your issue as isolated to the BB spindle-to-crank arm interface. A bit of grease is fine for this. Perhaps the grease you used wasn't sufficiently water resistant.

Equally important (if not more) is how you reinstall the crank arm. Confirm crank is aligned properly on spindle splines, tighten cap to 6-13 in-lbs (finger tight), push stopper plate firmly in place, and alternately tighten each pinch bolt until you reach 9-11 ft-lbs. The two pinch bolts work together to clamp the crank arm onto the spindle, so avoid temptation to overdo it.
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Old 05-09-12, 02:23 PM   #17
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This thread is very helpful. My own creaking BB (on a Cervelo not a Trek) was resolved by using Loctite on the cups.

See post #10 in particular
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Old 05-11-12, 10:55 AM   #18
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Thanks Pug, that was a really good read! That user should have made his own post instead of posting it to "The defiant popping noise", or maybe this is a popping noise?

Any ways I forgot to include that I took my bearing off the first time and lubed the threads. I ended up still having the creaking noise after this. I'll see about getting the TL-FC16 wheel and redoing the left crank.

Oh also I did use waterproof grease when putting the arm back on to the bottom bracket last time.
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