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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 04-25-11, 02:48 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Bottom Bracket Creaking

My wife's 2008 Specialized Allez creaks every time her right pedal hits about the 2:00 position. I'm pretty sure the creak is from the bottom bracket, because I can get the noise by holding a crank, and pushing it away from and then towards the bike. I don't have to push very hard. Since I can make it happen with either crank, I've concluded that the problem is in the bottom bracket.

Any quick fixes or do I need to remove the BB? She has a 60 mile organized ride this weekend, so I'm not sure I want to work with it before that. Is it likely to cause any other problems?

Does this bike come with a sealed bottom bracket cartridge?

Thanks!

- Al
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Old 04-25-11, 05:41 PM   #2
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Quick fixes? Depends on how quick you are

Assuming you've isolated the creak to the BB, it's possible that some dirt got into the threads or that they are a bit dry. The fix in this case would be to remove cranks & BB, clean/grease threads and reinstall. Maybe 30 minutes if you know what you're doing, much longer if not.

If the BB feels solid otherwise and doesn't behave as though on its last leg, this could wait until you have some time.

IIRC, this is a bike you purchased secondhand. If the bike has some real miles on it, you might just install a new BB cartridge. Only $20, and you've already got it torn down.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:22 PM   #3
Mr IGH
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First thing to do is tighten the crap out of the cranks, chainring bolts and make sure the pedals aren't loose (don't tighten the crap out of the pedals, just make sure they're tight), that will eliminate most creaks and it's really easy to do first.
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Old 04-25-11, 06:43 PM   #4
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I sprayed wd-40 around the bottom bracket, not really expecting it to do anything. The push shove test still yielded creaking noises, but the creaks were not there when we rode this afternoon.

I think I'll have a cartridge installed at first opportunity.

Thanks.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:48 PM   #5
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I would first spray Duralube around the threads and hope it soaks in. The sure and best way is to remove the cranks and bottom bracket and put some lithium grease on it, a synthetic bearing grease, or Never Seize and then tighten with a torque wrench.
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Old 04-27-11, 12:31 PM   #6
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I fixed up an old 90's era Cannondale a few weeks ago, the cranks had an terrible creak, I was able to tighten the drive side crank bolt ~1/4 turn and the non-drive side ~3/4 turn, all creaking stopped...Before I tighten up everything the owner was convinced he needed some kind of an overhaul/replacement.
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Old 04-27-11, 07:50 PM   #7
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WD-40 is not a lubricant, and can strip real lubricant away. Spraying it on bearings/threads is a bad idea.

My BB squeak was fixed by pulling it to clean and re-grease the threads.
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Old 04-28-11, 03:56 PM   #8
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The best thing to do is pull the crank and BB, clean the threads on the bike and BB, grease said threads on bike and teflon tape the BB threads, then reinstall. This takes care of 90% of BB issues we have at the shop I currently work at. It's a job, provided you have the proper tools, that should take no more than 30 min.
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Old 04-28-11, 11:50 PM   #9
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Wouldn't hurt to inspect the head set aswell
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Old 12-17-11, 03:25 AM   #10
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Sorry to bump and old thread, however I have a 2011 Cannondale Cadd8 that developed a bullfrog like creaking noise after about 500kms that I was certain was emitting from the bottom bracket. After servicing the bike and applying grease to every known thread and bearing + the skewers and the spoke contact points the creak still persisted. With the bike upside down i noticed a very small piece of sponge that was trapped between the frame and the plastic cable guide that is attached to the underside of the bottom bracket which must have been there since I last sponged it down. The creaking stopped as soon as I removed the small piece of sponge and I sprayed some lubricant behind the plastic guide for good measure. Thought it was worth mentioning as this would no doubt be a common place for dirt and grit from the road to be collected.
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