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Old 09-17-12, 03:24 AM   #1
ricardoespsanto
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squeaky sound

Hey guys,

I'm a java developer not a bike mechanic but being also a daily commuter I need to improve and start tackling by bike fixing skills so, with this in mind I ask:
How would I start debugging a squeaky on my bicycle?
Is there a very common place for things to start squeaking? or shall I just use a more compsci approach and remove almost everything until there's not squeaky sound and start putting it all back one by one until I find the responsible part and replace it?

What's your proposed mo?

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-17-12, 07:15 AM   #2
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Initially you do the same thing as you do when debugging a program. You first have to understand how each component functions, then how they interact with each other and with the external environment (including the user). If an error occurs you determine when and how it happens and, using that information, focus on the most likely causes.

THEN in the case of a bicycle you eliminate the remaining possibilities one by one, either by substitution or by adjustment, tightening or lubrication. Hopefully as a dailiy commuter you have some awareness of how things work, but for some assistance try Sheldon's page: http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!

Last edited by cny-bikeman; 09-17-12 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 09-17-12, 10:55 AM   #3
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Bike shop workers are low wage , in comparison to IT .. you can get them to fix it

while you do what you do.
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Old 09-17-12, 11:05 AM   #4
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The OP specified that he wants to learn, but you make a good point when it comes to a sqeak, which can be hard to diagnose. But a large number of the current class of bike shop workers are a product of an educational system where logic and reasoning do not seem to be well emphasized, so they may be poorer at finding the cause than the OP is with some guidance.

To the OP. If you do take it in the shop needs the same info you do in order to quickly find and fix the problem.

When did the problem start? Did you make any equipment changes at that time?

Can you reproduce it at will or is it random?


Under what conditions (gear, pedal pressure, braking, etc) does it occur, and what is the frequency (once per pedal revolution, once per wheel revolution, every 2 pedal strokes, etc.)
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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Old 09-18-12, 08:41 AM   #5
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if it's a sqeak and not a creak I'd say look at the chain and lube it. if it's a creak, check the racks, saddle, pedals and bottom bracket
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Old 09-18-12, 09:23 AM   #6
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You can help isolate the sound by stressing different parts individually while standing over/next to it.
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Old 09-20-12, 09:16 AM   #7
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thanks guys I appreciate the help!

I think i'm going to start with lubbing the whole thing =) It needs it anyway but it's interesting to hear what your approaches would be like.

One thing is clear > only happens in dry weather so might have something to do with that.

Thanks =)
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Old 09-20-12, 10:41 AM   #8
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Ride small, slow circles around a friend in a parking lot and see if he/she can pinpoint where the squeaks are coming from. Also note if the squeaking is occuring in the same rhythm as you pedaling, that usually narrows down the areas where it could be coming from.
Like some had already mentioned, it can come from many places.
I suggest that you also buy a good book on bicycle maintenance. Make sure you get the book that will most relate to the type and age of your bike as technology had changed considerably on them in just the last 20 years. It will make for a good reading companion while you understand the mechanics of your bike and other bikes you might be considering in the future.

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Old 09-21-12, 06:23 AM   #9
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Can you suggest any cool books on bike maintenance? the Bike is just a very cheap regular MTB bought in second hand 30€ I also have another one of those but with really cool parts that I have started to assemble on my own...
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Old 09-21-12, 06:47 AM   #10
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I'm tipping chain and/or jockey wheels. If they've been running without lube for long, they'll need replacing.
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Old 09-21-12, 11:51 PM   #11
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You should get the book "BIG BLUE BOOK OF BICYCLE REPAIAR. A DO IT YOURSELF BICYCLE REPAIR GUIDE FROM PARK TOOL, 2nd edition". In this book is a maintenance schedule for 100, 500, 1000 and 3000 miles. I would start by doing the secheduled maintence and cleaning the bicycle. This is what I did and now my 16 year old bicycle is quite and rides like new. First thing I had to do was clean and lube the bicycle, chain, seat post, handlebar stem. The chain and rear cog were the first parts that needed to be replaced. I use park grease and chain lube I got from my LBS. Buy the pro spoke wrenches, they are better than the all in one spoke tool. I use the Park Tool chain checker go/ no go tool to check my chain. If your bicycle has one of those adjustable stems I would replace it with a regular stem. The book has a list of tools you need and I also checked you tube for how to videos.
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Old 09-22-12, 02:54 AM   #12
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Forgot this link earlier. If you go through it and the lubrication and don't find the cause then you're down to taking it to an experienced mechanic or parts substitution.

http://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html
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There's no such thing as a routine repair.

Don't tell me what "should" be - either it is, it isn't, or do something about it.

If you think I'm being blunt take it as a compliment - if I thought you were too weak to handle the truth or a strong opinion I would not bother.

Please take the time to post clearly so we can answer quickly. All lowercase and multiple typos makes for a hard read. Thanks!
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