The bottom bracket on my commuting bike has started to creak with every revolution of the pedals; this after riding in heavy rain for the past few days. The b/b is a standard English thread 68/113mm Shimano UN26 with plastic nds cup.
Is it normal for the b/b to creak after riding in rain for the past week? Please keep in mind that before the rainy commutes, the b/b was totally silent and had been replaced and torqued to factory specs (7nm if I'm not mistaken).
#1 grab your crank arms and rock them back and forth, tword and away from the center of the bike; if there is any movement of the spindle in the crank, the BB is toast. If not try this test: put you front wheel against a wall with the crank arms parallel to the ground and push down on the forward pointing crank to see if you can reproduce the creak. If so, it may need another BB or nothing more than to be removed, cleaned up and re-installed; this time use Teflon tape. Bottom bracket threads can wick in water which takes crud with it, causing a creak.
@Onespeedbiker, just checked the play in the cranks... doesn't seem to be any at all, but I can't check using the wall method because the bike's currently in the house. I'll take it to the LBS tomorrow and let him disassemble and clean the B/B and housing.
@Fietsbob, you are absolutely right; it's just that this started out the moment the bike dried up from heavy rains, so I'm figuring that crud/water might be the culprit, especially since the B/B hasn't done more than 500 miles since I last changed it.
I do have a spare new UN54 B/B, but will try and hold on to it, unless the existing UN26 really needs changing since the UN54 isn't readily available here in Greece.
Just cake your cake and be done with it!*
*Old American saying, "You can't have your cake and eat it too".
Just did! lol
Followup: Just came back from my LBS and all that was needed for the B/B was tightening (the B/B took a full 1/4 turn, and it's probably because of the chain-guard's bracket which is held in place by it). I told the mechanic to take the B/B out, clean everything (B/B, crank, chain, cassette) and also to take the rear hub apart and clean/lube it. Seems that the rear hub, even though was less than 3 months old, was in dire need of cleaning and lubrication.
The was a noticeable difference in the way the bike rolled (less resistance), and the drive-train was quiet and felt sharper than before; or it at least seems like it.