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Old 04-07-14, 08:11 AM   #1
DogBoy
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diagnose creaking sound while pedaling

I have a surly troll that creaks something fierce when pedaling. Here's what I've done so far, but I'm kind of at the end of my knowldge. Any advice helping me track this down is appreciated.

1. Pedal clipped in vs not clipped in. Noise wasn't as bad when not clipped in so I oiled the retention spring. Noise less bad, but still bad.
2. Try pedaling while standing (see if its the seatpost) - noise present both sitting and standing. I assume this means not seat/seatpost
3. Try holding stem rather than bars (see if at headset). This was inconclusive. I haven't been able to do this successfully for any period of time due to my environment.

I think the usual suspects are pedal retention springs and seatposts. I am looking at the bars and trying to tighten up the headset also, but they are snug with no play. What else should I do to try and locate the creaking noise? I cannot duplicate it on the bike stand.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:22 AM   #2
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Do the easiest thing first and try a different set of pedals, preferable platform type. Clean and grease the pedal threads and mating surfaces before installing the test pedals and again when reinstalling your old ones. If this fixes the problem you are done, otherwise move on to more complicated troubleshooting steps.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:31 AM   #3
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You could buy or borrow some cheap takeoff platform pedals at the LBS. Go for a ride and see if the creak is still there. This eliminates the pedals from the list. Use some grease on the threads, too.

It looks like you have screw-in bottom bracket cups. I used teflon tape on the threads to quiet them, but it was more of a clicking sound than a creak.

EDIT--ha, same idea!
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Old 04-07-14, 08:40 AM   #4
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Clean and grease the pedal threads and mating surfaces....
Does this help eliminate noise? I've greased pedal threads for a long time to prevent water damage, but not for noise prevention.
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Old 04-07-14, 09:46 AM   #5
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how old are you ????? it could just be your knees
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Old 04-07-14, 10:25 AM   #6
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how old are you ????? it could just be your knees
You say that in jest, but it happened to me. I spent several hours trying to track down a squeak on my bike before I realized that it was my knee brace that needed lubed.
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Old 04-07-14, 10:41 AM   #7
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maybe it's just me, but i usually blame the BB/crank for squeaks (assuming drivetrain is properly lubricated), once i've eliminated the seatpost/saddle. handlebars/stem can usually be eliminated by a static test IME.
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Old 04-07-14, 01:05 PM   #8
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Chainring Bolts?

No mention of chainrings...

Have you removed, greased (the threads) and tightened the chainring bolts? Is the creak specific to any particular crank orientation (that might point to one specific bolt)?
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Old 04-07-14, 01:48 PM   #9
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After a long process of elimination, I once diagnosed a squeak as coming from my SPD cleat in the pedal. I tried lubing the cleat itself, and the noise stopped. After two or three lubes, I never had to do it again, probably because wear cured the problem.
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Old 04-07-14, 02:29 PM   #10
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Had a friend who had a creak that, after checking everything else, turned out to be the front QR was not tight enough.
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Old 04-07-14, 06:16 PM   #11
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okay, I think I've found it. I was thrown since it still made the noise when standing, but I still was flexing the saddle a bit. The front of my Brooks flyer saddle was the culprit. Lubed the screws/springs and it is now quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 04-08-14, 11:30 AM   #12
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I had this once as well. Used a park tool pedal wrench and hex wrench and removed, cleaned, re-greased the pedals on both sides. Problem gone. A lot of grit gets in those threads and can make for a some noisy pedaling.
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Old 04-09-14, 12:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
okay, I think I've found it. I was thrown since it still made the noise when standing, but I still was flexing the saddle a bit. The front of my Brooks flyer saddle was the culprit. Lubed the screws/springs and it is now quiet. Thanks for the suggestions!
I have a Brooks B17 (no springs) that will start squeaking when it's time to tighten the tensioning bolt a bit. The first time it happened it took me a while to figure it out too.
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