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  1. #1
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Noisy botton bracket or crank??

    I know that at my current weight ( 210 ) I out a lot of strain on my bike but I just feel like this is wrong.
    Most of the time I make sure the majority of my weight is on my seat however there are times when I am climbing that I will stand up and them most of my weight is on the pedals.
    I was out riding the other day and I noticed that every time I get to the bottom of a stroke I would hear a popping noise. Today I flipped my bike over and inspected it ( since it is not going away) and I saw that there is a ring that holds in the bottom bracket ( I assume). With the frame held steadily in place I can move the entire crank assembly up and down just a little and I can see that ring moving with it. Is this a common issue for heavier people on bikes? What are some solutions?
    I really enjoy riding but the last few times out I have had to use head phones to drown out the noise the bike is making.

  2. #2
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    What model crank and bottom bracket? Can you post a pic?

  3. #3
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Appears to be a tapered crank setup.
    Unsure if you have cartridge bearning setup of loose bearing (old school)
    That ring appears to be the lock ring. Behind which there is the adjustable cup.
    I'd definitely have a qualified LBS look at it.
    Why? Because if the lock ring is moving it means the adjustable cup is moving and if that is moving you may have stripped threads in the BB. It may also mean that the entire assembly is really loose (at which point you'll probably be looking at a new spindle,cups and bearings) and has backed out to the point where only a few threads are holding the cup in.

  5. #5
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    This bike is roughly a month and a half old and I purchased it new from my LBS so I am sure service will not be an issue.
    I have been seriously thinking about changing out the BB and cranks to something of a better build quality but I have one concern. Does the BB attach to the bike frame? I guess my main concern is that there would be a chance that the frame would be stripped. Are there threads on the frame or are bottom brackest more or less self contained units?
    Also is it unsafe to ride with this in the condition it is in? The LBS is closed today and it is very nice out

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I would take it to the bike shop. If it is that outer-ring that moves, then it could be the threads. Bad business, that. If it is the inner-ring, then at a minimum you need new bearings, but probably an entirely new bottom bracket.

    Either way, the warranty from the bike shop should cover this. You are not too heavy for that bottom bracket. I'm much heavier than you, and only had to replace a similar BB after about 6500+ miles or so. Lots of big guys only get 3500 or so, but it should last you A LOT longer than this.

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  7. #7
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    So here is an update and a new question.
    I took my bike up to the LBS today and they were extremely helpful as always. The person working up there immediately noticed the issue and told me they were going to replace the entire BB free of charge. They also told me they were going to put a little bit better one in there for me.
    Now I am sure they will not go top of the line on this but its free so they can do what ever they want and I will be pleased.
    However this is a part that I do not have much confidence in. How do I know what size BB I would need to buy if I were to upgrade it if it goes out again. I am not doubting the bike stores ability to fix this issue but I have done a lot of searching and I have found tons of cases where people both heavy and small have had this same issue. Due to that fact I would like to buy a good bottom bracket to have in case this one fails. Mainly so I do not have to miss another week of 78 degree sunny weather that I could have been riding.

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    How do I know what size BB I would need to buy if I were to upgrade it if it goes out again.

    Ask the shop what the spindle length is. That's a triple, so I'm guessing it's a 113mm BB spindle, but that's only a guess.
    If you need to replace it again, go with a Shimano UN-54. They're about $25. I beat the snot out of my bike and I still get 2 years of life (about 9000 miles) from those.
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  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    How do I know what size BB I would need to buy if I were to upgrade it if it goes out again.

    Ask the shop what the spindle length is. That's a triple, so I'm guessing it's a 113mm BB spindle, but that's only a guess.
    If you need to replace it again, go with a Shimano UN-54. They're about $25. I beat the snot out of my bike and I still get 2 years of life (about 9000 miles) from those.
    Or remove the crank arms and measure the width with a caliper.

    From your pictures, Ga. boy, I can see that the problem wasn't with the nondrive side of the crank. There's a gap between the bottom bracket and the frame on the drive side. This was a build error becasue the bottom bracket wasn't fully seated and tighten when installed. However it may not have been the bike shop's fault. Most frames come with those parts...crank and bottom bracket...already installed. It was a mistake that someone at the factory made and just wasn't caught by the shop. They treated you well in this so give them some credit.

    I'm certain the bottom bracket won't give you any trouble for years to come. You'll probably wear out the rest of the bike before you have to worry about it again
    Last edited by cyccommute; 08-26-09 at 12:25 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ga. boy View Post
    However this is a part that I do not have much confidence in. How do I know what size BB I would need to buy if I were to upgrade it if it goes out again. I am not doubting the bike stores ability to fix this issue but I have done a lot of searching and I have found tons of cases where people both heavy and small have had this same issue. Due to that fact I would like to buy a good bottom bracket to have in case this one fails. Mainly so I do not have to miss another week of 78 degree sunny weather that I could have been riding.
    Sorry, but you ARE doubting the LBS' ability to fix the issue; you're also showing the noob point of view that whatever goes wrong with a bike will be the first thing to fail after repair. This is just not a rule to live by, dude. I deal with this weekly, and it takes longer to explain to the chuckleheads than it does to repair, so they get their refund/exchange, and I fix the bike for re-sale.

    It's an annoyance, based primarily on the idea that the 'expert' you're dealing with (me, for the chuckleheads; the shop wrench, for you) is more interested in slipshodding you and getting you on your way. I'm not accusing you of this, it's just what I run into, all too often.

  11. #11
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    How do I know what size BB I would need to buy if I were to upgrade it if it goes out again.

    Ask the shop what the spindle length is. That's a triple, so I'm guessing it's a 113mm BB spindle, but that's only a guess.
    If you need to replace it again, go with a Shimano UN-54. They're about $25. I beat the snot out of my bike and I still get 2 years of life (about 9000 miles) from those.
    Thanks. When they have my bike ready I will ask them the size for future reference.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Or remove the crank arms and measure the width with a caliper.

    From your pictures, Ga. boy, I can see that the problem wasn't with the nondrive side of the crank. There's a gap between the bottom bracket and the frame on the drive side. This was a build error becasue the bottom bracket wasn't fully seated and tighten when installed. However it may not have been the bike shop's fault. Most frames come with those parts...crank and bottom bracket...already installed. It was a mistake that someone at the factory made and just wasn't caught by the shop. They treated you well in this so give them some credit.

    I'm certain the bottom bracket won't give you any trouble for years to come. You'll probably wear out the rest of the bike before you have to worry about it again
    Thanks. Not really knowing what I am looking at I will have to take your word about the drive side being improperly installed. However when I think about it, since the first day I got the bike there was a noise. As I would begin my down stroke on the drive side the chain would hit against the front derailer ( regardless of the gear i was in) . Once I got back to the upstroke it would be back in the center of the derailer. That was probably a sign of it being loose from the get go right there but I did not realize it. As for me possibly blaming my LBS for it, I would never even consider it. This spot has great service and they really take the time to make sure everything is just right. Trek however I am sure has to meet demands that are quite high and may do a rush job on the lower end bikes.
    I am going to see how this one does but to be honest I have read so many post, blogs and ect about this same problem and how it returns that I will more than likely go ahead and get a better BB for when this one goes out, whether it is 500 miles or 10,000.

    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Sorry, but you ARE doubting the LBS' ability to fix the issue; you're also showing the noob point of view that whatever goes wrong with a bike will be the first thing to fail after repair. This is just not a rule to live by, dude. I deal with this weekly, and it takes longer to explain to the chuckleheads than it does to repair, so they get their refund/exchange, and I fix the bike for re-sale.

    It's an annoyance, based primarily on the idea that the 'expert' you're dealing with (me, for the chuckleheads; the shop wrench, for you) is more interested in slipshodding you and getting you on your way. I'm not accusing you of this, it's just what I run into, all too often.

    I am not doubting my LBS. I know that they are more than capable of repairing anything that happens to my bike.
    Also I do not think it is showing a " noob POV ". I think that Trek put a cheap BB in this series of bike to keep the cost down. You know just like they down graded all the other components. I am not thinking that this part is going to go out just because it was the first thing to go wrong either. I think history has a way of repeating itself and and this model bike has a history of this problem. What is wrong with wanting a better bottom bracket? Are you telling me that this is one of the best ones that they make? Was I a " chucklehead" to throw that crappy seat out and get a better one because it would have lasted forever? I knew when I bought this bike that I wanted to get a little better components on it and I am going to do just that. One day that BB will be replaced with a better one along with the derailers and the crank. I may even replace the wheels and rear cassette too. I never went into the LBS asking for anything free or complaining about the bike. I even asked how much it would cost to upgrade this part while they were working on it. They are the ones that did not want to upgrade me and make some money off the deal.
    Personally I was glad that everything was covered by warranty. They are not all they are cracked up to be now days. I went in there thinking that it would be 50-75 bucks for the repair.
    Last edited by Ga. boy; 08-26-09 at 07:34 PM.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ga. boy View Post
    Thanks. Not really knowing what I am looking at I will have to take your word about the drive side being improperly installed. However when I think about it, since the first day I got the bike there was a noise. As I would begin my down stroke on the drive side the chain would hit against the front derailer ( regardless of the gear i was in) . Once I got back to the upstroke it would be back in the center of the derailer. That was probably a sign of it being loose from the get go right there but I did not realize it. As for me possibly blaming my LBS for it, I would never even consider it. This spot has great service and they really take the time to make sure everything is just right. Trek however I am sure has to meet demands that are quite high and may do a rush job on the lower end bikes.
    I am going to see how this one does but to be honest I have read so many post, blogs and ect about this same problem and how it returns that I will more than likely go ahead and get a better BB for when this one goes out, whether it is 500 miles or 10,000.
    I don't have access to photoshop or I'd draw a line on your second picture to show you...so I'll have to do with 1000 words Here's the picture



    Just above the upper cable guide and below the inner chainwheel, you can see a ring of metal. This is your bottom bracket. There shouldn't be a gap between the metal ring and the frame. Since there is, this would allow your bottom bracket to rock in the shell. In this kind of Shimano bottom bracket, the drive side part of the bb does most of the heavy lifting. The non-drive side just holds the bb in place. With that kind of gap, it's no wonder that your bb rocked back and forth or up and down or both.
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  13. #13
    Did U Trek 2day? Ga. boy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the walk through about the impropper install. That really makes me feel better about the new one.
    That would certianly explain the movement I was feeling as well.

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