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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-13-07, 11:43 AM   #1
Novakane 
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Don't Ignore Unexpected Rattle Noises

Well, this morning marks the second time that I heard a metallic rattle coming from behind and below while riding in. First time, it was the ridiculous mounting hardware supplied with my cheap rack - the nuts rattled loose within 30 minutes. I replaced them with longer bolts and double-nuts with lock-washers in between.

Today I heard another strange rattle (again about 30 minutes in) and stopped to check it out - the bolt that holds the top-rear hook onto my right (chain-side) pannier had vibrated itself loose! Had I not stopped when I did, the bit of nylon webbing that it was dangling from would have dropped the hook and bolt somewhere along the MUP and my pannier would be swinging around off of just one. This would open the possibility for the bag to swing into my spokes, or derailleur!

The moral of the story is - if you hear something that sounds loose on your bike that wasn't when you started out - always take a moment to stop and try to figure it out before you loose parts and get hurt.

Last edited by Novakane; 07-13-07 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:50 AM   #2
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Yeppers.

My main pet peeve involves random noises on my bike. Some have literally taken me several months to find.
I found early on that some noises correlate to a particular part falling off. D'oh!
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Old 07-13-07, 12:08 PM   #3
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I bought my rack when I first bought my bike. Since then, I've had to move one of the brackets because it was interfering with the movement of my brake, but unscrewing the little screws was not pretty... they locktighted everything. It's there to stay
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Old 07-13-07, 12:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
Yeppers.

My main pet peeve involves random noises on my bike. Some have literally taken me several months to find.
I found early on that some noises correlate to a particular part falling off. D'oh!
Come to think of it, the last major random noise before today was because the lock-ring for my bottom bracket was coming loose, I dug out my special tool for that and tightened it ASAP since I figured losing that would be a bad thing.
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Old 07-13-07, 12:58 PM   #5
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I heard an occasional creak from the crank area last winter. Very occasional, pretty quiet.

Then one night, taking off from a stopsign, the right crank arm snapped in half
luckily the crank didn't spear me, didn't have a nasty fall, didn't get hit by traffic...

this was a forged Kooka Bonnie crank. older, well-loved, unabused....

yes pay attention to noises. Same as with any piece of machinery
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Old 07-13-07, 05:34 PM   #6
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One of my favorite (sarcasm here) noises to diagnose was the extra bit of cable attached to the front derailler had turned outward and the crank was hitting it every revolution. I thought I heard a <tick, tick>, but when I stopped pedaling, it was gone. When I resumed carnking, the noise returned, so I knew it had to be the crank/BB, what have you, but I was really reluctant to tear stuff apart to find it. Then, two days later, it dawned on me what it was! Twisted the cable end back a bit and the pesky noise vanished.

Maybe I'm just dumb
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Old 07-13-07, 05:50 PM   #7
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One lesson that I hope to learn before I accumulate too much scar tissue is that the sentences "That's a funny noise..." and "Stop the bike NOW!" are synonymous.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:45 AM   #8
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When your buddy isn't watching, remove his seatpost and drop some random metal bits down the seat tube.
Wait a couple of days, then remove them. Repeat until insane.
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Old 07-14-07, 05:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novakane
The moral of the story is - if you hear something that sounds loose on your bike that wasn't when you started out - always take a moment to stop and try to figure it out before you loose parts and get hurt.
Another moral - get a tube of blue threadlock.
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Old 07-15-07, 07:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwainedibbly
When your buddy isn't watching, remove his seatpost and drop some random metal bits down the seat tube.
Wait a couple of days, then remove them. Repeat until insane.
Nah. A couple BBs in his handle bars!
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Old 07-15-07, 09:12 AM   #11
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I went nuts trying to locate the source of a high pitched rattle on my recent new bike. I've had loose spokes before, and this sounded like that - chatter at all speeds and more pronounced on rough road surfaces. It wasn't a spoke, and I went over just about every nut and screw on the bike looking for it. While I did find a few loose screws on the rear fender that needed tightening, it was still a head-scratcher.

Finally found it: the long exposed cables for rear brake and derailleur under the bottom tube of my recumbent are covered in thin floating plastic tubes between the cable housing anchors at either end. A dab of grease at each end eliminated the rattle.
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Old 07-15-07, 09:26 AM   #12
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Put an extra spoke nipple under the rim tape of a double walled rim. THAT'LL drive them nuts, and when they discover that it's an extra nipple, that it doesn't belong anywhere, it'll be double crazy. Then, when you do it again... oh, that's where the magic happens.
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Old 07-15-07, 11:25 AM   #13
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I had a chainring bolt back out once and it was hitting the carbon fiber chainstay on every revolution. Took me a minute to find it but fortunately it didn't do any damage to the bike. I had my trusty multi-tool along so it was easy to tighten it back up and continue on.
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