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Old 08-24-13, 11:48 AM   #1
mr,grumpy 
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Creaking Aluminum Bike

This is the first year that I have fielded an aluminum MTB, a second hand Gary Fisher Advance. It, for lack of a better word, creaks. The seat post area and the head set area are whee the ominous sounds seem to be coming from. I'm a Big Fella, 230 or so. Is this normal? Is this safe? I jumped it yesterday (my first MTB jump in I-don't-know-how-long) and it didn't snap or any thing. My old, old, old steel framed MTB didn't make these noises and my alu framed Tricross doesn't make them (on the road/dirt roads) but I know where they have been their whole lives, the Fisher: not so much.
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Old 08-25-13, 01:20 PM   #2
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Try a few drops of chain lube on the saddle rails and make sure the clamp bolt is tight, also grease the seat tube internally before reinstalling the post. Make sure the headset cups are tight in the head tube and the bearings are greased and properly adjusted. Tighten the handlebar and stem clamps as well.
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Old 08-25-13, 01:28 PM   #3
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+1 on tightening everything. I'm pretty much where you are, at 225. Just recently had to hunt down some creaks on my recently purchased aluminum road bike. Turned out to be that the saddle clamp bolt and the bottom bracket had come a tad loose since I first set up the bike, and began creaking as a result.
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Old 08-25-13, 05:37 PM   #4
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Check the Fetzer valve.
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Old 08-25-13, 05:41 PM   #5
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Okay, really though...

As already said: seat/post/rails, stem/bar interfaces are notorious for creaking. A bit of grease ought to take care of things.

Check the rest as well though - BB, crank interface, pedal to crank, make sure the QR skewers are tight. Even check/grease your chainring bolts - they can make one unholy racket that is hard to diagnose.

Alu frames can resonate oddly - something you'd swear is coming from the headset area can be from the loose rear QR, seatpost, chainring bolt, etc.
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Old 08-25-13, 05:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrublover View Post
Check the Fetzer valve.
I thought it was the Knutson valve
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Old 08-25-13, 05:59 PM   #7
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I thought it was the Knutson valve
No, proper term is the Stanafran.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:30 PM   #8
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Wait. You guys want me to grease the seat rails? Are you kidding me?
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"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
Rides:
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


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Old 08-25-13, 09:54 PM   #9
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So... I was "this close" from actually doing it but I discovered the darnedest thing instead: It wasn't that something was too loose, it was that something was too tight! The seat-post clamp was too tight. I backed off half a turn and no more squeak. I'm glad that I didn't damage the post!
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"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
Rides:
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


My little bike blog.
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Old 08-26-13, 09:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy View Post
Wait. You guys want me to grease the seat rails? Are you kidding me?
Nope - I have found that to be a source of creaking on more than once.

Sounds as if you've got it taken care of though!
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