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Old 08-03-09, 11:10 AM   #1
mtnwalker
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Recommend me a bike mechanic...

PLEASE!

I've been having some really annoying clicking/grinding/creaking sounds on the BB of both of my main bikes. I've taken both to the LBS's that I've bought them from and they've rebuilt the BB's twice. Still the sound is there. So, anyone know any local mechanics around? I'm looking anywhere between San Jose and Palo Alto.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:09 PM   #2
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A lot of BB clicking/creaking sounds turn out to be something else. A couple of months ago, I thought I had a BB creak, and it turned out to be a rear hub problem.

On an older bike, a BB creak turned out to be a hairline crack in the aluminum frame underneath the BB.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:36 PM   #3
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^ +1
I had an annoying click that I thought was coming from the BB/Chainring area. Tore down and rebuilt it all and still heard it. Then I read about not tightening the rear skewer enough and gave that a go... problem solved. Hope you find the source of your annoyance.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:29 PM   #4
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A lot of BB clicking/creaking sounds turn out to be something else. A couple of months ago, I thought I had a BB creak, and it turned out to be a rear hub problem.

On an older bike, a BB creak turned out to be a hairline crack in the aluminum frame underneath the BB.
+2 - I had to replace a BB about 2 months ago, then just before the Death Ride I got a very similar sound - turned out to be the skewer for the rear wheel. It took hours to figure out, but the skewer from the rear wheel on my other bike solved it.

As for mechanics, I've been using Chris Robinson at Robinson Wheel Works in San Leandro, and he's been doing a great job for me on stuff I can't handle myself (which is pretty much anything more complicated than putting on a new chain). I know he's not local to you, but worth checking out if you don't find a good mechanic closer to you.

JB
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Old 08-03-09, 02:38 PM   #5
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Mine turned out to be the skewer on the front wheel. Go figure?
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Old 08-03-09, 02:40 PM   #6
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Could be a hundred different things. As mentioned already, it's usually not the BB... even though it sounds like it!

Sheldon Brown has a great guide for finding noises. I have found that it's easiest to eliminate the possible sources. It could be the stem/handlebar, stem/spacers, seatpost, pedals, wheels, chainring bolts, your crank arms hitting end of the cable, yada yada yada. It's not easy for a mechanic to located the noise if they don't spend a decent amount of time riding the bike. It's best to make yourself aware of all the possibilities and figure it out on your own. I know it can be frustrating... I've been there.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:35 PM   #7
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I don't have a mechanic recommendation, just another hard to identify noise that I experienced. Mine was a creaking noise that only happened when climbing out of the saddle on particularly steep hills. I thought it was BB related and had a shop look at it but they found nothing. I checked skewers, stem and spacers, chain ring bolts, pedals, and all the usual suspects but nothing fixed it.

Eventually I tracked it down to the front shifter cable housing which was rubbing against the head tube. I've never heard a mention of this anywhere else although I can't believe I'm the only one who's suffered through diagnosing it. My quick and dirty fix was to wrap a small piece of an old tube around the cable housing using a rubber band to hold it on. I'm sure the OCP types could find a more elegant fix
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Old 08-03-09, 03:40 PM   #8
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Eventually I tracked it down to the front shifter cable housing which was rubbing against the head tube. I've never heard a mention of this anywhere else although I can't believe I'm the only one who's suffered through diagnosing it. My quick and dirty fix was to wrap a small piece of an old tube around the cable housing using a rubber band to hold it on. I'm sure the OCP types could find a more elegant fix
Yeah, I forgot about this one. My friend thought his headset was toast due to a noise while steering. I checked the cables at the stops. That was the problem. A dab of lube can make it quiet again, or you can try the plastic cable ends (which come with Dura Ace cables).
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Old 08-03-09, 03:44 PM   #9
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Someone should make a list.

I spent 3 weeks listening very intently, trying to figure out where this creak/snap noise was coming from during descents, or rough roads.

One day, while cleaning the bike I noticed there was some abrasion where the cable housing was touching the head tube. I plucked the cable and heard THAT NOISE! It was just the housing slapping the tube when given enough shock to the frame. 1 little vinyl sticker later, it's gone.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:48 PM   #10
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Yeah, I forgot about this one. My friend thought his headset was toast due to a noise while steering. I checked the cables at the stops. That was the problem. A dab of lube can make it quiet again, or you can try the plastic cable ends (which come with Dura Ace cables).

you guys are not the only ones. Similar thing, with the brake cable end creaking in the holder on the top tube. A little grease solved this for me until sweat corroded it again. So I had to clean this between every few rides.

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Old 08-03-09, 03:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the responses and possible solutions.

So far I have tried tightening the skewer, checked for cracks or metal fatigue, rebuilt the front hub myself, rebuilt the head tube, changed out pedals, and lubed the speedplay cleats.

I still have to check for the cables rubbing the tubes. Keep em coming.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:08 PM   #12
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One time it actually was the BB.
Another time it turned out to be the seat tube, which needed a little greasing.
Another time it was the saddle rubbing against the saddle rail. Fixed with a little oil.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:22 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses and possible solutions.

So far I have tried tightening the skewer, checked for cracks or metal fatigue, rebuilt the front hub myself, rebuilt the head tube, changed out pedals, and lubed the speedplay cleats.

I still have to check for the cables rubbing the tubes. Keep em coming.
I assume you checked the screws on the speedplay cleats while you were there? That got me once too, all 4 screws were like 1-3 turns loose.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:23 PM   #14
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Mtnwalker,

You might try Calmar Cycles in Santa Clara. They've done some work on a couple of my bikes recently, and I've been very pleased with the results.

Good luck!

- Melissa
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Old 08-03-09, 08:53 PM   #15
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My recommendation is Dave Prion at The Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos. Probably the best bike mechanic in the area.

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Old 08-04-09, 10:21 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the responses and possible solutions.

So far I have tried tightening the skewer, checked for cracks or metal fatigue, rebuilt the front hub myself, rebuilt the head tube, changed out pedals, and lubed the speedplay cleats.

I still have to check for the cables rubbing the tubes. Keep em coming.
When does the clicking/creaking happen? Every revolution? When climbing?
I had a clicking in the stem spacers that I could have sworn was coming from the BB/Rear Wheel area.
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Old 08-04-09, 12:50 PM   #17
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When does the clicking/creaking happen? Every revolution? When climbing?
I had a clicking in the stem spacers that I could have sworn was coming from the BB/Rear Wheel area.
I've thought about the stem spacers. Lubed those up real good and still clicking. The click only happens when I'm standing on the pedals and at the very bottom of every stroke on both sides. Before the LBS worked on it the clicking happens when I'm standing on the pedals and its maybe 3/4 of the revolution from the bottom. So it sounds like it moved down from where it was before.
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Old 08-04-09, 02:17 PM   #18
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I've thought about the stem spacers. Lubed those up real good and still clicking. The click only happens when I'm standing on the pedals and at the very bottom of every stroke on both sides. Before the LBS worked on it the clicking happens when I'm standing on the pedals and its maybe 3/4 of the revolution from the bottom. So it sounds like it moved down from where it was before.

I had the same symptoms and it turned out the stem clamp was not tight on the handlebars. If you can duplicated the noise while riding hands free (hard to do while standing), then I guess you can eliminate this possibility.
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Old 08-04-09, 03:05 PM   #19
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Another one I had that I don't think has been mentioned yet:
Broken freewheel. This was on an older bike with a freewheel cassette, as opposed to a free hub, though. Not sure if this applies to your bike.
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Old 08-05-09, 08:22 AM   #20
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Another one I had that I don't think has been mentioned yet:
Broken freewheel. This was on an older bike with a freewheel cassette, as opposed to a free hub, though. Not sure if this applies to your bike.
Good one. I once had a clicking due to a cassette lockring that wasn't tight enough.
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Old 08-06-09, 04:51 PM   #21
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So far I have tried tightening the skewer
Try applying a little grease on the fork tabs where the skewer clamps down.
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