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  1. #1
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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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.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  2. #2
    Senior Member powpow's Avatar
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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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alainp's Avatar
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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.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by powpow View Post
    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
    "Poor Reverend Hamilton! He worked so hard, got a mountain named after him and now all anyone wants to do is complain about his backside!" Overheard while climbing Mt. Hamilton

    Check out my cycling blog.

  5. #5
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    Mine turned out to be the skewer on the front wheel. Go figure?
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  6. #6
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member silentben's Avatar
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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

  8. #8
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentben View Post
    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).

  9. #9
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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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.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydaddy View Post
    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.
    Last edited by dl33; 08-03-09 at 04:41 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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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.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  12. #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.

  13. #13
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    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.

  14. #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

  15. #15
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    My recommendation is Dave Prion at The Bicycle Outfitter in Los Altos. Probably the best bike mechanic in the area.

    - SteveE
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

  16. #16
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    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.

  17. #17
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlastRadius View Post
    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.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  18. #18
    Type 1 Racer rydaddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    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.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Dourbali Star's Avatar
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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.

  20. #20
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dourbali Star View Post
    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.

  21. #21
    Senior Member 7rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    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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