Just a funny tandem based story I thought I would post. For the last few weeks we have been getting a lot of creaking on our Calfee, especially when climbing or just generally going hard. From my position (captain) it sounded like it was coming from straight beneath me, so I assumed it was something in the captain's bottom bracket area. Add to this that I had installed a new captain's BB in the eccentric just a couple months earlier, and this is a pre-2009 Calfee which is known to have a creaking eccentric issue, and I figured I knew what the problem was.
As a result, I took the BB area apart, cleaned and tried different grease for the eccentric, readjusted the BB cup tightness, removed and replaced the chainring bolts with new locktite, etc. Went for a ride, and same problem. So I did it again, and then when it still didn't work, tried it one more time (the Calfee eccentric is really hard to get properly adjusted with our square taper BB due to the cup/bearing arrangement, so I figured I just wasn't getting everything quite square. In the meantime I also checked my pedals, cleats, water bottle bosses, captains seat, seat post, stoker bar and stem and anything else that might be right there.
Went out for a ride yesterday and heard the same old tick-tick on every climb, so I decided I was definitely going to look into changing out the eccentric with a Bushnell when I got home. During the ride, we happened to stop because the back end of the bike felt a bit wobbly and I was worried the rear tire had a slow leak. Went back there, and while holding onto the stoker's saddle felt it move… Yup, the problem the whole time was the stoker's seat post bolts being loose and it moving a tiny bit in the cradle. Tightened those, and the rest of the ride home was blissfully silent.
Lesson learned: Don't trust your ears and check everything the first time rather than fixing the same thing 4 times.
Spec' Tarmac (road), Ridley Fenix (commuter & fast tourer), Salsa Mamasita (MTB), CoMo Speedster (tandem), Surly Big Dummy (cargo), Airnimal (folder)
I've learnt that almost every creak made by the bike sounds like it's coming from the BB. Although that is a major cause of creaks, it's often not the case, so don't trust your ears when locating the problem.