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Noise coming from cranks(?) when standing

Old 05-29-19, 09:10 AM
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Noise coming from cranks(?) when standing

Out for a ride with Mrs. NoWhammies last night. When she stood up in the saddle and pedaled I could hear some noising coming from her bike. I cannot describe the noise, as I was a bit away from her, but there is definitely something going on.

After the ride I asked her about it and her reply was "yes, there is noise from the cranks when I stand up and pedal".

Anyone have any tips on where I can start to diagnose the problem? I'll take the bike out for a test drive when I get home from work and see if I can find out some more info/noise.

Cheers.
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Old 05-29-19, 09:12 AM
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Start here:

https://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html

I've developed a slight clunk that goes away when I stand up.
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Old 05-29-19, 11:01 AM
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My MTB developed a creaky sound when pedaling hard (standing up mostly) but only on the left downstroke. After some investigation and troubleshooting, it turned out to be the chainring mounting bolts holding the ring to the crank spider. I removed them, cleaned the threads, applied blue locktite, and re-torqued to spec. Now its all quiet...
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Old 05-29-19, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Out for a ride with Mrs. NoWhammies last night. When she stood up in the saddle and pedaled I could hear some noising coming from her bike. I cannot describe the noise, as I was a bit away from her, but there is definitely something going on.

After the ride I asked her about it and her reply was "yes, there is noise from the cranks when I stand up and pedal".

Anyone have any tips on where I can start to diagnose the problem? I'll take the bike out for a test drive when I get home from work and see if I can find out some more info/noise.

Cheers.
Most likely BB or pedals. I know it sounds weird, but with the bike elevated, turn the cranks slowly while putting the horn of your saddle (gently) in your ear. While you turn the cranks, listen for the BB making grindy noises (I have an old stethoscope I use personally but this old method works ok). Check the bearings in your pedals then lastly, cranks (if those are too loose it will become very obvious shortly). What kind of BB interface does the bike have?
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Old 05-29-19, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
My MTB developed a creaky sound when pedaling hard (standing up mostly) but only on the left downstroke. After some investigation and troubleshooting, it turned out to be the chainring mounting bolts holding the ring to the crank spider. I removed them, cleaned the threads, applied blue locktite, and re-torqued to spec. Now its all quiet...
+1, but before doing this I'd clean/lube/retorque the pedals to see if that fixes it.
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Old 05-29-19, 01:20 PM
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If it were a creaking old leather sound it may be the crank arms on the axle spindles.
With no grease it can be metal on metal that creaks when torqued, especially if the retaining bolt is a little loose, which you won't get just spinning the crank on a stand.

If so, pull the arms, add a little grease to the axle and re seat.
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Old 05-29-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Start here:

https://sheldonbrown.com/creaks.html

I've developed a slight clunk that goes away when I stand up.
Thanks. I'll check that out.

Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
My MTB developed a creaky sound when pedaling hard (standing up mostly) but only on the left downstroke. After some investigation and troubleshooting, it turned out to be the chainring mounting bolts holding the ring to the crank spider. I removed them, cleaned the threads, applied blue locktite, and re-torqued to spec. Now its all quiet...
I'll have a closer look at the mounting bolts when I get home. Mrs. NoWhammies doesn't do a lot of riding, so I'm surprised that noise is starting all of a sudden. Were the bolts loose at all? Or did you just remove and clean them as a matter of course.

Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
+1, but before doing this I'd clean/lube/retorque the pedals to see if that fixes it.
The pedals on her bike are speedplay pedals. They haven't been messed, but I guess they can loosen up/get dirty over time. Is it possible that dirty/old grease is the cause of the noise?

Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
If it were a creaking old leather sound it may be the crank arms on the axle spindles.
With no grease it can be metal on metal that creaks when torqued, especially if the retaining bolt is a little loose, which you won't get just spinning the crank on a stand.

If so, pull the arms, add a little grease to the axle and re seat.
Never done this ^^ before. I hope this work isn't required. I'm worried it may be out of my area of expertise.
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Old 05-29-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post

Never done this ^^ before. I hope this work isn't required. I'm worried it may be out of my area of expertise.
For a quick and dirty test, the next time you are riding with Mrs Whammies take a small can of WD40 and the little red nozzle tube with you. If the creak develops, carefully squirt a little into the crankarm/spindle interface (from the bottom bracket outward). If the noise goes away you know it's that.

Pulling a crank arm is easy if you have this tool: https://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Cra.../dp/B07C44CX35
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Old 05-29-19, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I'll have a closer look at the mounting bolts when I get home. Mrs. NoWhammies doesn't do a lot of riding, so I'm surprised that noise is starting all of a sudden. Were the bolts loose at all? Or did you just remove and clean them as a matter of course.
I had this happen on another bike. I tightened them up to the torque spec, and the noise did not go away. In frustration, I eventually took it to the bike shop, who fixed it immediately, and pointed out it was indeed the mounting bolts. I said I tightened them. They asked "well, did you loosen them up first?"

I learned something.
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Old 05-30-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
+1, but before doing this I'd clean/lube/retorque the pedals to see if that fixes it.
Definitely...

In fact my investigation and troubleshooting prior to resolving the problem with the chain ring bolts included (but not limited to and not in this order):

- removed, lubed, and replaced the rear thru-axle.
- removed the rear der. hanger, cleaned, lubed, and replaced.
- removed both pedals, cleaned threads, lubed, and replaced.
- replaced both pedals with brand new (tried 2 different new sets).
- added thin shim washers on pedal bolts.
- removed chain, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed cassette, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed crankset, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed bottom bracket, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- used teflon tape on bottom bracket threads.
- checked all suspension nuts and bolts for proper torque.
- inspected and tightened all saddle and seatpost fasteners.
- checked the entire bike for any other loose fasteners.

I immediately went to the pedals but was initially stumped when working with them and actually replacing them with others did not address the creak at all. Only then did I take a few steps back and start working my way through all of the stuff that could possibly cause the creak.
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Old 05-30-19, 11:58 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I'll have a closer look at the mounting bolts when I get home. Mrs. NoWhammies doesn't do a lot of riding, so I'm surprised that noise is starting all of a sudden. Were the bolts loose at all? Or did you just remove and clean them as a matter of course.
They might have been loose to some degree but required a wrench to remove. I had replaced the 32T stock chain ring with a Blackspire 34T aluminum ring about a year ago. It was quiet up until about a month ago. So either they loosened up some or possibly the mounting holes in the aluminum ring have slightly enlarged creating some slack for movement and creak. Not entirely sure.

I removed them, cleaned them up, and replaced them with locktite. I was initially concerned about the torque since the (rather thin) ring is threaded and the steel bolts screw directly into the ring rather than into steel "T" style nuts on the back side of the ring. I didn't want to strip the threads in the ring. The spec as found online was 12-14nm so I torqued them to 12nm and that seemed to work for now.

Time will tell if the creak comes back...

Last edited by dbf909; 05-30-19 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:18 PM
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Believe it or not, it could be the QR's on the wheels. I have a friend who rides a Cervello and he had a creaky bb. Had it replaced. Still creaky. I told him to remove the QR's, thoroughly saturate them with oil, wipe off the excess and reinstall. The noise went away. I'm just sayin'........
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Old 05-30-19, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
The pedals on her bike are speedplay pedals. They haven't been messed, but I guess they can loosen up/get dirty over time. Is it possible that dirty/old grease is the cause of the noise?
I had a creak/click that did not go away despite several sessions of disassembly/greasing/reassembly. It went away when I removed the pedals, cleaned the threads, and reinstalled with new grease.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:31 PM
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Creaks are tricky. I've overhauled bikes just chasing down creaks and it usually turned out to be the last thing I tried.
  • One chainring bolt.
  • Handlebar/stem.
  • Spokes (soft wax from an old scented candle between the crossed spokes fixes the problem for a month or so at a time)
  • Saddle (I just ignored it for a couple of years, then replaced the saddle.)
If I checked those first, it'd turn out to be something else.

So far it's never been the bottom bracket, crank arms, pedals, hubs, chain, cassette or freewheel... but eventually it'll probably be one of those. Whatever the cause, it'll be the last thing I check.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
... I cannot describe the noise...

Anyone have any tips on where I can start to diagnose the problem? ...
Crazy idea: start with a description of the noise. Then, search this forum for suggested solutions -- many hundred have already been posted. Good luck.
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Old 05-30-19, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
Thanks. I'll check that out.



I'll have a closer look at the mounting bolts when I get home. Mrs. NoWhammies doesn't do a lot of riding, so I'm surprised that noise is starting all of a sudden. Were the bolts loose at all? Or did you just remove and clean them as a matter of course.



The pedals on her bike are speedplay pedals. They haven't been messed, but I guess they can loosen up/get dirty over time. Is it possible that dirty/old grease is the cause of the noise?



Never done this ^^ before. I hope this work isn't required. I'm worried it may be out of my area of expertise.



Not so much the pedal itself, as removing the pedals from the crank & cleaning etc. the threads
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Old 05-31-19, 06:23 AM
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NoWhammies: Is this the bike that you removed and cleaned the cassette on? It could just be coincidence but I'd look at the rear wheel mounting and QR's first, pedals next and bb last.
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Old 05-31-19, 06:25 AM
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I have a light creak too when I pedal. Press fit BB too which it just a darn PITA.
I'll have to check the pedals and chainring bolts.
Absolute worst case is a frame crack.
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Old 05-31-19, 09:54 AM
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@Mitchmellows62 yes, this is the same bike. Poor Mrs. NoWhammies. She's a good sport to let me work on her bike. @Jon T suggestion to look at the QR is a good idea too. When I was having issues with the cassette I had the wheel on and off multiple times.


I'll also give removing the pedals a shot first. Clean the threads, at some grease, and see what that takes me. Even if that does not solve the problem it couldn't hurt giving her bike a bit of TLC.
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Old 05-31-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Creaks are tricky. I've overhauled bikes just chasing down creaks and it usually turned out to be the last thing I tried.
  • One chainring bolt.
  • Handlebar/stem.
  • Spokes (soft wax from an old scented candle between the crossed spokes fixes the problem for a month or so at a time)
  • Saddle (I just ignored it for a couple of years, then replaced the saddle.)
If I checked those first, it'd turn out to be something else.

So far it's never been the bottom bracket, crank arms, pedals, hubs, chain, cassette or freewheel... but eventually it'll probably be one of those. Whatever the cause, it'll be the last thing I check.
If you think about it, won't it always be the "last thing you check"? Said differently, would you continue to look AFTER you fixed the problem?

I often hear people say things like "Every time I mis-place my car keys, they are always in the last place I look". Of course they are. Why would you keep looking after you found them?

Just saying... Or maybe that was your point... ;-)
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Old 05-31-19, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dbf909 View Post
If you think about it, won't it always be the "last thing you check"? Said differently, would you continue to look AFTER you fixed the problem?

I often hear people say things like "Every time I mis-place my car keys, they are always in the last place I look". Of course they are. Why would you keep looking after you found them?

Just saying... Or maybe that was your point... ;-)
Holy epiphany! I'll never waste time again trying to track down a creak! I'll go directly to the last thing I think of.

C'mon, kids, let's hop in the Biketardis!

Seriously, tho', I need to wax my spokes again. But it'll turn out to be something else.

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Old 06-01-19, 09:02 AM
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I had a similar issue with creaking only when standing out of saddle.
Tried all the obvious solutions then pulled seat post and added new grease, installed and No Creaking.

The frame flex would interact internally with post and creak.
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Old 06-01-19, 04:46 PM
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I had a friend had the problem and it turned out the front QR was not tight enough. The next thing to check is for looseness in the pedal bearings. They will usually click.
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Old 06-03-19, 09:24 AM
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So what are the cranks? I will guess if using Speedplay pedals they are not cottered steel. If new fashion press fit crank bearings the creaks could be normal OEM creaks. Many assumptions above the cranks are aluminum mounted on a square tapered spindle but we don't know that.

If it is a square taper spindle those are assembled dry and never lubricated. Not even superficially with WD-40 (mineral oil). And the reason those sometimes get quite loose is they don't make noises until plain flopping about.
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Old 06-03-19, 11:41 AM
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Going to tackle Mrs. NoWhammies bike tonight. I'll let you know how it goes. Great suggestions everyone. Thanks.
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