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Mysterious Creaking

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Mysterious Creaking

Old 05-06-21, 07:03 PM
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cartesian
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Mysterious Creaking

Hey there. I'm trying to identify the source of creaking on the down stroke. The bike is a single speed Kilo TT Pro. I hear the sound mainly when getting up to speed from start.

Here's what I've done:
  • Replaced the bottom bracket. (Thought this was the problem. Found it was pitted, but now it's new and thoroughly cleaned and greased.)
  • Removed and regreased the chain ring and crank bolts.
  • Cleaned and lubed the chain.
  • Removed and regreased the stem bolts.
  • Checked the threadless headset was snung.
My next thought is the Odyssey Twisted pedals. I don't feel any spindle play and they spin without issue. Not sure that's the problem, but not sure what else it could be.

Any thoughts?
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Old 05-06-21, 07:07 PM
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Does it do it if you stand on the pedals (off saddle)? It appears you've covered everything else except for the saddle.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Does it do it if you stand on the pedals (off saddle)? It appears you've covered everything else except for the saddle.
Pretty sure I'm hearing it when I'm out of the saddle and getting up to speed. I'll double check next ride. Thx.

e: I didn't remove and regrease the handlebar/stem bolts. But they're snug.

Last edited by cartesian; 05-06-21 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:14 PM
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What type of BB? Pressed in or threaded? Andy
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Old 05-06-21, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
What type of BB? Pressed in or threaded? Andy
Threaded. I installed a new IRD. Greased all threads completely.

I also lightly grease the spindle.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:33 PM
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Try cleaning and greasing the pedal and crank threads and properly torqueing the pedals. Also try swapping in a known-quiet pair.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
Try cleaning and greasing the pedal and crank threads and properly torqueing the pedals. Also try swapping in a known-quiet pair.
These are my only pedals. But I'll try that. Thanks. I guess that's the logical next step.
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Old 05-06-21, 08:41 PM
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Generally it's not best to grease the spindle taper, a finger wipe which does leave a sort of skin oil is what I was taught decades ago and have done since. Not that the greases tapers would produce a noise.

Did you apply a film of grease on the cartridge's outer surfaces that snug into the (usually) LH cup/ring?

Noises are tricky to track and can be emitted far from the source in hollow structures. I've seen wheel QR skewers making noise that riders thought were the bars or BB. So to with seat rails or post/rail clamps. Cannondale had some bikes that used a shim in the top of the seat tube that creaked when dry of lube. Specialized had tube end miters that creaked on the head tubes in the unwelded interiors.

When you finially find the source please post where it was for others to learn by. Andy
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Old 05-06-21, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Generally it's not best to grease the spindle taper, a finger wipe which does leave a sort of skin oil is what I was taught decades ago and have done since. Not that the greases tapers would produce a noise.

Did you apply a film of grease on the cartridge's outer surfaces that snug into the (usually) LH cup/ring?

Noises are tricky to track and can be emitted far from the source in hollow structures. I've seen wheel QR skewers making noise that riders thought were the bars or BB. So to with seat rails or post/rail clamps. Cannondale had some bikes that used a shim in the top of the seat tube that creaked when dry of lube. Specialized had tube end miters that creaked on the head tubes in the unwelded interiors.

When you finially find the source please post where it was for others to learn by. Andy
I did not grease the BB cartridge where it inserts into the cups. I suppose that could be it. However, the bike was making this sound before I replaced the BB. It's the reason I discovered the original BB was pitted.

Greasing spindles is a matter of opinion. Some say it's not necessary. I've always lightly greased the spindle with an emphasis on lightly. Basically a thin film or finger wipe.

My other thought was that it could be the handlebars because I get the sound when I'm torquing the bike for acceleration. If I'm up to speed and stomp on the pedals in straight line I don't get the creak.

I'll look into greasing the BB cartridge and let the forum know if I figure it out.
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Old 05-07-21, 07:46 AM
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Here's my question. Who (besides the OP) only has one set of pedals???
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Old 05-07-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by sovende View Post
Here's my question. Who (besides the OP) only has one set of pedals???
lol. I was a bike mechanic in high school and college but only got back into cycling during the pandemic. I used to ride BMX, road, and MTN. Now I ride a Kilo TT through traffic.
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Old 05-07-21, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cartesian View Post
lol. I was a bike mechanic in high school and college but only got back into cycling during the pandemic. I used to ride BMX, road, and MTN. Now I ride a Kilo TT through traffic.

Well, there's your problem A joke/poke of sorts. I do hope you run actual brakes though. Andy
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Old 05-07-21, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Well, there's your problem A joke/poke of sorts. I do hope you run actual brakes though. Andy
For sure. It's set up as a single speed. I'm too old to ride fixed.
Anyone who rides fixed in my town should be on suicide watch.
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Old 05-08-21, 02:47 PM
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Update: I believe the problem is fixed.

First attempt:
  • Removed the pedals and dropped some Phil Wood Tenacious Lube into the visible bearings under the cap. Regreased the threads and reinstalled.
  • This did not fix the problem, but the bearings were in need of lubricant anyway. Might have to repack later.

Second attempt:
  • Removed and regreased the seatpost. It was dry and difficult to remove, probably from riding in all weather through winter.
  • Removed and regreased the stem/handlbar bolts.
  • Thinking it might have something to do with the rear wheel I double checked spoke tension by hand. No obviously loose spokes. But a few that could be tightened without taking the wheel out of true. Tightened these 1/4 turn or so by feel.
One of these three seems to have solved the problem. My first stomp on the right pedal I heard and felt a pop on the down stroke, but after that smooth silence!

e: I believe it was finally the rear wheel. Centripetal force could explain why I mostly heard the creaking when getting up to speed, but didn't hear it while cruising.

Last edited by cartesian; 05-08-21 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 05-08-21, 06:08 PM
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Spokes can (and do) notch their crossing spoke after many miles. Think of how Lincoln Logs nestle together. Increasing tension will reduce the click/tick of the two crossing spokes riding into and out of their notches. One cool way to test for this is to place a small piece of something (cut up credit card stock is real good)between the crossing and touching spokes and then go for a ride. If the noise is gone remove all the pieces and re test. Andy
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Old 05-08-21, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Spokes can (and do) notch their crossing spoke after many miles. Think of how Lincoln Logs nestle together. Increasing tension will reduce the click/tick of the two crossing spokes riding into and out of their notches. One cool way to test for this is to place a small piece of something (cut up credit card stock is real good)between the crossing and touching spokes and then go for a ride. If the noise is gone remove all the pieces and re test. Andy
That makes sense. Thanks. That should also explain the pop I heard.
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Old 05-08-21, 07:49 PM
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I had a mystery creak that was from my front QR skewer not quite tight enough. It must have been micro-moving in the fork tip when out of the saddle climbing.
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Old 05-09-21, 04:37 AM
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Every time I have a mystery "creak," it's always the saddle springs. That was one of the three things you mentioned might have been the issue. My money is on that one.
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