Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Strange “creak” from pedal when starting at high gear

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Strange “creak” from pedal when starting at high gear

Old 11-21-23, 05:08 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Strange “creak” from pedal when starting at high gear

Hey folks,

I have a Trek Allant+ 9S which is about 9 months old. It’s an e-bike with Bosh gen4 motor, internal hub by Enviolo and Gates belt drive. It generally runs well but I’ve noticed that when I start pedalling from still at a high gear, sometimes the pedal area gives a gentle *crak*. Any idea what it might be?
Fandomii is offline  
Old 11-21-23, 05:14 PM
  #2  
Tinker-er
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 376

Bikes: 1956 Rudge Sports; 1983 Univega Alpina Uno; 1981 Miyata 610; 1973 Raleigh Twenty; 1994 Breezer Lightning XTR; V4 Yuba Mundo aka "The Schlepper"; 1987 Raleigh "The Edge" Mountain Trials; 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman; 1978 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 224 Times in 152 Posts
Pedal bearings, pedal threads, chainring bolts, bottom bracket, bottom bracket shell, chainstay, seatstay. I'm not going to get into the e-bike components, since I don't have any experience with them, but the areas I mentioned are the usual suspects for noise.
PhilFo is offline  
Likes For PhilFo:
Old 11-21-23, 08:51 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,972

Bikes: !982 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, Fuji Team Pro CF and a '09 Comencal Meta 5.5

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1296 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 533 Posts
quit starting out in high gear.
maddog34 is offline  
Likes For maddog34:
Old 11-21-23, 09:56 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 38,421

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 138 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5639 Post(s)
Liked 2,267 Times in 1,271 Posts
Reminds me of the old joke that starts....
"Doctor, my elbow hurts whenever I do this......"

But while the advice makes sense at a certain level, the OP might be getting an early warning of something that might be more serious.

Sadly, the list of possibilities is long, and a real diagnosis with such limited info is impossible. That said, one possibility is easy enough to rule out or fix.

Check that the affected pedal is tight. Then just to be safe, tighten the other one.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now  
Likes For FBinNY:
Old 11-21-23, 10:04 PM
  #5  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Location: Australia
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 33 Posts
Obviously a few possiblities here, but relaying my experience, when my friend's Colnago C60 ( I think ) had a creak everytime he pushed down on the right pedal. we found one loose chainwheel bolt ( of 5 ). Tightening that one bolt eliminated the noise.
redshift1 is offline  
Likes For redshift1:
Old 11-22-23, 12:58 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 1,204
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 581 Post(s)
Liked 379 Times in 287 Posts
Creak or crak? The latter would be more alarming
choddo is online now  
Likes For choddo:
Old 11-22-23, 01:11 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,972

Bikes: !982 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, Fuji Team Pro CF and a '09 Comencal Meta 5.5

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1296 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 533 Posts
with or without e-power flowing?
are you standing on the pedal waiting for gravity to make the bike move, or JUMPING downward onto the pedal like a ninja doing a death stomp to the chest?

i creak just standing up after way too many years and crashes... has the bike ever been crashed?

the motor is in front of the pedals/crank.. is there a CLUNK that you feel through the frame too? or an actual creaking hinge sound?
and how much power are you pouring to the motor when this happens? A high loading of the motor/crank interface gear COULD be jumping a Cog... this could be very expensive to repair if it loses a tooth, spline, or key...

heck.. the BELT might need adjusted... see your manual or Trek Dealer for that

what are you FEELING when you hear the dreaded noise? do the pedals drop suddenly? do you feel it in the handlebars too?

oop.. one more big possibility... are you fully seated on the seat when the crack is felt/heard, or standing up? SEATS and POSTS are famous for odd noises under pedaling conditions.... and the handlebar stem can do something very similar......

how does the rear wheel position get changed to Tension the Drive Belt? that could also move during braking, then move again more suddenly, during acceleration................

Last edited by maddog34; 11-22-23 at 01:36 AM.
maddog34 is offline  
Likes For maddog34:
Old 11-22-23, 01:23 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,972

Bikes: !982 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, Fuji Team Pro CF and a '09 Comencal Meta 5.5

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1296 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 533 Posts
for the greater good... https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...-9-9s/p/30258/
(and Yes.. i know the pic is of a Chain driven bike, but the other design elements are relevant...)

I'd be seriously looking at the Motor/ Bottom bracket mounting bolts....have they been re-torqued yet?

also.. IGH Hubs can and do need adjusted every now and then.. they CRAK when the gears slip out of engage a bit....and the pedals drop suddenly...... in the case of the CVT AUTOMATIC SHIFTING... ummm... it might be that you're hearing the Hub SHIFT to compensate for your error in Ratio selection..........???

Found this info... Read the Comments too... There Is an Adjustment needed to achieve full OD, and to make them happy under load...
https://forums.electricbikereview.co...verview.25650/

and quit starting out in high gear.

Last edited by maddog34; 11-22-23 at 02:05 AM.
maddog34 is offline  
Likes For maddog34:
Old 11-22-23, 04:28 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
jgwilliams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Surrey, UK
Posts: 860

Bikes: Dolan Tuono 105 Di2, custom built 653 and 531 bikes with frames by Barry Witcomb, Sonder Dial XT mountain bike and a Brompton folding bike.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 295 Post(s)
Liked 133 Times in 96 Posts
To add to the seemingly endless list of possibilities, I had a creak from my new bike that turned out to be the rear through-axle not quite tight enough, even though it sounded as if it was coming from the BB. Those sorts of creaks are really difficult to diagnose. I had one on my mountain bike that went away if I adjusted the seat position fractionally, but would gradually come back again. I took the seat post out and greased it and, eventually, it didn't come back anymore. It took several goes, though.
jgwilliams is offline  
Likes For jgwilliams:
Old 11-22-23, 05:10 AM
  #10  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 86
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Thank you everyone! I don’t start out in high gear habitually, allow me to clarify:

The CVT hub has a minimum low gear you can set while at a standstill, which is around 40% I believe of the total range. That is what I call high gear; if I press down hard at the pedal starting at that point it makes a crack sound and then it continues without issue once I pick up speed. I will check if it happens on both pedals and if it happens without the motor engaged. I had a minor crash some time back and I’m wondering if it is related.
Fandomii is offline  
Likes For Fandomii:
Old 11-22-23, 09:03 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 708

Bikes: Lynskey R230, Trek 5200, 1975 Raleigh Pro, 1973 Falcon ,Trek T50 Tandem and a 1968 Paramount in progress.

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked 356 Times in 216 Posts
Originally Posted by Fandomii
Thank you everyone! I don’t start out in high gear habitually, allow me to clarify:

......... I had a minor crash some time back and I’m wondering if it is related.
The story is developing.....

This sounds obvious, but I would take it back to the shop. If they can duplicate the sound, they should be able to fix it, or at least narrow it down.

I had a similar problem and was advised (here) to start with the most recent change. For me, it was new chainrings. Tightened those and have been silent for months.
bblair is offline  
Likes For bblair:
Old 11-22-23, 09:46 AM
  #12  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,553

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6002 Post(s)
Liked 4,632 Times in 3,194 Posts
On regular bicycles if the cyclist doesn't shift to the lower gears to start out and accelerate rapidly from a start, the cyclist's knees start to wear out and give issues later in life. Similarly on e-bikes when the cyclist doesn't shift to lower gear to accelerate rapidly from a stop, the drivetrain gives out later in it's life.

At just nine months old, your bike is new enough that the dealer that sold it to you should be willing to take a look at it for little to no cost and assess what the issue might be.

Electric motors don't readily tell the operator when they are demanding too much power for the gear they are in. A gasoline engine would stutter or stall in conditions that a electric motor will seem to do fine with, but really is wearing out the weakest drive train components sooner.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-22-23 at 09:50 AM.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 11-22-23, 04:52 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
maddog34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,972

Bikes: !982 Trek 930R Custom, Diamondback ascent with SERIOUS updates, Fuji Team Pro CF and a '09 Comencal Meta 5.5

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1296 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 533 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
On regular bicycles if the cyclist doesn't shift to the lower gears to start out and accelerate rapidly from a start, the cyclist's knees start to wear out and give issues later in life. Similarly on e-bikes when the cyclist doesn't shift to lower gear to accelerate rapidly from a stop, the drivetrain gives out later in it's life.

At just nine months old, your bike is new enough that the dealer that sold it to you should be willing to take a look at it for little to no cost and assess what the issue might be.

Electric motors don't readily tell the operator when they are demanding too much power for the gear they are in. A gasoline engine would stutter or stall in conditions that a electric motor will seem to do fine with, but really is wearing out the weakest drive train components sooner.
burnt commutator surfaces and overheated enamel in the armature coils/leads are two possible results...
maddog34 is offline  
Old 11-22-23, 05:14 PM
  #14  
Clark W. Griswold
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 13,109

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4182 Post(s)
Liked 3,762 Times in 2,511 Posts
I would check your QR or Thru-axle and make sure it is properly torqured along with any other bolts and such. Make sure your seatpost is properly greased and torqued down. Usually pedal noise is not pedal noise but I would recommend as others have stated checking to make sure the pedals are tight all over (including bearing preload and such) but usually I find it is elsewhere.
veganbikes is offline  
Likes For veganbikes:
Old 11-22-23, 08:38 PM
  #15  
Tinker-er
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 376

Bikes: 1956 Rudge Sports; 1983 Univega Alpina Uno; 1981 Miyata 610; 1973 Raleigh Twenty; 1994 Breezer Lightning XTR; V4 Yuba Mundo aka "The Schlepper"; 1987 Raleigh "The Edge" Mountain Trials; 1951 Rudge Aero Clubman; 1978 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Liked 224 Times in 152 Posts
I once had a crazy time tracking down an annoying click coming from applying force with my left leg. I took everything apart, cleaned all the interfaces, repacked the bb, pedals, cleaned and greased the chainring bolts, got it all back together and I thought I had it fixed.
Then it started up again. The weather got nicer and I switched to my road bike and the same noise was occurring! Turns out it’s my left knee.
PhilFo is offline  
Likes For PhilFo:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.