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Creaking from handlebars (drop handlebars)

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Creaking from handlebars (drop handlebars)

Old 07-04-06, 05:35 PM
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Creaking from handlebars (drop handlebars)

I hear like a creaking sound from from my handlebars. I thought it could be coming from the handle-bar clamp bolt, but when I move the cables that run along it, the noise stops. any ideas? I really dont want to bring it to the shop!

Also, the noise is there more when i'm going over a bump or up hill.

Oops forgot, can I try to tighten the handle-bar clamp with out screwing anything up?

Last edited by dannyq; 07-04-06 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 07-04-06, 07:21 PM
Michel Gagnon
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First of all, I'll assume that all your parts are sound and safe, that you don,t suffer from broken handlebars or stem.

Be my guest as there are many possible sources. Since the noise stops when you move the cables, I suspect your hands wiggle slightly the cable under the tape when you ride. If that's so, the problem is probably more acute and more easily perceptible when you climb because you are likely to grab the bars more tightly... and there is less wind noise. Or maybe your levers are just a bit loose and creak when you ride on the hoods.

Try to grip the bars at other points (from the drops or the tops, for example) to see if the noise stops. If it doesn't, you might try to fix the cables – at least temporarily – with zip ties to see if you can pinpoint the problem. Alternatively, you could unwrap the tops of the handlebars and ride that way to see if it's indeed the cables that make creaking noises.

From there, I would suggest, depending on the actual problem:

– Unwrap the bars. Attach the cable housing(s) more tightly to the handlebars with electrical tape, then retape the bars.

– Check the Allen bolt in your brake levers for tightness. The bolt is usually accessible when you depress the brake levers and it's a 4 mm or 5 mm bolt (I have both at home).

– If you find that it's the brake levers that creak against the handlebars, you might try to unscrew them a little bit, then add a single piece of electrical tape between the bar and each brake lever, then screw the levers tightly in place.

There are other sources of noise, especially for older bikes:

– "Plunger" stems used with threaded headsets (typically pre-1990 or 2000) often creak when they are inserted in the headset. You may remove the stem, grease it and reinsert it. I found that grease and a bit of tefflon plumbing tape near the top work wonders for that.

– Old touring handlebars had a sleeve around the central section of the handlebars. Sometimes, the handlebars creak in the sleeve. Oil inserted in the tiny crack works for a time, but it's far from a permanent solution unless you live in a desert.
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Old 07-05-06, 07:11 AM
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I'm guessing the creak is from where the cable/housing meets the frame, like at the first cable stop on the frame. This is pretty common and I haven't found a good solution for this to date unfortunately.
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