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creaky pedals?

Old 07-02-10, 07:23 PM
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elihu23
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creaky pedals?

I have a creak when I pedal. At first I thought it was the bottom bracket. I overhauled it, but the creak is there all the same. Could it be the pedals? They are rusty where they connect to the crank. Also, the creak is worse in warm weather and virtually disappears in cold weather. Strange. The nuts that hold the cranks are rusty too. I got the bike used, real used. It has performed well besides this creak though.
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Old 07-02-10, 08:14 PM
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Pedals have bearings, too, and they need lubing and adjusting just like every other bearing on the bike. (Unless you get a set with sealed or cartridge bearings, those tend to be able to =take it=.)

Since it's been creaking a while, you may be looking at a complete rebuild of the bearings, or replacing the pedals outright.
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Old 07-02-10, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RI_Swamp_Yankee View Post
Pedals have bearings, too, and they need lubing and adjusting just like every other bearing on the bike. (Unless you get a set with sealed or cartridge bearings, those tend to be able to =take it=.)

Since it's been creaking a while, you may be looking at a complete rebuild of the bearings, or replacing the pedals outright.
I may indeed be looking at a pedal overhaul. I'm sorry to say that I never even thought to rebuild such an item. However, to retain the original appearance of the bike I think I will attempt it. I suppose the first step is removing this rusted on item, but past that point I'll br winging it. Any sources you can recommend as reference points?
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Old 07-03-10, 01:29 AM
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Before you go ripping the pedal apart (a job I despise) try just removing the pedal, greasing the threads, and reinstalling it. I've a creak in one of my bikes solved the exact same way. Keep in mind that the non-drive side pedal is left-threaded. Turn clockwise to loosen.
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Old 07-03-10, 01:12 PM
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Another thing to check out before taking the pedals apart is that the noise you're hearing isn't caused by your shoes. Is the noise still there if you ride with different shoes?
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Old 07-03-10, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by elihu23 View Post
I never even thought to rebuild such an item.
I bought a Walmart bike and rebuilt everything out of the box. But, didn't think to do the pedals. (I did lay it on its side and let some light oil drain through each pedal's axle.). After 200 miles one of the pedals became loose internally. The locknut on the outer end (beneath a plastic cap) came loose.

After pulling the plastic cap and seeing how it probably worked, I decided to overhaul both pedals. It wasn't hard at all. But, each pedal had a total of 26 1/4" loose ball bearings. Fortunately I didn't lose any. I learned it's a good idea to work over a large piece of cloth so they don't travel far.
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Old 07-03-10, 02:02 PM
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Before you get a dozen "this is what happened to me" stories that may or may not apply, you need to provide more information. Is the creak once per full pedal revolution, twice, irregular or more or less constant. Can you make it creak by putting your pressure with your feet on the cranks with the pedals removed? Have you tried a different set of pedals?
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Old 07-03-10, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SilenceSeeker View Post
Another thing to check out before taking the pedals apart is that the noise you're hearing isn't caused by your shoes. Is the noise still there if you ride with different shoes?
my saddle (a brooks) has started to creak at certain combinations of pedal force and cadence. It's really amazingly annoying, and sounds exactly like a bottom bracket creak.
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Old 07-03-10, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Before you get a dozen "this is what happened to me" stories that may or may not apply, you need to provide more information. Is the creak once per full pedal revolution, twice, irregular or more or less constant. Can you make it creak by putting your pressure with your feet on the cranks with the pedals removed? Have you tried a different set of pedals?
Good point. I hear the creak every time I push down on the pedals, which I think is twice per revolution. I haven't been able to remove the pedals yet, but the night before last I took the chain off the the chain rings and gave the cranks a spin--no noise. I assume this means that the BB is okay.
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Old 07-03-10, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by elihu23 View Post
...night before last I took the chain off the the chain rings and gave the cranks a spin--no noise. I assume this means that the BB is okay.
No, spinning them puts no stress on the BB, so that does not eliminate anything. You may be able to isolate w/out taking pedals off - just put your feet directly on the cranks and stand up off the saddle while holding onto something to keep the bike upright. I would think it unlikely that both pedals would have the same problem or that one pedal would make a noise twice per crank revolution.
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Old 07-03-10, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
No, spinning them puts no stress on the BB, so that does not eliminate anything. You may be able to isolate w/out taking pedals off - just put your feet directly on the cranks and stand up off the saddle while holding onto something to keep the bike upright. I would think it unlikely that both pedals would have the same problem or that one pedal would make a noise twice per crank revolution.
I switched the pedals out and the creak is still there, so it is not the pedals. Probably BB. It had caged bearings and when I went in the cage on one side was a mess. I replaced it, but I should probably go loose all around. Is this sensible? Seems bike shops aren't into selling ball bearings. Are there good alternate shop spots?
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Old 07-04-10, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by elihu23 View Post
I switched the pedals out and the creak is still there, so it is not the pedals. Probably BB. It had caged bearings and when I went in the cage on one side was a mess. I replaced it, but I should probably go loose all around. Is this sensible? Seems bike shops aren't into selling ball bearings. Are there good alternate shop spots?
I've never been in a bike shop that didn't sell loose ball bearings. If I had occasion to, I wouldn't go back, as they're clearly not living in the same world I do. In the unlikely that your lbs doesn't really sell ball bearings, you can get them from good hardware stores, some auto shops, or best, a bearing supply shop. (or from any number of places online, in the event you live in rural siberia, and don't have anything close.)
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Old 07-04-10, 10:06 AM
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Yes, you can find a place that will sell you loose bearings. Any bike shop that won't (they have them by the 100's is not being consumer friendly PLEASE read about proper bearing overhaul procedure. You have said nothing about inspecting the bearing surfaces and there's not much sense in throwing new balls into a pitted assembly.
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Old 07-04-10, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Yes, you can find a place that will sell you loose bearings. Any bike shop that won't (they have them by the 100's is not being consumer friendly PLEASE read about proper bearing overhaul procedure. You have said nothing about inspecting the bearing surfaces and there's not much sense in throwing new balls into a pitted assembly.
I've done this before as a matter of general maintenance on my other bike. I just haven't come across one that may be damaged. The spindle looked okay. I didn't look at the cups that closely. What would the damage look like there? Oh, and downstate consumer unfriendly is not that unusual. I think I know one place that will sell them loose, but several said they don't.

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Old 07-04-10, 01:55 PM
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You can buy 144 loose bearings for $2.50 to $4.50. You'll never have to buy bearings again.

You should inspect the race surfaces for pitting (irregularities in the surface, which should be smooth).
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Old 07-04-10, 02:41 PM
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Google is your friend - "inspect bottom bracket bearing" https://www.exchangecycletours.org/bboverhaul.htm good pics of procedure and of properly worn parts
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Old 07-05-10, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cny-bikeman View Post
Google is your friend - "inspect bottom bracket bearing" https://www.exchangecycletours.org/bboverhaul.htm good pics of procedure and of properly worn parts
This sir, is a beautiful thing! I will get to work tonight and find out the state of the BB. Thank you very much!
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Old 07-12-10, 11:46 PM
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Well I think I found my creak! I must've checked the BB about a half dozen times convinced it was there, but everything looked fine. Then I picked it up. It's coming from the rear wheel. I'm not sure if it's the freewheel or the rear wheel bearings. I'll take it apart tomorrow night.

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Old 07-13-10, 11:04 PM
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Success!

Got to it today. I cleaned the freewheel, but the problem was the rear wheel hub, I suspect. It must have gotten loose or just plain dirty. I disassembled it, cleaned it, greased it and re-packed the bearings. I still have to play with the adjustments, but the creak is gone!
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