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2 separate things: Clunk with pedaling, and unstoppable Squeaking

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2 separate things: Clunk with pedaling, and unstoppable Squeaking

Old 04-24-12, 09:51 PM
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2 separate things: Clunk with pedaling, and unstoppable Squeaking

Hi there. I have two different issues with my bike currently that I'm hoping someone can help me with.

One older constant annoyance is that something is squeaking, and the "flock of birds" description never made sense to me until this fall when I heard the hordes of starlings outside. My bike is a horde of starlings! I've lubed the chain and the only thing I can think is that the noise might be coming from a derailleur wheel. I've tried drowning them in lube too, but it didn't help. Is there some other way to get at the noise?

More recently, my bike has started making a somewhat loud clunk or click noise as I pedal, and I can feel something in the pedals as it happens, like a bump. It started out happening maybe once every few pedal turns (with only the right pedal going downward, maybe?), and now seems to be getting worse since it will clunk several times in a row. I think it may only be when I'm putting effort into pedaling, but that may not be the case as the noise seems to be getting more common in general. It is not a constant clunking, as it will pause, and then clunk four times and pause, and then stop for a while...
I'm slightly worried, but I have no idea what to DO about it. What do I check, what do I tighten? Sheldon's list is lovely, but as the saying goes, it's Greek to me.

Please help.
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Old 04-24-12, 09:57 PM
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Regarding the clunk, the first thing coming to mind is that your bottom bracket (crank axle/bearing unit) may be inadequately tightened into the frame, allowing it to rock around. This needs to get corrected quickly so it doesn't get worse and possibly cause damage to your frame.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:05 PM
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Is that something I can do, or do I have to spend money at a shop? Can I check to see if that it what it is?

If it is very serious, I'll stop riding Zoomie and use a freebie mostly-working mountain bike.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:07 PM
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Sounds like the bottom bracket has some issue. The squeak sounds like a problem I had a while back. Turned out the bearings in the BB where worn enough that it got noisy. My old bike is just starting to it again. I predict the BB will die sooner than later. It'll be the end of that frame as the threads are shot down there. The clunk can also be caused by problems with the BB.

This needs to get corrected quickly so it doesn't get worse and possibly cause damage to your frame.
+10.... if you don't fix it you will be facing new frame time.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:21 PM
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To fix the loose bottom bracket, you'd need some specific tools (the exact ones would depend on what kind of bottom bracket and cranks you've got). If you can post a photo of the crank from each side of the bike, I can tell you what tools you'd need.

To verify whether that's the issue, lean the bike against a wall, kneel down next to it, and grab the two crankarms. Now push and pull sideways on them. Watch the bottom bracket where it's fastened into the frame to observe whether it rocks, and you'd probably feel it thunk as well.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:22 PM
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The squeak and the clunk are two unrelated issues, as far as I know. The clunk is definitely something to do with the pedals (based on the tactile feedback), while my ears say that the squeak is coming from the back of the bike where the cassette and derailleur are (I tried so hard to find and cure it when I gave Zoomie a complete spongebath).

Off to do as mechBgon suggested...
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Old 04-24-12, 10:27 PM
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+1 sound like the bike may have some seriuos BB crank issues if a crank arm is a little loose wobbley it causes a clunk every time you hit the top of your pedal stroke. You need too check into this before you do a lot more riding.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:38 PM
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Schwinn actually updated their website to include the Target Gateway (and WalMart Admiral and Kmart Wayfarer). Their specs list:
Drivetrain
Crankset / Chainwheel: Schwinn Forged One Piece, 46T Sprocket
Bottom Bracket: Sealed w/ Ball Bottom Bracket System

I pushed and pulled on the crank arms, but got not movement of anything. Do you have to put muscle into it to check properly?
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Old 04-24-12, 10:48 PM
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Thanks for the photos, that helps. It's not the type I envisioned when giving the prior advice, since this type doesn't have a thread-in bottom bracket. Instead, the bearing cups are pressed into the frame. If the clunk is the crank & bearings, then it would probably be one of these issues:

1. one of the cups might be loose in the frame (you'd be able to see it rock, most likely)

2. the driveside bearing cone, which threads onto the crankarm and sandwiches the sprocket against the flange visible in the first photo, might not be tight enough. It can be tightened with a large adjustable wrench that can open to 1 1/4 inches or more. To get at it, you'd need to deal with the items discussed in #3 below:

3. the non-driveside cone and locknut, visible in the last two photos, might not be firmly jammed against eachother, resulting in rocking. The locknut is reverse-threaded (lefty-tighty, rightie-loosie). You'd need to find the optimal bearing adjustment by turning the cone, then provisionally snugging down the locknut and checking whether the cranks turn freely without rocking, repeating the adjustment until you've got a good setting.

This could all be a red herring if it's not a crank/BB issue. If in doubt, a local bike shop should be able to assess what's wrong and provide you with a repair quote for no charge.
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Old 04-24-12, 10:59 PM
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The bike shop is nice enough, I just usually can't afford to even breathe in one. I got my chain lube in a larger bottle for half the price at Walmart- same stuff.
The employees have given me plenty of maps, though. Also two junk tubes to use as liners. I found out they have a hose dangling outside so you can air up your tires for free- thought that was neat.
If they'll look at my bike for free, I suppose that can't hurt. Maybe it's not that serious? :crossfingers:
I admit, I'm sort of panicking over here.

edit: It's time for me to go to bed now and get some rest (school bus driver ) if you think 8 more miles ridden on Zoomie will damage her, please let me know, I'll check back when I get up. I can take Foreman and then walk Zoomie to the bike shop after my morning route.

Any ideas about the squeaking?

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Old 04-24-12, 11:17 PM
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Sory for the miss advise the assumption was that you had a different type crank set. The pics do help a lot check to see that the chain guard is not bent or rubbing the chain any place.
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Old 04-24-12, 11:45 PM
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If you think 8 more miles ridden on Zoomie will damage her, please let me know, I'll check back when I get up.
I think you'll be OK for the short term. If I had to guess, my guess is that your crank's sprocket is not sandwiched tight enough, and can rotate fore and aft a bit, clunking on the peg that protrudes from the rear of the crankarm.

On to the squealing. Lubing the pulleys on the rear derailleur was a good step, but since they have a sort of a labyrinth design, you might want to try once more, laying the bike flat on its side and running ample amounts of lube into the pulleys from the side so it can soak through.

Beyond that, it's not unusual for the crank bearings to get dry and squealy with age. Grease is a preferable lubricant there, not oil, so you'd be into a disassembly and regreasing as shown here: https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-...racket-service

You may be able to narrow down your list of suspects by noting whether the squealing happens only when pedalling, only when coasting, or any time the rear wheel is rotating in either direction regardless of whether you're coasting or pedalling.
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Old 04-25-12, 02:12 PM
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Well, my alarm was still set to yesterday's late start schedule, so I had to jump out of bed and into clothes and leave as fast as possible.
Zoomie still squeaked, but I didn't really hear clunking at all this time, which strikes me as extremely odd. I'll have to see if it happens on the way in this afternoon, since Zoomie is now the only bike I can ride.

On the bright side, I learned how to swap shifters and their cables over from one bike to another and adjust both derailleurs passably well. I spent all morning with my husband getting a blue freebie bike that he decided he liked better set up to actually be a bike, instead of a collection of parts that looked like one. My poor green Chainless is naked... she donated shifters and cables, handlebar grips, and both wheels to the blue bike.

I'll definitely try a sideways oiling for Zoomie and see if that stops the squeak.
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Old 04-27-12, 01:38 PM
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So, it seems the clunking noise is directly related to the hauling of heavy loads I've been doing. The clunk disappeared after my original post, which was right after a weekend where I pulled my trailer with a full basket of laundry and a Jack Russell, and then Monday I hauled a lawnmower home with it.

I just now brought a car battery and electric air compressor to the house where the lawnmower came from. I used the crate mounted on my rack, but it was still more weight to carry around than Zoomie is used to. There were very tiny clicks every now and then, and a few of the loud clunks that I can feel through the pedals.

It seems to be at the same point in the pedal revolution, and only when I am pedaling, not coasting. Maybe a tooth on the chainring is allowing the chain to move a little as it goes around?

The squeaking stopped during two wet days we had here, but came back during the battery trip with a vengeance. Checking this post reminds me to go oil it sideways, so out I go to do that!
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