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Creaky fixed gear drivetrain

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Creaky fixed gear drivetrain

Old 05-06-13, 04:26 PM
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Creaky fixed gear drivetrain

My Langster has developed a bit of a creak, which I think it coming from the bottom bracket or the cranks. I cleaned the chain and chainring which alleviated some of the grinding sounds but there's still a creak/click when I put pressure on the pedals. I've checked the crank arm bolts and I've also tightened the chainrings as that was the cause of similar symptoms on my other fixed gear. Any ideas what else I could try? Does this sound like a chain tension adjustment issue?
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Old 05-06-13, 04:59 PM
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No, does not sound like chain issue. A creak (more of a drawn out sound than a click) is often BB, but if both occur it's a hard call. As you will have to remove cranks to work on the BB you might as well eliminate them and the pedals 1st. Remove the pedals and clean off the face of the crank arms where the pedals meet them. Lubricate either the replacement pedals or the originals and reinstall, check for the sound. If it's gone on different pedals reinstall the originals and check. If not change then remove the crank arms and clean off the crank and spindle flats well (steel wool plus rag works well). Reinstall, cinch down tight and retest. If still there it's likely the BB. The chainwheel bolts are a more remote possibility.
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Old 05-06-13, 05:50 PM
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Let's get chain (non) tension out of the way first. There seems to be a trend among this generation's fixed and SS users to run with a tight chain. This is 100% wrong. Proper chain (non) tension is No tension, or slack. Ideally you want the minimum slack where the chain never gets tight at any part of the cycle.

Now the click, may be in the BB, but a common and easy to diagnose place is the pedal/crank threads. Remove the pedals, clean the threads, and most important the face on the pedal and crank arm, grease, rethread and test. Washers have been known to help, though they aren't necessary on aluminum cranks with flat faces where the pedal fits.

If you've eliminated the pedal threads and it still clicks, borrow another pair of pedals to eliminate the pedals totally. Then the clicking may be in the BB, with the exact causes dependent on the type of BB. Traditional cup/cone BBs are least likely to click, and modern external BBs with slip-in spindles are the most likely.
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Old 05-06-13, 05:52 PM
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If the BB spindle is the splined type with no flats, take the arms off and put a bit of grease in the splines where the arms contact them. That is very frequently the source of BB creak and nearly always resolves the issue.
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