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Creaking Rans XP

Old 08-25-16, 06:43 AM
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tsgraham
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Creaking Rans XP

I've had a Rans XP for the past 5+ years. Absolutely love the ride but have, in the past year, developed a creaking that seems to be coming from the bottom bracket/crankset neighborhood. I've so far replaced the headset, the bottom bracket and upgraded the crankset with no elimination of the creaking sound. The chain is within normal tolerance stretch-wise and all moving parts are routinely lubed and cleaned.

The bike runs great other than the irritating creak-creak sound that disappears if I'm not pedaling. Oh, and the sound comes and goes which is irritating because I can try something, think I've located the problem, and the net time I go out it's back.

Any suggestions or other riders with the same problem?

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 08-25-16, 06:45 AM
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Mine was the crank set...replace it.
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Old 08-25-16, 11:09 AM
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Creaks are hard to find. My first step would be to disassemble the BB area - remove the pedals, remove the crank and bottom bracket. After inspection, reassemble using grease on all threads and mating surfaces. If that fails to fix it, do the same with the steering -- disassemble the headset/stem/handlebars, grease all threads and mating surfaces and reassemble that too. After that comes the seat, although I wouldn't grease anything there - just check the whole area for creaks. The seatback mesh can creak/squeak, but presumably you'd recognize that.
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Old 08-25-16, 06:28 PM
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Have you checked the pedals? I can never for the life of me tell the difference between when my [magnesium platform] pedals are shot or the [external] bottom bracket is fubared — they both always feel and sound alike to me.
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Old 08-25-16, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Mine was the crank set...replace it.
Yup, replaced the crankset and greased it well. Creak went away for a couple rides. No change.
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Old 08-25-16, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Creaks are hard to find. My first step would be to disassemble the BB area - remove the pedals, remove the crank and bottom bracket. After inspection, reassemble using grease on all threads and mating surfaces. If that fails to fix it, do the same with the steering -- disassemble the headset/stem/handlebars, grease all threads and mating surfaces and reassemble that too. After that comes the seat, although I wouldn't grease anything there - just check the whole area for creaks. The seatback mesh can creak/squeak, but presumably you'd recognize that.
Yup, did all of those suggestions. I replaced the headset, bottom bracket and crankset with new, greased them and threads well. Worked for a couple rides and the creaking returned.
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Old 08-25-16, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by andychrist View Post
Have you checked the pedals? I can never for the life of me tell the difference between when my [magnesium platform] pedals are shot or the [external] bottom bracket is fubared they both always feel and sound alike to me.
Interesting.....hmmmmm...didn't replace the pedals. I'll do that tomorrow and see what happens. Someone else suggested that I check the frame for cracks at the welds. Guess I'll get the magnifying glass out and see if I can spot any abnormalities along the welds. Thank you for the suggestion.

Last edited by tsgraham; 08-26-16 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 08-26-16, 06:16 AM
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A friend's Strat broke, and it went with a BANG! on a smooth section of road. Remember, anything that's cyclically loaded when you pedal is suspect. That means rear wheel, seat, steering, idlers... and yes frame. In short, everywhere! Pushing here and there *might* show it up.
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Old 08-26-16, 08:43 AM
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Pull the cover and foam off the seat pan. The bolts holding it down have been known to come loose.
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Old 08-29-16, 01:38 PM
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Are you using a torque wrench?

The torque spec for most bottom brackets is 30 ft/lbs. That's significantly more than I would use if left to my own devices.
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Old 08-30-16, 06:23 AM
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Creaks

When you're done checking everything and your bike is still creaky?
Start over.

Even when all of the bolts are correctly torqued, some joints will start to creak under load.
When new, everything is clean and corrosion-free.
When machines age, they corrode, wear and collect debris.

So, start over!

Disassemble anything that is clamped to anything else and then clean all the parts thoroughly.
Relube, reassemble and retorque.

If your problem is not lurking anywhere in or in the vicinity of the seat, handlebar, bottom bracket, boom or frame then it's your wheel assemblies.
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Old 09-02-16, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Are you using a torque wrench?

The torque spec for most bottom brackets is 30 ft/lbs. That's significantly more than I would use if left to my own devices.
You may be onto something! I watched the mechanic at the LBS and he didn't use a torque wrench. Thank you. I'll let you know if this is the culprit. Tom
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Old 09-03-16, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by yakmurph View Post
When you're done checking everything and your bike is still creaky?
Start over.

Even when all of the bolts are correctly torqued, some joints will start to creak under load.
When new, everything is clean and corrosion-free.
When machines age, they corrode, wear and collect debris.

So, start over!

Disassemble anything that is clamped to anything else and then clean all the parts thoroughly.
Relube, reassemble and retorque.

If your problem is not lurking anywhere in or in the vicinity of the seat, handlebar, bottom bracket, boom or frame then it's your wheel assemblies.
I think you're correct. Everything that I've done, and had done, seemed to correct the issue for a while. So....do it again is probably the answer....other than replacing the components I replaced recently, bottom bracket, headset, crankset...they aren't the culprit. One question I have though is where do I find the torque settings for these "joints" that can be causing the sound?
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Old 09-04-16, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tsgraham View Post
I think you're correct. Everything that I've done, and had done, seemed to correct the issue for a while. So....do it again is probably the answer....other than replacing the components I replaced recently, bottom bracket, headset, crankset...they aren't the culprit. One question I have though is where do I find the torque settings for these "joints" that can be causing the sound?
You don't understand; it's my fault.
Let's try again!

My experience with the type of creaking you're experiencing
is that after a while, a joint -where one part bolts to another part- will get noisy under load.
Tightening the noisy joint will not help.
Torquing the fasteners will not help the noise.
Re-tightening noisy things will. Not. Help.

Replacing everything will eventually work, of course, but the noise will come back
as the new parts wear.
Wear means the accumulation of paint particles, dust, corrosion products, metallic dust, used grease and or oil and so on.



So, please try this:
Remove your seat.
Disassemble all of the parts that bolt to the seat.
Disassemble the seat itself.
Clean all of the parts and the bolts and the frame.
Clean the seat struts, it's bolts and the frame parts.
Lubricate all of the bolts, threaded holes and nuts.
Wash and lightly wax the frame, the struts and the like.
Reassemble everything.

If that works, fine!
If not, then do the same thing
-remove, clean, lube & replace-
to your idler assembly.

Good luck!
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Old 09-04-16, 06:05 PM
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Even if you've cleaned and regreased everything, sometimes you have to go after the problem with more gusto. A couple things that have happened to me:

#1: I had a creak in the bottom bracket of my Gold Rush with a Shimano cartridge bottom bracket. I took it all apart, greased the threads and mating surfaces, put it together and the creak went away... for a couple weeks. Then it came back. Dissembled, cleaned, greased, reassembled... same situation.

I finally noticed that there was a teeny bit of play between the bottom bracket sleeve and the frame's BB shell when I threaded just the parts in the frame without tightening them up. I think there was enough room there for things to move around even when tightened to the correct torque. I took everything apart, wound a couple layers of Teflon plumber's tape around the threads and put it all back together... and it's been quiet for years.

#2: On my Lightning, I had a persistent creak/click in my bottom bracket area. Thinking that I had a bad bottom bracket, I rebuilt it. Still the same noise. Rebuilt it again, No luck. On the third time, I took everything apart and finally noticed that the pedal threads were dry. I cleaned them, applied new grease, and enjoyed quiet pedaling.

Keep going after it!
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Old 09-06-16, 01:28 PM
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This is just to illustrate what might be necessary to isolate the cause. Coincidentally, I finally had to get serious about a creak in my M5 Carbon Highracer. It got so bad, I'd characterize it as a "rattle" more than a creak; especially after a high-speed downhill where I hit some rough road at 45+ mph. By torquing various parts and directions, I determined that the creak happened when I push the boom sideways, independent of pedals or crank. I removed the pedals and crank, re-tested, then removed the sliding boom piece. When pushing on the frame near where the boom formerly clamped in, it still creaked. Further, it creaked when I pushed on the bottom bearing race of the headset but not on the top bearing race. No cracks in the carbon can be seen anywhere. Tonight I remove the headset. I think the aluminum head tube has come unbonded from the carbon exterior.
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Old 09-08-16, 03:17 PM
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Resolution obtained.

When in doubt....call the people that made the bike. I called Rans, spoke shortly with Ginger who referred me to "technical support". Jerroll spoke with me for about 30-40 minutes. A delightful guy, he asked questions about what I had done so far and actually listened to my answers. It was a delightful experience. When I told him what had been replaced so far he suggested that I first address the bottom bracket. He said many mechanics think him crazy when he does it, but he said to torque the bottom bracket to 37 foot pounds of pressure. If that didn't work he gave me a list of what to go to next. The next day I took it to my local bike shop, Revolution Ski & Cycle in St. Cloud, MN. The mechanic, Noah, pulled the crank set, set the torque wrench to 37 fp and turned each side about an additional quarter turn from where it had been set without using a torque wrench. After re-assembling my bike, I put it on the bikerack on the car and headed home with it since it was pouring rain outside. I was curious but not that curious. Later, that afternoon, I pushed the XP out of the garage and took off on the test ride. I started laughing with pleasure. It was like a new bike....absolutely noiseless. I called my mechanic and thanked him and told him the results. Then I called Rans and spoke with Jerroll, who I had found out is actually the new owner of Rans Bicycle Company. I told him the results and thanked him for taking the time and delivering the solution to my creaking XP. I wish him every success.

I went for a fifty mile ride with a couple friends today and I don't think I've enjoyed a ride that much in a long time. Thank you to everyone that responded to my inquiry with suggestions. Nice neighborhood we have here.

Tom
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Old 09-08-16, 08:23 PM
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Happy ending!
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