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Bottom Bracket creaking

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Bottom Bracket creaking

Old 07-19-19, 05:56 PM
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Bottom Bracket creaking

What are people's thoughts on addressing this issue? My bicycle is fairly new. I've only put ~500 miles on it and it's already begun to creak. It's a 2018 Specialized Allez Sprint, which means it's using an "OSBB" aka BB30. Is this common for the bearings to make noise this early? BBinfinite and Hambini seem to have a permanent solution. BBinfinite claim their ceramic bearings won't wear prematurely, like other standard ceramic bearings. Thoughts?

I only use the bike for casual, fitness riding. I'll likely go with the standard ABEC 7 steel bearings since I prioritize reliability over wattage savings.
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Old 07-19-19, 07:53 PM
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I addressed this issue during winter training at a lbs. I was told that it was due to my crappy pedal stroke. Now I have managed to learn to pedal properly, in circles keeping an even amt of force on the bearing throughout the stroke. No squeaking anymore. The benefit for me is more power in my stroke.

Your case may be different. 500 miles and a squeaky bb seems unreasonable. Possibly a defect?
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Old 07-19-19, 08:17 PM
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I got around 7,000 miles out of my PF30 BB, an amount which every single mechanic at the LBS remarked as being "almost unheard of."

Squeaking out of an OSBB at 500 miles? Possible. The good part is you've only put 500 miles on it, so your LBS should be able to take care of it.

From what I understand, some Spesh frames have plastic cups for the bearings and some have aluminum. Apparently the plastic is VERY prone to squeaking/creaking.

It's almost certainly the cups, or the installation of the cups/bearings. To wear a BB bearing out in 500 miles, you'd have to ride it under the sea.
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Old 07-19-19, 08:53 PM
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It could very likely not be coming from your BB at all. Check and/or lube your qr or thruaxles, cassette lockring, chainring bolts, or crank spindle adapters if you’re running Shimano cranks. I’ve found all of the above to make noise that masquerades as bb creak.

Last edited by Jazzguitar; 07-19-19 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
I addressed this issue during winter training at a lbs. I was told that it was due to my crappy pedal stroke.
You need a new LBS.
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Old 07-19-19, 09:57 PM
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I’d also check/clean/lube/tighten seat post, saddle rails, pedals, cleats, stem and steering head before I started replacing parts. At 500 miles things are just "bedding in" adjustments at this time are a normal maintenance procedure.

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Old 07-19-19, 10:00 PM
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Are you certain it's the BB that is squeaking? Squeaks can be very hard to trace. If you are certain it is the BB, the shop should adjust it free of charge given the age of the bike. That's why we support the LBS.
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Old 07-20-19, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
You need a new LBS.
based on what? My corrected pedal stroke alleviated the squeak. also more power is put into useful work as demonstrated on the pedal stroke analyzer. In all I am getting more out of a corrrcted circular pedal stroke
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Old 07-20-19, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
based on what? My corrected pedal stroke alleviated the squeak. also more power is put into useful work as demonstrated on the pedal stroke analyzer. In all I am getting more out of a corrrcted circular pedal stroke
That's great you've improved your technique, but a bottom bracket shouldn't squeak, regardless of technique.
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Old 07-20-19, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit
That's great you've improved your technique, but a bottom bracket shouldn't squeak, regardless of technique.
Yeah, but the squeak doesn't matter if he doesn't make it happen. I like the advice - saves stuffing around with an inherently flawed system or shelling out on an aftermarket fix.
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Old 07-20-19, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
I addressed this issue during winter training at a lbs. I was told that it was due to my crappy pedal stroke. Now I have managed to learn to pedal properly, in circles keeping an even amt of force on the bearing throughout the stroke. No squeaking anymore. The benefit for me is more power in my stroke.

Your case may be different. 500 miles and a squeaky bb seems unreasonable. Possibly a defect?
Originally Posted by DrIsotope
I got around 7,000 miles out of my PF30 BB, an amount which every single mechanic at the LBS remarked as being "almost unheard of."

Squeaking out of an OSBB at 500 miles? Possible. The good part is you've only put 500 miles on it, so your LBS should be able to take care of it.

From what I understand, some Spesh frames have plastic cups for the bearings and some have aluminum. Apparently the plastic is VERY prone to squeaking/creaking.

It's almost certainly the cups, or the installation of the cups/bearings. To wear a BB bearing out in 500 miles, you'd have to ride it under the sea.
I considered these two options as a likely explanation. I haven't been using the best form when peddling out of the saddle. It's also a possibility that the bearings weren't seated properly. I believe the cups are aluminum on all modern Specialized bikes.

I can hear the noise coming directly from the bb. I can also feel it thru the pedal. It creaks in nearly every gear, under any load, and at any cadence. I contacted my lbs. They said to bring it in [fingers crossed]. It would be nice to have it fixed without spending anything extra, especially given that the bike is pretty new.
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Old 07-20-19, 09:46 AM
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BB30 creak is a common problem. You can go with one of the options mentioned or just use loctite bearing retention compound to hold the bearings in place. If you go the loctite route, you need to leave the press on there holding the bearings in place for 24 hours. If you don't keep the press in place, as the loctite dries, it can push the bearings out of place, resulting in another creak.
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Old 07-20-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro
BB30 creak is a common problem.
I'd generalize this and say any press-fit BB is prone to creaking. Trek's BB90, for example, is (in)famous for it. If the bike has only 500 miles on it, let the LBS deal with it.

I don't buy the "you're pedaling wrong" explanation. That's just laziness from the LBS trying to avoid doing anything. It shouldn't squeak even when you're out of the saddle, much less in the saddle. Hasn't the whole "pedaling in circles" thing been debunked at this point?
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Old 07-20-19, 12:31 PM
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Haven't read all the responses but it's my understanding the press fit BB will creak.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by road292
I'd generalize this and say any press-fit BB is prone to creaking. Trek's BB90, for example, is (in)famous for it. If the bike has only 500 miles on it, let the LBS deal with it.

I don't buy the "you're pedaling wrong" explanation. That's just laziness from the LBS trying to avoid doing anything. It shouldn't squeak even when you're out of the saddle, much less in the saddle. Hasn't the whole "pedaling in circles" thing been debunked at this point?
I can believe that if your pedal stroke isn't quite radial that an axial force can be applied, which could lead to uneven pressure applied to the inner race of the bearings.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
I addressed this issue during winter training at a lbs. I was told that it was due to my crappy pedal stroke. Now I have managed to learn to pedal properly, in circles keeping an even amt of force on the bearing throughout the stroke. No squeaking anymore. The benefit for me is more power in my stroke.
That's completely and emphatically made up. I would genuinely never go to that lbs again. They clearly know little to nothing about bikes or pedaling.

You've always pedaled in circles. You've never applied an even amount of force throughout that circle.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
That's completely and emphatically made up. I would genuinely never go to that lbs again. They clearly know little to nothing about bikes or pedaling.

You've always pedaled in circles. You've never applied an even amount of force throughout that circle.
Pedaling in circles is very likely a figure of speech. At least i have always taken it that way. i have SPDs so, yes, my feet had always been traveling in circles, but that was by default. however, my legs were never always putting power into the full travel of the circle. that is what the term really means in my opinion I have learned about this on this forum as well but never had the ability to really learn what i was doing wrong. my LBS had me and my bike hooked up to an analyzer to see just how crappy and inefficient my pedal stroke was. what an eye opener. It took a season for it to become second nature but it now it is and i am ever thankful for my LBS for having the equipment to show me where i was going wrong. And in doing so they did not try to sell me something i did not need. So, that being said, i hope you'll excuse me when i say i won't be taking your advice to find another LBS.

ride on!
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Old 07-20-19, 08:19 PM
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+1 on lubing the qr's. I have a friend who had a creaky bb. I told him to oil his qr's and make sure they were tight. Guess what? The noise went away, AND he'd already had the bb rebuilt twice--for naught.
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Old 07-20-19, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Pedaling in circles is very likely a figure of speech. At least i have always taken it that way. i have SPDs so, yes, my feet had always been traveling in circles, but that was by default. however, my legs were never always putting power into the full travel of the circle. that is what the term really means in my opinion I have learned about this on this forum as well but never had the ability to really learn what i was doing wrong. my LBS had me and my bike hooked up to an analyzer to see just how crappy and inefficient my pedal stroke was. what an eye opener. It took a season for it to become second nature but it now it is and i am ever thankful for my LBS for having the equipment to show me where i was going wrong. And in doing so they did not try to sell me something i did not need. So, that being said, i hope you'll excuse me when i say i won't be taking your advice to find another LBS.

ride on!
Splitting hairs here but you could pedal with one leg, standing, sitting or only applying power for 1/4 of a stroke. Your BB doesn't know the difference. You will pass certain specific power at any point in the stroke at one point or another regardless of how you pedal. It's not like you apply 250 watts for 10 degrees it will make a noise but 250 for 70 degrees in an efficient manner is any different. The only factor is overall torque. If you are capable of twisting a BB with your torque you have a flexy frame or a crappy BB or you are exceptionally strong. Did it make or not make noise when you were out of the saddle? That is a completely different power stroke and power through the circle.
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Old 07-21-19, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by spelger
Pedaling in circles is very likely a figure of speech. At least i have always taken it that way. i have SPDs so, yes, my feet had always been traveling in circles, but that was by default. however, my legs were never always putting power into the full travel of the circle. that is what the term really means in my opinion I have learned about this on this forum as well but never had the ability to really learn what i was doing wrong. my LBS had me and my bike hooked up to an analyzer to see just how crappy and inefficient my pedal stroke was. what an eye opener. It took a season for it to become second nature but it now it is and i am ever thankful for my LBS for having the equipment to show me where i was going wrong. And in doing so they did not try to sell me something i did not need. So, that being said, i hope you'll excuse me when i say i won't be taking your advice to find another LBS.

ride on!
And your legs never are. And they never will be.

So you and your bike shop are emphatically wrong that that would make a bottom bracket creak.

That's fine. You clearly don't know what you don't know, nor do you know what your bike shop doesn't know. So you're fine with paying for ignorance and flat-out wrong information. I wouldn't be, but eh.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:14 AM
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OP, as others have said, noise is not uncommon with any variety of press fit bb. Nothing is worn out at your mileage. Your shop should have a variety of "fixes" to try. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-19, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
That's completely and emphatically made up. I would genuinely never go to that lbs again. They clearly know little to nothing about bikes or pedaling.

You've always pedaled in circles. You've never applied an even amount of force throughout that circle.
I agree. That diagnosis from the bike shop is ridiculous.
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Old 07-21-19, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
OP, as others have said, noise is not uncommon with any variety of press fit bb. Nothing is worn out at your mileage. Your shop should have a variety of "fixes" to try. Good luck!
One thing to consider is your pedals. They have bearings too, and can make noise. 9 times out of 10 when I am convinced the bb or crank is making noise, I take apart the pedals and find that they need lube. Noises in that area can be very difficult to diagnose.

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Old 07-21-19, 04:41 PM
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All my BB are threaded. They creak at times. I pull it off, wipe off the threads, lightly grease and reassemble. That fixes it every time. Obviously that won't resolve an actual bearing problem but those are rare. I guess with press fit the same thing happens at the contact surfaces but you can't as easily redo it.
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Old 07-21-19, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval
And your legs never are. And they never will be.
This was going to be my response as well.
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