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Creaky Headset, Slight Grease Leak, Ok to Keep Riding for Now?

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Creaky Headset, Slight Grease Leak, Ok to Keep Riding for Now?

Old 01-09-21, 12:30 PM
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Metallifan33
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Creaky Headset, Slight Grease Leak, Ok to Keep Riding for Now?

2020 Trek Domane SL 5.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I started developing a creaky/squeaky noise from the headset. Initially, I wasn't sure if it was the cable housing rubbing the stem or something else. Then I noticed a small amount of grease where the fork meets the headtube.
This all started after I washed the bike.
I called the LBS and they say they need to inspect it to tell me what's really wrong with it. Maybe the bearings need to be replaced.
They can't fit me in for a couple of weeks.
Is it ok to keep riding? Is there a chance I can do some damage if I keep riding with bearings that need to be replaced?
Aside from the annoyingly loud squeaky noises, everything works well (I don't turn the handlebars much anyway).
Thanks!
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Old 01-09-21, 01:59 PM
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rubiksoval
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Undo the two stem bolts (probably M4), the top cap nut (probably M5 or 6), pull off the stem, spacers and headset cap. Then you can take a look at the bearing, pull them out (they just sit in), clean them, and put some grease on them.

Takes 5 mins.
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Old 01-09-21, 04:21 PM
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Your bike is basically new, and it very rarely sees foul weather(we just don't have foul weather in AZ). Grease will seep a tiny bit from a new bike, and dust will stick to that. NBD


(edit) If it's creaking(and it's not a housing rub issue) it might need a tiny adjustment.


Last edited by noodle soup; 01-09-21 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 01-09-21, 05:42 PM
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He has a Domane SL, which has front IsoSpeed, so there will be a few more parts in there, but yeah, it's not too daunting.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Undo the two stem bolts (probably M4), the top cap nut (probably M5 or 6), pull off the stem, spacers and headset cap. Then you can take a look at the bearing, pull them out (they just sit in), clean them, and put some grease on them.

Takes 5 mins.
Domane has that ISO Speed in the front end. I remember reading here somewhere from I think cxwrench that at some point, you need to use a torque wrench during the assembly process.
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Old 01-10-21, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
2020 Trek Domane SL 5.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I started developing a creaky/squeaky noise from the headset. Initially, I wasn't sure if it was the cable housing rubbing the stem or something else. Then I noticed a small amount of grease where the fork meets the headtube.
This all started after I washed the bike.
I called the LBS and they say they need to inspect it to tell me what's really wrong with it. Maybe the bearings need to be replaced.
They can't fit me in for a couple of weeks.
Is it ok to keep riding? Is there a chance I can do some damage if I keep riding with bearings that need to be replaced?
Aside from the annoyingly loud squeaky noises, everything works well (I don't turn the handlebars much anyway).
Thanks!
Did you use a pressure washer to remove the grease leak? I am guessing grease leaked on your forks at the bottom of your head tube?

Unwanted friction is causing the sound so chances are that there's lubricant missing somewhere inside. Not sure if you can permanently damage parts if you ride it that way for an extended period of time though, but my guess would be no, not for a week or two.
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Old 01-10-21, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator View Post
Did you use a pressure washer to remove the grease leak? I am guessing grease leaked on your forks at the bottom of your head tube?

Unwanted friction is causing the sound so chances are that there's lubricant missing somewhere inside. Not sure if you can permanently damage parts if you ride it that way for an extended period of time though, but my guess would be no, not for a week or two.
No pressure wash. I just washed it with a low flow garden hose. The grease appeared the day after the wash, and yes, at the space where the fork meets the headtube.
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Old 01-11-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
No pressure wash. I just washed it with a low flow garden hose. The grease appeared the day after the wash, and yes, at the space where the fork meets the headtube.
That's what I thought. It's kind of odd that water would get inside the head tube with just pressure from a garden hose though. It should not get inside at all. Let me know what your LBS did and what was the issue. I think they'll service your headset (clean and re-grease) and it will be as new.
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