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She Cries When...

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

She Cries When...

Old 03-28-10, 07:22 PM
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She Cries When...

I bought a Fuji Team carbon fiber bike about 6 months ago and have had constant problems with it.

The worst part of this bike, though, is that it makes an incessant creaking noise whenever I get out of the saddle to mash up a hill or something.

The creaking isn't there (for the most part) when I'm seated. I have tightened every bolt on the bike and even taken the cranks and bottom bracket out, greased it up, and re-installed. I'm at a complete loss.

The frame is extremely flexy, so I wonder if this creaking noise could just be coming from the frame whenever I torque it really hard. Do y'all have any experience with this? Any suggestions? My mechanic and I have literally tried everything we could think of. Is this something that just happens w/ CF bikes?

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Old 03-28-10, 07:49 PM
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Sometimes those noises wind up being something that doesn't seem at all related to what you think the problem might be. I have a noise like that that I was 100% sure had to be somewhere in the headset, or bars, or headtube. After finally giving up and taking it to by local shop, he took the headset apart, put it back together, and the noise was still there. Wound up just pulling the front wheel off and putting it back on completely solved the problem. What took a few hours of work and frustration could have been solved in 30 seconds..
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Old 03-28-10, 07:50 PM
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Bikes aren't "she" unless you haven't dated in a long long time.

It's not normal for bikes to creak, no matter how flexy they are. Something's wrong, you'll have to hunt it down.
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Old 03-28-10, 07:51 PM
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make sure your front skewer is tight...even slide a tiny bit of grease on the surfaces of skewer/fork.
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Old 03-28-10, 07:56 PM
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Sounds like something with your cockpit/headset. Make sure you use some the right grease and torque everything correctly.

You've probably tried, but try isolating the sound by doing some tests. It'll help you find where the problem is.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:00 PM
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Did you apply grease to the threads of all those bolts you removed? If not, go back and do it. Also check your pedals (both bearings and threads), cassette lockring, and rear wheel spoke tension. I've seen them all cause funny noises.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:09 PM
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I've got 1300 or so miles on my Fuji Team now and never heard a creak until 2 weeks ago when I switched to a Specialized Toupe saddle. That thing makes a ton of noise.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:11 PM
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Quick releases.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by thesmoothdome
I've got 1300 or so miles on my Fuji Team now and never heard a creak until 2 weeks ago when I switched to a Specialized Toupe saddle. That thing makes a ton of noise.

Mine does too. Fizik Arione also, on my other bike. It doesn't seem a big deal to me.
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Old 03-28-10, 08:28 PM
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Pedals/cleats?
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Old 03-28-10, 08:31 PM
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They covered 2 of my favorites, skewers and cassette lockring. My most recent creak turned out to be loose chain ring bolts
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Old 03-28-10, 08:32 PM
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thanks for the tips, guys.

funny thing...i'm using a Toupe on mine as well, but I don't think that's it b/c it seems like the only time that I DON'T hear the creaking is when I'm seated.

I have messed w/ the cockpit more than anything else, so I'm pretty sure there's not an issue there.

I'm gonna mess with the quick releases, regrease the pedal threads and also tension the rear spokes. These Shimano r-500 wheels are crap. The front one has gone out of true several times, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case w/ the rear. I'll keep y'all updated and if any of you have additional ideas let me know.

EDIT: what exactly would you recommend doing w/ the quick releases? Just making sure they are on tight but not too tight? Grease? Am I in danger of putting grease on the front quick release since it comes into direct contact with the carbon fiber fork ends?
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Old 03-28-10, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt2.8NJ
Mine does too. Fizik Arione also, on my other bike. It doesn't seem a big deal to me.
Have you tried putting a thin coat of grease where the rails contact the clamp?
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Old 03-28-10, 08:42 PM
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Okay, so I've been doing some "tests" in my living room just now, and I have some more clues:

-If I hold the bike up straight (standing next to it) and then put my foot on the crank arm and push down (as to force lateral movement in the frame), it makes the noise. This most certainly means it has to have something to do w/ the BB, right?
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Old 03-28-10, 08:55 PM
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or chainring bolts...
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Old 03-28-10, 10:09 PM
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Or pedals...
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Old 03-28-10, 10:09 PM
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find out if it creaks at a certain part in the pedal stroke
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Old 03-28-10, 10:12 PM
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it always creaks at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The bottom of each crank arm's pedal stroke...so twice per full rotation. Chainring bolts and pedals appear to be fine, though I haven't taken the pedals apart and they are some old school Look Keos (very old school...)
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Old 03-28-10, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PedallingATX
Okay, so I've been doing some "tests" in my living room just now, and I have some more clues:

-If I hold the bike up straight (standing next to it) and then put my foot on the crank arm and push down (as to force lateral movement in the frame), it makes the noise. This most certainly means it has to have something to do w/ the BB, right?
Are you holding it by the handlebar? At first I thought about stem/bar.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:41 PM
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yea im putting one hand on the bar, the other on the saddle and then just applying pressure on the pedal w/ one of my feet. At this point I'm thinking it either has to be the pedal bearings or the BB.

I hate this ****. I'm getting too used to riding w/ headphones b/c I just don't want to be bothered by the noise. It has been going on for a while, and I've been actively trying to fix it but I can't seem to figure anything out.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:55 PM
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I had a similar noise on my new Scott. I loosened all the stem bolts (4 in front where it holds the handlebars, 2 in back where it grabs the steerer tube). Greased all the bolts, spray lubed the interface between stem and bars/steerer tube, re-torqued all of it. The bike is now silent.

One way to narrow it down to this cause is this: climb out of the saddle, listen for the noise. Then sit down and gently rest your hands on the bar tops. If the noise goes away when seated, it's probably the stem creaking against the bars or steerer tube.

Another common cause is loose QR levers front and/or rear. Make sure they're very tight, see if that helps. Third thing is pedals/cleats. Remove pedals from crank arms. Clean thoroughly. Grease, re-torque. Clean and spray lube or lightly grease pedal cleats and interface.

Another creak source: the seat rails against the seat post. The seat post against the frame. Disassemble, clean thoroughly, lightly grease (this varies with the seat post/frame material, check with your LBS on this latter move before you do it).

I have had success eliminating maddening creaks with all of the above, or combinations thereof. It's not hard to get persistent creaks on brand new bikes (my Cervelo's seat post against frame creak was when the bike was six months old too). I've been doing this for a long time, learned all this through experience and input from my LBS, and of course, St. Sheldon, RIP.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:57 PM
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You may be trying to put your post in the wrong tube. Try using more grease when you attempt the installation.
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Old 03-28-10, 11:01 PM
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had same problem before. just torqued the bar/stem bolts.
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Old 03-28-10, 11:08 PM
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Pedals, Stem, Handlebar, Headset, Crankset, BB. I had a similar creak last year (not a full CF bike), pulled all of those off, lubed, reinstalled with a torque wrench, noise is now gone
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Old 03-28-10, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PedallingATX

The creaking isn't there (for the most part) when I'm seated.
Grease all the stem bolts, light lube on the stem interface with steerer tube and handlebars, re-torque.

Thank me later.
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