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Moved a spacer for fit, now there's a weird sound.

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Moved a spacer for fit, now there's a weird sound.

Old 08-22-10, 12:48 PM
  #1  
Chef151
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Moved a spacer for fit, now there's a weird sound.

About a week ago I moved my largest spacer, (maybe 25MM?), from below the stem, to above it, to get a more aggressive riding position.

Now, possibly completely unrelated btw, I am hearing a very weird, fairly frequent sound from the bike. At first I thought it was that my water bottle holders were a bit loose, but I removed them and am still hearing it. My wife could hear it when she was on my wheel earlier today. It's almost a 'creak' sound. It happens fairly often, especially at lower speeds it seems. I heard a similar sound when (while off the bike), I turned my handle bars as far left as possible, but no sound when turned to the right.


My guess is it has something to do with the cables, which are routed internally on this bike, but my wrenching knowledge is fairly limited as I just got the bike 2-3 mths ago.

Could lowering the handlebars without touching the cables have done this?

Any guesses?

Thanks.

Last edited by Chef151; 08-22-10 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:53 PM
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Did you correctly torque the headset cap to preload the headset?

If not, you are likely hearing your fork rattling in your headset.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Did you correctly torque the headset cap to preload the headset?

If not, you are likely hearing your fork rattling in your headset.
Since I don't know what torquing the headset cap means, I'm gonna guess most likely not.

What do I need to do exactly? Feel free to link me if it's easier.

That's would make sense though, since the sound seems to be coming from either the headset area or top tube.
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Old 08-22-10, 12:57 PM
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It could be the rear brake cable housing where it enters the top-tube (assuming you have a relatively traditional frame).

I get a click/creak when climbing out of the saddle sometimes because of the rear brake cable and it drives me nuts.

Last edited by kimconyc; 08-22-10 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:03 PM
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I have the cables making this creaking noise sometimes. At first I was really scared becuase I didn't know where it was coming from but when I touch the cabels it makes a creaking noise. I don't know what I can do about it because my cables are internally routed too.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Chef151 View Post
Since I don't know what torquing the headset cap means, I'm gonna guess most likely not. What do I need to do exactly?
Is there any lateral play in the fork? Does it move around a little in the head tube? If so, it is too loose.

To torque it, first loosen the stem on the steerer. Push down a little on the handlebars and make sure there is no play in the fork (I find wiggling the bars sideways a little while pushing down does the trick). Then tighten the bolt in the top cap - dont over-tighten or you can damage the headset. When you lift up the front of the bike, the wheel should flop over to a side quite easily, but there shouldnt be any play in the fork anymore. Then tighten your stem on the steerer.

V.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:21 PM
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Try putting a drop of chain oil into each of the brake and shift cable fittings.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:32 PM
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Stand over your bike. Pull the front brake lever while putting a little weight on the bars then push your bike gently back and forth while looking the the headset (top and bottom of head tube). Do you see any play? There shouldn't be any.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chef151 View Post
Since I don't know what torquing the headset cap means, I'm gonna guess most likely not.

What do I need to do exactly? Feel free to link me if it's easier.

That's would make sense though, since the sound seems to be coming from either the headset area or top tube.
You can check this pretty easily. Grab your front brake hard, push down on the handlebars and try to push the bike back and forth. If there is any play in the fork, the headset cap isn't tight. If that is the case, go here: https://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=65 scroll down to Headset Adjustment - Threadless Type, and follow steps 7-11.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll check it out in a couple hours, see what happens and report back.

Bp- I try to put a drop on those every week or so, I'll try some more just in case.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by vkalia View Post
Is there any lateral play in the fork? Does it move around a little in the head tube? If so, it is too loose.

To torque it, first loosen the stem on the steerer. Push down a little on the handlebars and make sure there is no play in the fork (I find wiggling the bars sideways a little while pushing down does the trick). Then tighten the bolt in the top cap - dont over-tighten or you can damage the headset. When you lift up the front of the bike, the wheel should flop over to a side quite easily, but there shouldnt be any play in the fork anymore. Then tighten your stem on the steerer.

V.
+1 I'd be willing to bet that when you changed the spacer you didn't properly seat the stem on the steerer. With internal cable routing I'll assume you have a CF bike and if your stem is as well you need to be careful when you tighten the top cap that you use a torque wrench and don't tighten more than 2 nm. As for the stem to the steerer probably 6 nm.
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Old 08-22-10, 01:51 PM
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It's the bike in my sig, so it has an aluminum frame with a carbon fork and carbon chain stays.
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Old 08-22-10, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Did you correctly torque the headset cap to preload the headset?

If not, you are likely hearing your fork rattling in your headset.
This. Just make sure when you tighten things up that the spacers can't be spun with your fingers.
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Old 08-22-10, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chef151 View Post
About a week ago I moved my largest spacer, (maybe 25MM?), from above the stem, to below it, to get a more aggressive riding position.
wouldn't that make it a less aggressive position?
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Old 08-22-10, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by darkadious View Post
wouldn't that make it a less aggressive position?
Oops, my mistake. Thanks for pointing that out, I went ahead and edited the OP.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:27 PM
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Ok, good news first: it's not the fork/headset etc. Further good news: I know exactly how to adjust everything in that area when the need arises in the future.

Bad news: the sound is still there.

News I don't know if it is good or bad: after all this, I found I could easily replicate the sound by fiddling with the the rear brake cable at the point where it enters the frame. Wiggling it at that point creates a metal on metal type sound not far from where the water bottle mounting screws are located inside the down tube.

So can I fix this, or is it a shop job? I have a good relationship with a couple lbs in town ie when I have a small problem or question they often help me out at little to no charge. That being the case, what's my next move?

Thanks again for the help so far.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:32 PM
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Oh, and I mean the point where the rear brake cable enters the frame, not leaves it.

And one other tiny tidbit, I had a small issue with my rear brake about 10-14 days ago and stopped in and the lbs straightened it out for me. Any chance this could be from that?
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Old 08-22-10, 05:18 PM
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You need to torque the head set captive bolt. Your headset is loose and is hammering the bearings and may have ruined them already.

To torque the headset captive bolt the handle bar to stem grip bolts need to be loosened, torque the headset captive bolt and then torque the stem bolts. If the stem was cut to long such that it is not approximately 0.5mm BELOW the edge of the top spacer, proper headset torque is not possible, trim the head tube.

LC
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Old 08-22-10, 07:58 PM
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Well, I made a good faith effort, but I think it's lbs time. Although I'm thinking it's the brake cable, I don't want to permanately break anything if it's the headset. I'll post updates when I get them. Thanks for all the responses.
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Old 08-22-10, 08:14 PM
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i'm going to laugh if this ends up being your cable housings rubbing together. I had/have the same sound. I think i'm going to recable soon and route my cables all pimp like /hardparks his bike
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Old 08-23-10, 12:16 PM
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Sooooo...it was the shifter cables/housing after all (I got mixed up in the earlier posts saying it was the brake cables making the noise I heard.)

It took them about 10 secs to diagnose the problem, but I had them check my handy work on the headset just to make sure. I had overtightened it a little, but he said it's completely fine other than that. So they are swapping them out as we speak and everything should be good when that's finished.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-23-10, 12:49 PM
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Good to know it got sorted out
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