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Do Alu Frames Creak?

BordersroadieBordersroadie Posts: 1,052
edited May 2012 in Workshop
I've been cycling on old 531 steel for 30 years plus, moved to a new alu bike in Jan and from day one it has made creaking/clicking noises most times I use it. I've put 500 miles a month on it. It's a 2011 Cube Streamer.

Some days worse than others. Most apparent with climbing out of the saddle but not solely. Click click click or creak click creak (you get the idea) in time with each crank revolution. Happens in all the triple chainrings and all rear sprockets. Sometimes intermittent, sometimes fairly constant, always quiet when not under real pedalling load.

So my (excellent) LBS has been through it all. So far he's removed/refitted/relubricated/retorqued cranks, bottom bracket, chainrings, pedals, full drivetrain, made sure all cable ends are tucked away, I've swapped pedals, changed shoes/saddle/seatpost, pedalled one footed with either foot. The new handbuilt wheels have been retightened and double checked. There's nothing we haven't tried as far as I know.

It's been a censored in the recent warm weather (far more creaking, less clicking!) so I'm starting to think it's just an aluminium thing?

Enlightenment appreciated!


  • dmr-kevdmr-kev Posts: 49
    I'd have a guess at the seatpost needing a bit of grease, really annoying when it happens but easy fixed.
    2012 CAAD10 RS80 C24

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  • TwostageTwostage Posts: 987
    My alu commuter has a fair collection of creaks, the worst coming from the handlebars when I stand up. I'm fairly sure it is the cables rubbing under the bar tape. I don't worry about them.
    My carbon fibre nice bike creaks a bit too, I worry about that for about 100 yards and then forget about it.
    I suppose I just don't want the frustration of endlessly chasing down a creak.
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    I have a 2005 CAAD 5 and it does not creak so I do not believe Alu per se is the issue.

    Conversely I have 1972 knees and they do creak so go figure :D
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • centimanicentimani Posts: 467
    Quiet when not under load/not pedalling ? Here's an extreme example of what can cause it.... Wife had similar problem, eventually tracked it down to the spoke protector on the rear wheel, flexing and rubbing against the spokes under load. Removed it, problem solved.
  • Mike67Mike67 Posts: 585

    I had very similar symptoms on my alu framed bike. Creaking that was worse when out of the saddle/putting pressure through the pedals.

    Went through a similar exercise, including changing bottom bracket, cleaning and replacing seatpost, checking pedals and dismantling/reassembling the stem/handlebars etc.

    On taking out the (integrated) headset (for the second time) I greased it everywhere...bearings inside and out, wedges, frame where it sits in place, inside of spacers and outside of steerer tube, underneath top cap... :D

    Not sure which bit of greasing did the job but it's now nice and quiet.

    Just go to sort out the 'tinkling' zip on my saddle bag and the occasional rattle from my frame pump :?

    I think though that with the roads in the state they are it's inevitable that something will start to rattle at some point.
    Mike B

    Cannondale CAAD9
    Kinesis Pro 5 cross bike
    Lots of bits
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    Basically no they do not. Wht is fitted to them. If not correctly attached etc can and often do creak.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
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