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Creaking sound driving me crazy!

justin_gjustin_g Posts: 2
edited August 2017 in Workshop
Is there anything worse than a mysterious creak! Here's my problem. I can't pin down where the creaking sound is coming from. I initially thought it was from the head tube. I tightened down the stem bolts and the steering tube bolt. No improvement. Took the peddles off (Look Keo), greased the threads, put a drop of lube on the springs, pedal plate and my cleats. No improvement. I washed the bike and lubed chain, dropouts, etc. No improvement. I tightened the seat post clamp, chainring bolts, the derailleur hanger, and the seat rails. Sound is still there.

It's a creaking sound that goes away if I stop peddling OR if I get out of the saddle or sprint. It's every peddle stroke rotation. It's driving me absolution bonkers. If I had the right tools to adjust the crank set I would do that. It's a three year old Trek Emonda.

Any advice? I don't have the skills/knowledge to disassemble the bottom bracket. I guess if it turns out that is the problem I'm in for an expensive trip to the shop.

Thanks in advance for any info. Really appreciate it.


  • I'd put money on the bottom bracket. Hope I'm wrong.
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  • OrkneyladOrkneylad Posts: 104
    If it's the BB it seems strange that it goes away when out of the saddle/sprinting.....have you checked/listened-in on the rear stays?
  • Wheely33Wheely33 Posts: 25
    If it goes away when you're out of the saddle it could be the saddle itself, or the seat post creaking in frame tube. The latter might need either carbon assembly paste or copper grease, depending on the materials involved.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    BB creaks are usually worse out of the saddle. Sounds as if is saddle related - may be worth trying a different saddle to eliminate this as a source? Or get ear plugs ;)
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • shipleyshipley Posts: 549
    I had this on a bike with a Campagnolo chainset. In the end it turned out to be dirt / grit in the chainring bolts. In desperation I undid them, greased them and tightened them up and the noise disappeared never to return.

    Not sure what you are running (probably Shimano) but its worth a look if you have bolts.

    Otherwise, try spraying some GT85 around your pedals and cleats as my Looks can squeak when dry.
  • e999same999sam Posts: 426
    First thing I'd try is tightening the rear quick release.
  • Bottom bracket loose or worn is the frequent offender.
    I've once had a creak caused by a very loose front skewer.
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    My last annoying squeak which accompanied each and every pedal stroke of a 60 miler turned out to be because I'd strapped my Carradice saddle bag to the rails of a Spesh saddle that has no bag loops. Convinced at first it had to be the bottom bracket on the way out, then I thought it had to be pedal or cleat related. By mile 49 after a process of elimination involving standing, sitting, pedalling, freewheeling and rocking the bike from side to side I'd finally pinpointed the little [email protected]!"

    I'd say given your description you too should be focusing on the saddle / seatpost
  • I'm thinkin it's the wheels and pedaling causes it, but getting up out of the saddle increases the load and actually eliminates it. I would look at your wheels for any obvious cracks and also swap with an extra set or from a mate and see if it goes away. Or it could be all the other things :-)
  • ayjayceeayjaycee Posts: 1,277
    justin_g wrote:
    I tightened down the stem bolts and the steering tube bolt.
    As you might gather from the different suggestions above, it could be a number of things but if you tightened the stem and steerer in that order, you probably wouldn't have made any difference. The steerer should be properly tensioned first followed by the stem.

    A couple of other points. You didn't say what sort of BB it was but apart from the possible, but not insurmountable, need for special tools, BBs are not really difficult to work on. As usual with these things, the internet is your friend and there is loads of guidance available. In any event, if you do have to resort to a shop for the job, it's not complicated and the labour bill shouldn't be too high.
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  • I would eliminate the more obvious culprits before jumping to changing the BB. I had a very similar issue. After trying everything myself, turns out tightening parts to the torque spec solved everything.

    The cranks are the most obvious culprits and it looks like you haven't tried tightening them? They get loose over time, its pretty much unavoidable. Try tightening the cranks to the recommended torque. If it still creaks and it is quite old, go up to the maximum torque (but not over it obviously).

    Even if the issue is the BB, before getting a new one, I would just try cleaning it. For me, I had unbearable creaking. When i tightened up my cranks it was mostly gone. I had a new BB at hand and was about to change it when I saw how dirty the old one had gotten. Cleaning it up solved any remaining niggly problems.

    If you take the cranks off entirely, clean out any mud and grease thoroughly, lightly re grease the central crank bar/tube or whatever before you put it back in.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    If it is the stem etc just tightening won't make a difference - you need to loosen off, carbon paste/copper slip up up, the do back to manufacturers tourque settings - just doing everything up FT won't help.

    Mark the seat post level, pop it out, clean, paste, pop back in, do up clamp to proper level. Do same to seat.

    Op chain ring bolts out, do the same.

    If it is b/b it won't be that expensive a trip so don't worry about it.

    If you go as far thinking wheels, just change them out for a mates and take it from there.

    These things are annoying but not insurmountable and if you go through the bike properly it means that you know that everything is clean, pasted/greased and set up properly.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Agree with everything said so far - for me with a similar problem to justin_g I've also found taking the seatpost out, cleaning thoroughly and then reapplying some carbon paste has sorted. Do this whenever creak reappears. - about every four months. Most recently had to remove saddle from seatpost as well. Gave the rails etc a really good clean up too and creak totally sorted. Clue for me was both Me and friend noticed the creak only occurred when sat down and not out of saddle. Hope helps.
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