Creak & Groans - Bike Magic

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Creak & Groans

After reading the forum, it seems that many of you have problems with creaks and groans. We all do! And there are a million different causes. But before you start replacing everything in a frantic search for the cause, consider these tips

. Any two metal surfaces placed together dry will creak with only the very slightest
relative movement. Only rarely is the creak caused by a crack.

. There is usually no need to replace a creaking component (e.g. crank or bottom
bracket), simply grease the two surfaces.

. Copper grease is superb at stopping creaks. Coat both surfaces with a thin smear of copper-cote and reassemble. If you don’t want to grease the surfaces (e.g. crank tapers) then try a dot of mild loctite instead.

. You have to locate the creak first! Stand up, if the creak continues then it can’t
be your saddle or seat post can it?

. Stop pedalling. If the creak continues then it isn’t your drive train!

. If the creak is in your drivetrain, is it once a pedal rev? If so, check the chainring
bolts, crank spider lockring, axle taper and BB. If you suspect the pedals, pedal
one-footed to try and identify which one. Often it could just be a little grit in
your spuds.

. If the creak increases with cycling speed – not pedalling speed, then it could
be where the cassette fits on the freehub.

. If the creak increases with cycling speed even when not pedalling, it could be
the hub bearings.

. If the creaks occur when going over bumpy ground, and not smooth ground then look at your suspension pivots and shock pivots.

. If the bike creaks under heavy braking and/or full fork travel, then look at the fit of the headset lower ring onto the steerer, check the fork bushings for play and check all the bolts in the crown are tight.

. If the creak almost has a mind of its own, check the frame very carefully for cracks, normally found around the welds and the headtube.

. If you do find a loose fitting bearing, before you go demanding a new frame or component, try loctite bearing fit. Surprisingly enough it is used to fit bearings! It is fairly permanent, but can often cure the creak.

. Remember, grease or loctite any suspect mating surfaces, before resorting to the credit card. You only need to replace a component if worn-out bearings or a crack is identified as the cause.

. Happy hunting!!!

. Still no joy? Try earplugs!

Editors note: I guess, if we were really smart and could be bothered, we could do a wonderful cgi based click-where-the-noise-is type graphic thing. But I don’t know how. If anyone out there could be bothered, then off you go…


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