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creakiness

Old 10-14-21, 03:29 PM
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creakiness

I have a significant creaking sound coming from the drivetrain in the front. Normally I would assume it's the bottom bracket and make sure it was adjusted properly, but it's a sealed cartridge bottom bracket. Are those adjustable? I am new to them so pardon me if it's a dumb question. I ruled out the chainring bolts but not the pedals. It seems like it would be weird for the pedals to both be acting up at the same time since it started suddenly after I converted to a fixed gear.
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Old 10-14-21, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
I have a significant creaking sound coming from the drivetrain in the front. Normally I would assume it's the bottom bracket and make sure it was adjusted properly, but it's a sealed cartridge bottom bracket. Are those adjustable? I am new to them so pardon me if it's a dumb question. I ruled out the chainring bolts but not the pedals. It seems like it would be weird for the pedals to both be acting up at the same time since it started suddenly after I converted to a fixed gear.
  • First, check the crankarm bolts and tighten them if they're loose.
  • Still creaking? Check the pedals, just to rule them out. Remove them, clean and grease the threads, and re-install. Non-drive side is reverse-threaded.
  • Still creaking? Remove the cartridge bottom bracket, clean and grease all threads, and re-install. Drive side is reverse-threaded.
  • Still creaking? Maybe replace the cartridge if it's more than a couple years old.
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Old 10-14-21, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
  • First, check the crankarm bolts and tighten them if they're loose.
  • Still creaking? Check the pedals, just to rule them out. Remove them, clean and grease the threads, and re-install. Non-drive side is reverse-threaded.
  • Still creaking? Remove the cartridge bottom bracket, clean and grease all threads, and re-install. Drive side is reverse-threaded.
  • Still creaking? Maybe replace the cartridge if it's more than a couple years old.
How tight to I make each side of the bb?
I know in the old cup and cone bb's the drive side was basically as tight as you can, and the nds was just tight enough to eliminate play, and then the lock ring gets tightened pretty good.
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Old 10-14-21, 04:59 PM
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Are you sure it's not just your wheel spokes moaning and groaning as you put power into the cranks? Or maybe your sweaty bike shorts rubbing on your saddle.
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Old 10-14-21, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
How tight to I make each side of the bb?
Pretty darn tight. Don't put a cheater bar on it or anything, but 50 - 70 Nm would be my guess.
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Old 10-14-21, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Are you sure it's not just your wheel spokes moaning and groaning as you put power into the cranks? Or maybe your sweaty bike shorts rubbing on your saddle.
Yes, and yes. The spokes are numerous and heavy, not unlike the crowd at wal mart on black Friday, and my shorts expressly promised to wick moisture away to, I can only assume, some other place, probably in a bunker under a mountain somewhere.
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Old 10-14-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Pretty darn tight. Don't put a cheater bar on it or anything, but 50 - 70 Nm would be my guess.
Thank you, going to try this tomorrow.
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Old 10-14-21, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
How tight to I make each side of the bb?
I know in the old cup and cone bb's the drive side was basically as tight as you can, and the nds was just tight enough to eliminate play, and then the lock ring gets tightened pretty good.
RTFM. Seriously, it's probably etched right on the cup. If not it's in the instructions thoughtfully included in the box.
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Old 10-14-21, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
RTFM. Seriously, it's probably etched right on the cup. If not it's in the instructions thoughtfully included in the box.
I didn't install it.

Last edited by cyrano138; 10-14-21 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 10-15-21, 01:46 AM
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Tighten the rear wheel skewer. That sounds like it's coming from the BB area.
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Old 10-15-21, 08:17 AM
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Had a similar issue a few years ago and exhausted many possible causes before taking my bike to my mechanic whose father was a chemist - my mechanic also had an interest in chemistry and had success applying Loctite 660 to each sealed bearing surface , reinstalling the two press fit cups , and letting it set overnight .
He did this with my bike and the creak was gone the next day - PM me if you have questions .

Amazon.com: Loctite 66040 Loctite Retaining Compound, Surface Repair, 50 mL, Silver : Industrial & Scientific
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Old 10-15-21, 11:54 AM
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OP , is it a fixie or a single speed ?
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Old 10-15-21, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
I have a significant creaking sound coming from the drivetrain in the front. Normally I would assume it's the bottom bracket and make sure it was adjusted properly, but it's a sealed cartridge bottom bracket. Are those adjustable? I am new to them so pardon me if it's a dumb question. I ruled out the chainring bolts but not the pedals. It seems like it would be weird for the pedals to both be acting up at the same time since it started suddenly after I converted to a fixed gear.
This can be the seat. Worth double checking if it still does it if you ride standing up.
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Old 10-15-21, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Tighten the rear wheel skewer. That sounds like it's coming from the BB area.
Originally Posted by blinky View Post
Had a similar issue a few years ago and exhausted many possible causes before taking my bike to my mechanic whose father was a chemist - my mechanic also had an interest in chemistry and had success applying Loctite 660 to each sealed bearing surface , reinstalling the two press fit cups , and letting it set overnight .
He did this with my bike and the creak was gone the next day - PM me if you have questions .

Amazon.com: Loctite 66040 Loctite Retaining Compound, Surface Repair, 50 mL, Silver : Industrial & Scientific
Thanks guys. It's not a press fit -- I don't know if that matters wrt the locktite solution, but I'll keep that in my tool kit for sure.
The wheels are bolt on, not quick release.

Just to update -- I'll need around with it tomorrow and let you guys know. So far it's not the chainring bolts or the pedal (at least where they bolt on to the cranks. I tightened those and it still creaks. I'm hoping I was just to gentle tightening down the crank bolts, but if that doesn't fix it I'll pull the cranks and tighten the bottom bracket.
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Old 10-15-21, 06:18 PM
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How tight is the chain? It's got some slack, yeah?
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Old 10-16-21, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
How tight is the chain? It's got some slack, yeah?
Yeah it doesn't sag but you couldn't bounce a quarter off it, for sure.
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Old 10-16-21, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
Yeah it doesn't sag but you couldn't bounce a quarter off it, for sure.
If it's not sagging at all, that's typically not enough slack, because every single speed drivetrain I've ever seen isn't concentric enough at hub and crank for there not to be tight spots through rotation - pretty sure if you feel the chain as you turn the crank there will be tight spots, but watch your fingers on that deadly fixie drivetrain...
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Old 10-16-21, 01:20 PM
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It was one of two things. Either the cranks were creaking on the bottom bracket spindle, since I pulled the cranks and heard creaking as they were coming off and they had no lube on them, or it may have been the bottom bracket although that's a little doubtful. The non-drive side of the bottom bracket was pretty loose so I snugged it down a bit. But i did it at the same time that I pulled the cranks and lubed them (just a dab if grease) and retightened the crank bolts, so I'm not sure which one it was but my money is on the crank arms against the spindles.

Thanks for everyone who helped out and threw in suggestions!
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Old 10-16-21, 01:59 PM
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Oh... You're talking about the bike.
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Old 10-16-21, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cyrano138 View Post
The non-drive side of the bottom bracket was pretty loose so I snugged it down a bit. But i did it at the same time that I pulled the cranks and lubed them (just a dab if grease) and retightened the crank bolts, so I'm not sure which one it was but my money is on the crank arms against the spindles.
Hard to say, since you addressed three things at once (I would have done the same), but since the NDS BB cup was "pretty loose," I would guess that was the culprit. My crankarms always go on bone dry, and I've never had one make a peep unless the bolt was loose. Glad you got it sorted, regardless.
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Old 10-16-21, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
Hard to say, since you addressed three things at once (I would have done the same), but since the NDS BB cup was "pretty loose," I would guess that was the culprit. My crankarms always go on bone dry, and I've never had one make a peep unless the bolt was loose. Glad you got it sorted, regardless.
Thanks! The reason I landed on the crank arms is the noise they made when I pulled them. I've never had any make any noise at all before, and it sounded suspiciously like the creak. I did not crank down very hard on the bottom bracket on the non drive side when I tightened it, so if it comes back that may be the culprit. I have a torque wrench on the way, and I figured I would just err on the side of caution until the torque wrench arrives.

I did try tightening the crank bolts independently before hand but that didn't do it.
In any case it's quiet now so all is right with the world.

Last edited by cyrano138; 10-16-21 at 06:15 PM.
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