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Tandem noise that doesn't seem to go away

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Tandem noise that doesn't seem to go away

Old 02-14-21, 04:17 AM
  #26  
PaulGrun
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Originally Posted by sloppy12 View Post
try leaving the stoker at home. I did that and it fixed the issue. it came back as soon as I got home though.
So we should be on the look out for a used tandem for sale?
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Old 02-14-21, 05:02 PM
  #27  
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I'm good at lubricating my pedals and screwing them in tightly, so when I had a mysterious noise, I assumed that wasn't the cause of my problem. I investigated it fairly thoroughly and didn't find it. Then I removed the pedals, regreased them, and made sure to screw them in tightly. And that was it. So even if you're sure it's not the pedals, do it again.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:53 PM
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We had a similar noise on our bike and it turned out to be the headset. The inner clamp in our carbon headtube had slipped a little, so everything wasn't as tight as it should be. I retightened everything in the headset and stem and the noise went away. .Good luck! I hate noises too.
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Old 02-21-21, 06:36 PM
  #29  
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So, we still haven't had an opportunity to ride because when we pulled the tandem out yesterday to prep for a ride, we realized that one of the spokes on the rear wheel was loose. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the rim was cracked in several places. Ugh. We check the wheels before every ride and hadn't noticed anything wrong before, but we're currently waiting for a replacement rim to have the wheel re-laced. Whether this has been the source of the noise? We're not sure, but since we're having that done, we're hopeful that maybe that was the problem. Still not convinced that was the issue though because when we stopped pedaling, the noise would stop. Will update when we actually source the problem!
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Old 02-21-21, 10:27 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by PoeCo View Post
So, we still haven't had an opportunity to ride because when we pulled the tandem out yesterday to prep for a ride, we realized that one of the spokes on the rear wheel was loose. Upon closer inspection, we realized that the rim was cracked in several places. Ugh. We check the wheels before every ride and hadn't noticed anything wrong before, but we're currently waiting for a replacement rim to have the wheel re-laced. Whether this has been the source of the noise? We're not sure, but since we're having that done, we're hopeful that maybe that was the problem. Still not convinced that was the issue though because when we stopped pedaling, the noise would stop. Will update when we actually source the problem!
Cracked rims are definitely bad and need to be addressed. But they really don't explain the sound stopping when you stop pedaling. I'm guessing it isn't that. But if it is, then great! Problem solved.

I chased a persistent creak caused during pedaling. Pedals, pedal cages, chainring bolts, crank arm/spindle interface, BB, seat post, etc. None of those were the culprit. It was the R derailleur hanger.

Basically, every fitting on a bike needs grease. There are exceptions (brake rotor bolts, caliper bolts, cantilever post bolts), but they are few. I'm always amazed that chainring bolts come on every single bicycle dry. And then people wonder why they fall out!

I'm rebuilding a Co-Motion Speedster. Simply blows me away how much wasn't assembled properly. Bone dry chainring bolts and many others on the bike. Even the stoker seatpost sleeve was dry in the frame, causing a fair bit of rust. And this bicycle was assembled by one of the most respected tandem shops in the Bay Area, yet still a BUNCH of stuff was skipped or not done thoroughly. So you simply have to assume that stuff's dry on your bike and has to be re-done. Only when you eliminate everything will the creak probably go away.

That said, today's press-fit BBs are NOTORIOUS for incessant, annoying creaks that cannot be remedied. Luckily, most tandems don't suffer the scourge of press-fit BB shells, so most avoid this issue.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:17 AM
  #31  
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In my view, the cracked rim is as plausible as a source of your sound as any other suggestion. The rear wheel is subject to torsional loads that rise and fall with pedaling force and disappear while coasting. Only one way to tell.

Can you share the details on your cracked rim? Type and age of rim, tire type and width and pressure?

I have had cracks develop around spoke holes in Spinergy rims and was surprised at how low their recommendations are for maximum tire pressure, which is very close to the minimum pressure recommendations from the tire manufacturer.
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Old 02-22-21, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
Cracked rims are definitely bad and need to be addressed. But they really don't explain the sound stopping when you stop pedaling. I'm guessing it isn't that. But if it is, then great! Problem solved.
That's what I'm guessing. I really don't think the noise was from the rim/wheel, but it obviously needs to be fixed, regardless.

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
I'm rebuilding a Co-Motion Speedster. Simply blows me away how much wasn't assembled properly. Bone dry chainring bolts and many others on the bike. Even the stoker seatpost sleeve was dry in the frame, causing a fair bit of rust. And this bicycle was assembled by one of the most respected tandem shops in the Bay Area, yet still a BUNCH of stuff was skipped or not done thoroughly. So you simply have to assume that stuff's dry on your bike and has to be re-done. Only when you eliminate everything will the creak probably go away.
Yes. Our tandem came (mostly) assembled, but we found that everything needed grease, and a lot needs to have regular checks too (could be the fairly dry climate we live in too - maybe).

Originally Posted by LV2TNDM View Post
That said, today's press-fit BBs are NOTORIOUS for incessant, annoying creaks that cannot be remedied. Luckily, most tandems don't suffer the scourge of press-fit BB shells, so most avoid this issue.
I still wonder if maybe our replacement BB was bad? But, it's something we will check when we're able to get things back together and functional.
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Old 02-22-21, 04:11 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by reburns View Post
In my view, the cracked rim is as plausible as a source of your sound as any other suggestion. The rear wheel is subject to torsional loads that rise and fall with pedaling force and disappear while coasting. Only one way to tell.
Certainly a plausible source of the noise, but as you said, there's only one way to tell for sure. I'm looking forward to getting out to ride (hopefully, sooner than later) so we can test out possible sources of that darn sound!

Originally Posted by reburns View Post
Can you share the details on your cracked rim? Type and age of rim, tire type and width and pressure?
Our tandem was built by Rodriguez Bikes in early 2018, and they built the wheels at the same time (so, about 3 years old at this point - though we didn't ride this tandem until about 6-8 months after we received it). They aren't anything special... Zac 19 rims with 36 spokes. We run Schwalbe Marathon tires in 26x1.5 with around 80 psi
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Old 02-24-21, 09:26 PM
  #34  
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Tandem noise that doesn't seem to go away

Our tandem was making the same noise. The problem was the Bushnell eccentric. Clean it and the housing. Greased the housing and reinstalled the eccentric. Been quite since. Our tandem is a Ventana El Conquistador De Montanas.
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Old 02-25-21, 06:06 AM
  #35  
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A couple of more thoughts:

-Was any maintenance performed, or any changes/modifications made to the bike shortly before the noise started? There could be a clue there.

-On the bottom bracket thought: Do you have the correct spacing via washers and wavy washers? If the crank has too much slop in bottom bracket width it can move side to side when pedaling and you would only hear it when pedaling.

(With all these annoying noises, if only someone could invent a bicycle where no two parts come into direct contact with each other.)
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Old 03-07-21, 07:05 PM
  #36  
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Well folks, we finally got our wheels back and were able to ride this weekend, so I just wanted to update because I appreciate all the suggestions of things to check. After about 85 miles of riding, we're pretty sure it was in fact the broken wheels. I'm still confused as to why the noise stopped when we stopped pedaling (my best guess is the torque when pedaling was creating the noise with the loose spokes??), but we didn't hear it at all today, so we are hopeful that the fixed wheels have resolved the issue.

Thanks again so much to all! Always appreciate your feedback.
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Old 07-28-21, 05:33 AM
  #37  
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Squeaky Noise

We had the same squeaky issue and only happened when pedaling on hills. I remove the chainring bolts and reinstalled them to the correct torque. We also checked the tension on the spokes and tensioned them to the correct tension. Both of these tasks stopped the noise, not sure which one because I done them both at the same time.
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Old 07-29-21, 09:19 PM
  #38  
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Chainring bolts

Originally Posted by jays35 View Post
We had the same squeaky issue and only happened when pedaling on hills. I remove the chainring bolts and reinstalled them to the correct torque. We also checked the tension on the spokes and tensioned them to the correct tension. Both of these tasks stopped the noise, not sure which one because I done them both at the same time.
We had a clicking noise when pedaling that turned out to be the chainring bolts. Using loctite and tightening using a torque wrench stopped the clicking. These things are really hard to identify (it took weeks of investigation, phone calls and testing to find the issue).
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Old 08-07-21, 05:36 AM
  #39  
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We too are dealing with a squeek/rub. Only happens when pedaling and stops when the stoker stands. I've greased the pedals and stoker seat post, but it still happens. The weird part is it only begins after 10-12 miles, so it is really hard to diagnose because there is nothing until we have been moving for at least 45 minutes. It is a thudbuster seat, anyone come across a similar issue?
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Old 08-07-21, 11:42 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
We too are dealing with a squeek/rub. Only happens when pedaling and stops when the stoker stands. I've greased the pedals and stoker seat post, but it still happens. The weird part is it only begins after 10-12 miles, so it is really hard to diagnose because there is nothing until we have been moving for at least 45 minutes. It is a thudbuster seat, anyone come across a similar issue?
Since it stops when the stoker stands, the first thing on the list should be the stokerís seatpost. But since youíve checked that off, #2 would be the Thudbuster bushings or saddle rails. Itís not too difficult to disassemble, clean and lube the potential sources of noise in the Thudbuster/saddle. #3 would be to check rear brake rubbing due to frame flex. However, we did once experience a similar situation where I did #1,2 and 3 to no avail, and the source turned out to be the rear dropouts. Cleaning all the interfaces between the dropouts, axle and QR, and perhaps applying a light film of lube, eliminated the noise that time.
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Old 08-08-21, 12:09 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
We too are dealing with a squeek/rub. Only happens when pedaling and stops when the stoker stands. I've greased the pedals and stoker seat post, but it still happens. The weird part is it only begins after 10-12 miles, so it is really hard to diagnose because there is nothing until we have been moving for at least 45 minutes. It is a thudbuster seat, anyone come across a similar issue?
I dealt with one of those recently. It turned out to be the stokerís crank arm just barely grazing the front derailer when it was trimmed all the way out. Itís a friction shifter and apparently I trim a bit farther out later on.
It could also be the stokerís shoe/cleat when moist from sweat, but those usually start sooner.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:40 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I'm good at lubricating my pedals and screwing them in tightly, so when I had a mysterious noise, I assumed that wasn't the cause of my problem. I investigated it fairly thoroughly and didn't find it. Then I removed the pedals, regreased them, and made sure to screw them in tightly. And that was it. So even if you're sure it's not the pedals, do it again.
>>>This<<<

I'd been pondering a drivetrain noise on the Macchiato for awhile. I wasn't looking forward to tearing down both bottom brackets and readjusting the belt tension during reassembly, so I kept putting off chasing the noise. However, greasing the pedal threads is a 10 minute job, so I did it and *BOOM*, noise was fixed.
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Old 08-17-21, 11:43 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jccaclimber View Post
I dealt with one of those recently. It turned out to be the stokerís crank arm just barely grazing the front derailer when it was trimmed all the way out. Itís a friction shifter and apparently I trim a bit farther out later on.
It could also be the stokerís shoe/cleat when moist from sweat, but those usually start sooner.
A front derailleur isn't "trimmed all the way out." Just to be clear, the front derailleur should stop at its "H" limit pin when the shifter is switched to the large chainring. There should be no more outward movement of the F derailleur, especially not any more that would cause contact with the crank arm. Front derailleur "trim" is in the other direction and is usually used to move the derailleur inward slightly to accommodate high chain angle when utilizing the larger cogs, to prevent rubbing the inner derailleur cage. Trim also exists for the middle ring position on triples under similar circumstances. If you can move your front derailleur, or "trim" it (again, not the proper terminology) to a point where it hits the crank arm, you're doing things wrong. Your limit pin is too far out and the F derailleur is probably incorrectly mounted on the seat tube. But this is not "trim," so let's be clear.

I say this as a mechanic who has worked on untold bicycles where the bike owner has unscrewed limit pins in an ill-informed attempt to address indexed shifting problems and/or low cable tension (won't reach the large ring). Once your limit pins are set, LEAVE THEM! If the derailleur hasn't been bent or other change to the bike (crank or wheel replacement, for example), the limit pins stay where they are! Modifying this adjustment is dangerous and can lead to major problems and crashes. Cable tension and low cable friction are what produce proper indexed shifting. The classic "rear derailleur into the spokes" scenario is one of the biggest liabilities in the industry and is why many bikes come with the "dork disc" or spoke protector behind the large cog. And this will occur if an inexperienced bike owner loosens the R derailleur "L" limit pin in an attempt to get the derailleur to shift into the large cog.

So although I'm nit-picking here, it's important to CLEARLY understand what "trim" actually is as well as the proper function of derailleur limit pins or screws. Their proper adjustment is crucial. And on a tandem, two lives are on the line!

PS I've been criticized in the past to "settle down" and all that. Well, if I didn't encounter bikes so poorly maintained, I'd be a bit more chill. But as I said, many things on a bike need to be done properly so it can be ridden safely. And when you're working on your tandem, you're work affects another person. And I can't count the number of times I've seen limit pins unscrewed repeatedly and WAY TOO FAR in a failed attempt to address a low cable tension issue with a shifter. It's astounding how often I've come across this. Yesterday, I pointed out that a reply to an OP asking about his headset was incorrect. The replier indicated that a 1mm gap between top cap and stem "wasn't a big deal." Well, this couldn't be further from the truth! In almost all cases, this indicates the Aheadset-type headset wasn't getting proper preload. And given the myriad possibilities and potential for misinterpretation in posting and reading written instructions on bike repair, I simply said the OP should have it checked out by a reputable shop. And even if this gap WAS ok, it didn't matter because it wasn't clear the OP knew what he was doing. They OP took numerous photos and was asking all sorts of questions about what the torque values meant. This clearly told me the OP has little understanding of how his headset works. Probably not the best thing, knowing the bike may be ridden down a steep descent at 30+ mph in the near future. Gotta KNOW it's done right!
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Old 08-18-21, 12:12 AM
  #44  
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Iím not going to say you need to calm down, but I will say that as someone who is often similarly a stickler for terminology I can see how people in my past have mis-interpreted similar levels of intended passion, and also that you may have made a few suspect assumptions along the way.

First, yes, we both agree that the derailer to crank clearance is not correct on the bike I mentioned. It came to us recently and since it shifted fine in the stand and in our first month of rides I didnít check the front derailer limit screws. I also donít expect front derailer limit screws to be life threatening and I donít put our team in situations where a drop or jam of the front chain, though nearly impossible on this setup, would be a significant hazard.
The bike is an early 2000ís DaVinci so there isnít much excess shifter travel past what accommodates the 4x front. The interference occurs barely past where the front derailer needs to be to upshift from some rear sprocket positions. I suspect that the previous owners installed the crank arms below the recommended torque which would have left the arm just a bit outboard of where it is for me. As a result, I suspect the misadjusted component(s) are the two shaft collars that set the stokerís bb spindle location, and that itís a tad too far left. Due the shifter travel limitation, you need to really lean on the shifter to get it into this position. That doesnít excuse the fact that it shouldnít be able to do that, but it does mean that it could be easily overlooked for a very long time. Also equally possible that the BB spindle was nudged over during air transport and reassembly on our trip. Regardless, the theme of this is locating odd sounds and their causes, which is what I aimed to report.

As for dork discs/spoke protectors, Iíve had a few circumstances where either a spoke protector or a quickly aborted shift saved my tail on a bike that was properly adjusted at the start of the ride. One involved a bent derailer hanger when my bike was blown over and picked up before my return while a friend watched it for me as I was in a store. The other involved a thread repair failing in a way that let the upper idle pulley move in by a full sprocket spacing. Call it what you will, but they do have occasional benefits.

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