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Creeking sound in my headset(3 posts)

Creeking sound in my headsetsnoopdog
Sep 18, 2001 12:59 PM
I just completed building a bike using a 1 1/8" headset/steerer tube combo. The fork is a AME Carbon/carbon fork with glued alloy insert. The stem is a Ritchey WCS unit. The problem is that the stem makes a creeking sound when I stop or climb out of the saddle with the bike. I tried untorquing and torquing the screws on the headtube. I greased the handlebar in the stem. I even tried greasing the headtube before installing the stem...despite manufacturers recommendations. Greasing the headtube helped but it still makes a slight creeking sound. All of the screws are greased as well all the junctions between the different components. Any takers?
Thanks in advance.
Strange...grzy
Sep 18, 2001 2:11 PM
What exactly is the "glued alloy insert" on the AME fork - I'm not familiar. Typically you don't get much creaking between an alloy/carbon interface, but you can get some. The 1-1/8" means that you're not even using the 1" stem shim for the WCS. I wonder about the fork - with my Reynolds there has been zero problems. If I had to guess I'd say it's your bars in the stem face. What is the age and make of your bars? I'd also question your headset instalation, but let's assume it's quality and done correctly (faced, reamed, and pressed with the proper tools). Another thing that is very deceptive is that a lot of creaking comes from the seat post, but the frame transmits sound sound so well you often think it's the stem. Try putting a dab of lube on the post. I've seen this on Ti and carbon frames. Sometimes people think it's the BB coming loose. Which brings up another point - what kind of BB are you using and was it installed to spec with a torque wrench? Some people have found that the cause was the spokes shifting on the rear wheel or even the type of front skewer used (ti skewers are nototious for being flexy).

I guess the point is that a noise can seem like it's coming from one area and it's really coming from somewhere else. Ultimately you have to play detective and somehow keep your sanity until you find the source. Let us know what it turns out to be.
re: Creeking sound in my headsetsunset fox
Sep 18, 2001 4:48 PM
Sound transmits through the frame and the creeking could actually come from your front wheels instead of your stem. I just helped a friend to solve a similar problem. First, we swapped wheels to determine whether the problem is coming from the headset/stem area or from the wheel. With my wheel on his bike, the noise disappeared. So the problem has to be his front wheel. It turned out that the problem originated from where the drop out meet the quick release skewer. We sprayed some lub around the drop out and the problem solved. You might also try to apply a drop of oil onto every nipples of your wheels too. Good luck!