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Carbon steerer and creak noises?(4 posts)

Carbon steerer and creak noises?Nessism
Mar 31, 2003 7:56 AM
Just finished building up a new frameset and can't seem to get the creak noises out of the front end. Parts used include:

- 2001 LS Tuscany frame - standard 1-1/8" headset type
- Cane Creek S-Pro headset
- Supergo Weyless carbon steerer fork (same fork as Litespeed "Lite Tec" model)
- Ritchey WCS stem
- carbon spacers: 20mm + 5 mm = 25 mm

Fork was faced before installing lower crown race. Frame headtube was checked for proper facing using a machinest square and seemed OK - not the best way to check I know but better than nothing.

Used a torque wrench to set the headset bearing preload - 25 in-lbs before tightening stem pinch bolts. The headset turns smoothly with no tight spots which leads me to think the frame head tube is properly faced.

Greased the ends of the spacers but I've tried to keep grease off the carbon steerer tube for the most part. After greasing, the noise seems to be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, it comes back withing 30 miles.

Any suggestions on what to try next? Is grease going to hurt the carbon steerer tube? I'm thinking maybe a little grease on the headset centering cone? Not sure.

Also, this is my experience using a carbon steerer fork. Are some noises common with this type of setup?


Try the bar/stem interface.terry b
Mar 31, 2003 8:35 AM
I had a similar sounding problem and solved it by putting and extremely thin layer of grease on the inside faces of the stem and the bar. Sounds gone.
re: Carbon steerer and creak noises?pauldoric
Apr 1, 2003 5:24 AM
Had a similar thing happen with my Ouzo-pro. Would start creaking after 20 miles or so when I was out of the saddle at low cadance pushing hard. Found the problem to be in the front axle/skewer! I cleaned the drop outs and lightly lubeb the skewer mechanism and it is gone.
careful greasingjw25
Apr 1, 2003 9:49 AM
I just fixed this problem last night. At first, I was pretty sure the bar/stem interface were creaking, as I'd get pops when sprinting on the hoods or drops, but nothing riding no-hands. I also pressed down on the stem, and heard nothing.
So, I fixed that, and found some light fretting from lack of grease and riding in rain. No problem, I wanted new bars anyway.
Unfortunately, I get everything back together, torqued to spec, press down on the drops, and get a different creak. Pressed down on the stem, and heard the same thing.
So, I took the fork off, and checked the headset. Since it's a full-carbon fork, I was very sparing with the grease, and the cartridge bearings were starting to rust on the outside (FSA Orbit Extreme). So I wiped them down, greased the cups lightly, greased the bearing outers lightly, and added a thin layer to the crown race.
Put everything back together, still creaked.
So I removed, cleaned, and greased the upper bearing, upper cone, and put everything back together.
Finally, no creaks. I think I took things apart 5 times total, but it's quiet now, and hopefully won't rust further.
As an aside, the amount of flex from a carbon steerer is amazing - I was pressing down much harder than I ever would while riding, to check for creaks, but wow - I think I can get a quarter inch of movement vertically. It's a 1" Columbus Muscle fork, and I run 15mm of spacers under the stem. Very comfortable above 25 mph.
So the moral is, check everything the first time, and save yourself a headache.