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Troubleshooting a creaking noise.(7 posts)

Troubleshooting a creaking noise.Fez
Aug 15, 2002 8:07 PM
Here's a common one. Whenever I do a moderate climb, get out of the saddle and keep my hands on the hoods, I hear the dreaded creaking noise.

Any tips on which component it is?

I have inspected, greased and tightened pretty much everything, so I may have to start replacing parts, but I would like to start with the highest probability component.

Stem? Headset? Handlebars?

Funny thing is every bike I have ridden creaks a little during climbing, but this one does it a little more than I would like.
re: Troubleshooting a creaking noise.cabinfever
Aug 16, 2002 3:37 AM
Does it happen only when you are pedaling? If you coast on a flat, but still grab the hoods and flex the bars side to side, does it still happen? Try to isolate each part.

If you have a long stem, especially a quill stem, and/or wider bars, the noise could come from there. I had that on my old bike. I got fed up, and built up a new one, but even that one now creaks on climbs. I've greased bottom bracket threads, serviced the bottom bracket, and checked spoke tension on the rear wheel. I can't figure it out either. Sorry, this probably didn't help.
re: Troubleshooting a creaking noise.noveread
Aug 16, 2002 6:29 AM
I assume you have eliminated the BB as the source as well as the pedals.

Anyway, if it occurs when your hands are on the hoods, have you checked the brackets that hold your levers/shifters? ...and since it occurs while out of the saddle, this could be the source. This turned out to be a source of creaking on my bike. Grease the bolt inside the lever housing that secures the clamp to your bars. Dry bolts have been my bane on my "new" bike.

Hope this helps.

re: Troubleshooting a creaking noise.bcm119
Aug 16, 2002 12:47 PM
I had the exact same symptoms- it turned out to be my front QR! Try tightening your QR a bit, or just put some paper rings around your axle.
re: Troubleshooting a creaking noise.cydswipe
Aug 16, 2002 2:50 PM
I would inspect the crank arm bolts for tightening. Also, the pedals should be tight to the crank arm. It's always worth checking. Could be cleats loose. I gotta be honest, it never is the part you expect. good luck!
re: Troubleshooting a creaking noise.zeeno
Aug 16, 2002 4:26 PM
If you are using a threadless headsety ou might check the adjustment/tightness it, especially if you have a carbon steerer tube and carbon spacers. I had the same problem and retightened the headset and the creaking went away.
It can be most anythingKerry
Aug 16, 2002 4:35 PM
It is fairly common to have the experience, but ticks and clicks are very hard to eliminate sometimes. What seems like it is tied to the pedals may be coming from the seat post, etc. Sometimes things like temperature and humidity can affect noises as well. To eliminate chain ring bolts as the problem, take them all out and grease the threads, the faces where they contact the CRs, and the CRs where they contact the crank spider arms. Clicks tied to your pedaling can come from the BB (grease all threads in contact with the frame and BB, and torque it to the recommended settings, which can be quite high), the pedals (grease the threads, get some wax etc. on the cleats, grease the bolts into your shoes, squirt some lube into the guts of the pedal machinery if possible), the chain (clean and lube), your seat post and saddle (grease the post, seat post bolts, saddle rails), your bars and stem (grease the stem, stem bolt at both ends, h'bar bolt, and h'bar where it goes through the stem), and your wheels (check for spoke tension, particularly on the rear non drive side, put a drop of lube where each pair of spokes cross). Needless to say, you want to try these things in what seems like the most likely place the noise is coming from, but there are plenty of stories about "I was sure the noise was in the handlebars but it went away when I tightened up the spokes in the rear wheel," so keep trying different things until you have success.