Help Creaking sound from drive-side BB area

j-sworks

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Feb 5, 2012
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#1
So I have been noticing this creaking sound for a few months now and yesterday it became more pronounced. I was applying pressure to the bike this morning to determine where the sound is coming from, pushed down on the seat and I got the sound so I pressured the seat alone and the rails are not the culprit, so I figured it must be the BB, however when I push down on the non-drive side pedal the creaking sound will not happen - when I give the drive side a good push Disco! the creaking sound.

Can the issue be the BB if only one side is producing the creaking sound? and why do I get the creaking sound when I push down on the seat, which should distribute pressure right down the middle, but not from the non-drive side?
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#5
These can be a real bee-atch to deal with.

1) Unless you use a unitized, isolated bearing set (like the Sugino) , make sure you properly prepped the bearing housing and use Locktite 680 retaining compound. If you use the Locktite 'prep', this stuff will bond and seal the bearings to nearly non-removable state, so use carefully. Otherwise, use Locktite 242 or you can even use general purpose CA glue (I like the gel type)

2) I use a very small amount of teflon grease on the splines. More so to prevent galling and distortion than anything. I rarely use grease- it's not a good idea to use 'grease' on either tapered or splined fitting - instead use a teflon based lubricant. I hate to call it lubricant - cause that's not its real purpose - its more intended to prevent surfaces from contacting under pressure to 'gall' or 'weld'. So you can torque it to spec and ensure a smooth, tight fit without 'hot spots'.

3) Use your friend the Locktite 242 or CA on the tightening cap threads. This will allow the cap to be torqued properly and then hold it tight (threadlocked). A little teflon on the cap face is also a good idea.

The squeaking generally comes from either the bearings shifting in the housing ever so slightly - or a small amount of play in the splines.

Again cleanliness is the key! Get ALL the parts as CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN as you can. Even using a cloth rag will deposit muck in the surface that will raise havok with the noise.

To fit the bearings QUICKLY and SMOOTHLY is also important. So - prepare by letting the frame warm up or use a hair dryer inside the shell. Be careful you don't damage the finish!! (disclaimer here). And then freeze your bearings. When you press them in they will slide in like butter with only minimal screw press effort and seat solidly. Once they are in place, then fit your cranks to complete the process.

Don't forget any shims! You might need a pre-tension (wavy washer) or even various thickness shims to make up the perfect stack height. Check your BB width and corresponding Crank / Bearing / Adapter , etc specs carefully.

Oh yeah - so many creaks I've heard actually come from the pedals and not the cranks at all!
 

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
#6
When you say you push down in the seat, do you mean the saddle? And when you are on the bike or off the bike?

If you mean the creak is heard when pushing on the saddle and you are off the bike then it's obviously not the BB.

I had a creak for quite a while that I thought was coming from the BB but it turned out to be coming from the contact between the front skewer and hub.

Have a look at this too

http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/repair-maintenance/bike-repair-bottom-bracket-creak
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Japan
#7
Oh yeah - so many creaks I've heard actually come from the pedals and not the cranks at all!
Check here first, then check your chainring bolts and then the BB. When do you get the creak? Swap out the wheels and see if you still get it. How about off the seat and pedaling? Large chainring or both? There are so many things that can creak. try unclipping one foot and see if it's pressure on the right crank or left crank or both.
 

j-sworks

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Feb 5, 2012
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Tokyo
#10
These can be a real bee-atch to deal with.

1) Unless you use a unitized, isolated bearing set (like the Sugino) , make sure you properly prepped the bearing housing and use Locktite 680 retaining compound. If you use the Locktite 'prep', this stuff will bond and seal the bearings to nearly non-removable state, so use carefully. Otherwise, use Locktite 242 or you can even use general purpose CA glue (I like the gel type)

2) I use a very small amount of teflon grease on the splines. More so to prevent galling and distortion than anything. I rarely use grease- it's not a good idea to use 'grease' on either tapered or splined fitting - instead use a teflon based lubricant. I hate to call it lubricant - cause that's not its real purpose - its more intended to prevent surfaces from contacting under pressure to 'gall' or 'weld'. So you can torque it to spec and ensure a smooth, tight fit without 'hot spots'.

3) Use your friend the Locktite 242 or CA on the tightening cap threads. This will allow the cap to be torqued properly and then hold it tight (threadlocked). A little teflon on the cap face is also a good idea.

The squeaking generally comes from either the bearings shifting in the housing ever so slightly - or a small amount of play in the splines.

Again cleanliness is the key! Get ALL the parts as CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN as you can. Even using a cloth rag will deposit muck in the surface that will raise havok with the noise.

To fit the bearings QUICKLY and SMOOTHLY is also important. So - prepare by letting the frame warm up or use a hair dryer inside the shell. Be careful you don't damage the finish!! (disclaimer here). And then freeze your bearings. When you press them in they will slide in like butter with only minimal screw press effort and seat solidly. Once they are in place, then fit your cranks to complete the process.

Don't forget any shims! You might need a pre-tension (wavy washer) or even various thickness shims to make up the perfect stack height. Check your BB width and corresponding Crank / Bearing / Adapter , etc specs carefully.

Oh yeah - so many creaks I've heard actually come from the pedals and not the cranks at all!
I totally agree with you about how much of a pain these are, I had one on my other bike that took me while find. And your right about the pedals being a usual suspect, so I checked those right after the saddle rails.

Personally I would take this to a trusted shop, I've never done BB work and I don't have the tools.
 

j-sworks

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Feb 5, 2012
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#11
When you say you push down in the seat, do you mean the saddle? And when you are on the bike or off the bike?

If you mean the creak is heard when pushing on the saddle and you are off the bike then it's obviously not the BB.

I had a creak for quite a while that I thought was coming from the BB but it turned out to be coming from the contact between the front skewer and hub.

Have a look at this too

http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/repair-maintenance/bike-repair-bottom-bracket-creak
It makes the sound if I push down hard on the saddle (off the bike to see where this is coming from), when I'm in the saddle, out of the saddle - the consistent time I get this problem is when applying force to the bike, climbing seated, bumpy roads, out of the saddle climbing etc.

I will spend some time going through that check list when I clean my bike this weekend. Thanks.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#14
I would suggest starting with the bottle cages ;)

They are a huge source of creaking and clicking noises, especially after hot stick summers and spilt drinks. Take off the cages and test if the noise is still there then work your way backwards.

Also seat post clamps and seat posts can cause a lot of noise in the frame and although you "Think" it's coming from the BB area a lot of the time it's not.
 
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j-sworks

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#15
I would suggest starting with the bottle cages ;)

They are a huge source of creaking and clicking noises, especially after hot stick summers and split drinks. Take off the cages and test if the noise is still there then work your way backwards.

Also seat post clamps and seat posts can cause a lot of noise in the frame and although you "Think" it's coming from the BB area a lot of the time it's not.
Good suggestion on the bottle cages, I've actually noticed lately that one seems to be slightly askew.

Looks like I have my work cut-out for me ;)
 

saibot

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May 29, 2012
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#16
Everything is possible, when @Musashi13 had a noise we though it was the BB, cranks, pedels but ended up being the head set. Owen thought it was his headset but turned out to be his front hub. On my old bike back in sweden I thought it was the BB but turned out the be the seat bost (cleaned and put some carbon assembly paste on)

Carbon is like an amplifier for sound so where you think the sound is coming from doesn't need to be the actual source.
You got a brand new bearings installed by a professional (Yuuta at SEO) just before you bought the bike, so I'm a bit skeptical that the problem would be there, but anything is possible of course.

I would start with pedals, seatpost and skewers.
 

j-sworks

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Feb 5, 2012
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#17
Everything is possible, when @Musashi13 had a noise we though it was the BB, cranks, pedels but ended up being the head set. Owen thought it was his headset but turned out to be his front hub. On my old bike back in sweden I thought it was the BB but turned out the be the seat bost (cleaned and put some carbon assembly paste on)

Carbon is like an amplifier for sound so where you think the sound is coming from doesn't need to be the actual source.
You got a brand new bearings installed by a professional (Yuuta at SEO) just before you bought the bike, so I'm a bit skeptical that the problem would be there, but anything is possible of course.

I would start with pedals, seatpost and skewers.
Yeah I agree about the BB, I don't think it's that but it's just the place it seems to come from, as usual.

I'm going to take a few hours and go through all these parts carefully.
 

Musashi13

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Aug 27, 2012
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#18
It's mad. It all seems to come from there. The sound I thought was my BB was really my skewers. Once I tightened them up enough the sound was gone. The headset came next...I think I have that nailed down now.

My bike was new and I actually had the guy replace the BB, oops:oops: He should have known better than to listen to me.

Good luck with it, I am fully aware of how frustrating it can be.
 
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j-sworks

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#20
Update, I took everything apart and cleaned/tightened everything, and on the ride yesterday it was not creaking. However I think it was coming from some grit in the rear dropout's because I now see that the dropout's are bare metal and my QR's are bare metal, and last time I heard the noise I believe I isolated it to the rear triangle area.

Anyways, thanks for the help