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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple weeks ago, my bike started making this really loud creaking sound. The sound is coming from somewhere near my feet... not sure what is making the sound, but I think it has to be something involving the pedals or the crank or something like that. My bf thought it might be the chain stretching. I notice it usually seems to happen when I switch gears and it will creak as I pedal for a little ways and then the noise stops until I need to change gears again. It happens more often when on the big chain ring than the small one, but it's not consistent enough for me to pinpoint what exactly might be causing it. Any ideas on what is making my bike creak and how to fix it? Also, if it matters, I bought this bike back in March and it hasn't had a tune-up yet. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
 

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Click fix

Cross Chained said:
A couple weeks ago, my bike started making this really loud creaking sound. The sound is coming from somewhere near my feet... not sure what is making the sound, but I think it has to be something involving the pedals or the crank or something like that. My bf thought it might be the chain stretching. I notice it usually seems to happen when I switch gears and it will creak as I pedal for a little ways and then the noise stops until I need to change gears again. It happens more often when on the big chain ring than the small one, but it's not consistent enough for me to pinpoint what exactly might be causing it. Any ideas on what is making my bike creak and how to fix it? Also, if it matters, I bought this bike back in March and it hasn't had a tune-up yet. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
It is fairly common to have clicking noises, 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. Also, things like the front derailleur cage just hitting the crank or the front derailleur cable sticking out and hitting your shoe can seem like they are clicks but really aren't.

Clicks tied to your pedaling can come from the BB (grease all threads in contact with the frame and BB, all metal to metal contact surfaces, and torque to the recommended settings, which can be quite high), crank bolts (grease threads and washers), the chain ring bolts (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), a stiff link in a chain or a burr on one of the "break off" special links used to assemble the chain, 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), shoes/cleats (loose cleat nut rattling around in the shoe sole, shoe/cleat interface), cleat bolts, cleats touching pedals, seat post and saddle (grease the post, seat post bolts, saddle rails, and add some oil to where the rails go into the saddle body), bars and stem (grease the stem, stem bolts at both ends, h'bar bolt if quill stem, and h'bar where it goes through the stem, grease/tighten QRs, tighten cassette lock ring, steerer tube spacers if threadless), replaceable derailleur hangers (remove, clean, grease all parts and threads, reassemble), any other bolt (bottle cages, derailleur clamps, derailleur bolts, shift cable casing stops, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, it is not a click. It is creak... it creaks the way you might expect something to creak under too much weight, except that I am not that heavy.

I'm not sure about all those other instructions... I know my bf cleans and greases my chain parts pretty often, but I don't know what else he does. I will ask.
 

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1st of all, your boyfriend is nuts. Chain Stretching? Does he get 'rust proofing' on new cars too? Yes chains stretch but do so very slowly over a long time. If it's the chain, it's not lubed enough. Ok, sorry for the jab on the BF.

It could be many things.

Pedals, pedal connection to cranks, crank connection to the BB, cracked crank, bad BB or worst possible, a cracked frame. Unfortunatly i just had the later. Always blamed the pedals but had a 3/4" hairline crack in the seat tube :(

Start with the pedals, remove them, clean and lube them well. Grease the spindles and rethread them on a cleaned crank.

Pull your cranks, re pack the bearings with grease or replace the BB, might want to have a shop do this if it's greek to you.

Inspect your frame if it's still an issue.
 

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hahahaha

fleck said:
1st of all, your boyfriend is nuts. Chain Stretching? Does he get 'rust proofing' on new cars too? Yes chains stretch but do so very slowly over a long time. If it's the chain, it's not lubed enough. Ok, sorry for the jab on the BF.
Seriously funny, but be easy on the gal fleck. This is beginners forum, a kinder, gentler place.

But true. Chain stretch is NOT the cause. Chain stretch will cause misshifting gear jumps... not creaks, fyi.

I think Kerry's shotgun approach will likely eliminate your issue if done properly and from the sounds of it, I'm not quite sure that your boyfriend should be your wrench. The shifting gears creak is peculiar and since you somewhat isolated it to your big ring, Im going to suggest your chainring bolts, crank bolts and bottom bracket.

Let me ask this, however. You say the sound goes away after pedaling for a minute. Do you notice it with any more regularity when you are standing versus sitting? Secondly, are you a reactive or proactive shifter, meaning... some people shift when their cadence drops and the pedaling becomes too hard. And others shift proactively knowing that they will have to shift and 'stay ahead' of the gearing. Typically this becomes more instinctual with experience so I am going to assume the former. Thus this means that you likely shift when you are shifting under some duress, and thus the shifting 'might' be a red herring in this diagnosis.

Therefore I would like to ask what happens in the same gear, standing versus sitting on a solid hill. This will provide some additional information to us as well. Because unfortunately, general "BB" area squeaks are sometimes not in the BB area at all.

Dont worry, we will get this figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
1st of all, your boyfriend is nuts. Chain Stretching? Does he get 'rust proofing' on new cars too? Yes chains stretch but do so very slowly over a long time. If it's the chain, it's not lubed enough. Ok, sorry for the jab on the BF.
Well, he said the chain that came with my bike is pretty weak. The chain is a 105 level. I guess it might need lubing. I'll try to pay attention to how it sounds when it has been recently lubed to how it sounds when it is due for some more grease and see if it makes a difference.

Start with the pedals, remove them, clean and lube them well. Grease the spindles and rethread them on a cleaned crank.
The pedals might need some grease. They have to be taken off every time I put it in the car (which is nearly every day), so I suspect a lot of the grease has gotten rubbed off them in the process.

Inspect your frame if it's still an issue.
I hope it's not the frame. *stare* That would really, really suck.




Let me ask this, however. You say the sound goes away after pedaling for a minute. Do you notice it with any more regularity when you are standing versus sitting?
I wouldn't say so, but I rarely ever pedal standing up so I don't have a good comparison for it. Therefore, it's pretty much always when I'm sitting. I can't say how or if standing affects it.

Secondly, are you a reactive or proactive shifter, meaning... some people shift when their cadence drops and the pedaling becomes too hard. And others shift proactively knowing that they will have to shift and 'stay ahead' of the gearing.
I try to 'stay ahead'. I pretty much never shift just because my cadence drops. If the speed I am pedaling is comfortable for me at the moment, I don't care what the rpms are. If I wait to shift until a particular gear is too hard, then by then I've usually worn myself out too much, so I try to avoid waiting and just shift preemptively. I try not to shift when I'm putting a lot of pressure on the pedals.

Therefore I would like to ask what happens in the same gear, standing versus sitting on a solid hill. This will provide some additional information to us as well. Because unfortunately, general "BB" area squeaks are sometimes not in the BB area at all.
I'll try it out tomorrow night and see.
 
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