Author Topic: Solve my noise issue *Reward*  (Read 3473 times)

Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« on: 08 January, 2022, 09:41:38 am »


Say hello to my problem child, a 22 year old Litespeed. It didn't start off with singular gearing and two different types of brake calliper, but this is the sweet spot. Unfortunately we've been having issues for a while now.

It creaks when going uphill, particularly when I'm honking. (So the doctor said: "Stop honking." As if.)

Now I realise this can be any number of things, and I've worked my way down the list:

– Lubricating anything that touches anything else.
– Swapping out bottom bracket. Cranks. Chain, chainring and bolts. Pedals. Wheels. Headset. Fork. Spacers. Saddle and seatpost. In other words, almost everything that isn't the frame.
– Giving it to my LBS, where the mechanic kept it for a month and returned it scratching his head.

Both out of desperation and because it's the way I roll anyway, I utilise noise-cancelling music, an old standby which I understand hath charms to soothe the savage breast.



While this makes a good enough cover, this solution is unsatisfactory though it may well be the only one if I want to keep riding it, which I very very much do.

"There's an obvious culprit," you may well be thinking. The frame itself is the chief suspect.

The main argument against it is that I have actually made the noise go away even without the intercession of my beloved iPod.



So far the longest reprieve I've had is 6 weeks. [quickly does math] 42 blessed days of peace and quiet between tracks and on those rare occasions I crave the sound of silence. If indeed I had something to do with this miracle, reproducing the steps I took to achieve it, namely removing the BB and putting it right back in again with a bit more grease, hasn't done the trick.

So about this reward. I am completely serious. If you provide a lasting solution, call it 2 or 3 months, I will send you, absolutely free of charge, the Conti GP5000 that I neglected to get back to mattc about here. (Sorry mate, a reply dropped off the cliff of my to do list.)

Better yet, if you are within reasonable driving distance of what3words is pleased to designate 'splendid.incensed.lazy', and game for a challenge, I will deliver the bike to you in the fervent hope you can put me out of my misery. In that slim eventuality, terms are negotiable.


Update: *Solved*

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #1 on: 08 January, 2022, 11:49:30 am »
Bottle cage ?  :-)
Rust never sleeps

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #2 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:16:18 pm »
If only! Though I remember the water bottle itself once making a noise that required seating it just so. (Pretty sure I have velomisophonia.) At some point I have greased then tightened those bolts. Speaking of which, the other set are stripped, but I probably put a dab of oil in them anyway. And there's a third set on the underside of the downtube, drilled in my impetuous youth. Those have bolts now practically welded in, so I also did my best to attend to them.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #3 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:18:37 pm »
Does it creak when riding no-hands? Is there a shim in the seat tube? Does it creak on both pedal strokes or just one side? Does it creak when pedalling hard on the flat or just up hill? Does it creak when you pedal hard with 1 or 2 brakes dragging? Can you get it to creak while not moving? Where does the creak sound like it originates from? High-pitched or low?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #4 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:19:03 pm »
Serious thought. Stem/handlebars ?  Though you would think you'd feel the creak if it was anywhere in that area.
Rust never sleeps

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #5 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:41:15 pm »
Sorry, forgot to mention that the stem has been swapped too, as have the handlebars (spent 20 years flat btw).



I'll get back to you on the rest. Having taken lamentable notes, I need to further interrogate my memory and/or go for a spin when it's less biblical out. I recall doing my best to go uphill no-handed… though this isn't entirely an uphill affair; it just takes a bit of effort to make it groan.

As for groaning, my wife has of course borne the brunt of my lamentations. Her verdict: "Bikes are trouble."

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #6 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:50:06 pm »
A similar creak on my bike, only evident going uphill, was eventually solved by chagning the stem spacers, even though there was nothing apparently wrong with them.  After changing the bottom bracket, pedals, seat post, saddle, mudguards ....

Another irritating squeek was a bit easier to locate - my glasses were rubbing against my helmet.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #7 on: 08 January, 2022, 12:57:10 pm »
Tyre pressures? Don't ask me why though. Brake levers? Cadence problem related to aging knees (one side worse than the other, can lead to bizarre effects because the rising leg one side is pushed up harder than the other side)?
Shoes?
I know I shouldn't say it after your Enigma posts but ...frame, ???

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #8 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:00:36 pm »
if every part has been removed, cleaned, greased and re-assembled, and there is still creaking, i would inspect the frame in bright daylight. just in case.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #9 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:01:32 pm »
Carbon forks? Check for crack hairline or otherwise?
Edit:  Dealt with in OP.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #10 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:07:53 pm »
Have you tried performing an exorcism?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #11 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:11:34 pm »


Have you tried getting someone else to ride it, and then riding a long next to it so you can hear better?

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #12 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:16:47 pm »
It’s your knees

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #13 on: 08 January, 2022, 01:19:50 pm »
My knees are in surprisingly good nick considering what I've put them through since going exclusively singlespeed over a dozen years ago.



Thank you all for your kind attention. I'll be replying in detail later, though some points have already been addressed in the OP.

The exorcism is particularly intriguing; my wife, being a lapsed Catholic, may be able to provide assistance there.

Zed43

  • prefers UK hills over Dutch mountains
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #14 on: 08 January, 2022, 04:16:09 pm »
Your shoes?

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #15 on: 08 January, 2022, 05:47:14 pm »
So far the longest reprieve I've had is 6 weeks. [quickly does math] 42 blessed days of peace and quiet between tracks and on those rare occasions I crave the sound of silence. If indeed I had something to do with this miracle, reproducing the steps I took to achieve it, namely removing the BB and putting it right back in again with a bit more grease, hasn't done the trick.
If you think that made a difference once, I'd stick with it using alternatives to grease, PTFE tape and carbon paste are two relatively inexpensive experiments, threadlock might be even better, though the good stuff isn't cheap.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #16 on: 08 January, 2022, 05:57:12 pm »
Another vote for often overlooked shoe cleats

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #17 on: 08 January, 2022, 06:42:51 pm »
Have you tried performing an exorcism?
We exorcised a malfunctioning laptop by splashing a little drinks machine water over it and reciting Latin (although we only knew Tempus Fugit and the Manchester City motto).  It worked for a bit.

If the frame was cracked, it would probably have broken by now.  I'd suspect the eyelets in the rims, if fitted.  I have to oil the front wheel eyelets annually on the LHT (DRC ST19 rims) to shut it up.  Only manifests when honking.

https://yarchive.net/bike/rim_noise.html
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #18 on: 08 January, 2022, 06:52:57 pm »
G'day Sam.

Short answer is it could be various things. You'd need to eliminate some of the possibilities. Here are some of the possibilities and then some questions to help isolate the source.

I've previously had weird sounds from the following places on my bike, listed here in no particular order.

1. Wheel creaked and twanged randomly when the spokes were too loose.
2. Cranks creaked a bit when the sides of rubber soled shoes rubbed against them.
3. Cranks also creaked when one of them was loose, partticularly an issue with the left crank.
4. Pedals made a graunching noise on the downstroke when the SPD cleats wore down a bit too far.
5. Bar creaked when it wasn't a good fit with a replacement stem. Noticed when pulling hard on the bar (i.e. when climbing).
6. A tinkling sound from the downtube turned out to be the tips of my shoelaces tapping once per revolution.
7. I've also had saddle rails creak.

You might narrow it down with these questions:

(a) Does it happen when freewheeling (and not pedalling)? if so it's probably not the cranks or bottom bracket. (Assuming you're riding SS freewheel not fixie.)
(b) Does the noise stop when you're going down a gentle slope (and therefore not pulling on the bar). If so, investigate the bar and stem. Do this by getting off, gripping the front wheel between your knees pulling on the bars to try and make them flex. If you suspect a wheel is the source, and you have another wheel, swap it out and repeat the test.
(c) Does it happen when you're pedalling out of the saddle? If so, you can exclude the saddle rails. I know you've checked this, but maybe check again.

You may then be able to devise further tests to remove pressure from particular components, and eliminate those from the investigation. When the weather is calm, on a quiet morning when there's minimal traffic (for the sake of your sanity).

BFC

  • ACME Wheelwright
Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #19 on: 09 January, 2022, 03:17:41 pm »
How much lateral movement is there on the chainring whilst under load? This is a combination of chainset runout, BB/crank stiffness and frame stiffness.
Inspect the chainring(s) for wear patterns on the sides of the teeth. Noise may reduce or change with older chains, but the aluminium alloy will always wear more than the inner plates of a chain. Wear patterns on the chainring will be differnt between odd and even tooth sizes. Ti frames are extremely good at ampilfying any noise generated by the cranks.

Some gearing combinations are very prone to making wear patterns on the transmission, my factory Bianchi track bikes had 48/16 gearing with a 96 link chain, they were tweaked to avoid anything with simple multiples. Joiners and half links tend to stretch/wear differently to the the rest of the chain and can cause noises - which occured every 2 crank rotations on the factory set up.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #20 on: 09 January, 2022, 07:48:54 pm »
I had a phantom creak on my Airbourne for a while, which after doing all of the usual things, still persisted.

Turned out that my front wheel quick release lever needs to be tighter than I'd usually do it up. The creaking has never returned since I've begun doing this.

When I built up my Planet X titanium gravel bike under supervision from their mechanic, he advised that when fitting a bottom bracket into a titanium frame it was good practice to wrap the cup threads with PTFE tape prior to assembling them in to the bike. This was,according to him, a good way of eliminating creaking.
I don't want to grow old gracefully. I want to grow old disgracefully.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #21 on: 09 January, 2022, 10:03:03 pm »


With nothing better to do at silly o'clock this morning I got the bike out of the vault, removed the BB again,



slathered on anti-seize again, did it up tight as I could then a little tighter, then carried it up our mucky driveway and headed into the quiet lanes in civilian shoes <the horror>. I use toeclips so it can't be cleats, but was being thorough even though I wear the same shoes on other bikes without incident. 

I heard the creaking but not as bad. And not all the time. This is part of the problem: it can be quite variable.

Does it creak when riding no-hands? Is there a shim in the seat tube? Does it creak on both pedal strokes or just one side? Does it creak when pedalling hard on the flat or just up hill? Does it creak when you pedal hard with 1 or 2 brakes dragging? Can you get it to creak while not moving? Where does the creak sound like it originates from? High-pitched or low?

I can't get it to creak while not moving, nor no-handed (or when freewheeling. Thanks for the list, fruitcake. Have checked all those things, and checked again.) Today it would only complain when I was going steeply uphill, but I have been able to bring it on pedalling hard or up out of the saddle on the flat.

Bearing down on the right pedal summons it, though when it's really acting up, the left can bring it on to a lesser extent. I tried dragging the brakes but it was difficult and the results inconclusive. Am interested to know why you asked me to do that particular thing.

There is a shim in the seat tube. Haven't checked it lately. Guess I should.

The noise seems to be coming from the BB, as so many of them do.



As for the quality of the sound, the best I can describe it is a kind of ratcheting noise with a bunch of ticks. [edited to add link to sound file]

I took it out again later in the day for a longer ride and could barely make it happen partway through, and not at all by the end of the ride.

Stupid question alert: do some lubricants just stop working? This latest incident after that 6 weeks of peace came after a week or so without riding, almost as if it's a shark and needs to keep moving. On the other hand, I've also had the noise start only after riding for 20 miles or so. It's almost enough to drive a person insane.

In the past I've also tried PTFE tape - perhaps not enough? - but not carbon paste or threadlock.

quixoticgeek, I haven't tried getting someone else to ride it, because there is literally no one else around here I could get to do that. As a result I can sometimes be seen riding along with my ear practically on the stem, concentrating hard.

I suspected the front end for awhile, and played around with it quite a bit. Eventually changed everything because an unrelated issue which cropped up: a Chris King headset apparently gone bad, which I had assumed to be against the natural order of the universe.

Haven't yet tried oiling wheel eyelets, but figured to have eliminated that and spoke problems in general by swapping out both wheels.

BFC, I'll have a closer look at the chainring out of curiosity, but have also swapped that out. Have definitely thrown a new chain or two at it. I do have some concern about the fact that this uses a 'perfect gear' to achieve singlespeedom and if that has anything to do with it…

I believe that leaves mzo's thoughts about tyre pressures (they're topped up almost every other ride) and cadence problem of some sort, which enters the realm of the possibly unknowable.

More questions: to what extent might having things too loose or even too tight be an issue? I don't have one of those fancy tools that gets me to just the right torque. Also, I gather there's some disagreement as to whether the spindles should be greased. What say ye?

Finally we have the matter of the exorcism. It's always dangerous to mess with unholy forces – look what happened to Father Karras. At the very least the creakdemon really could take up residence in my knees. But an appeal to a higher power seemed worth a shot. Thus I found myself laying out titles carefully chosen to attract attention from above, like HELP on a beach or the roof of a skyscraper in an alien attack movie.



We'll see.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #22 on: 09 January, 2022, 10:14:19 pm »
I presume you’ve checked all the chain ring bolts? Don’t think I’ve seen that mentioned above.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #23 on: 09 January, 2022, 10:16:47 pm »
Both checked and bought new ones.

I've done so much stuff that I've almost lost track. It could be I'll just have to start over again, taking extra care.

I have on more than one occasion gotten close to the NUKE IT FROM ORBIT stage, but the bike is tweaked just so and fits and feels fantastic.

Re: Solve my noise issue *Reward*
« Reply #24 on: 09 January, 2022, 10:28:02 pm »
Greased the chain rings where they bolt to the crank. I put on. We chainrings without grease and got something very similar.

Is it temperature related suggesting differential expansion?