Monday, June 27, 2011

The Creakyness of Bottom Bracketness: A Banana Head Adventure

So if you, the reader, have been following along at home, you know that I found a creak in the Yellow Jacket.
Seems it only happened when the drive side cranks were under load, meaning when cruising along, I didn't really hear it, but when hitting the gas or climbing rollers, the creak became obviously disturbing.
So when I came home after my ride, one of things on my list was to find and eliminate that creakyness.
It was not your typical creak, not a click or warble or anything like that.
This creak reminded me of an old rocking chair that had been sitting out on the porch for a bit and the wood had gotten all dried up and every time someone sat on it and began rocking those wooden joints would start a squeaking and a creaking.
It was that kind of creak.
Every time I loaded up the drive side crank arm.
So the first thing I did was take off the bottom bracket cups.
On Campagnolo the bearings are pressed onto the crank spindles so the cups are just there to hold the bearings.
There is a bolt that holds the cranks together so all you got to do is take that off and unravel the cups.
Luckily for me, I had ordered another set of cups anticipating that the frame would be bare nekkid, but wonders of wonders it came with some cups installed.
Not knowing exactly where them used cups had been, I thought it the first place to try.
So I take them off, clean up the inside of the bottom bracket a bit, grease the new cups up and put everything back together again.
Creakamundo fantasical.
Okay, not the cups.
I wonder if maybe the cassette?
So off comes the rear wheel and I give the cassette lock ring a good twist and head back out to my hill to grind back up.
Not the cassette.
Then I start thinking maybe it's the wheel!
Off comes the old wheel and I take the rear wheel off of the Celeste Devil and put that on and go out and see what happens.
Creaky, creaky, creaky.
Sort of getting frustrated here.
So I flip the bike over and taking both crank arms in hand, I put some downwards pressure on them and hey! there's that creak!
Could it be?
Could it be that my new to me frame has a broken weld?
On the bottom bracket?
Creak, creak, creak.
I'm sort of besides myself at this point.
So I get some Triflo and squirt that stuff all over the bottom bracket.
I take off the cranks again and look inside the shell to see if I can see any cracks or anything.
I squirt up all the chainring bolts just in case it might be that.
Put everything back together and head out on the hill and-
Creak, creak, creak.
Now I'm really worried.
I'm thinking maybe I should take off my Centaur cranks and swap them out then I can start to isolate the offending noise.
I even check my pedals to make sure they are on tight!
I remember reading something on one of them forums about some dude who had a bad creaking problem with Campagnolo's Ultra Torque cranks.
Hit up the webs and I start searching, but I cannot find the thread.
So I post up on my friendly forum explaining my problem and wait for an answer.
Mean while, I'm sitting on the couch and looking at my upsidedowm bicycle, rather forlornly at this point.
I mean now I'm really sad.
Lemme try one more thing.
One more act of desperation.
Can you guess what I found?
Okay, I'll give you minute.

Okay so what I decided to do was check all the chain ring bolts and wouldn't you know it?
The chain ring bolt that attaches to the crank arm was loose!
Loose I tell you!

Once I got my head back together, I took the Yellow Jacket out on the hill to confirm my problem was solved.
Boy, if this wasn't a Banana Headed story, I don't know what is.
Now that I've tightened up my pedals and my chain ring bolts my rides should be silent, silent, silent.


Oldfool said...

Which reminds me I have a new clicking in my folder when cranking. Actually it is more of a snapping sound, one per revolution. Solution so far has been to stop riding it. I think I may have to come up with something better than that.
Your post has given some ideas.

Mark said...

I have the same noise. I am going to check my crank arm bolts.

Tracy W said...

Don't feel bad. I had the same issue, except it was a loud popping noise. A real mechanic couldn't find it. I finally did by completely tearing everything down to clean it. When I took off one of the bolts, it had some corrosion going on, and literally popped the same way when I loosened it. Cleaned it up, greased it up and tightened it up. Problem aolved!

Statrixbob said...

Good deal! My creaks always turn out to be my pedals. Even the creak/pop that seemed exactly like a worn out bottom bracket.

Glad to hear it's all working. Now get on your bike and ride!

limom said...

I forgot to add that I also checked and greased up the seatpost!
Glad my folly is of some usefulness.
All is good.
For now.

Steve A said...

I have the same problem on the non-drive side. Earphones have reduced the problem.

limom said...

Ignoring is bliss.