Solution of Bike Creaks and Squeaks (Bottom Bracket)

bb-servicing

Bike creaking sound is annoying and it indicates certain bike components are not installed well or it could be a possibility of worn out. The most common creaking sound is from bottom bracket where rider put the pressure on the pedals using high-gear (big chainring in front gear, smallest gear in rear gear) and ride uphill, sound will exist in every rotation.

It could be few possibilities:

  • Pedals
  • Crankarm / Chainring Bolts
  • Bottom Bracket
  • BB Cup or Bearings

Diagnosing the “creaking” sound from frame is challenging as every components / accessories attached on the bike frame could be the caused of the creaking sound. The bike need to run a several bike stress testing such as climbing uphill and uneven surface in silent environment.

crank-arm-installation

Image A: Crankset installation graphical illustration

  1. Pedals is not tight enough on crank arm
    Technical Level: Simple
    Solution: Retighten the both Left (L) & Right (R) Pedals
    Tools: 15mm wrench / 6mm allen key / 7 mm allen key depends the pedals

    NOTE : Tighten Direction L – Anti-Clockwise, R – ClockwiseIf the clerk sound exist, change another pedals and try. Else go next solution

  2. Crank-arm is not tighten well
    Technical Level: Simple
    Solution: Re-tighten both Left & Right crank bolts that attach on BB
    Tools: Allen Key Recommend Torque wrench (suggestion torque 12-14Nm)

    NOTE : Hollowtech II crank just retighten the BB cover (5) and allen screws  (6) on left crank arm. Non-hollow crank arm tighten the 7mm / 8mm allen screws on both left and right arm. Refer the image A.

  3. Chainrings Bolts not tighten well
    Technical Level: Simple
    Solution: Re-tighten 5 allen bolts on the chainrings
    Tools: Allen Key Recommend Torque wrench (suggestion torque 8-9Nm)
  4. Check Bottom Bracket
    Technical Level: Challenging
    For BB30 / BB 386 model / etc, all you need to do remove the crank arm components and check the bearing condition. Turning the bearing, if there is “rough” turning, replace bearing is required. Else re-lube the bearings.bst-bb
    For BST (British Standard Thread) type BB as shown above. Your need to have a BB tools as following to re-tighten the BB that attach on bike frame. And re-lube the bearings. e.g Tools: SuperB BB Wrench
    superb-bb-wrench
  5. Clicking sound from rear wheel
    Possibility : LOW
    Sound exist from rear wheel could be due to the new spokes tension. However, if there is possibility of loosen bearing at the rear wheel hub axle. Certain wheel hub is using sealed bearing, all we can do it re-lube the bearing and realign the wheel rim on bike.

Above solutions may temporary solve the creaking sound from frame. If the creaking sound does exist, most like the bb cup / bearing parts have worn out if the pedals / cranks / frame bb are perfect.

WARNING: Fixing the bike clerking sound required technical knowledge and proper bike tools. 

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