True Grit

Yesterday's "return of the creaks" had me re-inspecting various parts of my bike this afternoon. I'm beginning to think I should create a webpage dedicated to chasing down creaks, squeaks and noises... if it hasn't already been done, of course.

FIRST, I made sure it wasn't the front quick release. Still creaky, so it won't be a no brainer this time. Grabbed a handful of handlebar while from the front of the bike and held the front wheel between my thighs and torqued. No creak.

Ok, how about the BB and cranks? I've removed the cranks so many times this year that I no longer feel the dread that used to precede the operation before. Off came the cranks and what do I behold but some nice souvenir sand from my CRW Fall Century spill deposited on the inner sides of both cranks, where they contact the BB bearings and more sand on the BB bearing surfaces themselves:

So with every crank of my pedals, I was powering a nice grist mill, with micro-fine sand as the product. A couple of wipes with a cloth, from the center of each area outward and it was all cleaned up. I hope that none found it's way INSIDE the BB bearings–they didn't feel gritty when I rotated them by hand.

Grease, torque, reassemble. Test ride: creak! Ah, but this time I got the creak not only when I cranked out-of-saddle but when I applied the brakes, which points to headset/stem looseness.

Loosen stem clamp bolts, turn headset tension bolt 1/6 turn clockwise (using hex bolt vertex as guide), tighten stem clam bolts and test ride: Fixored!

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