A squeaky mountain bike might be no big deal to some riders, while for others even the faintest whisper is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Finding and fixing mountain bike squeaks and creaks can be difficult, and at times maddening, which is probably why some riders choose to simply ignore them and ride on. But veteran riders know if a part is making noise, that can be an indication of more serious trouble to come.
Besides, a silent bike ride through the forest is pretty much as close to heaven as humans can get on earth.
Do you have a good procedure for tracking down (and silencing) phantom bike noises? Share your tips in the comments!
I hate bottom bracket squeaks and issues so much that I won’t even consider a brand that uses press fit bbs. Sorry Yeti (Santa Cruz …). I would have owned a Yeti long ago if it were not for their use of PF. It seems to me there is no advantage and only disadvantages to press fit for the rider. It seems to be an advantage only to the manufacturer. To me, advantage to the manufacturer + disadvantage to the consumer = bad decision by the company.
This is a great (but long) video on why Press fit exists and why threaded bottom brackets aren’t always the answer.
Press fit is not ideal for me either, but it would not stop me from getting a bike I really want.
Any bike I’ve had with a pressfit BB I use the thread together Wheels Manufacturing BB. Great quality BB and always dead silent.
An often overlooked area is the contact point between seatpost and saddle. Most times, on my bikes, that’s usually where creaks can be found. Saved me a lot of time when I realized this, LOL
Using the wheels manufacturing threaded BB’s is a really good idea and smart good thinking man.
I generally stop and diagnose the source of the creak (or at least make sure it isn’t something potentially catastrophic) and make the continue/abort ride decision then.
Diag and resolve if a quick fix will take care of it. After the ride, sort it out…
Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll give some time to read up on this more. I’ve had friends with creaky bb, and they were always PF.
PF GXP 24 BB on my Salsa Bucksaw has been dead silent through 3 years of riding.
The toughest noise to find was the XT 11s cassette cogs biting into the aluminum freewheel on the DT hub. Had to spend $80? or so to buy the steel freehub too.
I land somewhere between two and three, totally depending on the noise. Sometimes you need to fix it, if possible, right away.
If I can fix the noise on the trail, then I will. A noise is generally indicative of something not working properly or something not being properly lubed/greased. As a bike shop mechanic, I feel that my bike has to be silent and running perfectly, otherwise what good am I as a wrench?! I also don’t typically enjoy my bike falling to pieces on the trail…
I have an older Niner, Air 9, frame with a PF30 BB. I started with the bare frame and built up the bike with different components. I originally used a Wheels Mfg. threaded BB fitted for Shimano 24mm cranks. It worked pretty well and I eventually wore it and the Shimano crankset out. Yes, you can wear out the spindle on a crankset where it rides on the bearings. I did not need to use a micrometer when the the cranks became noisy… I pulled them out and could run my finger over the spindle and feel the ridges at the wear points where the crank sat on the bearing races. When the spindle wears this much it no longer stays seated on the bearing races and will start making clicking noises as it rocks back and forth when you pedal with any force. New bearings in the BB will not help because the crank O.D. is now too small in in the areas where it rides on the bearings. Time for a new crankset…
I then started using RWC (Real World Cycling) threaded PF30 BB’s and had mixed results… some good, some not so good. Any loud noise coming from the BB area is not good. It means either the bearings are loose in the cups, the cups are moving in the shell or the crank spindle is worn out. I can go into a lot of detail about my trial and error experiments with PF30 bottom brackets but that would take up a lot of space so I will cut to the chase.
I have started using Token products BB’s and I can tell you that the results have been excellent. I can say they are the quietest, smoothest turning, BB’s I have used to date. Check them out.