I’m sure most people reading this blog can sympathise.
In an ideal world, we all want that bicycle that gives off as much noise as the proverbial church mouse, in reality it’s not always the case.
Generally good maintainance, cleaning and oiling your 2 wheeled pride and joy, can be enough to keep her ticking over nicely. But every now and then that awful creaking sound vibrating through the frame sends shock waves straight into the pit of your stomach.
In my case it started 2 weeks ago, firstly with a creek here and there as I put pressure on the pedals heading up mountains and steep hills. The sad thing is that you try to ignore it, hoping it will disappear in its own time. At first it does, but like a bad penny it keeps rearing its noisy head until it’s time to take a look.
One of problems with road bikes and noise is that the sound can travel and cause confusion. Firstly I was thinking about the pump rattling or the water bottles or cages not behaving themselves. That was too easy and anyway this was happening mainly with pressure on hills. I’d recently replaced the headset, so I could almost certainly cross that off the list.
So down to the shed and off with the pedals a quick clean, a dab of grease and screw them back on. Another possible problem could be the cleats, they are warring a bit and could do with replacing, but for the moment a good clean and a spray with silicone spray could be a short-term solution.
Finally a tentative spin of the cranks and a little jig from left to right reveals the possible problem, a good bit of play on the pedal arms coming from the bottom bracket. No escaping the fact the bottom bracket had gone!
The easiest solution is to take it to the local bike repair shop. I do have the tools for the job, but sometimes that professional touch is worth paying for. While I was there I made the decision to replace the chain and get new cleats.
In the morning I’ll give her a spin and fingers-crossed it will be like riding a new bike.