Creaky McCreakBike

August 13, 2016

bike on stand

Hmm. For the past week* or so, my bike has been getting increasingly creaky. It was all right – I knew what the problem was, I just hadn’t got around to sorting it out. The front chain ring is bent and that was making the chain rattle through the front derailleur on every pedal stroke. I’d taken it to the bike shop and supposedly was waiting for a new front ring, but sourcing one is proving difficult as apparently my gears are a bit retro and that makes tracking down a replacement a prolonged process. We’d talked about upgrading the gears but apparently that’s not worth it and I should just get a new bike, but I love my bike and don’t want to replace it, so I was prepared to wait. A few creaks here and there are nothing, after all, even as the odd creak became a steady volume of noise that at least means I no longer have to ring my bell when cycling on Bigtown’s many shared use paths.

However, as the volume of creaking grew, it was beginning to get embarrassing. On our summer rides, even the guy who turns up on a bike that’s been falling apart for three years was beginning to comment on it. Creaking up the hill on Thursday, on the way back from the veg plot I resolved to act. If it was the front derailleur that was causing the problem, then I should just remove it. It isn’t as if I use it much. And it was a simple enough task even for someone of my mechanical ineptitude. Indeed, I managed it this morning, taped the loose gear cable to the bottle cage and set off down the hill on what I hoped would be a blissfully silent bike.

It’s still creaking.

I’m now baffled. Of course, it’s one of those things that only occurs when you’re riding the bike – put it up on the stand to have a proper look and the chain runs as smoothly and silently as oiled silk. Take it off the stand and ride it around and the noise starts. Clearly something that only happens when I’m sitting on the bike. Which makes me wonder if it’s the frame.

Suggestions for fixes – preferably ones that don’t involve buying a new bike – in the comments please.

*And by week I mean month. Or longer, but don’t tell the bike cruelty people