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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 2018 Marin Hawk Hill with a Threaded Bottom Bracket that started making some creaking/clicking noises.

It is a pretty standard 73mm BC1.37 English Thread. The Marin branded crankset is very similar to a Shimano with a 24mm crank spindle.

It started creaking a few weeks ago but only when I'm pushing very hard on the left (non drive side) crank and standing up.

It is definitely not the seat - it really only does it when I'm standing and hammering on the pedals on a climb - again left side only. The right side is totally quiet. I'm running RF Chesters with 5-10 shoes so no cleats or clipless pedals to check.

Here is what I've done so far over the last week or so:

- removed, lubed, and replaced the rear thru-axle.
- removed the rear der. hanger, cleaned, lubed, and replaced.
- removed both pedals, cleaned threads, lubed, and replaced.
- replaced both pedals with brand new (tried 2 different new sets).
- added thin shim washers on pedal bolts.
- removed chain ring bolts, cleaned, locktite, replaced.
- removed chain, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed cassette, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed crankset, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- removed bottom bracket, cleaned, lubed, replaced.
- used teflon tape on bottom bracket threads.
- checked all suspension nuts and bolts for proper torque.
- checked the entire bike for any loose fasteners.

So far none of these things has really eliminated or even changed the creaking sound.

Again, the sound really only happens on the left pedal under high load when I'm standing up. The sound is sort of a sequence of clicks very close together and lasts for about 30-40 degrees of pedal stroke.

Only happening on one side should be a clue - I would expect other sources outside of the bottom bracket/crankset to creak on both sides or more continuously. Suspension creaks should happen on both pedal strokes and so should chain or der creaks. I've made sure that the non-drive side crank is nice and tight (pinch bolts) on the spindle with plenty of grease and I've tried various settings of the capscrew before tightening.

I thought for sure that the teflon tape would quiet it down - my gut is telling me that it is the left side bottom bracket bearing or cup. It seems that I can actually feel the creak in my left foot when I'm pounding the pedals.

The only thing that I haven't tried yet is to replace the bottom bracket entirely - I'm thinking that this might be the next step but I wanted to see if I missed anything. I'm usually pretty good at solving these sorts of problems but this one has me baffled...
 

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Might want to drip some chain lube on any pivot points and see if that helps. Sounds like you've nailed it on ensuring the bb isn't the culprit.
 

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Did you check the headset to see if it's dirty?

Pivot points get dirty as well. Might need to clean them. My last full suspension bike, I would pull the bike apart completely and clean all the pivot points 2-3 times a year. Always solved the creaking issues.
 

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XT/XTR bottom-brackets are relatively cheap, so why not...

Any boogers on the bb shell? Could have it refaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I haven't lubed the pivot points but that seems like a good idea.

I had the headset apart for cleaning and adjust a couple months ago. It seems nice and quiet but I suppose I could check it again.

I think I'll go ahead and order a BB - thinking either the Shimano XTR or the Wheels Mfg. The shell faces look clean and true.
 

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Get the xtr. Good compromise on longevity and price.
 

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It only does it while standing and hammering on the pedals. Maybe cause your pulling up on the right side of the handlebar really hard?
Can you re-create the noise with barely touching the handlebars? If so, swap that BB, but if not then maybe it’s a headset/stem/spacer noise..?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good point. I went ahead and test rode again pulling on the handlebars and then with all my weight forward as far as possible - actually trying to push on the bars. The noise was the same.

I ordered the XTR BB - should be here tomorrow or Wednesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I seems that I have solved the problem...

I received the Shimano BB93 XTR BB today and went ahead and put it on. I ended up putting a spacer on each side - the original stock BB had a spacer on the drive side only but the new Shimano BB was not only smaller outside diameter but was thinner by a mm or 2 on each side.

With the crankset back on, it was night and day smoother than the original (about a year old).

However... the creak was still there !!!

So I started going back over stuff that I had already done. I have another set of wheels with the same cassette so I switched the entire rear wheel - creak still there !!! And still only on the left down stroke.

So I decided to check the chain ring bolts again. I had replaced the stock chain ring with a 34T Blackspire aluminum ring and the stock bolts thread in directly - no backing nuts. Since I was threading steel bolts into aluminum plate, I was a bit cautious about stripping them so I only torqued them to about 5-6 NM. I looked up the recommended torque and they are supposed to be 10-12 NM so I took them off, cleaned them, put fresh locktite blue on them, and carefully torqued them down to 11 NM.

The creak is totally gone !!!

So, once again, noises that seem so convincingly coming from the lowly BB are actually coming from somewhere else. If I had just torqued the chain ring bolts correctly before, I wouldn't have chased this so far. It is just difficult to wrap my head around how it only creaks on the left down stroke and not the right. I guess depending on how it was moving or loose, I guess it could creak on one side or the ring and not the other...

I'm not unhappy about replacing the bottom bracket - it seems like a bit of an upgrade anyway. The BB93 is much smoother than the stock one. We'll see how long it holds up.

Anyway, thanks for the help. Hope this comes in handy for someone else in the future.
 

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Hi All,

I have a 2018 hawk hill 2 and have been having the same exact problem as you have described. A clicking creak on in the left side and under load. I have tried everything to figure it out with no luck. I have:

-Serviced headset and replaced bearings
-replaced bottom bracket with shimano saint bb
-serviced dropper post, cleaned, greased and reinstalled
-cleaned, greased stem pinch bolts and handle bar clamp
-took crankset apart, cleaned, and greased
-took modular chain ring off, cleaned, greased, and reinstalled
-services pedals and threads
-greased axles and deraliur hanger
-used triflow lube on all pivot points
-Swapped wheels with old ones and old cassette and still made the noise.

Basically I am loosing my mind lol. Can’t stand the noise as it’s driving me nuts. Any recommendations? Could it be something to do with internal routed cables or dropper post cable?

Thanks for the help in advance!
 
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