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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Chasing a persistent creaking/clicking and occasional popping sound under load - gets worse the more power I put down and seems worse when hammering the drive-side crank.

I initially replaced the BB last fall (older XT hollowtech II crank) to try and resolve this, but it didn’t help (haven’t ridden much since due to injury/surgery). Recently I removed and re-greased the BB (all torqued to spec), ensured the chainring bolts were properly torqued, checked the derailleur and hanger, removed and greased the threads on the rear axle, re-greased the pedal threads and ensured proper torque, cleaned and greased the dropper post, inspected and re-greased the headset bearings and yet the creak-click-pop persists. Oh, the freehub is new as well. Any advice of where to go next?

Bike is a 2014 Transition Bandit. I haven’t gotten into the pivots yet, as I’m saving that tear down for last. What should I look for there? I had the shock off recently and when moving the seat stay & chainstay around the bearings seem to be pretty smooth.
 

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the cassette itself can creak but no info
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Check the entire frame for cracks? Even under any chain slap protection you have on the chain stay.
Yeah - that's the first thing I looked for, as I replaced the chainstay due to a crack at the same time I replaced the BB last fall (Bandit's have a notorious "spot" for cracks to form by the lower pivot). Won't hurt to look again though...
 

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Torque the shock bolts, another potential area. Also, Ti rails on saddles like to creak as well, I've gone so far as to sand saddle clamps to eliminate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Did you check the spoke tension? If the wheel isn't built properly it can creak and pop under load too.
That's a good one to put on the list. I did a general "feel test" on the spokes recently, but a bit more attention is probably warranted.
 

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Sometimes spokes creak where they are attached to the hub. I have one hub that needs to be lubed periodically where spokes attach.

One way to check this is to pull off your rotor and then spray the hub in Garage door lubricant (or something similar). Give everything a good clean afterwards and then go for a ride and see if it is quiet. Also works for creaky cassettes.
 

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Mine has creaked for years to no avail. This is why I listen to music when I ride my MTB...
 

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you didn't do enough with the pedals. IME, the threads where they thread into the cranks is the LAST place that pedals will make noise. If clipless, the mechanism is one potential source. all pedals have the potential to be bearings/bushings.

saddle and saddle rails are probably the biggest source of noise on any bike I've ever owned. moreso than the seatpost/seatpost clamp area. sometimes can be where the rails insert into the saddle body (usually when the saddle is a bit worn and that plastic starts to flex more than usual). sometimes can be where the seatpost clamps onto the saddle rails. I don't ever grease the rails, but dirt DOES get tossed up there and it'll make noise, so cleaning it out makes a difference.

the biggest key, though, is not to just randomly start doing a bunch of work in hopes that it addresses your problem. the key is to try to isolate the noise on the workstand, or at least when not actually riding the bike. when you're riding, there are a million forces at play that will confound your efforts. try to simplify things and see if you can reproduce the noise otherwise.
 

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you didn't do enough with the pedals. IME, the threads where they thread into the cranks is the LAST place that pedals will make noise.
I just fixed a creaky bike yesterday by tightening a slightly loose pedal. The interface between the pedal and crank is one of the more common sources of noise from pedals ime.

Agree that trying to recreate the noise with the bike stationary is a good idea, often you can put force on the crank with the brakes on and make the creak happen and it's easier to get an ear on where it's coming from then when you're pedaling with the wind and road noises confusing the issue/
 

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OP mentioned it but will say

I had a maddening creak on my Farley. it was the rear axle somewhere. I removed wheel, thru axle, derailleur, cleaned all that up and the dropouts too, reinstalled creak gone.

another bike I have, it was the stans wheelset. replaced wheels, creak gone, wheel on bench torquing on the axle in a vice, could hear some pings and creaks. t'was the wheel itself.
 

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I just fixed a creaky bike yesterday by tightening a slightly loose pedal. The interface between the pedal and crank is one of the more common sources of noise from pedals ime.

Agree that trying to recreate the noise with the bike stationary is a good idea, often you can put force on the crank with the brakes on and make the creak happen and it's easier to get an ear on where it's coming from then when you're pedaling with the wind and road noises confusing the issue/
I suppose if you're talking about random bikes you see at a shop, that could be the case. On my own bikes, I don't generally have issues with loose pedals. I can't say it's never happened, but I get noises from worn bearings/bushings more often.
 
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