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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to diagnose a loud creak emanating from the bottom bracket of an aluminum Volcanic bike. If you've never heard of Volcanic, they market bicycles to the public safety sector and manufactures their frames in the northeast.

This particular bike is a 29er equipped with a rack and lighting system and is spec'd with X9. The noise is most pronounced when the drive side crankarm is positioned at about four o'clock and occurs under normal pedal pressure, although the creak becomes louder as the pressure increases. I removed the cranks and bottom bracket and tried grease and alternatively teflon tape on the threads. When neither worked I replaced the whole bottom bracket and crankset with a Shimano Zee 1x (I tried new pedals too). None of that worked. I then tried pulling the bottom bracket and applied pressure to the shell while the bike was resting on the ground, which produced a similar noise, but not quite as loud as I don't think I was able to torque the bike in the manner in which I could with the crankarms installed.

I've tried removing the seatpost, rack, changing the rear wheel, loosening the rear caliper and even removing the bottle cage. Nothing has worked.

I'm kind of leaning toward the idea of a crack somewhere, but I've closely inspected every weld on the frame and can't find anything obvious.

Any suggestions or am I missing anything obvious?

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I haven't contacted the manufacture yet, which is my next step. Volcanic is a great company, but I hate to bother them for something I should hopefully be able to figure out...
 

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I am trying to diagnose a loud creak emanating from the bottom bracket of an aluminum Volcanic bike. If you've never heard of Volcanic, they market bicycles to the public safety sector and manufactures their frames in the northeast.

This particular bike is a 29er equipped with a rack and lighting system and is spec'd with X9. The noise is most pronounced when the drive side crankarm is positioned at about four o'clock and occurs under normal pedal pressure, although the creak becomes louder as the pressure increases. I removed the cranks and bottom bracket and tried grease and alternatively teflon tape on the threads. When neither worked I replaced the whole bottom bracket and crankset with a Shimano Zee 1x (I tried new pedals too). None of that worked. I then tried pulling the bottom bracket and applied pressure to the shell while the bike was resting on the ground, which produced a similar noise, but not quite as loud as I don't think I was able to torque the bike in the manner in which I could with the crankarms installed.

I've tried removing the seatpost, rack, changing the rear wheel, loosening the rear caliper and even removing the bottle cage. Nothing has worked.

I'm kind of leaning toward the idea of a crack somewhere, but I've closely inspected every weld on the frame and can't find anything obvious.

Any suggestions or am I missing anything obvious?

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I haven't contacted the manufacture yet, which is my next step. Volcanic is a great company, but I hate to bother them for something I should hopefully be able to figure out...

Had a creak that was driving me nuts too, ended up greasing seatpost and rails of the seat, creak gone.
 

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Humanoid Lobster
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Why NOT ask the manufacturer? I don't think asking qualifies as bugging them.

Years ago I was told by the service department of a large bike manufacturer that the seat tubes of their aluminum frames had an insert to shim the large diameter seat tube down to accept a 27.2 seatpost. The shim was welded and finished at the top, but inside the tube there was sometimes a gap at the bottom. I was told to drip linseed oil into the seat tube and them turn the bike upside-down so the oil could penetrate the gap and silence the creak.

I doubt that this is the issue with your particular bike. My point is that I'd not have known to do this if not told of it by the manufacturer. It still seems a bit janky to me, but it worked.
 

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Have you tried greasing all the frame bolts (water bottle, rack, etc)? Check inside the seat tube for burr, sand lightly if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the responses.

In a last ditch effort to solve the problem before sending the frame back to the manufacture, I removed the rear derailleur hanger and greased the mating surfaces. It worked!
 

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Armature speller
Unit, Anthem, Stumpy, Secteur
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Greased the mating surfaces and some loctite on the hanger bolt.
2 short rides later, no creaking!
 
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