Creaking Headset?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by John Picton, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. John Picton

    John Picton New Member

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    My Trek hybrid started creaking yesterday. I gave it a good wash and lube today and it still does it. It sounds like it is coming from the headset, and is only evident when turning the forks. I've loosened the handlebars and turned them without moving the forks/wheel and there is no noise, but when the fork turns there is. It's like a creaking / crackling sound. At first I thought it was grit and mud, but don't think that now that I've cleaned it down.

    Anyone any ideas? The motion feels OK, it seems safe enough but I don't want to risk riding it for a couple of days before I can get it into the shop if there is a chance of me doing more damage. Maybe its a cracked bearing or something?

    Thanks
     
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  2. litespeedguy

    litespeedguy New Member

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    You can get headset creaks with integrated and internal headsets ; with internal there are bearing retainer cups at each end of the headtube - and if the bearing(s) are not seated right you can eventually get wear grooves on the cups and some creaking noises.

    With integrated there are no cups and the bearing can potentially rub the inside of the headtube - which also can produce creaks.

    Good Luck !!
     
  3. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    There are no internal or integrated HS on Trek hybrids.
     
  4. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    If it's a crackling sound from the HS,riding it will do it no good. But if the HS is hosed it's gonnaa get replaced anyway, and if everything is tight with no play,nothing else gets buggered.
     
  5. John Picton

    John Picton New Member

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    That's kind of what I thought! If the headset is worn anyway then I may aswell trash it through winter and then give the whole bike a thorough service ready for the better weather in spring, provided it's not dangerous.

    I took the fork out today and had a look, I think that the bottom bearings of the headset are worn, but I cleaned and greased the whole lot and it does sound better, though still feels a little rough.

    It seems to be all tight with no play so I think I'll go with boudreaux' suggestion and squeeze a few more miles out of it for now.

    Thanks for advice everyone.
     
  6. andrello

    andrello New Member

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    Check if your cables are rubbing together. Their plastic housings make a creaky sound when they rub, especially if they're "squeeky-clean".
     
  7. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Could very well be that dirt got by the seals and into the bearings. Especially if it's not a cartridge bearing type of headset. Have you overhauled the headset? If I were you I'd remove the fork, take the headset apart, thouroughly clean everything with solvent, grease the bearings and races and reassemble. You'd probably get a whole lot more noise-free miles out of your existing headset by doing this.

    Oops! I didn't see your last post. Never mind! :eek:

    The "roughness" that you feel now is probably due to the races being pitted.
     
  8. John Picton

    John Picton New Member

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    When I said I cleaned and greased the whole lot I was probably being a little misleading. I didn't actually take the bearings out, just cleaned the fork, stem and anything else I could see and regreased it. I suppose what you suggest is the next step. I'll try it when I get time this weekend.

    Thanks.
     
  9. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Does no good to grease the outside. That is just a dirt magnet.The bearings are on the inside.
     
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