creaking handlebars

ricksavery

Über Member
Location
Poole, Dorset
I have a set of straight bars in an adjustable ahead stem, that is kept in place with a curved plate and four allen bolts. Pretty standard. Had the bars for quite a while, the stem is about 4 months old. Very recently getting a creaking sound from the bars. Obviously happening as I put pressure on the bars alternately on each side. Tried feeling them as it creaks, and putting my ear against them whilst flexing the bars - not as I am riding! Seems to be from the bars on each side of the stem rather than the stem itself. It is bloody annoying on a long ride, but more concerned that it may be a sign of a problem with the bars and they may be about to break- which may be nonsense. Any ideas?
 

Dave Davenport

Legendary Member
Location
Hampshire
Take the bars/stem apart, clean/degrease all mating surfaces and reassemble, being carefull to tighten bolts evenly. Might do the trick.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I had a noise like that on a stem which only had 2 bolts holding its front plate on. I ignored the sound while I was out on the ride, intending to check it out when I got home. I'd just done a fast descent when I hit a bump, there was a loud CRACK, my bars rotated through 90 degrees and I came close to crashing. ;)

One of the bolts had stripped the thread out of the stem. I'd probably overtightened it.
 
OP
ricksavery

ricksavery

Über Member
Location
Poole, Dorset
Cheers for that Dave and Colin. Already done the taking apart/cleaning/tightening thing. Tried tightening as much as I could and riding with it slightly looser in case I had overtightened them. No difference either way. I will have another look at the threads, just in case, but creaking seems to be coming from bars themselves. this may be just where it seems to be coming from however.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
D'you have a mate you could borrow some bars off for half an hour? Substituting bits is a good way to find out which 'bit' is causing a problem.
 

rb58

Enigma
Location
Bexley, Kent
ricksavery said:
Cheers for that Dave and Colin. Already done the taking apart/cleaning/tightening thing. Tried tightening as much as I could and riding with it slightly looser in case I had overtightened them. No difference either way. I will have another look at the threads, just in case, but creaking seems to be coming from bars themselves. this may be just where it seems to be coming from however.
Be wary of overtightening as that could stress the bars and cause them to fail. There's usually a torque setting.
 
OP
ricksavery

ricksavery

Über Member
Location
Poole, Dorset
Appreciate the risk of overtighteneing, thanks for the warning tho. I really should check the torque settings:smile:. I do have some spare bars but am loathe (too lazy) to change over the grips etc. Suppose I'll have to as I can see it is a good idea. Just wondered if there was an obvious solution that others had found or if there was danger of the bars failing.
 

rh100

Well-Known Member
I had a similar issue to yours a short while back, I took the stem apart and greased all the surfaces of the clamps etc, I think it was coming from the serrated shoe thing that holds the stem in place (undone from underneath). Once I had greased it, it was fine. But there do seem to be differing opinions on where to grease and where not to grease.

I'll try to find the post and link to it - there may be some usefull replies in there that you can use.

edit: Link to another post: https://www.cyclechat.net/
 
OP
ricksavery

ricksavery

Über Member
Location
Poole, Dorset
Many thanks rh100. Read the messages on the other thread. Seems no easy solution, but just oil/grease one part/area at a time and see what works! I'll try the clamp of the stem first and grease the contact surfaces. Thanks again
 
U

User6179

Guest
Had the same on sunday every time i pulled on the bars,thought the bars had cracked but it was actually comming from the casing of ball bearing at the top of the stearer.

Put your front brake on and push forward on the bars and see if theres any movement.
 

julk

New Member
I had some straight aluminium alloy handlebars which creaked as described.
I ignored it for a long time, but eventually they snapped whilst I was commuting home through Edinburgh traffic at night.

I was lucky and escaped with only a cracked rib and grazes.

My advice is to get some new bars.
 
OP
ricksavery

ricksavery

Über Member
Location
Poole, Dorset
Took bars out of stem clamp, cleaned all surfaces, light spray of lube, reassembled, problem gone! Many thanks for all advice. Will keep an eye on it in case that wasn't the complete answer. Julk, glad you were very fortunate in the extent of your injuries. That was exactly what i feared might have been about to happen to my setup
 

julk

New Member
ricksavery,
Thanks.
I found some cracks had developed just where the bars left the stem.
If your bars have any scratches or cracks showing in that area then they will likely break, no marks there and they are probably good for a long time yet.
julk.
 
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