Greasing the creaks away

rh100

Well-Known Member
My hybrid was making increasingly alarming noises coming from the handlebar area.

Every time I pedalled it made a really loud creak. Apart from being a bit paranoid the handlebars were about to snap (after seeing that utube vid in the Commuting section a while back), it was embarrassing going up the road with the bike sounding like an old jellopy.

So took the handlebars of the stem and inspected, couldn't see any cracks just the black paint looking a bit rough.

So then I stripped the adjustable stem which has two bolts holding the handlebar clamp, a large bolt and socket type affair on the hinge of the stem and a bolt holding the toothed bit that goes underneath to lock the position of the stem. I wiped all down and greased all the surfaces that could potentially rub, along with the threads of the bolts. It seems to have worked as the creak has stopped. I also tightened up the cranks and saddle just in case.

Reading on the web, suggests that grease is good on bolts etc because it lowers friction and allows a tighter fix, is this right?
 

Mark_Robson

Senior Member
rh100 said:
Reading on the web, suggests that grease is good on bolts etc because it lowers friction and allows a tighter fix, is this right?
The reducing friction part is IMO bollocks but the grease will help to prevent seizing caused by corrosion.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
Thanks Mark :ohmy:

Oops, just spotted the other thread covering similar issues.
 

battered

Über Member
Grease on bolts is seriously bad news. Don't do it. It allows overtighetning and screw up any torque settings. Clean it off and apply a film of light oil to poreven tsiezing. Thread lock compound also works for preventing siezing and doesn't affect torque settings. Coppergrease on corrosion prone parts and the back of brake pads is OK too, mostly because it's not grease but thick oil with copper in. Proper grease (Castrol LM type) has its place in your cycling life, put it in all your bearings and they will last for years.
 

ASC1951

Guru
Location
Yorkshire
rh100 said:
Reading on the web, suggests that grease is good on bolts etc because it lowers friction and allows a tighter fix, is this right?
Yes, but as Battered points out, that isn't a good thing.

The way to stop creaking handlebars is to grease the clamped surfaces but not the bolts. Another common creak can be eliminated in the same way, by greasing the clamped part of the saddle rails.
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
battered said:
Grease on bolts is seriously bad news. Don't do it. It allows overtighetning and screw up any torque settings. Clean it off and apply a film of light oil to poreven tsiezing. Thread lock compound also works for preventing siezing and doesn't affect torque settings. Coppergrease on corrosion prone parts and the back of brake pads is OK too, mostly because it's not grease but thick oil with copper in. Proper grease (Castrol LM type) has its place in your cycling life, put it in all your bearings and they will last for years.
ASC1951 said:
Yes, but as Battered points out, that isn't a good thing.

The way to stop creaking handlebars is to grease the clamped surfaces but not the bolts. Another common creak can be eliminated in the same way, by greasing the clamped part of the saddle rails.
OK, will give them a wipe down but there is probably a load in the threads now but will clean out best as possible. Thanks.
 

NormanD

Lunatic Asylum Escapee
You'll find some adjustable stems will creak, the one I had was terrible for it, so I switched from that to a shorter stem and higher rised handlebars to avoid using the adjustable.

If you have the correct hight for your riding position using the adjustable stem, then try to find a matched solid one to replace it.

I know when my son is cycling with me .. I can hear the creaking from a mile off :sad:

Norm
 
OP
rh100

rh100

Well-Known Member
NormanD said:
You'll find some adjustable stems will creak, the one I had was terrible for it, so I switched from that to a shorter stem and higher rised handlebars to avoid using the adjustable.

If you have the correct hight for your riding position using the adjustable stem, then try to find a matched solid one to replace it.

I know when my son is cycling with me .. I can hear the creaking from a mile off ;)

Norm
I suppose I could do, I was thinking of getting some new bars at some point anyway so could do it the same time. (about the last thing left to replace except for the frame, who said second hand was cheaper? :ohmy: )

The creaking did unnerve me a bit, because I put a fair bit of weight on the bars and wouldn't stand a chance if they failed, but in reality I think the bike is made of sterner stuff.

The bike gets left outside a lot when at work so I think it's the water working it's way into the joints, that's probably what started it off.
 
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