Monday, August 28, 2006

Creaky Snake Goes Dancing

It seems as though just when one thing starts working right, something else fails. Especially with bikes. Case in point, the Jamis. Saturday I put 24 miles on it with no issue. Then I installed a rack. Then I rode 6 miles home. So far, so good. I hooked up the tag-along and rode another 15 miles without incident. Then later I did another 12 miles. On the last 12 miles, my Flightdeck computer stopped working. But in the strangest way. It is showing me current speed, estimated cadence and the odometer is updating normally. But it won't track individual ride time or distance. How the frell can it pick up my miles per hour but not record distance?? Grrr. I cannibalized the battery out of the wife's bike computer, since Shimano didn't see fit to pack a battery with the unit. I'm going to try a new battery and see if the issue goes away.

Then this morning on the way to work I developed a creak. It sounded like it was coming from the bottom bracket, but that seems too easy. I tried pedaling with my feet unclipped and it still creaked, so I don't think it's a pedal issue. It only creaks when I'm pedaling, not when I'm coasting. I tried stopping and moving my pannier from the left side to the right, thinking the weight might be causing it. No change. So I rode the rest of the way getting annoyed by the creak. Then, on the way home, no creak. I'm not sure what to think at this point. I hate trying to track down creaks.

Date: August 28
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 268
Year to date mileage: 2382


Jim said...

I think a fresh battery will solve the computer issue. Of course, wireless units are often prone to weirdness, especially when there are spurious signals floating through the air to confuse them.

If it's one creak per pedal stroke or per crank revolution, it's almost certainly a loose BB. The temporary nature of it may be related to water having penetrated into the BB threads. Before you take off the cranks to tighten the BB, it would be worthwhile to tighten the chainring bolts and the crank bolts first.

Pete said...

I'm hoping a fresh battery does the trick. This one's not wireless so that kind of cuts down on the possibilities.

And yes, it's one creak per pedal stroke. The bike has about 450 miles on it, so I'm guessing this just means it's time to go over it and tighten up anything that's vibrated loose since the initial build.

KM said...

If the crank tightening does not fix it, it could be your cleats. They wear over time and will creak. To check, just spray a little WD40 on them before riding. If that fixes it, just replace the cleats.

rigtenzin said...

I don't have a cure for your creaks or computer, but I have a related story. Once I had a computer that registered a little distance and a little speed. For example, if I was riding about 15 MPH, it registered an unsteady 1. And at the end of a 20 mile ride it registered less than a mile. I found I had set the wheel circumference in millimeters to 2mm instead of 2010 or whatever it was supposed to be. It's funny to imagine riding a bike with a 2mm wheel circumference.

vivid dadas said...

I have a Flight Deck, and also think a new battery will fix all your computer problems.

I've found that creaking problems can usually be fixed by lubrication. If you have a flat-spotted bearing, spin the wheel backwards, shake it and bang it around, take the wheel out, dump chain lub on it, and put it back.